PALO ALTO, Calif. – Three players scored in double figures for Washington State University who dropped an 84-64 road contest to No. 5/4 Stanford University at Maples Pavilion Saturday.
WSU finished the regular season 15-15 overall and 9-9 in Pac-12 play while Stanford heads to next week’s Pac-12 Conference Tournament in Seattle as the No. 1 seed with a 28-2 overall mark including 17-1 in conference play. Washington State will head the tournament as the No. 7 seed and will play the University of Oregon in Thursday’s opening round. The Pac-12 will officially announce the bracket with game times Sunday evening. The Cougars spilt the two meetings with the Ducks this season, each winning on their home floor.
Sophomore guard Lia Galdeira led the Cougars with 16 points while senior forward Sage Romberg and junior guard Tia Presley each added 10 points. Presley added eight rebounds and sophomore forward Mariah Cooks recorded eight points and five boards.
WSU was held to 33 percent shooting while Stanford shot over 44 percent. The Cougars tallied 21 points off of 18 Cardinal turnovers but Stanford pulled away in the second half by shooting 50 percent from the field.
Washington State answered Stanford’s hot start with a three from Romberg. Midway through the half, the Cardinal used a 14-4 run to build a double-digit lead but the Cougars came right back to cut the Stanford lead to nine at the half.
WSU closed the half with a 14-7 run over the final 5:29. Cooks sparked the run with a layup after receiving a nice drive-an-dish pass from Presley to a wide open Cooks. Galdeira followed with two free throws, Cooks then scored again on a post move and Galdeira capped the 8-2 run with a driving bucket. Awa then hit a pair of free throws before WSU scored the final four points of the half on a Galdeira steal and layup and another layup by sophomore guard Alexas Williamson to cut the Stanford lead to 49-41 at the break.
Galdeira led the Cougars with 11 points while WSU scored 14 points off of seven Stanford turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
Stanford exploded out of the game in the opening minutes of the second half with a 10 straight points as part of a 14-2 run to build a 63-43 advantage.
The Cougars stayed within striking distance following another three from Romberg and a three from Edmondson later in the half but the size of the Cardinal allowed them to pull away for good.
Romberg played in her 125th career game, tying Carly Noyes for the most games played in school history…Romberg now owns 987 career points.