Second-Half Surge Falls Short for Cougar Women

Jan. 21, 2010

PULLMAN - A trio of double-digit scorers brought the Cougars back from a first-half deficit, but Washington State was unable to hold on to a late lead and fell 59-56 to UCLA Thursday at Friel Court. The Cougars dropped to 5-13 on the season and 0-7 in the Pacific-10 Conference, while the Bruins improved to 11-6 overall and 4-2 in conference play.

Sophomore guards April Cook and Jazmine Perkins scored 19 and 16 points, respectively, and freshman guard KiKi Moore added 11.

'The heart and character of this team is phenomenal,' WSU Head Coach June Daugherty said. 'We were disappointed with our start, but once we shored up some of our mistakes we played great. This team is getting dangerously close to being the team I know it can be.'

The Bruins opened the game on an 11-0 run, holding the Cougars scoreless for more than four minutes before a 3-pointer from redshirt freshman Katie Grad ended the drought. WSU hit just one of its first 17 shots as the Bruins extended their lead to 15, the same deficit facing the Cougars at intermission.

Though the Cougars were down 32-17 at the break, the game was far from over. The Bruins opened the second half with a scoring drought of their own, failing to notch a point for more than five minutes. WSU scored nine-straight to open the final period, closing the gap to six (32-26).

After UCLA pushed its lead back to 12, the Cougars fought back once more, scoring eight-straight to cut the Bruins' lead to four (42-38). With nearly four minutes left in the game, Cook connected on her third 3-pointer of the half to cut the lead to two at 49-47, and later hit back-to-back jumpers to finally push the Cougars ahead with 1:35 left on the clock. Cook scored 17 of her team-high 19 points in the second half.

The Bruins regained the lead on their next possession, and built their lead back to four with 23 seconds remaining. Perkins nailed her third 3-pointer of the game with 14 seconds left to cut UCLA's advantage to one, but UCLA's Doreena Campbell hit both of her free throw attempts on the ensuing possession and the Bruins held on for a 59-56 win.

After shooting just 11.5 percent from the floor in the opening half (3-of-26), WSU made 13-of-28 of its second-half attempts (46.4 percent).

Redshirt junior Katie Madison pulled down a game-high nine rebounds and led the Cougars with three assists. Perkins led WSU with three steals, helping the Cougars force 23 UCLA turnovers.

The Cougars wrap up this weekend's action against USC Saturday at Friel Court. Tip-off between the Cougars and Trojans is scheduled for 2 p.m.


UCLA (11-6, 4-2)
Dixon, Jasmine 9-10 5-12 23; Nzekwe, Christina 2-3 4-6 8; Tukiainen, Erica4-8 0-0 8; Campbell, Doreena 2-10 2-2 7; Morris, Darxia 3-5 0-0 6; Gardner,Rebekah 1-4 4-4 6; Walker, Markel 0-7 1-3 1; Earl, Nina 0-0 0-0 0;Alexander, Moniquee 0-0 0-0 0; Williams, Mariah 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-4816-27 59.

Cook, April 6-16 4-6 19; Perkins, Jazmine 5-15 3-4 16; Moore, KiKi 2-7 7-1011; Grad, Katie 1-2 0-0 3; Tarnowski, Rosie 0-2 2-2 2; Pettersen, Lexie 1-20-0 2; Noyes, Carly 1-2 0-2 2; Madison, Katie 0-6 1-2 1; LeNoir, Danielle0-2 0-2 0. Totals 16-54 17-28 56.
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