Washington State 48 - Arizona State 41
SEATTLE – Washington State's Pac-12 Tournament win over Arizona State on Thursday night had Cougars assistant coach Mike Daugherty talking retirement.
Daugherty, husband of Cougars head coach June Daugherty, filled in for his ailing wife who was rushed to a local hospital before the game with appendicitis, and recorded his first career win. June Daugherty is out of surgery and "doing well" according to Mike late Thursday night. Will she coach the Cougars' second-round game against Stanford on Friday?
“I hope so, because I want to retire 1-0," he said. "I’d like to go out undefeated.”
Thursday’s first-round game between Washington State and Arizona State was a tale of two halves.
ASU led the No. 8-seed Cougs the entire first half, and by as much as eight. Though WSU’s defense stiffened to keep Arizona State without a field goal for the final six minutes, the Sun Devils went to the locker room with an 18-13 lead.
The second half went the Cougars' way from start to finish.
The Cougs were hot throughout, outscoring ASU 35 to 23 en route to seven-point win. Final score: Washington State 48, Arizona State 41.
"We told them at halftime, 'We’re playing great defense,'" Daugherty said. "The toughest team is going to win this game. If you guys just stay with it the ball will start going in.' Pretty much all of that came true.”
Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne was on the opposite end of the turnaround and said, "We played a good 20 minutes then we faded.
"It’s disappointing, but just lessons learned. We’re a very young team and looking forward to coming back year with a roster at full strength."
WSU freshman Lia Galdeira, the conference’s top-scoring freshman, put up 17 points and five rebounds in the winning effort, while ASU’s Fulcher scored 20 to notch her third 20-point game this season. Two of those three efforts came against Washington State.
June Daugherty's absence hung over this game. Daugherty was diagnosed with acute appendicitis Thursday afternoon before her squad arrived for shootaround and left immediately for a local hospital, leaving her husband to patrol the sidelines as she underwent surgery. It's the first game Daugherty has missed in her 24-year coaching career.
The Cougars play again in 24 hours, against top-seeded Stanford Friday at 6 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks. The Cardinal took it to the Cougs 72-50 when they met March 2 in Pullman but Mike Daugherty believes tomorrow's rematch could be a different story.
"We’re excited to play them," he said. "We’ve got a game plan ... Hopefully it’s a better game plan than the one we had last week when we played them, and we’ll see if it works.
"The biggest thing with Stanford is, you gotta make shots. You have to outscore them. You’re not going to stop them. They’re too talented. Every time June and I have have beaten them it’s because we’ve outscored them. We can get shots. We’re just going to have to make them.”