PULLMAN — It’s done.
Nearly two decades of talk about Washington State being unable to beat Washington in women’s basketball evaporated in an 82-80 win for the Cougars on Tuesday. The players and some supporters rushed the court at the final horn to celebrate WSU’s first win against UW since Feb. 25, 1995.
“Everyone wants to talk about the streak, so we ended it,” said WSU junior Tia Presley, a Spokane native.
Washington got its first win in the streak in January 1996 under former coach Chris Gobrecht. Current WSU coach June Daugherty made it a UW reign beginning in January 1997 until she was fired in April 2007.
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Since switching sides, Daugherty has gone from taking ownership of the run to diminishing its significance earlier this week. After the final horn, she grabbed the microphone and declared to start another one to the crowd of 914 at Beasley Coliseum.
“She’s probably more sick of hearing about the streak than anyone,” Presley said.
Not that WSU was playing for Daugherty to win against her former school. The Cougars entered the game having won their opening two games, including upsetting then-No. 24 Arizona State. The goal was to keep that winning streak going.
WSU led 42-32 at halftime, WSU sophomore Lia Galdeira scoring a layin on UW junior Jazmine Davis at the horn.
Davis got payback, scoring 20 of her 27 points in the second half. She nailed two three-pointers to help open the second half on a 16-9 run. But with four lead changes in the half, Washington couldn’t find the right mix of defensive stops and scores to keep the lead.
Down 80-78 with 22.6 seconds on the clock, UW fouled Galdeira, who made both attempts. She finished with a game-high 28 points on 11-for-23 shooting. WSU teammate, center Shalie Dheensaw, had 11 points and 14 rebounds. Presley scored 13.
Washington junior Talia Walton made a jumper with five seconds on the clock to pull UW to 82-80.
Presley missed a free throw for the Cougars with four seconds left and UW rebounded. But a halfcourt heave by freshman center Chantel Osahor was off the mark.
“That streak, we’re aware of it,” said Mercedes Wetmore, the only scholarship senior on UW’s roster. “And it hurts a little bit, but we’re not going to focus on that Saturday.”
UW (8-6, 1-2 Pac-12) plays a rematch against WSU (9-6, 3-0) at 3 p.m. Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or email@example.com