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Women’s basketball comes home with first victory

Cougars posted 50 rebounds to San Francisco’s 39 in win

WSU+junior+center+Maria+Kostourkova+grapples+with+The+Master%E2%80%99s+University+guards+during+the+Nov.+1+exhibition+match+at+Beasley+Coliseum.+WSU+won+95-57.
WSU junior center Maria Kostourkova grapples with The Master’s University guards during the Nov. 1 exhibition match at Beasley Coliseum. WSU won 95-57.

WSU junior center Maria Kostourkova grapples with The Master’s University guards during the Nov. 1 exhibition match at Beasley Coliseum. WSU won 95-57.

JORDAN MAXWELL | Daily Evergreen File

JORDAN MAXWELL | Daily Evergreen File

WSU junior center Maria Kostourkova grapples with The Master’s University guards during the Nov. 1 exhibition match at Beasley Coliseum. WSU won 95-57.

DYLAN GREENE, Evergreen assistant sports editor

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WSU women’s basketball got its first win of the season by the defeating the University of San Francisco 74-70 Wednesday night in California.

The Cougars were trailing 54-48 entering the fourth quarter, but they outscored the Dons 26-16 in the final 10 minutes of the game to seal the comeback victory.

“I thought it was a gritty, gritty performance by our team,” Head Coach June Daugherty said after the game. “It was obviously a game of runs and San Francisco certainly made a lot of them, but I thought we really showed some poise and understood that, hey we just have to fight back defensively.”

WSU started the scoring first, outscoring USF 19-15 in the opening quarter. Redshirt sophomore forward Borislava Hristova scored eight points in the opening frame.

The Dons answered, outscoring the Cougs 20-17 in the second quarter. WSU had a one-point lead at halftime. Hristova had six points in the quarter, giving her 14 points through 20 minutes of play. Junior guard Alexys Swedlund added five points for the Cougars in the quarter.

WSU had a 39 percent field goal percentage and shot 28 percent from behind the three-point line in the first half.

USF scored six unanswered points to start the second half, giving the Dons a 43-36 lead. WSU was outscored 19-12 in the third quarter. The team trailed by six points entering the final minutes of the game.

“We’ve got to get stops and we can’t allow them to get second shots,” Daugherty said. “I thought we won the game tonight on the boards and it feels good to say that after the first two games.”

In the fourth quarter, WSU went on a 10-0 run in just under a two-minute span to take a 68-61 lead with just under six minutes remaining in the game. The Cougs then went scoreless for over two minutes, allowing the Dons to pull within three points.

After a free throw from freshman guard Celena Molina and a two-point jumper from Hristova, WSU led 71-65 with under four minutes left. Both teams then went on a scoring drought that lasted nearly two minutes.

Two free throws and a three-pointer by the Dons pulled them within one point of the lead. But a free throw and a layup from WSU sophomore forward Kayla Washington as time expired, sealed WSU’s fourth comeback victory.

Three Cougar players scored double-digit figures on the night. Molina had 11 points, Hristova added 20 and Washington finished with 13. They also racked up a combined 15 rebounds and seven assists.

WSU shot 43 percent from the field, making 31 of their 72 attempted shots. USF made 27 of its 69 attempts for a field goal percentage of 26. WSU out rebounded the Dons 50-39 on the night, racking up 28 defensive rebounds and 22 offensive boards. Redshirt junior forward Nike McClure led the team in boards with 12.

There were six lead changes and the score was tied three times during the course of the game. WSU held the lead for over 19 minutes.

Both teams struggled from the free throw line. The Cougs made only half of its 16 free throw attempts and USF shot 45 percent from the line.

Dons’ junior guard Shannon Powell was the leading scorer for the team on the night. She had 16 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in the loss. Thirteen of her points were scored in the first half of the game.

In their first two games of the season, the Cougars lost to University of California, Davis and Saint Mary’s College.

WSU will return to the court at 1 p.m. Sunday for its home opener against University of Kentucky at Beasley Coliseum. The game will also be broadcasted live on Pac-12 Networks.

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