Cougars Use Second Half Comeback To Claim Opening Round Victory
March 7, 2013
SEATTLE - Washington State used a second-half comeback to post a 48-41 victory over Arizona State University in the opening round of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament at KeyArena Thursday.
The Cougars (11-19) advance to face top-seeded Stanford University at 6 p.m. Friday. WSU won its opening round game for the second straight season.
WSU was playing without head coach June Daugherty who missed the game after suffering from an acute appendicitis.
Washington State beat the Sun Devils (13-18) for the third time this season after shooting 48 percent in the second half and received 17 points from freshman guard Lia Galdeira, 12 coming in the second half. Freshman guard Dawnyelle Awa added 10 points, three blocks and two steals while freshman forward Mariah Cooks finished with eight points and four rebounds. Sophomore forward Shalie Dheensaw recorded five rebounds and four blocks for the Cougars.
Arizona State was limited to 28.6 percent shooting including 0-for-11 from behind the arc. Washington State tallied 12 points off of 17 ASU turnovers and outscored the Sun Devils 35-23 in the second half.
Both defenses controlled most of the first half as WSU held the Sun Devils to 26.9 percent shooting while the Cougars shot just under 22 percent from the field. Washington State withstood a 6-0 ASU spurt and received a layup form freshman forward Mariah Cooks and a jumper from the top of the key by Galdeira to cut the lead to four. Galdeira later added a free throw to send the Cougars into the half trailing 18-13.
After being held to five points in the first half, Galdeira caught fire in the second, scoring 10 points during a 12-4 WSU run early in the period. Galdeira connected from the left elbow and followed with a three from straight away. Awa answered an ASU bucket with a layup off a backdoor cut and Galdeira followed with a jumphook from the right block and knocked down a three on the next possession to give WSU its first lead of the game, 27-25 at the 15:59 mark.
Minutes later, junior forward Sage Romberg sparked an 8-0 run with a baseline jumper. Freshman guard Alexas Willamson followed with two straight acrobatic driving layups and Cooks capped the run with layup, giving the Cougars a 35-27 lead.
Following a Sun Devil basket, Washington State received four straight points from Cooks and Galdeira capped a 6-0 stretch with a stepback jumper from the top of the key, extending WSU's lead to 41-29 with 7:41 remaining.
The Cougars traded baskets for the remainder of the game to keep its double-digit lead as sophomore forward Shalie Dheensaw rattled in a jumphook, Romberg knocked down a three from the left wing and Awa capped the game with two free throws.
Washington State blocked nine shots, tying for the third-most in WSU single-game history, the most by any Cougar team in conference tournament team...WSU broke the school record for blocks in a season, breaking last season's previous mark of 105, WSU now owns 114 blocks on the season.
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