Dec. 4, 2003
PULLMAN, Wash. - Jessica Perry led Washington State with 14 points but the Cougars were unable to hold off a second half rally by Nebraska as WSU fell to the Cornhuskers 64-56 in women's basketball action, Thursday at Friel Court.
The loss dropped WSU to 3-2 while Nebraska improved to 4-1.
Perry led a quartet of Cougars that scored at least eight points. Charmaine Jones tallied nine points while Candace Fields and Lindsey Egeland added eight each. Heather Kephart headed Nebraska's effort with a game-high 15 points to lead a trio of Huskers in double figures. Margaret Richards (13 points) and Alexa Johnson (11 points) completed the contingent.
WSU took a 30-28 lead into the halftime break and immediately extended the advantage to seven at 39-32 at the 16:54 mark of the second half. However, the Huskers went on a 19-5 run over the ensuing 9:34 to take a 51-44 lead with 7:20 remaining.
Nebraska's run was highlighted by three 3-pointers from Kephart, whose last trey gave the Huskers their first lead of the second half at 46-43 with 9:58 remaining.
The Cougars responded with an 8-0 run - book ended by a pair of Jones' 3-pointers - to retake the lead at 52-51 at the 4:39 mark. Nebraska would have the final say, however, as a 7-0 run gave the Huskers a lead it would not relinquish at 58-52 with 1:59 left.
Both teams shot well from 3-point range; WSU was 8-of-17 (47.1 percent) while Nebraska shot 7-of-17 (41.2 percent). In addition, both teams struggled inside the arc as WSU was 14-of-47 (29.8 percent) while the Huskers shot 14-of-40 (35 percent). The difference came at the free throw line as Nebraska made 15-of-17 attempts from the charity stripe while WSU was 4-of-8.
"They are a very physical team," WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said of Nebraska. "Our kids were working hard to get open but I think they just got tired in the second half."
"I was real proud of the kids," added Murrell. "They got on top and we had a seven-point lead but the breakdown of the evening was when Kephart hit the 3-pointers. I thought that was key to Nebraska's turnaround. If you look at the stats everything is even. We just didn't get to the line and they did."
WSU was without the services of Bianca McCall, who missed the game with a concussion that she sustained in the second half of last Saturday's (Nov. 29) game at Baylor. McCall will also sit out this Saturday's game against Utah Valley State College at Friel Court. The Utah Valley State game will be the second game of a WSU doubleheader that day. The Cougar men's basketball team hosts TCU at 5 p.m.