Oct. 29, 2011
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State women's basketball opened the second half with 26-4 run to pull away from Seattle Pacific University and post a 72-60 victory in exhibition play at Beasley Coliseum Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars defense ignited the second half surge, holding SPU to 24 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes and scoring 27 points off of 23 Falcon turnovers in the game. Freshmen point guard Tia Presley, out of Spokane, came off the bench to lead WSU with 14 points and four steals while sophomore Sage Romberg added 13 points and grabbed a team-high seven boards. Senior guard April Cook finished with 10 points while junior Carly Noyes and senior Jazmine Perkins each grabbed six rebounds. 11 players scored for the Cougars.
"Our senior leadership, especially our starting five, set the tone in the second half," head coach June Daugherty said, "With our intensity and aggressiveness that was the difference and it was great to see today."
Washington State built up a 22-9 advantage midway through the first half before the Falcons used the three-ball to post a 14-2 run and later take a 31-26 lead with 3:55 left. A Romberg three and a layup from redshirt-junior Katie Grad saw the Cougs pull within two, 36-34 at the half.
Perkins and Cook had a couple buckets before the WSU defense settled in, holding SPU to just a pair of free throws during a nine-minute stretch as the Cougars went on their big run, opening up a 62-48 lead with just under six minutes to go. WSU's largest lead was 22 during that stretch, going up 62-40 after redshirt-sophomore Ireti Amojo's layup.
Nearly every Cougar contributed to the run as sophomore Brandi Thomas hit a baseline jumper, Romberg had a jumphook in the lane, freshman center Shalie Dheensaw had a nice seal on the low post, taking an entry pass from Amojo and laying one up. Senior Rosie Tarnowski followed with a layup before added Grad another layin. Meanwhile, it was the guards Cook and Presley who ignited the WSU defense and had them off and running on fast breaks throughout the deciding second half.
"We cleaned some things up defensively at the half," Daugherty added. "We slowed things down on the offensive end and we were able to settle in and execute. It was a good start, playing well, making adjustments and getting a win against a good team in Seattle Pacific was good to see."
Washington State will host Lewis & Clark State next Sunday in an exhibition game set for a 1 p.m. tipoff.