PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State offense exploded with big second-half run that turned a tie game with 10 minutes remaining into a 108-88 victory over visiting University of Oregon at Beasley Coliseum Sunday.
The Cougars outscored the Ducks (13-14, 4-12 Pac-12) 48-24 over the final 10:18 to post the most points since beating Southern Utah 109-79 Jan. 13, 1997. Four players scored in double figures for Washington State who improved to 15-13 overall and 9-7 in conference play, the most conference wins since the 1994-95 team went 9-9 in the Pac-10.
Junior guard Tia Presley recorded her third 32-point game in the last four games and sophomore guard Lia Galdeira added 27 points to go along with her five assists. Sophomore forward Mariah Cooks added a seaso-high 13 points and junior center Shalie Dheensaw finished with 12 points. Sophomore guard Dawnyelle Awa dished out a career-high eight assists for the Cougars who scored 26 points off of 21 Oregon turnovers.
WSU shot over 66 percent in the second half and held the Ducks to 33 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes.
The Cougars were off and running in the opening minutes as Galdeira scored seven straight points in the first three minutes. Midway through the half, Cooks provided a spark off the bench, hitting a jumper from stiraght way and a five-point WSU lead.
Oregon answered with a 10-1 run to build a four-point lead, 26-22 at the 9:06 mark. Romberg knocked down a three and Presley followed with layup before the Cougars later strung together seven straight points as Cooks scored on a baseline drive and fastbreak layup as she was fouled. Cooks made the free throw and Presley finished off the streak with another runner.
Washington State took a 44-43 lead into the break following another drive and free throw from Cooks with under a minute to go. Presley and Cooks led WSU with 10 points apiece while the Ducks hit seven 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes.
The Cougars opened the half with a three by Presley but the Ducks slowly built a five-point lead a couple minutes later.
Washington State eventually knotted things up at 64 with10:18 remaining before exploding for a 10-0 run over a 1:12 stretch and never looked back. Awa tied the game and started the run with layup, Romberg then scored after Galdeira dished a nice entry pass to Romberg who finished on the right side. Presley converted to free throws and followed with a driving runner in the lane before sophomore guard Alexas Williamson capped the run by stealing the inbounds pass and dropping in a high-arcing floater for a 72-64 lead at the 9:06 mark.
Oregon later cut the lead to seven but the Cougars with another layin from Presley and a jumper by Cooks pushed the lead back up to double-digits with under seven minutes remaining. Washington State slowly pulled away as Galdeira added two more threes before putting the Cougars over the century mark on two free throws with 2:33 remaining.