Nostalgia on the court

Senior women basketball players stay thankful for the game, despite their 66-60 loss against USC on Sunday.

Sophomore+guard+Cherilyn+Molina+dribbles+up+the+court+against+USC+on+Jan.+24+at+Beasley+Coliseum.

OLIVER MCKENNA

Sophomore guard Cherilyn Molina dribbles up the court against USC on Jan. 24 at Beasley Coliseum.

CARSON BROWN, Evergreen women's basketball reporter

The WSU women’s basketball team fell short against the University of Southern California Trojans 66-60.

Another slow start held the Cougars (11-17, 4-12) back as they trailed by 18 points at the half, but they managed to win the second half by 12.

A career day from freshman forward Alissa Pili led the Trojans (14-13, 6-10). She hit the 30-point mark for the first time in her young career as she scored 32 points for USC.

Senior guard Chanelle Molina scored 23 points and connected on five 3-pointers to lead the Cougars on her senior night.

“I felt it when I walked into the locker room,” Molina said. “It was an emotional roller coaster, and it was impossible to hold back tears.”

In her last game in Pullman, redshirt senior forward Borislava Hristova scored 11 points and shot 5 of 17 from the field.

“It was a special day. I love this place, and I have to thank the fans,” Hristova said. “It’s been a great journey, and I’m going to miss playing here.”

It was too little too late for the Cougars as they started to heat up but there was not enough time to complete the comeback. WSU shot 29.6 percent from the field in the first half and 45.9 percent in the second.

USC led at the end of the first quarter 21-9. Pili had nine points and four rebounds in the opening quarter for the Trojans.

WSU got outplayed on the glass losing the rebounding battle 14-7 with the Trojans grabbing six offensive rebounds.

At the half, the Cougars trailed by 18 points. Pili continued her success into the second quarter as she had 20 points at the break.

Molina found a rhythm in the second quarter as she scored eight points and connected on two 3-pointers for the Cougars.

The major disparity of the first half was the shooting of the two teams. WSU shot 8 of 27 from the field while USC shot 15 of 30.

After a 6-0 run from the Cougars, to start the second half, the Trojans called a timeout with 7:44 left in the third quarter. WSU trailed 37-25.

The Cougars scored 23 points in the third quarter alone after scoring 19 in the entire first half.

Freshman center Bella Murekatete sparked WSU by scoring 12 points in the third quarter. Molina banked in a deep three as time expired in the third quarter. USC led 53-42 entering the final quarter.

Molina, Hristova and redshirt junior Jovana Subasic all hit a three during the fourth quarter to cut the lead to single digits as the game was coming to a close.

The comeback attempt fell short for the Cougars as the Trojans closed the game off and won 66-60.

WSU plays its final two games of the Pac-12 regular season on the road against the Oregon schools. The Pac-12 networks will broadcast both games.