Depleted Cougs lose tough one at Arizona 56-55 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Depleted Cougs lose tough one at Arizona 56-55

Courtesy: WSU Athletics Courtesy: WSU Athletics

Washington State Athletics

TUCSON, Ariz. – Undermanned and lacking their top three weapons, the Washington State women's basketball team put forth a valiant effort Sunday afternoon in Tucson only to see a win slip through their hands late against Arizona. The Cougs (8-10, 3-4 Pac-12) saw their six-game win streak against the Wildcats (11-6, 2-4 Pac-12) snapped as Arizona stole a 56-55 decision in the game's final moments.

Stepping up when called upon, juniors Caila Hailey and Pinelope Pavlopoulou led the Cougar scoring attack from the backcourt as Hailey came up with a career and game-best 16 points while Pavlopoulou scored 12 in her first career start. Underneath, the Cougs' bigs off the bench found their way with freshman Kayla Washington scoring a career-best 12 points to go with eight rebounds while redshirt-sophomore Nike McClure protected the rim with a career-best 13 rebounds and four blocks.

Despite the Cougars' efforts, the Wildcats matched the production thanks to 15 points and nine rebounds from LaBrittney Jones who came up with the game's winning putback with :30 seconds remaining in the game. She would also add a block in the waning moments that helped to ultimately seal the win for her team. Malena Washington chipped in 13 points while Breanna Workman added 11 points.

WSU held a 52-to-36 advantage on the glass including grabbing 23 offensive rebounds while also coming up with eight blocks and six steals. However, the Wildcats were able to force the Cougars into 24 turnovers resulting in 17 points. The turnovers would prove to be too much to overcome for WSU, especially late in the game when the Wildcats forced the Cougars into an array of mistakes and scored six points in :18 seconds as part of an 8-0 run that changed the outcome day. Prior to the Arizona run, the Cougs had worked their way to a five-point advantage but gave up the lead and never reclaimed it over the final two minutes of the contest.

Earlier in the game, the Cougars had pushed their lead to as large as 12 midway through the second quarter and even held a five-point cushion at the halftime break. Despite the hot shooting early, the Cougs could not keep it up as Arizona used a 23-5 run in 12 minutes of game play between the second and third quarters of action to turn the game into the nail-biter it would finish as.

Overall, the Cougars finished the day shooting 32.8% (21-of-64) from the floor while hitting 7-of-21 from deep. On the other side, the Wildcats finished shooting 31.1% (19-of-61) overall while going 4-of-14 from behind the arc. Arizona held a huge advantage on the line making 14-of-18 freebies while the Cougars made just 6-of-14.

Washington State will be back in action Sunday, Jan. 22 in the lone contest of the week for the Cougars who will host in-state rival and No. 8 ranked Washington at Beasley Coliseum. The afternoon game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on the PAC-12 Network.

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