The No. 3 Stanford Cardinal were ripe for the picking, as were the No. 22 Golden Bears of California, but unfortunately the Cougars could not cash in on the opportunity.
On Friday, Stanford came into Pullman with their fearsome group of ladies who had lost just once on the season and don’t often lose at all in recent memory. However the Cougs played to the level and even outplayed 90 percent of the team from Palo-Alto. Unfortunately some chick named Ogwumike took over the ballgame like only a chick named Ogwumike can, dominating as many ‘teams’ as the women in White and Pink on this night would send at her. Stanford walked out unscathed 77-69, then went to Seattle and got taken down.
On Sunday. the Cougars were up 8 and getting ready to run away with the game as halftime approached, when Dawnyelle Awa missed a most easy breakaway layup that left Cal in the game. Instead of the double-digit lead, the Cougs took a 41-37 lead into the break and it all kinda went downhill from there. Again, the big girl dominated the second half and WSU had no answers to a run aided by some of the weakest and-1’s you will ever see in succession. Final damage; 87-70.
More importantly, the Cougars could have put themselves in a pretty shiny-type light in the eyes of a certain NCAA Tournament committee by taking at least one of the games at home. Now the slide looks like this; Wins – 1 of their last 6 for a season record of 12-12. Worse still, the Cougars now face return teams in their final 6 that they have gone a total of 1-5 against. Both Oregon schools, Utah, Colorado and these Bay Area teams on the road.
On the plus side, if the Cougars get hot at the right time (basically right now), they could effectively earn their way into the Tournament without having to rely on too much help. That might take a 4-2 finish with at least a win in the Pac-12 Tourney (or preferably at least two), or an improbable 5-1 finish. At any rate, the misses this past weekend really hampered the overall hopes of this team.