SEATTLE – Washington State’s run the Pac-12 Conference Tournament came to an end in the semifinals with a 70-60 defeat to No. 3 seed Oregon State University at KeyArena Saturday.
Washington State finished the regular season with a 17-16 overall mark, the most wins since the 1995-96 team also won 17. The Cougars will wait until Monday, March 17 when postseason brackets will be announced for the NCAA Tournament, the WNIT or Women’s Basketball Invitational.
The Cougars, playing in their second Pac-12 Tournament semifinal in the last three seasons, struggled to get shots to fall throughout the night after scoring 107 points in the opening round against Oregon Thursday and 91 in the quarterfinal win over Cal Friday. WSU was held to 32 percent shooting and 4-of-12 behind the arc but did set the Pac-12 Tournament record for total points with 258, breaking Stanford’s 2009 mark of 239. Oregon State shot over 44 percent, hit 10 3-pointers and blocked 10 shots. WSU owned a 44-41 rebound advantage and scored 10 points off of 15 OSU turnovers.
Junior guard Tia Presley led Washington State with 18 points and nine rebounds while sophomore guard Lia Galdeira added 16 points, setting the Pac-12 Tournament record for total points scored with 75, breaking Stanford’s Nnemkadi Qgwumike’s previous record of 71 in 2012. Sophomore guard Taylor Edmondson added 11 points.
Oregon State built and early 9-2 lead beforePresley added a jumper and Edmondson knocked down a three. Midway through the half, Presley got a floater to fall but the Beavers answered with eight straight points to take a double-digit lead.
Edmondson provided the Cougars with a burst near the end of the half, hitting a three from the left wing before ending the half with a runner off the glass. Oregon State took a 33-20 lead into the break after shooting 48 percent from the floor and limiting WSU to 26 percent. Edmondson led Washington State with eight points.
Romberg hit two jumpers early in the second half but the Beavers countered with a pair of threes to keep their comfortable lead. The Cougars continued to battle as Romberg added two more buckets after grabbing a couple offensive rebounds and senior forward Hana Potter added her own rebound putback that kept WSU in it.
With just over eight minutes remaining, the Cougars made one last push, using a 11-2 run to cut the OSU lead to 57-44. Presley and Galdeira swapped baskets before Edmondson drove baseline, went up and under for a reverse layup as she was fouled, capping the run with a free throw.
Minutes later, WSU scored six straight to get within 11 with 2:45 remaining after sophomore forward Mariah Cooks scored. Oregon State followed with a couple free throws and the Cougars had a couple shots rattle out down the stretch, allowing OSU to seal things up at the free throw line in the final minute.