Cougars stumble in second half against No. 5 Oregon

Only four WSU players scored in game, team led at halftime



WSU junior guard Chanelle Molina looks towards the basket while an Oregon defender guards her in a game Friday night at Beasley Coliseum.

KATIE ARCHER, Evergreen reporter

After leading at halftime, WSU women’s basketball fell to No. 5 Oregon 79-64 Friday night in Beasley Coliseum.

Head Coach Kamie Ethridge said she saw the Cougars bring a bigger presence on both ends of the court, particularly in the first half.

“There’s no question we could walk on that court, and play with more energy,” Ethridge said. “Play with more passion, and be more competitive, and to be more physical, and to not let them get everything they want.”

Senior guard Alexys Swedlund opened the game with a three-pointer. Oregon sophomore forward Satou Sabally answered with a three-pointer of her own to tie the game up early in the first.

The Cougars (7-12, 2-6) led 13-9 four minutes into the game but the Ducks (18-1, 7-0) were able to tie it up about a minute later.

With four minutes left in the first quarter, Oregon got its first lead of the game.

Swedlund gave the Cougars back the lead on a basket with under a minute to play. Oregon freshman guard Taylor Chavez would put the Ducks up by one with a three-pointer as the first quarter came to a close. Oregon led 18-17.

In the second quarter, WSU and Oregon traded the lead. With under five minutes to play in the quarter, junior guard Chanelle Molina hit a three-pointer to put the Cougars up by six.

After a media timeout, Oregon crept within one point, but the Cougars finished the second quarter leading 34-30.

Molina said having a lead against the Ducks at halftime is a confidence builder for the team.

“We’re not going to play anyone better than this team,” Molina said.

Redshirt junior forward Borislava Hristova had 16 points at halftime and Swedlund added 12 points.

Oregon started the third quarter with a seven-point run and eventually the Ducks would take a six-point lead.

Oregon would extend its lead and a three-pointer by Sabally at the buzzer put the Ducks up 60-46 after three quarters.

The Ducks would hold onto their lead in the fourth quarter as the Cougars upset bid fell short.

“To win this game we need[ed] to play for 40 minutes,” Hristova said. “We need[ed] to play every possession.”

Only four Cougars scored in the game. Hristova finished with 29 points, Molina had 18, Swedlund scored 14 and redshirt sophomore forward Jovanna Subasic added three.

Despite the defeat, Ethridge said the Cougars showed immense improvement.

“I really like the fact that we just look like a different team,” Ethridge said. “We look like we love to play.”

The Cougars will take on No. 9 Oregon State noon Sunday at Beasley Coliseum.