March 9, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington State Cougars bench reacts during the second half of the game against the California Golden Bears during the semifinals of the Pac 12 Tournament at the Staples Center. California won 69-55. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The streak is over! 36 straight times and 19 straight years the Washington State Cougars (9-6, 3-0) and Washington Huskies (8-6, 1-2) had hooked up, with the purple and gold ending up on top. Tuesday night in Beasley Coliseum, the lady Cougs held on in an instant classic to dump UW 82-80.
The game lived up to everything you would expect from this hardcore cross-state rivalry; physical play, technical fouls, huge momentum swings and an epic all-league guard battle between WSU’s Lia Galdeira and Washington’s Jazmine Davis. Galdeira was once again a huge difference maker, pouring in 28 points over the course of the ballgame, including the deciding free throws late in the game. Davis nearly matched point for point, scoring 27.
Presley put in 13, while Shalie Dheensaw (11) and Sage Romberg (10) were part of four Cougs to score in double digits on the night. The Huskies weren’t far behind as Mercedes Wetmore (12), Kelsey Plum (11) and Katie Collier (12) all joined Davis in the double-digit department.
The Cougars jumped out to a 13 point first half lead on a 19-6 run that spanned nearly 5:00 of game time, as Galdeira hit a couple of threes to fuel the run. The Dawgs closed to within five, but Galdeira and the Cougars snatched back momentum at the end of the half, taking a 42-32 lead into the break.
WSU would jump out to another 13 point lead and seemed to be holding the fort, but the tide shifted ever-so-slightly when Presley got emotional and cost her team a tech with a 50-39 lead and 17:07 on the clock. Less than two minutes later, the Huskies had tied the game at 51 and had all the momentum.
From there it was a wild back-and-forth scramble to the finish line, neither team leading by more than five points. The Huskies would catch a break when Presley missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 free throw with three seconds left, but couldn’t get a shot off to try and tie it or win it, igniting another glorious celebration from the Cougar sideline and those that showed up to the game at Beasley.
The Cougars and Huskies are far from done with their emotional finish. The Dawgs will stew over the loss for the next three days before these two tip it off in Seattle at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile Washington State will enjoy their 3-0 Pac-12 Conference start and be ready to try and start a streak of their own over the Huskies this weekend.