Feb. 14, 2004
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Battling Oregon State throughout, the Washington State women's basketball team finally succumbed to the Beavers late in the second half in a 65-55 loss to OSU in Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball action, Saturday at Gill Coliseum.
Bianca McCall led the Cougars with a game-high 19 points while Charmaine Jones added 12. In addition, Kate Benz contributed a game-high 11 rebounds along with nine points for WSU. McCall posted her 13th game of the season, and the 34th of her career, scoring in double figures. Oregon State was led by 13 from Brina Chaney.
The Cougars were done in by two categories that are normally strengths for them. Two days after converting nine treys at Oregon -- the most by the team since 2001 -- the Cougars shot 2-of-20 from outside the arc at OSU.
Additionally, the Cougars, who are second in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage, made good on 15-of-23 (65.2 percent) attempts from the charity stripe. Conversely, OSU was a perfect 17-of-17 from the free throw line.
Ironically, the Cougars fared well in a category that has been a struggle for them, turnovers. With a season low 11 turnovers, WSU committed four fewer than OSU.
"It comes down to stats; tonight we just didn't knock them down," WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said. "I thought we had a great small victory tonight in how we started and how we attacked them. We forced them to go to zone. When they went to zone they forced us to have to shoot and we just didn't do it.
"I am really proud of the kids," Murrell added. "We need sustained effort like we did tonight. If we do that than smaller victories lead to bigger victories. It's too bad we came on the short end of it because I really felt we did a great job tonight."
Down 31-24 at the half, WSU (5-19, 1-14 Pac-10) blitzed the Beavers with a 10-0 run in the opening 3:42 of the second half to gain a 34-31 lead. McCall accounted for half of the Cougars' points in the run.
OSU (14-9, 8-6 Pac-10) responded with a 7-0 run of its own to retake the lead at 38-34 with 14:20 remaining. The run was broken by a Jones' 3-pointer, the first trey by the Cougars in 13 tries up to that point.
Up by three with 10:27 remaining the Beavers extended their advantage to double-digits at 57-45 with an 11-2 run.
OSU grew its lead to 61-48 but a bucket by Benz, combined with a Jones' steal and Stephanie Singer 3-pointer brought the Cougars back to 61-53 with 2:44 remaining.
After closing the gap to 61-54 with a McCall free throw, the Beavers erased any doubt as to the outcome with consecutive buckets by Anita Rivera and Krystal Turner.
The Cougars made their first three shot, all courtesy of McCall, to take a 6-3 lead just over two minutes in the game. McCall accounted for all of the Cougars' first eight points.
A 6-0 OSU run staked the Beavers to a 9-6 advantage. A pair of McCall free throws along with one from Lindsey Egeland brought the Cougars even at nine at the 14:50 mark.
OSU grabbed a two-point advantage bur four consecutive WSU points, courtesy of McCall and Jones, gave the Cougars a 13-11 lead with 12:23 remaining.
WSU extended its advantage to 17-13 but OSU went on an 11-0 run over a 4:06 span to take a 24-17 lead at the 5:12 mark. OSU maintained its seven-point advantage into the halftime break.
The first half featured five lead changes and three ties as both teams struggled from the field after hot starts. After McCall began the game 3-of-3 the Cougars went 5-23 from the field for the rest of the first half while OSU, which made four of its first seven shots, went 7-of-23 for the remainder of the half.
WSU returns to action Saturday, Feb. 21 when it hosts Washington at 3 p.m. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Northwest.