CouGals regroup in the post and grab victory

THE ABSENCE of center Shalie Dheensaw on Sunday was felt on defense but freshman Louise Brown, making her first-ever start, made sure it didn't kill the Cougars on the boards. She pulled down seven, and also hit three of four field goals, as Washington State's women's basketball team ended four-game Pac-12 losing skid with 79-76 victory over Oregon.

The win improved the Cougars to 11-6 overall and 2-4 in conference play.

Brown played 28 minutes -- about eight more than her average -- while fellow post Mariah Cooks turned in 23 -- five ore than her average -- as part of head coach June Daugherty's shuffling to backfill for Dheesaw.

Dheensaw, a senior from British Columbia who had made 50-straight starts, injured her right knee in the final seconds of the Cougars' narrow loss to No. 9 Oregon State on Friday. She will be reevaluated when the team returns to Pullman to determine the severit.

"It was a great win (today), and a lot of people don't really know, but Shalie's obviously the anchor of our defense. She is what we do, and we're praying on Monday when we figure out what's going on that it's good result, but our players did a great job of stepping up, especially with all the adversity, and it was great to come out with a win," said WSU assistant coach Ashley Grover in a postgame radio interview.

Guard Taylor Edmondson was an unlikely dominator for the Cougs in the rebounding department. She grabbed a team-high 10 boards to help the Cougars win the battle of the glass, 45-38. That was crucial for the Cougars, who are now a perfect 6-0 when they are at least even with their opponent in rebounding. When they lose the rebounding battle, the Cougars are 5-6 this season.

The Cougars also received dominant performances from Tia Presley and Lia Galdeira, who each eclipsed the 20-point mark. Presley moved into seventh place on the WSU all-time scoring list with 29 points against the Ducks, and Galdeira added 22. Galdeira is No. 6 on the WSU all-time scoring list.

"It was awesome. We can always count on Tia and Lia to get some buckets. Lia was in the zone there for a bit. I felt like they couldn't really stop her. She did a great job of getting to the rim," Grover said in a postgame radio interview.

The Ducks (8-9, 1-5) went on a 12-1 run late in the game to tie matters at 65 with just less than five minutes remaining. The Cougs then built a 77-71 lead but the Ducks came back again and closed to within one with 35 seconds left. Two free throws by Galdeira sealed the deal for WSU.

NEXT UP: The Cougars return home to play Utah on Friday at 7 p.m. and Colorado at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Colorado game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

NOTABLE NOTES
  • The Cougars won the turnover battle, 19-13.

  • The Cougars outscored the Ducks 17-10 in second-chance points as WSU grabbed 18 offensive rebounds.


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