Presley cracks top 10 in WSU scoring

Welcome, Tia Presley, to the top 10 in Cougars’ scoring history. Teammate Lia Galdeira already had cracked the top 10 heading into the game, and both are in the top five in the conference this season in points per game. Both performed well Thursday afternoon against UC Santa Barbara as the Cougars dominated the Gauchos 81-55 on the road.

Washington State’s 26-point lead at the end of the game was its largest of the contest, but it led by 20 with about five minutes left in the game. Both Galdeira and Presley scored in double figures through the first 20 minutes of the game. Galdeira and Presley finished with 28 and 17 points, respectively. Meanwhile, freshman Louise Brown contributed a team-high 10 rebounds. Freshman Caila Hailey contributed seven points off the bench and she scored the final three points of the game.

“We are fortunate as coaches,” Daugherty said. “We've got some very talented young people. We've got some upperclassmen who are great leaders and are playing some very good basketball, so if we can continue to mix this group, continue to improve each day, we've got a chance to have an unbelievable season.”

Galdeira scored the first two points of the game and she began the second half on a torrid stretch as she scored the first nine WSU points after the intermission. It marked the continuation of strong play as she scored 24 against Michigan and 33 against Maryland, which put her at eighth place on the all-time WSU scoring list.

“I think the thing that maybe gets lost in all this scoring is how good they are defensively,” Daugherty said of her star duo. “Lia started the game with three steals. I thought Tia sat down and really played some good defense tonight, too, and their leadership. They get their points, but they're complete players, and I thought they shared the basketball well tonight, as well.”

There was no shortage of shooting on Thursday afternoon as the Cougars put up 70 shots in the game. They shot 44.3 percent from the field and 9 of 25 from three-point range. Galdeira and Presley combined to go 18 of 35 from the field, but although they only combined for one assist, they still allowed their other teammates to get involved.

Shalie Dheensaw scored eight points and added eight rebounds and her performance garnered praise from Daugherty, especially for her work on the defensive side of the court. She did make two of the Cougars' four blocks in the game, after all.

“Shalie Dheensaw had another spectacular night defensively,” Daugherty said. “She has to run the defense vocally, and she's got to cover up a lot of situations out there. Thank goodness she's in great shape and she's as athletic as she is, but she really, I thought, had another super game for us, just outstanding.”

The Cougars scored well enough from the field that their poor free-throw shooting didn't make an impact. At the foul stripe, Washington State shot 10 of 17, but the Gauchos were just as poor on their free chances, shooting 10 of 16.

Eight steals helped the Cougars make up for their struggles at the free-throw line. The Gauchos turned the ball over 16 times and the Cougars scored 21 points off of those turnovers. UC Santa Barbara managed to score only nine points off of the Cougars’ 10 turnovers.

On paper, the game looked like a blowout from the start as the Cougars came in averaging 73.0 points per game, while the Gauchos had posted only 42.8 points per game. The Gauchos made it close early in the game, but eventually gave way to the superior scoring duo of Galdeira and Presley.

The Cougars improved to 6-2 on the season, while the Gauchos still are winless at 0-7.

  • The second half was a dominant period for the Cougars on the glass as they outrebounded the Gauchos 23-12. Overall, the Cougars won the rebounding battle 45-34.

  • The Cougars notched 17 offensive rebounds and outscored the Gauchos 14-9 in second-chance points.

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