WSU Succumbs To No. 16 Michigan 81-59

SEATTLE, Wash. - It was a tale of two halves for the 16th ranked Michigan Wolverines and the Washington State Cougars in the Wolverines' 81-59 women's basketball victory at the Pac-10/Big Ten Challenge at Bank of America Arena, Friday.

WSU (2-6) won the first half 38-29 as the Cougars shot 57.1 percent from the field (16-of-28) while Michigan (6-1) struggled from the floor shooting 9-of-28 (32.1 percent).

The roles were reversed in the second half as Michigan outscored WSU 52-21. The Wolverines converted 17-of-46 shots while the Cougars converted on 5-of-46 attempts (10.9 percent).

'We looked like two different teams,' WSU Head Coach Jenny Przekwas said. 'In the first half we were very aggressive and focused on doing specific things and in the second half we were back on our heels.'

Francine McCurtain led WSU with 16 points, the freshman's third consecutive game scoring in double digits. Brittney Hawks secured her second consecutive double-double - and fourth of this season - with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Michigan's LeeAnn Bies led all scorers with 18 points heading a list of four Michigan players that reached double figures in scoring. Alayne Ingram (16 points), Tabitha Pool (16 points) and Stephanie Gandy (11 points) completed the quartet.

Staring at a 38-29 deficit at the break, Michigan sprinted out of the second half gates outscoring WSU 17-0 during the opening 5:57 of the half.

The Cougars missed their first 14 field goal attempts of the second half as WSU's first second half points came at the 14:03 mark with a pair of Hawks' free throws. The first second half field goal for the Cougars occurred at the 13:08 mark with a McCurtain trey that put the Cougars to within 48-43.

WSU would get no closer as Michigan reeled off 16 consecutive points to take a 64-43 lead with 9:42 remaining.

The Cougars were dominated on the boards in the second half, as WSU was out-rebounded 41-20.

It was a different story in the first half as WSU was hot from the field while Michigan was the team feeling the freeze.

The Wolverines jumped out to the early lead, scoring the game's first five points in the opening two minutes of the contest.

Michigan could extend its lead to only six however at 10-4 during the next two and a half minutes, as the Cougars stayed within striking range.

Down 14-9 at the 14:30 mark, the Cougars sprinted to an 18-14 lead on the strength of a 9-0 run over the next three minutes.

During that stretch, Michigan committed five turnovers with over half of those coming courtesy of McCurtain, as the freshman recorded three steals during the run.

In addition to not holding on to the ball, Michigan was unable to put the ball in the basket as the team went three minutes without making a field goal.

Michigan countered the run with five straight points to retake the lead at 19-18 at the 9:24 mark, but buckets by Jessica Perry and Emma Joneby gave the Cougars a 22-19 lead with 6:02 remaining.

Up 29-26 with 2:28 remaining, the Cougars closed out the half on a 9-3 run as WSU held the Wolverines without a field goal during the stretch.

Seven players made a dent on the scoreboard for WSU in the first half led by nine points from Hawks and Whitney Martindale.
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