Dec. 29, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. - Freshman Colleen Betteridge scored a career-high 16 points for Washington State, but visiting UCLA held off WSU's late-game charge to capture a 74-71 Pacific-10 Conference game Friday evening at Friel Court.
The Bruins' Noelle Quinn led all scorers with 24 points, including a career-equaling three three-point buckets, to pace UCLA (8-7 overall, 2-1 in the Pac-10). Quinn also led UCLA with nine rebounds, while Lindsey Pluimer scored 15 points and Chinyere Ibekwe added 10 points to the winner's total.
Amanda DuRocher added 11 points for the Cougars (5-8, 1-2), who out-rebounded the visitors 35-33 and forced 24 UCLA turnovers, four more than WSU.
UCLA led 38-32 at halftime and held a nine-point advantage 41-32 early in the final half, but the Cougars chipped away at the lead and at one point led 63-60 with 5:02 to play. The Bruins regained the lead but couldn't put WSU away until the end.
"We had spurts of great execution and then we let down," offered WSU head coach Sherri Murrell. "UCLA never got the runs to bury us, but four turnovers late in the game really hurt us. I thought the turnovers were what cost us the game."
Murrell also pointed out WSU lost the services of Dani Montgomery when the junior took an elbow above the right eye with 16:51 remaining in the game. "She is certainly one of our best defensive players and that hurt us down the stretch," Murrell said. Montgomery had three of her six rebounds in the first three minutes of the final period before taking a seat at the end of the bench, She held an ice pack to her injury for the rest of the game.
WSU's last turnover came with 16 seconds to play when the Cougars pulled down a missed Bruin shot, but then lost the ball on an errant pass. WSU was then forced to foul and Quinn made two free throws for the final margin.
After trailing by nine points 33 seconds into the second half, WSU tightened its defense and went on a 6-0 run. Katie Appleton, who finished with nine points, hit a pair buckets after Bettenridge narrowed the gap to seven points with a layin.
The Cougars made 10 treys, including three by DuRocher and three by Adrian Ferguson, who finished with nine points.
"It is always nice for shooters to get out there and hit some shots," DuRocher commented after the game. "It is nice to get in the flow. UCLA is a good team and usually goes to the tournament. We played then tough, but we didn't win and that is disappointing.
UCLA shot well against the Cougars, hitting 29-of-54 field goals and eight of their three-point shots. In the first half they hit 14-of-24 shots, but turned the ball over 14 times.
The Cougars conclude the weekend Pac-10 series with a noon game Sunday at Friel Court against the USC Trojans.