WSU races to record-setting win over Oregon in Pac-12 women’s tournament
Washington State beat Oregon 107-100 Thursday in the first round of the Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament at KeyArena. The Cougars set a record for most points scored in a Pac-12 tournament game.
Special to The Seattle Times
With the scoreboard putting up numbers at a frantic pace, Washington State opened the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament with a record-breaking win.
Lia Galdeira and Tia Presley each scored 31 points as the seventh-seeded Cougars set a mark for points scored in a tournament game by defeating 10th-seeded Oregon 107-100 Thursday night at KeyArena.
WSU (16-15) advances to face second-seeded California (21-8) in a second-round match Friday at 6 p.m. Barring an invitation to a postseason tournament for the Ducks (15-15), the loss ended Paul Westhead’s five-year stint as Oregon’s coach. On Tuesday the school announced it would not renew his contract.
His exit, in a game that typified the go-go pace he favors, was memorable. In the 13-year history of the women’s conference tournament, the record for most points in a game by one team was 100, set by Stanford in a 2011 semifinal.
The 207 combined points shattered the tournament game record for most points by two teams. The previous record: 179, when Arizona beat Oregon 90-89 in a 2011 first-round game. Thursday’s game surpassed that total with 4 minutes 11 seconds to play.
Though Washington State led for the final 18 minutes of the second half, Oregon never trailed by more than nine points. WSU led just 90-89 with 4:30 to play.
Did WSU coach June Daugherty ever feel comfortable in the closing minutes?
“Never,” Daugherty said with a smile. “You look at the scoreboard and it’s just blowing up, triple digits, and you know at any point somebody is going to hit another three or they’re going to get a steal. I was never comfortable the entire game. It’s a great system that he plays.”
The two teams combined for 19 three-pointers, tying a tournament record. The 60 they attempted was one short of a record. Galderia and Presley each hit three.
Sophomore Taylor Edmondson came off the bench to sink four three-pointters and finish with 14 points. Junior forward Shalie Dheensaw scored 15 points and had a team-high 11 rebounds.
Chrishae Rowe led Oregon with 29 points. Jillian Alleyne, last season’s Pac-12 freshman of the year, scored 28 and pulled down 21 rebounds.
“I felt good,” Westhead said of his team’s chances of pulling the game out. “I don’t know when the game got away from us until the last minute. I would have liked to been up three or four, but I never felt the game was out of sight.”
USC 59, Arizona 54
USC survived an energetic opponent and poor free-throw shooting to get past Arizona.
The fifth-seeded Women of Troy (19-12) will play No. 4 seed Arizona State at 2:30 p.m. Friday. The Wildcats, the No. 12 seed, finished the season 5-25.
Ariya Crook scored a game-high 19 points and Kate Oliver came off the bench to score 12 (on 6-of-7 shooting) to help USC overcome a 30-25 halftime deficit.
After 12 lead changes, Crook hit a three-pointer with 8:46 to play for a 50-46 lead.
USC missed seven of its first eight free throws and overall sank just 4 of 11. But leading just 56-54, Crook hit 3 of 4 free throws in the last 30 seconds to ice the win.
“I thought we were a little nervous, a little tight,” USC coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke said. “Arizona came out and was so aggressive. I thought they had us on our heels for a moment. That got us unfocused, even at the free-throw line.”
Arizona, with just seven players available, was led by Kama Griffitts (13 points) and Carissa Crutchfield (12).
Colorado 76, UCLA 65
Senior guard Brittany Wilson scored 17 points and twin sister Ashley Wilson put in 16 (7 of 9 from the field) to lead the ninth-seeded Buffaloes (17-13) to the win over eighth-seeded UCLA (13-18).
Colorado, ranked No. 11 in December before inconsistency and injuries led to a wave of losses, moves on to face top-seeded Stanford (28-2) at noon Friday.
The Buffaloes trailed 46-38 five minutes into the second half before scoring 10 straight points during a 15-2 run to take a lead that UCLA never overcame.
“They (UCLA) were really comfortable to start the second half,” Colorado coach Linda Lappe said. “We wanted to try to make them uncomfortable, so we started to trap a little bit and speed them up.
“The fact that we turned them over in the second half quite a bit (UCLA had eight second-half turnovers, CU four) really helped us to get our offense going.”
UCLA sophomore guard Nirra Fields scored a game-high 24 points and senior forward Atonye Nyingifa finished with 13.
Lexy Kresl scored 14 for the Buffaloes, who out-rebounded the Bruins 43-35. Haley Smith, a freshman guard and Skyline grad, started at guard for CU and scored two points in 18 minutes.