Women’s basketball begins road trip with two losses

Five Cougar athletes scored double-digits in first two games


NICHOLAS CHAN | The California Aggie

WSU senior guard Pinelopi Pavlopoulou, center, and junior center Maria Kostourkova, right, prepare to block University of California, Davis, senior forward Pele Gianotti in Friday’s game. UC Davis won 91-76.

TYLER SHUEY, Evergreen columnist

WSU lost to Saint Mary’s College by a score of 81-75 Sunday afternoon in California, starting the year 0-2 for the first time since the 2012-2013 season.

The game was back-and-forth throughout, but a 13-6 run by the Gaels (1-1) to finish the third quarter proved to be the difference. The Cougars (0-2) cut the lead to four in the final quarter, but were stymied down the stretch, shooting 1 for 8 in the final three minutes of the game.

“We battled really hard today,” WSU Head Coach June Daugherty said after the game. “For our second game out, we battled much better than the first time.”

Cougar athletes prepare a rebound in Sunday’s game. Saint Mary’s College won 81-75.

The Gaels controlled the paint, out-rebounding WSU 43-30 and shooting 11 more free throws. Saint Mary’s turned 13 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points.

“I thought where we lost the game was in the rebounding trenches,” Daugherty said. “We have to be able to finish defensive plays with people boxing out and grabbing rebounds and not allowing our opponents to get those second and third opportunities.”

SMC junior forward Megan McKay led all scorers with 22 points while adding 10 rebounds to record a double-double. Two other Gael players scored in double-digits as senior guard Stella Beck added 17 points and junior forward Sydney Raggio had 14.

Four Cougar players scored in double digits, led by junior guard Alexys Swedlund’s 20 points. She tallied four three-pointers.

Redshirt sophomore forward Borislava Hristova scored 15 points, redshirt junior forward Louise Brown had 14 and senior guard Caila Hailey had 10.

WSU began its season campaign with a rematch of last year’s Women’s National Invitational Tournament quarterfinal at University of California, Davis, losing 91-76.

The Aggies took a seven-point first quarter lead, and extended that lead to 18 points by halftime. UC Davis ended up making 10 of 15 three-point shots in the first half.

WSU attempted a second-half comeback, but seven more Aggie three-pointers gave UC Davis the cushion it needed to close out the win. The team broke its program record for most three-pointers in a single game with 17, while also shooting over 50 percent from distance and assisting on 25 of 30 baskets in the game.

“We got a little bit tight offensively, and defensively, our rotations were extremely late,” Daugherty said after the game. “They were hot, they were on fire and we were about a step late on all our rotations.”

The Cougars had three players score in double-digits, including Hristova, who led the team with 19 points. Swedlund added 12 points and junior center Maria Kostourkova had 10 points.

“We dug a huge hole, but I thought our players continued to fight and to compete,” Daugherty said. “Credit to them; a very good team that played hard and played together.”

The Cougs finish up their three-game road trip to start the year with a 7 p.m. tipoff scheduled for Wednesday in War Memorial Gym against University of San Francisco (1-0).