The Washington State women's basketball team guaranteed themselves at least one more game in the 2017 season Thursday night, with a win over Colorado. The Coug’s opening round game of the Pac-12 tournament featured big runs from both teams and ended up coming down to the wire.
WSU led 79-78 with 8.9 seconds remaining after Colorado missed a free throw. It appeared that the Cougs had come away with possession, however, an inadvertent whistle was blown, and the possession arrow pointed toward the Buffs. Colorado had one final opportunity to win, but Ariana Freeman's shot was off and Calia Hailey secured the rebound for Washington State.
While WSU had an excellent offensive game overall, that wasn’t apparent early on. Colorado took an early 17-4 lead and was up 25-13 at the end of the first quarter. Roles were reversed in the second quarter though, as WSU went on a 17-0 run to start the period and outscored CU 24-8.
The second half was a more back and forth affair, but with 2:18 to go in the fourth the Cougs held a 76-68 lead. That evaporated quickly, but the Buff’s late run came up just short.
Alexys Swedlund led the way for the Cougs with a career high 23 points on 9-14 shooting. On the defensive end, Nike McClure stood out with three blocks, nine rebounds and two steals. McClure now has 60 blocks this year, a WSU single season record.The seventh seeded Cougars get to face Stanford, the tournament's no. 2 seed, in the quarterfinals Friday. The two teams met only once in the regular season, a 76-54 Cardinal victory in Pullman. The two teams will tip off from Key Arena at 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
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Even the 79-78 final score doesn’t accurately convey the dramatic way by which Washington State snuck by Colorado Thursday night, in the opening round of the Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament at Key Arena.
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