Washington State, Colorado Advance To Shootout Finals
December 4, 1998
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Tricia Lamb's steal and basket with 40 seconds remaining put Washington State ahead for good and the Cougars went seven-for-eight from the free throw line in the final 31 seconds to defeat Bowling Green 71-63 in the opening round of the Cougar Shootout Friday at Friel Court.
The Cougars will look for their eleventh tournament title in 18 years when they face Colorado Saturdy in the championship game at 3 p.m. Colorado defeated American University 90-70 in the other first round game Friday.
Point guards Katie Nyseth and Jennifer Kerns scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, to lead the Cougars to their fourth win of the season in as many chances, while dropping Bowling Green to 3-3. Alke Dietel added 11 points, while Lamb and Shari Quinton each chipped in with 10 to aid the WSU scoring attack.
Bowling Green was paced by Sherry Kahle's 17 points and eight rebounds. Jill DeFosse and Francine Miller added 10 points apiece.
The Falcons looked to upset the Cougars both early and late. In the first half, Bowling Green jumped out to a 9-5 lead with five minutes expired in the game.
Almost single-handedly, Nyseth brought WSU back hitting consecutive jumpers to tie the game and then pulling down two straight rebounds as the Cougars took a 14-11 lead with 11:41 to play in the first half. Forcing seven turnovers down the stretch, WSU went into halftime with a 12-point lead, its biggest of the game.
In the second half, Bowling Green refused to go quietly into the night. Although WSU expanded its lead to 14 points with 11:26 left in the game, the Falcons came storming back. Over the next ten minutes, Bowling Green outscored the Cougars 25-10 to take a 62-61 lead with 1:11 left on the clock.
With 57 seconds remaining, Kerns drove to the basket in search of the lead and came up with a foul by Sherry Kahle. Converting on only one of two attempts, Bowling Green had a chance to regain the lead in the final seconds before Lamb stopped them in their tracks.
Stealing Jackie Raterman's pass, Lamb cruised for the easy go-ahead lay-in and WSU came away with a comeback victory.
"I felt good about the way we stepped up at the end, no one panicked" said WSU head coach Harold Rhodes. "I'm not totally pleased with the way we played but we won, even though Bowling Green made it look ugly. "
Nyseth's 14 points were a career high, bettering her previous best of six points set last season. In addition, Nyseth defied her 5-foot-3 size to pull down a career-high six rebounds.
"Too many of our go-to players were not energized tonight and that's one of the reasons we went with a two-point-guard lineup late in the game," Rhodes said. "It was defense that stepped up tonight when it was on the line."
In the 5:30 p.m. contest, Colorado's Linda Lappe sank eight of her nine field goal attempts and converted on two of three free throws to finish with 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Buffaloes (4-2) triumphed 90-70 over American (4-1) in the opening game of the Cougar Shootout.
Shelley Garcia also added 19 points for Colorado, while Britt Hartshorn scored eleven and Eisha Bohman added 10 points.
Kim Gombola led the Eagles in the losing effort with 18 points to go along with her six rebounds. Kate Miller shot six-for-12 from the field and four-for-four from the charity stripe to finish with 16 points. Meanwhile, Nichole Grant and Kari Gaskins helped pace the Eagles with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Colorado raced out to an early 20-6 advantage, but trailed 38-34 at halftime. When the second half opened, the Buffaloes quickly bounced back, taking a 46-45 lead with 15:57 left to play before rattling off 13 unanswered points to bury American.
American will face Bowling Green in the consolation championship at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Bowling Green (63) - Sherry Kahle 7-16 3-4 17, Jill DeFosse 4-9 2-2 10, Jacki Raterman 3-8 2-2 7, Francin Miller 3-7 2-2 10, Jaymee Wappes 0-2 0-0 0, Yolanda Holt 3-10 2-4 8, Jenifer Gafford 2-5 3-4 7, Christina Blandford 0-0 0-0 0, Dana Western 0-2 0-0 0, Liz Harris 0-2 0-0 0, Netta Smith 1-1 2-2 4, Team .
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