The Washington State women’s team improved to 3-0 by beating Nevada 70-57 in Honolulu.
HONOLULU – The Washington State women’s team continued its solid start to the season with a 70-57 victory over Nevada in the opening game of the Rainbow Wahine Classic at Stan Sheriff Center on Friday afternoon.
Freshman Borislava Hristova extended an impressive start to her career for the Cougars (3-0), leading all scorers with 23 points. WSU forced a season-high 26 turnovers by the Wolf Pack (0-3), outscoring Nevada 21-1 off turnovers.
Hristova also pulled in a team-high seven rebounds. Senior Dawnyelle Awa had four assists and three steals to lead WSU in those categories. The Cougars jumped to a 10-0 start and never conceded the lead.
“I’m really pleased with the way we came out and played as hard as we did for 40 minutes,” WSU coach June Daugherty said. “I thought that whenever Nevada made a run, our answer was to get the defense going and really sit down and get after it. It was good to see us get into a running game off of our defense.”
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At the start of the game, sophomore Bianca Blanaru led the Cougars. The Romanian native surpassed her career high less than 80 seconds into the game with five points. Blanaru finished with seven points, including 3 of 3 from the free-throw line.
The Cougars dominated the second quarter, outscoring Nevada 17-6 over the 10-minute period. Hristova scored seven points for WSU while fellow Bulgarian and freshman Maria Kostourkova grabbed three rebounds. Kostourkova finished the game with five rebounds and a career-high eight points.
Washington State carried a 15-point lead into halftime.
In the opening 20 minutes, the Cougars forced the Wolf Pack into 18 turnovers, which led to 15 WSU points. The Cougars distributed the ball well, with eight scorers and 10 assists through the opening half.
The Cougars conclude the Rainbow Wahine Classic with a Sunday matchup against host school Hawaii. The game starts at 7 p.m. PST.
• In other games involving Pac-12 teams, California beat UC Riverside 64-58; Utah defeated George Mason 74-62; and UCLA beat James Madison 90-61.
• No. 4 Tennessee, playing at home, beat 25th-ranked Syracuse 57-55. Syracuse didn’t score in the last 5:11.