WSU women’s basketball advances to semifinal round

The third time was the charm for the Washington State women’s basketball team. After losing their first two matchups against the California Golden Bears, the Cougars came out of today’s game with a win.

The No. 7 seed Washington State Cougars (17-15, 11-9) trumped the two seed California Golden Bears (21-9, 13-6) 91-83 in an emotional quarterfinal game.

California had the opportunity to rest up and bring fresh legs into the contest with a bye in the first round. However, Washington State was the team that came out running the court the entire 40 minutes.

Coming into the game, the Bears’ Rashanda Gray has caused havoc, but in this game the Cougars found an answer for the junior forward. 

With about 10 minutes left in regulation, Gray was called for her fourth personal foul and California Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb was forced to bench her.

The credit goes to junior Shalie Dheesaw, who drew multiple offensive fouls and gave Gray a hard time in the paint.

“They’re very athletic, with Gray and Brandon especially, but Shalie continues to develop every day, and she feels very good about her step back, creating space against that kind of size and length,” Head Coach June Daugherty said.

Gray finished with 26 points and Gennifer Brandon recorded a double-double in a losing effort. 

During that stretch, Washington State went on a 13-1 run, with outside buckets from sophomore Taylor Edmondson and points in the paint from sophomore Lia Galdeira.

Senior Sage Romberg played a well-rounded game and gave California trouble from downtown in the first half. She finished with 16 points and surpassed the 1,000 point milestone for her career. 

“I was just trying to take everything that was given to me, and I’m glad I could knock down some shots for the team and get some points on the board,” Romberg said.

The deadly duo, junior Tia Presley and Galdeira took over the stat sheet yet again. Presley recorded 19 points, while Galdeira continues her tear and finished the night with a game-high 28 points.

“It shows how far this program has come since I’ve come here,” Romberg said. “It’s good to be back in the semifinals, for sure.”

The Washington State Cougars will face the winner of the Utah vs. Oregon State match up.