Dec. 4, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Senior Alke Dietel picked up a loose ball and hit an eighteen foot jump shot with five seconds left to give host Washington State a 61-60 women's basketball victory over Eastern Washington Saturday afternoon.
Dietel, who had missed a baseline jumper seconds earlier, led all scorers with 20 points, while Jen Kerns added 18 for WSU (2-2). EWU (2-3) was paced by Jennifer Paluck's 18 points, 10 from Tracie Ford-Phelps, and a game-high 13 rebounds from Allie Bailey.
The Cougars overcame a nine point deficit, 58-49, with 3:20 to play by outscoring the visitors 12-2 over the final three-plus minutes. Dietel's winning bucket gave WSU its only lead since three minutes into the second half.
WSU trailed 31-29 at halftime, then forged a short lived 36-33 lead 90 seconds into the final half on Romi DeAnda's pair of baskets and a free throw and a layin from Dietel.
EWU held the upper hand the rest of the half, only to have Dietel rescue her team in the closing seconds.
"I was thrilled with the way we finished, it showed a lot of character," offered first-year Cougar head coach Jenny Przekwas, who picked up her first win at WSU's Friel Court. "I also have to give Eastern a ton of credit. They outplayed us in every way," she added.
Przekwas went with a defensive lineup late in the game in shutting down Eastern after they forged a nine-point lead, but in the closing seconds she inserted Dietel for her offensive abilities.
"That's why she was in there, she is an offensive player and we have a lot of confidence in her," Przekwas said.
The Cougars were in control for the first 13 minutes of the game, leading by six on two occasions, the last at 15-9 with just under 10 minutes to play. Paluck's three-pointer tied the game at 15-15 and Eastern Washington then took the lead on Julie Moore's basket.
A Dietel rebound shot and DeAnda's layup gave WSU the lead back and when Dietel added a jumper with 5:33 to play in the opening half the Cougars were back on top by five, 24-19. EWU then ran off a 12-5 advantage to take a two point lead into intermission, thanks to Stacie Granger's three pointer, her only basket of the game.
Kerns provided WSU with a spark in the second half, scoring 12 of her points after intermission. She also led WSU with nine rebounds, five in the second half.
"Kerns has a lot of desire and late in the game that is going to pay off," Przekwas offered of the Cougar senior.
WSU returns to action Wednesday in a 7:00 p.m. game at Gonzaga in Spokane.