January 11, 2015

Cardinal keeps Cougars from making history

The Cardinal kept the streak going, with great effort against a team fiercely determined to get its first win ever in a Stanford/WSU game. That matchup now stands at Stanford 58, WSU 0. Today's game: Stanford 86, WSU 76.

The Cougars were in command for much of the afternoon, and it looked like they were going to pull off the upset. They took the lead about midway through the first half, and increased it to as much as eleven points.

The Cougars matched every attempt the Cardinal made to close the gap until the Cardinal finally gained a one-point lead with two minutes left to play on a three-pointer and two free throws by Bonnie.

The Cougars got the lead back a minute later after a series of fouls and free throws by both teams.

Then, with eleven seconds left, Bonnie sank another three-pointer. Game over? No! Lia Galdeira wasn't finished yet. She got the inbound and scored a fast break layup to take the game into overtime.

But the streak-breaking attack was effectively over. Only Lia managed to score for the Cougars in overtime, while the Cardinal got contributions from Amber, Lili and Kaylee and especially Bri, who iced the win with six-of-six free throws.

The victory was a great team effort by the Cardinal, with six players scoring in double digits.

Amber led the way with 19 points – and a lot more. She fought hard for this win with repeated drives to the basket, putting the ball up 20 times – the most since her 24 attempts in Stanford's Sweet 16 game against Georgia in 2013. Besides scoring, she had five assists, four rebounds and a steal.

Bonnie repeatedly challenged the Cougar lead from beyond the arc and at the free throw line. She scored 18 points on five-of-seven three-pointers and three-of-four free throws.

Kaylee shone on both defense and offense. She tallied her third career double-double with 15 rebounds and a career-high 13 points. She made 83% of her attempted field goals (5-6).

Lili was held scoreless in the first half, but ended with 13 points, including two three-pointers and three-of-three free throws. She also tallied three assists and three steals.

Taylor matched her career-high score with eleven points, including a three-pointer and four-of-four free throws.

Bri played with her usual energy and determination – and controlled it well this afternoon. The Cardinal committed 15 turnovers, but Bri played for 21 minutes and didn't commit any. She scored ten points on a jumper and eight-of-eight free throws.

All in all, the Cardinal made 78% of their free throws (21-27). Let's hope that's a trend, not an exception.

In other Pac-12 action today, Washington beat Cal by two points.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The postgame interview video of Bonnie

The WSU press conference video, with June Daugherty, Tia Presley and Lia Galdeira

(There was no Associated Press photographer in Pullman.)

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