Cougars Secure First Win of Season With 55-49 Triumph Over Portland State

Nov. 26, 2001

PULLMAN, Wash. - Whitney Martindale led a balanced Washington State scoring attack with 11 points, including nine in the second half, to lead the Cougars to a 55-49 win over the Portland State Vikings in women's basketball action at Friel Court, Monday.

The win was the first for WSU this season and improved the Cougars to 1-3. Portland State fell to 2-3.

'I thought tonight was just a huge, gutsy performance by us,' said WSU Head Coach Jenny Przekwas. 'To get the first win was important after coming off the road and losing three games. We needed some confidence and something to get us going.'

With the game tied at 37 at the 9:14 mark of the second half, Martindale broke open the contest with a three-pointer to give the Cougars a lead it would never relinquish at 40-37. Martindale's trey began an 11-2 run by WSU as the Cougars opened up the largest lead of the game by any team at 48-39 with 4:48 left. In that run, Martindale accounted for five of the Cougars' 11 points.

Portland State managed to slice its deficit to two on a pair of occasions but on each instance WSU turned back the Vikings' threat.

With the Cougars' clinging to a 49-47 lead with 2:31 left, a Martindale lay-in gave the Cougars a four-point advantage. Portland State immediately cut the lead back to two on a Krishelle Jessee bucket, but a Jessica Perry lay-in with 1:43 remaining re-established the Cougars' advantage at 53-49.

WSU was never threatened again as the Cougars forced the Vikings into two turnovers and three missed shots in the final 1:43.

Martindale shot 4-of-6 from the field to record her first game in double figures this season. Emma Joneby scored nine points for WSU while Jessica Ottmar added eight. Nikki Petticrew led Portland State with a game-high 13 points.

Both teams struggled from the floor in the first half as the Cougars made 9-of-25 attempts from the field (36 percent) while Portland State was 10-of-29 from the floor (34.5 percent).

Each team converted 10 field goals in the second half but WSU better made use of its opportunities than Portland State. The Cougars shot at a 50 percent clip (10-of-20) from the field while Portland State was just 10-of-27 from the floor. For the game WSU shot 42.2 percent from the field (19-of-45) while Portland State converted 20 of its 56 attempts (35.7 percent).

'We are a young team and have a lot of players who haven't played together for very long,' said Przekwas. 'In order to shoot the ball well you have to be real comfortable with your offense and the players that you are with. I think we are still getting to that point. Once we do we will shoot the ball better.'

In the first half, neither team was able to establish an advantage larger than four points. That trend continued into the second half until a pair of Martindale free throws gave the Cougars a 44-39 lead with 7:41 remaining.

Brittney Hawks led all players with nine rebounds, the third time in four games she has pulled down at least that total.

WSU returns to action Thursday, Nov. 29 against Gonzaga. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at Friel Court.
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