Cougs crush Buffs to end losing streak

WSU outscores Colorado 46-27 in second half of game to earn first home conference victory of season



Freshman forward Shir Levy drives past junior guard Quinessa Caylao-Do for a layup in the game against Colorado on Sunday at Beasley Coliseum. Levy finished with six points as the Cougars defeated the Buffaloes 74-48.

ISAAC SEMMLER, Evergreen reporter

A three-game losing streak for WSU women’s basketball came to an end Sunday when they defeated Colorado 74-48 in Pullman.

The Cougars (7-9, 2-3) had just a seven-point lead at halftime, but outscored the Buffaloes (10-6, 0-5) 46-27 in the second half to pull away.

Head Coach Kamie Ethridge said WSU spread the floor better in the final 20 minutes which allowed the team to get more open shots.

“I feel like we didn’t take care of the ball in the first half and we didn’t really separate well,” Ethridge said. “The second half we came out really strong, we were able to find people and start making some good shots.”

WSU and Colorado both started slow as the Cougars looked to senior center Maria Kostourkova early on. She made two fastbreak layups in the first four minutes.

Defensively, the Cougars played the Buffaloes tough as they held them to 28 percent shooting in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Colorado controlled possession time and forced WSU to commit seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes.

Junior forward Borislava Hristova remained quiet early in the first quarter, but finished with six points to lead the team. Colorado led 13-12 after one quarter.

Freshman guard Shir Levy caught fire for the Cougars in the second quarter as she scored six straight points to help contribute to an 11-0 run.

Colorado responded by scoring five straight points and holding WSU scoreless for nearly four minutes.

At the end of the second quarter, the Cougars led 28-21 thanks to 10 points from Hristova.

At halftime, Ethridge said the Cougars were lucky Colorado was unable to capitalize on their 12 first half turnovers.

“I think we’re being very aggressive but turnovers are killing us,” she said.

WSU gained control of the game in the third quarter as junior guard Chanelle Molina came out very aggressive. She was driving down the lane and finding open teammates, which allowed the Cougars to take a 12 point lead with six minutes left in the quarter.

The Cougars were able to take a 45-31 at the end of the third quarter despite shooting 1-11 from behind the three-point line entering the final 10 minutes.

WSU heated up in the fourth quarter, shooting 85.7 percent from the field and knocking down four three-pointers. This offensive explosion was too much for the Buffaloes to overcome and the Cougars claimed a 26-point victory.

Hristova led the Cougars with 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Molina and Kostourkova added 18 and 12 points respectively. This was Hristova’s ninth 20-point game of the year and third double-double. WSUs’ starters outscored the Buffaloes’ starters 67-42 in the game.

The Cougars will look to build off their first conference home victory when they hit the road to face Cal 11:30 a.m. Friday at Haas Pavilion.