Cougars Rebound, Post 79-76 Road Win at Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. – Washington State wrapped up its Oregon road trip with a 79-76 victory over the University of Oregon in Matthew Knight Arena Sunday.
The Cougars (11-6, 2-4 Pac-12) received big games from its All-Pac-12 guards senior Tia Presley and junior Lia Galdeira who notched 29 and 22 points, respectively. Galdeira added seven rebounds and two steals, hitting two clutch free throws with seven seconds remaining to put the Cougars up three before one last second Oregon shot missed, ending WSU’s four-game losing skid with a three-point road win. Washington State improved to 7-1 all-time when both Galdeira and Presley score 20-plus points including 3-0 this season.
Washington State shot 40 percent from the floor, scored 26 points off of 21 Oregon (8-9, 1-5 Pac-12) turnovers and posted a 45-38 rebound advantage while playing without senior center Shalie Dheensaw who missed the game with a knee injury. Dheensaw is WSU’s third-leading scorer and leader in rebounding and blocks. Junior guard Taylor Edmondson grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds, junior forward Mariah Cooks notched six points and six rebounds and freshman forward Louise Brown recorded six points and seven rebounds while starting in place of Dheensaw.
Oregon was led by forward Jillian Alleyne’s 23 points and 16 rebounds. The Ducks shot over 48 percent from the floor and sank eight 3-pointers.
Washington State built up a 13-5 lead in the opening minutes as Galdeira and Presley each hit threes. Cooks added a left-handed hook shot and Presley capped the run with a free throw. Midway through the half, the Ducks used a 14-4 run to take a 29-23 lead with 4:21 remaining.
The Cougars countered with a 14-6 stretch over the final 4:04 to take a 37-35 advantage into the break. Junior guard Dawnyelle Awa sparked the run with a baseline jumper, Galdeira followed with a steal and coast-to-coast layin, Brown came up with an offensive rebound and went back up for two. Awa then got a floater to rattle home to start a 6-0 steak as Presley followed with runner in the lane and Edmondson connected on two free throws. Presley ended the half with two more free throws and owned 10 points at the half while Galdeira finished with 11.
Early in the second half, the Cougars notched eight-straight points to turn a two-point lead into a double-digit advantage. Presley started the stretch with a layup, Galdeira drained a jumper, Presley followed with a three and a free throw before freshman Caila Hailey made a euro-step move by a defender on a fastbreak for a layup and a 55-43 advantage at the 14:09 mark.
Oregon battled right back with a 12-1 run as Alleyne got going form the low post, tying the game at 65 with 4:53 remaining. Presley answered for WSU, attacking the basked on two straight possessions, getting a layup and then a hitting a runner as she fouled to give the Cougars a five-point lead.
With under four minutes remaining, the Ducks used a three to cut the lead to one but Presley came big, draining a three from the left wing and silencing the Oregon crowd. The Cougars got a couple stops and Galdeira sank two free throws for a 77-71 lead with 2:08 left.
Oregon didn’t go away, getting five straight points while WSU missed a couple shots. A Washington State foul on a Duck layup saw UO cut the lead to one with 35 seconds remaining. Oregon was forced to foul and WSU caught big break after missing the first free throw as Edmondson corralled the offensive rebound. Oregon again fouled Galdeira and she calmly sank both attempts for a three-point lead with seven seconds to go. Oregon got one final look at a game-tying three but missed off the back rim, sealing the 79-76 WSU victory.
The Cougars return to Pullman to host the University of Utah Friday at 7 p.m. and the University of Colorado Sunday at 1 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.