WSU Falls at Beasley to No. 14 Arizona State - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

WSU Falls at Beasley to No. 14 Arizona State

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by WSU Athletics

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State women’s basketball team was unable to keep pace with No. 14 Arizona State, Sunday, at Beasley Coliseum, falling to the Sun Devils, 45-63.  The Cougars (11-5, 2-3 Pac-12) entered the halftime break tied at 24 with the Pac-12’s top team, but strong shooting from the Sun Devils (13-3, 4-0 Pac-12), led to WSU’s downfall.

WSU freshman Borislava Hristova led the way for the Cougars with 10 points. Hristova was one of only two scorers to reach double digits in the highly defensive battle, as ASU’s Sabrina Haines scored a career-high 19 points for the Sun Devils.

The third quarter proved to be the deciding period. After the Cougars held ASU to 7-of-23 (.304) shooting in the first half, the Sun Devils responded with 10-of-19 (.526) shooting in the third quarter, including 4-of-4 (1.000) from beyond the arc. WSU was outscored in the period 25-9, and the Cougars were unable to mount a fourth-quarter comeback against the nationally ranked team.

“I thought that we came out in the first half and played really good basketball,” WSU Head Coach June Daugherty said. “It’s a disappointing loss. The second half, [ASU’s Sabrina] Haines was hitting threes, and we didn’t hand that well. Right now, that’s an issue for us to be able to play the whole 40 minutes, no matter what the other team is doing.”

The Cougars did well defensively, grabbing 12 steals compared to six for ASU, and forcing 18 turnovers against a team that prides itself on stingy defense. However, the Sun Devils were able to disrupt the Cougars offensive flow in the second half, as WSU finished 19-of-59 (.322) from the field. Sophomore Caila Hailey led the way for WSU on the defensive end, grabbing a career-high six steals, while pulling in a career-tying four rebounds.

“I was proud of the way our team played in the first half,” Daugherty said. “I just wish we could’ve kept that energy up in the second half because I thought we were doing some good things, especially defensively.”

For the first time in nine games, Washington State’s bench players were outscored by an opponent’s, as Arizona State held the Cougar relievers to 22 points, compared to 32 points from the ASU bench. Freshman Maria Kostourkova proved an offensive weapon for WSU, scoring eight points and pulling in five rebounds. Senior Mariah Cooks led the Cougars with six rebounds.

Washington State continues a four-game home stand against USC next Friday, Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. The Cougars will welcome the Women of Troy to Beasley Coliseum as part of Dads and Daughters Date Night with coverage on the Pac-12 Networks.

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