Cougs upset bid falls short

WSU led late in fourth quarter against Beavers after trailing by 13 points at halftime



Then-senior guard Pinelopi Pavlopoulou attempts to slow down Oregon State junior guard Katie McWilliams as she drives toward the net during a game Feb. 9, 2018 at Beasley Coliseum.

KATIE ARCHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU women’s basketball fell just short of pulling of an upset victory over No. 11 Oregon State on Friday night in Corvallis as they lost 76-69.

Head Coach Kamie Ethridge said a month ago she was disappointed with the Cougars (6-7, 1-1) play because the players were not competing hard enough, but recently the team has shown improvement.

“Tonight and against Washington, we’ve just shown unbelievable strides on just that, the effort side of it,” she said.

Neither team scored in the first two minutes of the game until OSU junior guard Mikayla Pivec made the first basket of the contest.

At the end of the first quarter, the Cougars trailed the Beavers (11-2, 1-0) 16-14 due in part to five turnovers. Redshirt junior forward Borislava Hristova led WSU in scoring with eight points.

WSU cleaned up the turnover mistakes in the second quarter, but OSU pulled away from the Cougars gaining a 15-point advantage with three minutes remaining. The Beavers led 44-31 at halftime.

Hristova led the team with 14 points at the half followed by junior guard Chanelle Molina with nine points.

The Cougars failed to convert a three-point shot in the first half. OSU knocked down seven three-pointers on 50 percent shooting.

Ethridge said the team made an adjustment at halftime to guard the three-point line.

“We knew going in we didn’t want to give up threes in the first half and we did,” Ethridge said.

OSU got the ball to start the third quarter. With a rebound by senior guard Alexys Swedlund and a jumper from Hristova, the Cougars scored first in the second half. About a minute and a half later, freshman forward Shir Levy would make the first three pointer for the Cougars.

A layup by Hristova with under four minutes remaining in the third pull the Cougars within two points. With a minute and a half left in the quarter, redshirt sophomore forward Jovana Subasic made a three-pointer to put the Cougars up by one.

OSU would respond by taking the lead and Subasic tied the game with another three-pointer. The Beavers knocked down a buzzer beater to take a 56-54 lead after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, WSU tied up the game with a three-pointer by Subasic. About two minutes later, Hristova made a free throw and a jumper to put the Cougars up by three with six minutes left.

The Cougars would extend their lead to four points, but the Beavers would regain the lead as the two-minute mark approached. With less than a minute left in the game, the Beavers extended their lead and ultimately won the game.

Hristova finished the game with 24 points while Molina added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Ethridge said she knows the Cougars fell short of an upset win and she’ll kick herself over the last two minutes of the game.

“You know, as much as any player feels bad about things they did wrong,” Ethridge said, “I certainly feel bad too because I don’t think I put us in a very good spot there.”

The Cougars will have a quick turnaround as they head to Eugene to face No. 5 Oregon 3 p.m. Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena.