Cougs Miss Game-Winner, Lose to Utah 73-71 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Cougs Miss Game-Winner, Lose to Utah 73-71

Senior Taylor Edmondson added 17 points to tie her career best. Senior Taylor Edmondson added 17 points to tie her career best.

SALT LAKE CITY – The Washington State women’s basketball team’s come-from-behind victory fell short at the Huntsman Center, Saturday evening, as the Cougars (9-4, 0-2) dropped their Pac-12 road opener at the University of Utah, 71-73. WSU freshman Borislava Hristova led all scorers with 23 points and senior Taylor Edmondson added 17 points to tie her career best.

After the Utes (9-3, 1-0) built a 13-point lead at halftime, the Cougars rallied back, outscoring Utah 27-16 in the third quarter. Washington State took its first lead of the game with 88 seconds left to play after Edmondson made a 3-pointer from the right wing. Utah regained the lead when Danielle Rodriguez made a layup with 38 seconds left. After turning the ball over, the Cougars were forced to foul Tanaeya Boclair who made 1-of-2 free throws to give the Utes a two-point lead with 14 seconds left.

The Cougars rebounded the missed free throw before calling timeout to draw up a play. With three seconds left on the clock Hristova shot a 3-pointer from the deep left corner, which caught the front of the rim before falling out. Sophomore Louise Brown rebounded the ball, but was unable to put a shot up before time expired.

“I thought we got a great look at the end,” WSU Head Coach June Daugherty said. “The execution was right on. Borislava got a good look and Louise got the rebound, but we just couldn’t convert.”

The game was a tale of two halves. After Utah outscored WSU 41-28 in the opening half, the Cougars responded by erasing the deficit and outscoring the Utes 43-32 in the final 20 minutes. The Cougars shot just .324 from the floor in the opening half, while Utah shot .472. In the second half WSU shot .472, while the Utes shot .391.

Washington State forced Utah into 25 turnovers in the game, while notching a season-high 16 steals. WSU redshirt-freshman Nike McClure scored a career-high seven points for WSU, while she and Brown each grabbed five rebounds to lead the Cougars. WSU was outrebounded 48-31 in the game.

“I’m proud of the team,” Daugherty said. “We played physical in the second half. We played really hard as a team on both ends of the floor. The biggest thing that we take away from this is that we have to rebound stronger.”

The Cougars will have a short respite before returning to action. WSU will travel to Boulder, Colo., to face the Colorado Buffaloes, Monday, Jan. 4, at the Coors Event Center. The game is slated to tip off at 7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT with coverage on the Pac-12 Networks.

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