Washington State’s women’s basketball team took No. 18 Cal to over time at Haas Pavilion, but the Cougs struggled offensively in the overtime period and it cost them the ball game as the Golden Bears (21-7, 11-3 Pac-12) won, 75-68.
The Cougs are now 15-14, (9-8 Pac-12) after the heart breaking loss in Berkeley.
The overtime period saw Cal’s Brittany Boyd take over the game as she got to the charity stripe six times -- she hit five of them. Those free throws proved to be the difference maker, as the Cougars struggled to run any semblance of their offense during overtime.
For WSU, the game ended when Boyd was sent to the free throw line with seven seconds left in the game -- Presley fouled out on that play; Boyd hit both free throws to give Cal the final margin.
The poor offensive performance in the overtime period overshadowed an impressive defensive performance by WSU in the second half. As the Cougs were able to hold Cal forward Reshanda Gray to 11-points in the second half, after she exploded for 32 in the first. Gray finished the night with a double-double, she had 43 points (she went 17-20 from the field and 9-14 from the charity stripe) and 16 rebounds.
The most impressive part of the team’s defensive performance was the two stops in the final six seconds of regulation. After a lengthy official review of an out of bounds call -- the Cougs were initially awarded possession, but the replay showed that the ball clearly was knocked out of bounds by Shalie Dheensaw -- the Cougs forced Cal to take its final timeout of the half during the in-bounds pass play.
Cal was forced to take the timeout because the man-to-man defense that the Cougs were playing made it so that no Cal player was open. And then on the ensuing play after that timeout, WSU forced the Golden Bears to pass the ball to Boyd (she was out at the top of the key) and then played solid defense under the hoop; Boyd’s attempted bounced off of the sided of the rim and fell harmlessly to the court.
The Cougars also blew their chance, at the end of regulation, to win the game. WSU had the ball with 39.5 seconds left in the game, and a fresh shot clock. But the team’s shots didn't fall; and the Golden Bears came up with the crucial rebounds
In fact, the Cougs final possession in regulation ended when Dheensaw’s attempted put back didn’t fall; and Boyd rebounded the ball…and probably traveled (and got away with it) while she attempted to stay in bounds.
WSU actually outplayed Cal during regulation, but Cal’s aggressive offensive attack in the paint sent the Golden Bears to the charity stripe 43 times – Cal hit 27 of those shots and kept the Golden Bears in the game. The Cougs only made it to the free throw line 13 times – WSU hit five of those.
Presley and Dheensaw both had double-doubles in the loss -- Presley finished with 15 points (6-19 from the field, and 3-4 from the free throw line) and 11 rebounds; Dheensaw finished with 14 points (6-13 from the field, and 2-2 at the free throw line) and 15 rebounds.
Next up for the Cougs they take on Stanford on Sat. March 1st in Palo Alto at 7:30 pm; this game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.