Cougs advance to quarterfinals


Junior guard Pinelopi Pavlopoulou dribbles down the court during the game against UC Davis on Thursday.

From staff reports

The WSU women’s basketball team beat UC Davis yesterday, 71-62 and will move on to the quarterfinals in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).

The Cougars displayed a winning mindset even an hour before the start of the game, as they hit the court for running and shooting drills.

WSU won the tip-off and was the first on the board with a 3-pointer by junior guard Alexys Swedlund. Swedlund would lead the Cougars in scoring for the game with 20 points.

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The Aggies then responded with strong offense and scored eight unanswered points.

The strong defense in the first half allowed the Cougars to build a solid lead over UC Davis.

At the 6:30 mark in the second quarter, the crowd erupted as WSU’s sophomore forward Nike McClure rejected an Aggies attempt at the basket.

About a minute later, McClure was charged with a flagrant foul as she elbowed junior guard Rachel Nagel from UC Davis while she attempted to grab a rebound.

As a result, the Aggies were rewarded with two free-throws, but the home crowd made enough noise to distract Nagel and cause her to miss.

At the half, the score was in WSU’s favor at 39-26. UC Davis averaged 32.3 percent shooting from the floor while WSU averaged 41.7 percent, with half of the game still to play.

Starting at the 7:30 mark in the third quarter, the Aggies began attacking offensively.

UC Davis sophomore guard/forward Kourtney Eaton, junior forward Pele Gianotti, junior guard/forward Dani Nafekh and sophomore forward Morgan Bertsch would score a combined 13 unanswered points and cut the lead for the Cougs to 45-42.

At the 6:47 mark in the fourth quarter, junior guard Caila Hailey created a turnover and assisted junior guard Pinelopi Pavloupoulou with a 3-pointer, which increased WSU’s lead to 59- 47.

Up until 4:25 in the fourth quarter, UC Davis scored seven consecutive points to close down the lead to 54-59. This was the closest the Aggies would get to the Cougars’ score for the remainder of the game.

As the clock wound down, the Aggies did everything they could to maintain possession of the ball and began fouling with 1:33 left in regular time.

At the end of the game, the Cougars averaged 52.6 percent from the floor, 57.1 percent for 3-pointers, and 50 percent from the line – strong percentages that aided in the WSU victory.

The Cougars move on and will play away against the University of Iowa on Sunday in the Elite Eight in Iowa City.

Reporting by Gabriel Bravo