GEORGE RODRIGUEZ | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
WSU women’s basketball opened up Pac-12 play defeating UW 79-76 Sunday afternoon in Seattle.
The first of two games between the rivals this season opened up with neither team scoring for almost three minutes. The Huskies (7-6, 0-1) drew first blood with a three-pointer by senior guard Jenna Moser.
A layup by redshirt junior Borislava Hristova put the Cougars on the board. Soon, the Cougars got rolling and stole the lead from the Huskies finishing the first quarter leading 18-14.
The Cougars kept increasing their lead and took control in the second quarter as WSU (6-6, 1-0) gained a 16 point advantage over the Huskies. However, UW cut the lead down to 10 points before halftime resulting in a 41-31 score.
Hristova led the Cougars in the first half with 22 points, Head Coach Kamie Ethridge said she was impressed with Hristova’s play and the rest of her team’s performance in the first two quarters.
“[Hristova] saved the day a few times,” Ethridge said. “Things came pretty easy for us against them … but I really liked our performance, liked our energy, liked how we came out and played the first 20 minutes.”
The Huskies started the third quarter attacking the Cougar lead and got within four in only three and a half minutes. Junior guard Chanelle Molina made back to back baskets to extend the lead but the Huskies would keep attacking.
In the final two minutes of the third, UW narrowed the gap to only two points. With a three-pointer from senior guard Alexys Swedlund, the Cougars finished the third quarter leading 52-49.
The fourth quarter started out tight between the two teams until the Cougars went on an 8-0 run.
With time winding down, UW junior guard Amber Melgoza made a layup and drew a foul to give her the chance to make it a one point game. Melgoza missed the free throw and WSU freshman forward Ula Motuga came up with the rebound for the Cougars to help seal the victory.
Hristova finished the game with a career high 38 points while Swedlund finished with 16 and Molina added 14. WSU’s road trip continues as the team travels down to Oregon to face back-to-back ranked opponents.
The Cougars will face No. 11 Oregon State 7 p.m. Friday in Corvallis and No. 5 Oregon at 3 p.m. Sunday in Eugene. Both games can be seen live on Pac-12 Networks.