CORVALLIS, Ore. – Washington State University’s second half rally was held off by Oregon State University 72-57 at Gill Coliseum Sunday.
Down by as many as 25 in the first half, the Cougars (11-9, 5-3 Pac-12) got within seven with 6:14 remaining but the Beavers (12-8, 4-4 Pac-12) converted at the free throw line in the final minutes to hold off the WSU comeback attempt. Oregon State shot nearly 48 percent from the field including 66 percent in the first half, and produced a 46-31 rebounding advantage. Washington State shot 34 percent from the floor and went 4-of-17 from behind the arc. OSU went 21-of-32 at the free throw line while WSU made 9-of-16 at the charity stripe.
Sophomore guard Lia Galdeira led the Cougars with a game-high 21 points and junior center Shalie Dheensaw added 10 points. Sophomore guard Dawnyelle Awa finished with seven points and three assists while sophomore forward Mariah Cooks added eight points and four rebounds.
Romberg opened the game with jumper from the left elbow but Oregon State shot over 80 percent in the first eight minutes, using a 12-0 run to build a double-digit lead. Cooks came off the bench to spark the Cougars midway through the half, hitting a pair of jumpers before knocking down a three from the left wing.
Oregon State continued to knock down shots, closing the half with a 9-2 run and took a 44-21 lead into the break. The Beavers shot over 66 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes while Washington State shot 25 percent.
WSU raced out to a 10-2 run in the opening minutes of the second half as senior forward Sage Romberg and Galdeira each hit threes. Galdeira followed with a steal and layup before Awa went coast-to-coast for a layup. Minutes later, the Cougars countered an OSU bucket with an 8-0 run as junior guard Tia Presley and Galdeira traded baskets to cut the Oregon State lead to 11 at the 14-minute mark.
Washington State made it a seven-point game with just over six minutes remaining after producing another 8-0 run highlighted by four points from Dheensaw and a three from Awa. Oregon State countered with six straight points to re-take a double-digit lead after a couple good looks from the Cougars rattled off the rim.
A jumper from Galdeira made it a nine-point game with 2:45 remaining but the Beavers sealed things up at the free throw line after the Cougars were forced to foul in the final minutes.
Washington State will hit the road for two Pac-12 games next weekend, traveling to Los Angeles to play USC Friday at 6 p.m. and UCLA Sunday at Noon.
Sage Romberg played in her 115th career game for the Cougars, tied for sixth-most all-time…Hana Potter and Brandi Thomas each played in their 114th career game, tied for ninth-most in WSU history…Romberg hit one three to up her career total to 122, seventh-most in WSU history…Romberg blocked one shot to push her career total to 80, sixth-most all-time…Galdeira recorded her team-leading seventh 20-point of the season and No. 11 of her career.