MISSOULA, Mont. – Washington State saw its season end in the first round of the WNIT on Wednesday as the Cougars fell to Montana at Dahlberg Arena, 90-78.
The Cougars (17-17) finished with their most wins under head coach June Daugherty and the most since the 1994-95 team also won 17. The Cougars were in the postseason for the first time since 1991.
Sophomore guard Lia Galdeira led Washington State with 22 points and senior forward Sage Romberg closed out her career with a season-high 18 points and added seven rebounds. Junior guard Tia Presley added 11 points and became the 17th Cougar to surpass the 1,000-career point milestone, joining Galdeira and Romberg, who also surpassed the mark during the Pac-12 Tournament.
Romberg finished her career as the Cougars all-time leader in games played with 129 while fellow seniors Brandi Thomas (128) and Hana Potter (125) also finished among the top four in games played.
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WSU shot over 55 percent in the second half but was limited to 25 percent in the first half and surrendered 21 second-chance points to Montana (23-10), which shot nearly 42 percent for the game and knocked down nine three-pointers. The Lady Grizzlies went 29 of 35 at the free throw line while the Cougars went 16 of 22 at the charity stripe.
Montana opened the game with a pair of threes and shot over 50 percent for much of the first half. Romberg and sophomore guard Taylor Edmondson provided a couple sparks long three pointers. The Lady Grizzlies built their lead to 14 before the Cougars closed the half with a 6-1 spurt as MariahCooks scored on a drive, Galdeira knocked down a jumper and Cooks scored again after receiving a nice no-look pass from sophomore guard Dawnyelle Awa.
Washington State trailed 36-25 at the half, with Galdeira leading the Cougars with eight points. Montana shot over 39 percent from the field and hit four three-pointers.
Awa opened the second half with three from straight away and Presley followed with a driving bucket to record her 1,000th career point. Presley stayed hot, hitting a runner in the lane before connecting on a three from the right corner. Presley then hit a pair of free throws for nine straight points to pull the Cougars within eight, 45-37 at the 16:37 mark.
Washington State kept things close until a couple threes from the Grizzlies allowed them to slowly pull away.