Nov. 27, 2005
HONOLULU - Crystal Blue scored a career-high 18 points and Charmaine Jones added 15 to lead the Washington State women's basketball team to a 65-64 win over Cal State Northridge in the fifth place game of the 27th Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic, Sunday.
The win improved the Cougars to 4-1 while Northridge dropped to 1-4. The teams renew acquaintances Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Beasley Coliseum.
Playing their third game in as many days, the Cougars were involved in what was a tight affair throughout, as there were 24 lead changes and 16 ties in the contest. The largest lead by either team was six points by WSU at 62-56 with 1:51 remaining.
"There were times that we were down and we just gutted it out," WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said. "Everybody stepped up in some way to get it done."
WSU established its six-point advantage with a 10-3 run after facing a 53-52 deficit with 7:37 left. The Matadors cut the Cougars' lead to 63-61 with 49 seconds left but a pair of free throws from Jones gave WSU a insurmountable 65-61 lead with five seconds left. Jamie McCaa hit a 3-pointer for Northridge as time expired to complete the game's scoring.
Jones finished the event averaging 14.7 points over three games, scoring in double-digits in each of the tournament's three games.
Another WSU player who hit double-figures in each game - this time in rebounding - was Kate Benz. Coming off a 21-rebound performance in the win over Idaho State, Saturday, Benz grabbed 14 boards against the Matadors. For the tournament, Benz pulled down 50 rebounds combined in the three games for a 16.7 average. Those numbers earned the Portland, Ore., native an all-tournament team selection.
Blue scored 15 of her game-tying high point total in the second half. The senior from Seattle registered her first double-digit scoring game as a Cougar.
The Cougars were without the services of junior guard Adriane Ferguson, who broke her right fifth (pinky) finger during the second half of Saturday's win against Idaho State. Ferguson is expected to be out four to six weeks.