Cougs lose in foul-filled scrum at No. 18 ASU

PITCHFORK AND CLAW CLASHED on Monday night, and pitchfork prevailed as No. 18 Arizona State earned a decisive 78-64 win over the Cougars. It was one of the more physical games of the season.

Early mistakes plagued the Cougars (10-3, 1-1) against No. 18 Arizona State, and a hot-shooting Sun Devils squad did not allow any wiggle room. The Cougars' loss snapped a six-game winning streak dating back to a victory over Maryland on Nov. 29. Tia Presley (pictured above) picked up her fourth full with about 13 minutes to play in the game, prompting June Daugherty to put her on the bench.
And then Daugherty proceeded to draw her own technical foul discussing the officiating with the referees. Daugherty brought her senior guard back into the game with about eight minutes left in the game as the Cougars still trailed by 14 at that point in the game. But the game was decided early on.

"It was a pretty physical game and all that, so there was a lot of stoppage of play, but the beginning of the game, the first 10 minutes was where we lost this ball game. The rest of the way, I thought we played really hard and did some good things," Daugherty said in a postgame radio interview.

The Cougs went down 9-0 and later 17-4 in the first half. They trailed 25-10 after the first 10 minutes or so.

Shalie Dheensaw
also finished the game with four fouls, while Arizona State had two players with four fouls and two players with three fouls by the end of the night.

There were two extended stoppages where the officials went to the monitors to determine if they were excessive. Junior guard Lia Galdeira was hit with a technical on one occasion when she went to the aid of Dheensaw who was on the floor with ASU players trying to rip the ball away. A Sun Devil got T'd up after a shoulder knocked Presley to the ground.

The several stoppages in play did not slow down the Sun Devils' offense, which excelled particularly in the first half. Arizona State (13-1, 2-0) shot 61 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes, and although the Sun Devils cooled in the second half with a 44-percent shooting percentage, they maintained their lead easily.

Arizona State quickly built its lead and never looked back. The Cougars trailed by 14 at the end of the first half, and they never trimmed it to single digits. The Sun Devils recorded three steals in the first four minutes, highlighting some early sloppiness by the Cougars.

"I didn't think we were as fired up as we should be, coming in and playing No. 18 in their house, and I thought it showed. I thought we were really hesitant defensively, which hasn't been our M.O. of late, but we'll go back and look at the film. It's tough to lose. We did get the split on the road but I know as a coach and as players, we'll learn a lot from this and get better from it," Daugherty said.

Galdeira led the Cougars with 19 points. However, her partner in scoring, Presley, had a difficult time heating up in Tempe. The senior did not score until fewer than three minutes remained in the first half, finishing with 15 points on the night.

The Cougars struggled collectively with taking care of the basketball and the team's two leading scorers did not help. Galdeira and Presley combined to commit 13 of the team's 23 turnovers against Arizona State. They each recorded four steals of their own on the defensive side, though. The Sun Devils won despite committing 24 turnovers.

On Friday, the Cougars return to action with a game against California at 5 p.m. in Pullman. After that, the Cougars stay at home to face Stanford on Sunday at 1 p.m.

  • Dawnyelle Awa backed up Galdeira and Presley with 10 points and three assists.

  • The Cougars lost the rebounding battle, 32-25, and they were led in rebounds by Galdeira, who finished with nine.

  • Washington State was denied an 11-2 record for the first time since the 1978-79 season.

  • Arizona State outscored the Cougars 14-8 in second-chance points, and 22-18 in points off of turnovers.

  • The final attendance number for the game was 1,366.

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