From Pullman – The Washington State women’s basketball team lost its 13th game of the season, this one to Oregon State, 67-53. WSU managed to keep the game close for a half before the Beavers Ruth Hamblin took control of the game in the paint.
The Cougars fell to 14-13 (8-7, Pac-12) after the loss.
WSU forwards Hana Potter and Shalie Dheensaw found themselves in foul trouble mid-way through the second half, and that really began to cause problems for the Cougs. Without Potter and Dheensaw, the task of boxing out and guarding the 6-foot-6 Hamblin became almost impossible: Hamblin ended up finishing the night with 15 points (she went 6-8 from the field and 3-7 from the free throw line) and 15 rebounds.
On the few Oregon State offensive possessions that the Cougar defense was able to successfully shut down Hamblin, the Beavers were able to find an offensive answer from three other players -- Ali Gibson (13 points), Sydney Wiese (16 points), or Gabriella Hanson (13 points).
The defensive issues in the second half weren’t the only problems that Cougs had on Friday night; as the offense struggled to put points up on the board and take pressure off of that struggling defense. Coach June Daugherty attributed the Cougars' offensive struggles to Oregon State doing a good job of switching up its defenses:
"Oregon State did a phenomenal job of mixing up their defense. I think, because of that I think we got of rhythm a little bit; and when that happens it is tough to play good offensive basketball."
Washington State had only one player in double digits, and that was sophomore Lia Galdeira – she led all scorers with 18 points thanks to the fact that she shot 7-18 from the field, hit two of her five three point attempts, and went 2-3 from the charity stripe. Oregon State made a defensive adjustment during half time, and they were able to hold Galdeira to only three points in the second half.
The next highest scorer that wore crimson and gray was Dawnyelle Awa, who had nine points.
Oregon State was able to shut down reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week Tia Presley until the outcome of the game was already out of reach: Presley finished the night with 7 points while shooting 1-9 from the field, zero three pointers, and 5-6 from the charity stripe.
Washington State will get another chance to earn its 15th win when they take on Oregon at 1:00 pm in Beasley Coliseum on Sunday.
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