SEATTLE – Washington State University set a Pac-12 Conference Tournament single-game record for points in a 107-100 victory over the University of Oregon in the opening round at KeyArena Thursday.
The Cougars advance to the quarterfinals for the third straight season and will face No. 2 seed University of California Friday at 6 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks. Washington State improved to 16-15 while Oregon dropped to 15-15.
Junior guard Tia Presley and sophomore guard Lia Galdeira each posted 31-point games, the first time in program history that two Cougars scored 30 points in the same game. Galdeira surpassed the 1,000-career point milestone, becoming the second-fastest player in school history to reach the mark, doing so in 61 career games. Only Jeanne Eggart reached the mark quicker (57). Junior center Shalie Dheensasw notched her fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds while sophomore guard Taylor Edmondson provided a huge boost off the bench with a season-high 14 points while hitting a career-best four 3-pointers.
Washington State finished the game shooting over 46 percent including 10 3-pointers. WSU tallied 18 points off of 19 Oregon turnovers and dished out 22 assists led by sophomore guard Dawnyelle Awa’s eight, matching her career high. The Cougars held Oregon to 39 percent shooting and 9-of-34 behind the arc.
Both teams came out firing, each shooting over 60 percent from behind the arc for most of the first half. The Cougars used an 8-0 run on a Galdeira three, a layup from sophomore guard Alexas Williamson and a driving layin and free throw from Presley gave WSU an early five-point lead.
Down three late in the half, Washington State put together a 14-4 run over a four-minute stretch as Presley scored seven points during the run and Edmondson hit a three left corner. Minutes later, a 6-0 spurt by the Cougars opened up an 11-point advantage but the Ducks closed the half with five points to cut the WSU lead to 59-55 at the break.
The Cougars set a Pac-12 Tournament record with 59 points after shooting over 47 percent from the floor including six 3-pointers. Presley had 19 points and Galdeira tallied 18 in the first 20 minutes. Oregon shot 45 percent the field but surrendered 11 points off of 11 turnovers.
A fast-paced second half saw the Cougars hold a lead for most of the second half as the Ducks eventually got within one, 90-89 with just over four minutes remaining. Washington State responded with driving layup and free throw by Galdeira after she was fouled on the play and Presley followed with a layup to push the lead back up to six.
The Ducks cut the lead to three with 2:11 remaining but Galdeira came up with a huge shot, knocking down a wide open three in the left corner. Dheensaw then connected on a baseline jumper after the Cougar defense came with a couple stops and WSU sealed things up at the free throw line.