WSU’s Comeback Against Ranked Gonzaga Falls Short
PULLMAN, Wash. - Four Cougars scored in double figures, led by junior Tia Presley with 19 points, as Washington State University women’s basketball fell to No. 25/22 Gonzaga, 70-62, Saturday at Beasley Coliseum.
WSU falls to 6-6 on the season, while nationally ranked Gonzaga improves to 10-2, both of their losses coming on the road to ranked opponents. The Cougars are 3-2 at home and have their next three games at Beasley Coliseum, opening up Pac-12 play against Arizona State, Friday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m.
Presley added 4 rebounds and 3 steals as her 19 points extended her streak of at least 14 points in every game this season. Sophomore Lia Galdeira chipped in 15 points, 10 of them in the second half, along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Senior Sage Romberg and junior Shalie Dheensaw each added 10 points, while Romberg had a game-high 8 rebounds. Dheensaw tied her career high for points and added 7 rebounds.
Gonzaga’s Haiden Palmer led all scorers with 20 points on 3-for-4 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. She made her presence known defensively too with 6 of the team’s 15 steals. Lindsay Sherbert and Keani Albanez added 13 and 12 points, respectively. The Cougars committed a season-high 24 turnovers which the Bulldogs converted into 25 points.
WSU came out strong in the second half, scoring the first 4 points on layups by Presley and Galdeira to cut Gonzaga’s lead to 4 at 36-32 just two minutes into the half. The Bulldogs answered with 5-straight points on a layup by Sherbert and 3-pointer by Palmer to extend the lead to 9 points with 14:44 to go.
After trailing by as many as 10, the Cougars cut the lead to 7 before Gonzaga got the momentum back with a 3-pointer by Albanez to extend the lead back to double-figures. WSU was able to get as close as 6 points, 67-61, with 28 seconds to go, but Gonzaga hit 3 more free throws to pull out the 70-62 victory.
The Cougars led the majority of the first half, led by 11 points from Presley in the first 14 minutes. With the Cougars leading 24-21, Gonzaga used a 13-2 run to take a 34-26 lead with 1:52 left in the first half. The Bulldogs held on to an eight-point, 36-28 lead.
Following their game against Arizona State Jan. 3, the Cougars will host Arizona at noon, Sunday, Jan. 5 at Beasley Coliseum.