March 8, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Washington State University knocked off No. 3 seeded USC 69-55 in Thursday's quarterfinal round of the Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament held at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The No. 11 seed Cougars are the lowest seed to advance to the semifinal round in Pac-12 conference tournament history.
WSU (13-19) advances to face No. 2 seeded University of California 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Staples Center. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Net.
The Cougars had three players scored in double figures led by senior guard and southern California native April Cook who finished with 15 points, seven coming down stretch at the free throw line. Seniors Jazmine Perkins and Rosie Tarnowski added 12 and 11 points, respectively. Senior point guard Rosetta Adzasu notched six points, seven assists and didn't commit a turnover to help the Cougs beat the Trojans (18-12).
USC owned a 51-36 rebounding advantage but the WSU defense held them to 26.2 percent shooting and scored 22 points off of 17 turnovers. Washington State shot 44.6 percent from the field including 10-of-20 from behind the arc.
The Cougs opened up the game with a pair of jumpers from Romberg and Noyes and Perkins later added a three from the left wing. Minutes later, Cook got on the board with a long three and Adzasu followed with a driving layup with the right hand to give WSU a 14-13 at the 10:04 mark.
Minutes later, Perkins turned in a highlight play after she drove the lane, got knocked to the ground but got her layup to fall. The next trip down, Perkins came off a screen and knocked down a three from the top of the key that gave the Cougs a three point lead.
Tarnowski later hit a three from the left wing and Cook added a three of her own. Washington State stayed hot from long distance as Tarnowski added another three from the left wing and Cook capped the half with a steal and coast-to-coast layup that sent WSU into the break leading 30-25.
The Cougars shot 40 percent, including six threes in the first 20 minutes while holding USC to 24.2 percent shooting and forcing the Trojans into 11 turnovers.
WSU stayed hot from outside to open the second half as Romberg knocked down a three, Perkins made a steal and layup and Thomas hit a long two for a 7-0 WSU spurt and 10-point lead.
Things got interesting minutes later as both teams were whistled for intentional fouls on the ensuing possessions as Perkins was knocked to the ground on a fastbreak layup attempt. She hit both free throws and the Cougs followed with seven straight points to build a 14-point advantage, 46-32 at the 12:45 mark.
The Trojans later countered with four straight points to cut the WSU lead to eight with 9:17 left but Tarnowski hit a jumper from the top of the key and Adzasu connected from the left baseline that pushed the lead back into double-digits with 7:31 remaining.
Washington State later extended its lead to 15 after a layup from junior forward Carly Noyes and Tarnowski's final three of the night.
The Cougs wrapped things up at the free throw line and received a little help from USC who missed eight straight attempts from the charity stripe at one point.
The Cougars advance to the Pac-12 tournament's semifinal round for the first time in program-history...WSU's 13 wins are the most since the 1995-96 team won 17...WSU's 10 threes matched a season-high (at Oregon, at home against UCLA)...Adzasu's seven assists match a season-best.