Jan. 7, 2012
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The University of Colorado sank a free throw with 11 seconds left and Washington State University's Jazmine Perkins potential game-winning jumper bounced off the front of the rim just before time expired, allowing the Buffaloes to claim a 57-56 Pac-12 Conference victory at Beasley Coliseum Saturday afternoon.
WSU (9-7, 3-1 Pac-12) drops its first conference game this season after starting 3-0 for the first time since opening Northwest Women's Basketball League play 5-0 in 1977-78. Colorado improves to 13-1 overall and 2-1 in Pac-12 play. Perkins led all players with 15 points, all coming in the second half and grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Senior guard Rosetta Adzasu chipped in with nine points and made six steals while sophomore Brandi Thomas added nine points.
The Cougars were held to 25.4 percent shooting including 1-for-10 from behind the arc while the Buffs shot 40.4 percent from the field and just 1-of-13 from three. WSU made 14 steals while forcing 22 turnovers and outscoring the Colorado bench 26-18 but the Buffs finished the game with 20 second-chance points including a couple big baskets on offensive rebounds in the final two minutes.
Both teams opened the game cold from the field as the Cougs were held scoreless for over a seven minute stretch while the Buffs used a 6-0 spurt to take an early 14-7 lead.
The Cougars would settle in and receive a couple sparks from their bench in the final minutes as Thomas, freshman forward Shalie Dheensaw and Adzasu keyed a 9-2 run to tie the game at 20 with 2:10 remaining. Thomas got a runner from in the lane to fall before the 6-3 Dheensaw entered the game, grabbed a couple rebounds and hit a pair of jumpers. Thomas added another free throw before Adzasu finished with the left hand high off the glass to cap the run for WSU.
Washington State would take the lead just prior to half after two more Thomas free throws and a jumper by sophomore guard Sage Romberg to send the Cougs into the half leading 24-23.
Perkins caught fire in the second half for WSU, scoring seven straight points on a three, a pair of free throws and a layup following a steal on the defensive end to open up a 31-25 advantage for the Cougs. The Cougars would continue to look to Perkins as the senior drove the lane and got her layup to fall while she was fouled. She hit the free throw then got her runner in the lane to fall the next trip down for WSU to expand the lead to 38-31 with 13:45 remaining.
Washington State's lead later grew to 11 after a Thomas floater, four straight free throws from freshman guard Tia Presley before another rebound putback layup by Perkins push the advantage to 46-35 at the 11:04 mark.
The Buffaloes didn't go away, exploding for a 14-3 run including an 8-0 stretch to tie the game at 49 with 5:32 remaining.
Adzasu answered for the Cougars, driving into the lane and getting her layup to fall as she was fouled. She hit the free throw and senior forward Rosie Tarnowski followed with a pair of free throws to give WSU a 54-49 lead with just over four minutes left.
Colorado made their run in the final 2:12, grabbing a couple offensive rebounds and scoring on consecutive possessions to make it 56-54 WSU. Following a pair of misses at the free throw line by the Cougs, CU's Lexy Kresl hoisted up a jumper that rattled in as the shot clock expired. The referees stopped play to review the shot and ruled that it was a two and that Kresl had released the shot in time, resulting in a tie game at 56-56 with 37 seconds left.
Following a timeout, a Thomas jumper missed and the Buffs got the rebound and drew a foul on the offensive end where Meagan Malcolm-Beck hit the first free throw to break the tie with 11 seconds left but missed the second. WSU came away with the rebound and got the ball to Perkins who got a good look from the left elbow but her jumper rattled off the front rim. Presley came away with the rebound but time expired before she could get a shot up.
Washington State will wrap up its three-game homestand next Saturday, hosting University of Washington for WSU's annual Cougs Have Heart game to support the American Heart Association. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. and will be televised by ROOT Sports.
GAME NOTES...Perkins scored 15 points to move into a tie for seventh with Cassandra Overby on WSU's all-time scoring list with 1,160 career points...Perkins made one three to take over third place on WSU's all-time three-point made field goals list with 134, breaking a tie with Heather Norman...Perkins is just the second player in WSU history to record 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 200 steals, joining the Cougars all-time leading scorer and career leader in steals, Jeanne Eggart as the only other player to accomplish the feat...Adzasu made a career-high six steals.