Coug women cannot rebound against Cal

The Cougars couldn't rebound from their loss against Arizona State and they couldn't rebound Friday night against California in a Pac-12 women's basketball contest. Washington State lost its second consecutive conference game with a 70-62 setback. Despite that, a couple of players made late contributions for the Cougars.

Lia Galdeira (pictured above) moved into sixth place on the WSU career scoring list with team-high 16 points against Cal. She needed only 10 to pass Camille Thompson, who played with the Cougars from 1990-94, on the list. The ascension did not seem easy for most of the game, though, as Galdeira shot 3 of 9 from the field and posted six points in the first half.

Her woes continued as she missed her first five attempts in the second half. That was representative of a poor shooting night in general for the Cougars (10-4 overall, 1-2 conference), who made 34 percent of their shots from the field. Galdeira eventually made a 3-pointer to uproot Thompson from the No. 6 spot on the all-time scoring list.

Associate head coach Brian Holsinger said Galdeira ultimately wasn't herself, though.

"I think the biggest key is that we're not starting the way we need to start," Holsinger said in a postgame radio interview. "We've had some kids and to be honest this is no excuse because we've got to toughen up, but we have some kids under the weather and they're letting it affect them mentally and their energy and some things. That's why we're starting that way so in the second half, I thought we came out and did the things we wanted to do."

California (11-3, 3-0) dominated on both the glass, outrebounding the Cougars 53-39. WSU also was handily outscored 42-34 in points in the paint. The Golden Bears were aided by a dominant performance from 6-foot-3 forward Reshanda Gray, who posted a double-double with 24 points and 16 rebounds. Senior guard Brittany Boyd, who was sixth in the Pac-12 conference in rebounding average (8.5), added 12 rebounds for California.

Lost in the Cougars' rebounding problems was a fantastic performance from Mariah Cooks. The junior forward finished with a career-high 14 rebounds and a season-high 13 points for WSU. In fact, she was the first Cougar to reach double-digit points in the game as she reached the mark with 14:23 minutes remaining in the game.

"She was fantastic," Holsinger said in a postgame radio interview. "She was one of the bright notes tonight in a frustrating game. Good for her. If we can get that kind of effort out of her, night in and night out, we're going to be in pretty good shape as the season goes along. She's been grinding it out and trying to fight through some things and really proud of her."

Tia Presley had an equally difficult time racking up points early in the game, and instead used a late surge to reach her total of 14. The senior guard scored only two points in the first half on 1-of-6 shooting, but notched six consecutive points midway through the second half to help increase her scoring. Galdeira and Presley combined to shoot 30 percent from the field (12 of 40).

"Offensively, we've got to make some shots," Holsinger said in a postgame radio interview. "When our two best players go (30 percent) from the field, and theirs don't, that's really what it comes down to."

Turnovers were not a significant factor in the loss. The Golden Bears struggled to take care of the basketball, turning the ball over 22 times. The Cougars only gave the ball away 11 times as a team and capitalized on California's mistakes with a 20-9 margin in points off of turnovers.

Next up, the Cougars play Stanford at 1 p.m. Sunday in Beasley Coliseum.

  • Cooks' double-double was the first of her career.

  • 923 people came to Beasley Coliseum to watch the game as winter break for the students comes to a close this weekend.

  • Each team grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, and each team scored 13 second-chance points.

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