Cougar basketball conquers Trojans, out-battled by Bruins

The Lady Cougars spent their Super Bowl weekend in the state of California as Washington State finished their four-game road trip at USC and UCLA.

In Friday’s battle against USC, the Cougars’ previous three-game losing streak came to an end. With a late rally and clutch shots against the Trojans, WSU finished the game with a 79-75 victory.

There was no bigger play than Dawnyelle Awa’s nifty drive to seal the deal. Awa faked the entire defense by keeping the ball on a give-and-go opportunity. She finished at the rim and grabbed the win for the Cougars.

It was a true team effort against the USC Trojans. Five players ended the game in double digit scoring, and sophomore Mariah Cooks finished with 8 points.

Junior guard Tia Presley put up numbers in every single category. Presley finished the game with 21 points, six rebounds, six assists, and two steals. She continued her nightly routing of getting to the charity line and hit 10 of her 15 free throws.

“We’re struggling to win on the road right now,” Presley said. “To come here to beat a team like USC is really big for us, we needed this win. We needed a momentum builder.”

Rebounding had been an issue for the Cougars. However in this game USC and WSU mimicked each other with 45 rebounds.

Dheensaw returned to form by recording her third double-double in Pac-12 play. She led the Cougars in rebounds with eleven and was a presence in the post.

“We got really focused this week on sharing the basketball little bit more and making the extra pass,” Head Coach June Daugherty said after the win. “You saw that in the first half.”

The Cougars were tied early in the second half against the UCLA Bruins yesterday, but were unable to close out the game and lost 79-72.

Rebounding was less even in this contest than it was against the Trojans. The Bruins outrebounded the Cougars 47-35. UCLA’s Antonye Nyingifa, Corinne Costa and Luiana Livulo combined to record 30 rebounds. Nyingifa had 30 points to go along with her 10 rebounds.

Sophomore guard Lia Galdeira had a team high 15 points, but the shooting efficiency between her and Tia Presley was low. The two guards combined to shoot 8-of-28 from the field in the loss.

Just like in the rest of the losses, the Cougars were unable to stay out of foul trouble. Presley fouled out late in the game. Dheensaw, Cooks and Galdeira finished with four fouls, allowing UCLA to attempt 36 free throws.

The Washington State Cougars will return to Pullman to face top ranked Stanford Friday and California Sunday.