SEATTLE - Washington State's second-half comeback bid was held off by the University of Washington, 60-53 in Seattle Tuesday.
Down by as much as 20 in the first half, the Cougars (5-11, 1-4 Pac-12) used an 18-5 second-half run and held Washington (11-5, 3-2, Pac-12) to four made field goals in the final 20 minutes. Washington State got within four on a couple occasions but the Huskies made the most of their trips to the free throw line and held on for the win in the first of two meetings between the two teams this week.
Freshman guard Lia Galdeira led WSU with her second double-double of the season, registering 14 points and 12 rebounds while senior center Carly Noyes blocked one shot to become WSU's career leader in blocked shots after entering the game tied with former Cougar Holly Zapel at 147. Freshmen Mariah Cooks and Taylor Edmondson added nine and eight points, respectively.
Washington shot 30.2 percent and made just four field goals in the second half but hit six threes in the first 20 minutes and finished the game 20-of-28 at the free throw line. WSU was held to 29. 2 percent shooting and 5-of-32 from three while going 6-of-9 at the charity stripe. WSU owned a 53-37 rebound advantage and outscored the Huskies 28-12 in the paint.
Washington opened the game on fire from the outside, hitting six of its first eight 3-point attempts to build a 15-point advantage with just under eight minutes remaining the first half.
The Cougars received a boost from its bench midway through the period as Cooks and Edmondson each recorded a pair of buckets. Junior forward Sage Romberg later rattled in a three from the left wing and WSU closed the half with five straight points. Galdeira finished a drive with a layup before Noyes hit a free throw and a left-handed jumphook to send Cougars into the half trailing 36-21.
The Huskies finished the half shooting 40 percent from the field including 6-of-14 from behind the arc while the Cougars went 2-of-13 on three-point attempts.
Washington State regrouped at the half and exploded for an 18-5 run to make it a four-point game at 8:58 mark of the second half. Romberg started things off with a long two and the defense settled in a forced the Huskies into a number of tough shots highlighted by the record-setting block by Noyes at the 17:15 mark. Cooks and Presley knocked down threes before Cooks finished a drive with an up-an-under layin and junior forward Hana Potter followed with a nice post move for a bucket. The Huskies answered with a three but the Cougars scored six straight on layups, getting one from Galdeira and two from Noyes to cut the UW lead to 43-39.
Both teams traded buckets the before the Huskies hit another three to regain a nine-point lead.
The Cougars continued to battle as Galdeira turned two steals into layups and later added two free throws to again bring WSU within four with 57 seconds remaining. Following two UW free throws, WSU turned it over on the offensive end and were forced to foul. The Huskies converted at the line and held on for the 60-53 win.
Washington State will host the Huskies Sunday at 2 p.m. in Beasley Coliseum. The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks (Washington).