A season of progress for the Washington State Cougars (11-20) women’s basketball team team came to an end Friday night in the quarterfinal round of the Pac-12 Tournament. The No. 1 seed, and arguably best in the nation, Stanford Cardinal (29-2) were tested but prevailed over the Cougs by a final of 79-60 on the floor of Key Arena in Seattle.
No question the difference maker in the contest for Stanford was the best player in the country, Chiney Ogwumike. The 6’4” junior out of Cypress, TX was on her game putting up 23 points, grabbing 21 rebounds, blocking 4 shots, dishing out 4 assists and making 2 steals. Those numbers are comparable to what some teams put up for an entire game!
The Cougs played hard from beginning to end, but lacked the firepower required to offset the impact of Ogwumike.
Though she wasn’t on the bench, WSU Coach June Daugherty was at the game less than 24-hours after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. Her husband, Coach Mike Daughterty ran the show for the second game in a row. Coach June offered occasional advice and support, but was restricted to primarily observing the game from the second row. Her passion for both players and the game remains contagious, but on Friday night was overwhelmed by a Cardinal juggernaut.
"“It was definitely different. Sitting up a couple of rows higher, and able to watch it from a different perspective and then on timeouts, I just tried to help with some of the adjustments that we were trying to do and some of the substitutions…it was really different. I don’t want to do it anymore. It wasn’t that good.” – WSU Coach June Daugherty"
WSU had a balanced scoring attack led by freshman Lia Galdeira with 16 points while freshman Dawyelle Awa continued her strong play of late adding 8 points and 5 rebounds. Freshman forward Mariah Cooks racked up 9 points and 5 rebounds coupled with junior forward Hana Potter who recorded 8 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.
For every run the Cougs made, Stanford had an answer…and then some. Valuable experience was gained by a Washington State roster loaded with first and second year players.
Expect good things next season from the Cougs. Their combination of excellent coaching and talent will be a force to reckon with in the conference for years to come.
WASHINGTON STATE NOTES
– WSU blocked 114 shots this season, the most in program history, besting the previous top mark of 106, set last year
– Lia Galdeira finished the season with WSU freshman records in points (459), points-per-game (14.8), field goals made (174) and games scored in double figures (28)