Cougar Women Can't Overcome Slow Start, Fall to Coach Graves and - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Cougar Women Can't Overcome Slow Start, Fall to Coach Graves and The Ducks

By Washington State Athletics

The Washington State women’s basketball team (12-10, 3-8 Pac-12) struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the first half against the University of Oregon (16-6, 5-6 Pac-12), Sunday, falling to the Ducks, 48-73. WSU freshman Borislava Hristova led the Cougars with 19 points, including 15 points in the second half.

The Cougars and Ducks were on opposite ends of the spectrum, offensively, as WSU was unable to score consistently from the field, shooting 7-of-28 (.250) in the first half and 20-of-64 (.313) in the game. The Cougars went without a 3-pointer or a free throw in the opening 20 minutes and were unable to overcome a 14-39 halftime deficit.

Oregon shot 15-of-21 (.714) from the field in the first half, including 6-of-10 (.600) from beyond the arc to build their double-digit lead. The Ducks’ Jillian Alleyne, the Pac-12’s all-time leader in rebounds and the country’s active rebounding leader, recorded a double-double with 25 points and 14 rebounds.

“It’s simple. Oregon played really well and we didn’t,” WSU Head Coach June Daugherty said. “It’s disappointing. Their press took us out of rhythm offensively. When that happened, it made it a tough night shooting. You can’t make mistakes like this – not in this conference. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Defensively, the Cougars played more effective basketball. WSU forced Oregon into 22 turnovers and blocked four shots. One of those coming from redshirt-freshman Nike McClure who picked up her 20th block of the season, sixth most by a freshman in school history.

Washington State’s bench outscored Oregon’s, 18-11, in the game, marking the 18th time this season the Cougar bench has outscored an opponent’s. WSU was led in rebounding by sophomores Louise Brown and Pinelopi Pavlopoulou with four apiece.

The Cougars attempted to cut into the Ducks’ lead after halftime, outscoring Oregon 23-18 in the third quarter, but the deficit was too large to overcome, as Oregon continued to hit 3-point shots, finishing 12-of-20 (.600) from beyond the arc.

“This group is a resilient group,” Daugherty said. “They’ve come off a lot of tough, close losses. They know that we didn’t play very well tonight, but they need to put it behind them as quick as they can because we’ve got another great opportunity here Sunday against Oregon State.”

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