Alexys Swedlund led the Cougars with 20 points in the nonconference game. WSU was outrebounded 43-30.

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MORAGA, Calif. – A big third-quarter run was the difference as Saint Mary’s defeated Washington State 81-75 in a nonconference game Sunday.

WSU (0-2) lost its opener 91-76 at UC Davis on Friday.

Alexys Swedlund led the Cougars with 20 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the field and Borislava Hristova added 15 points.

Hristova’s layup with 2:11 left in the third quarter reduced the Gaels’ lead to 54-53, but Saint Mary’s responded by scoring the next seven points.

Swedlund made a three-point basket with 3:54 left in the game that made the score 77-73 in favor of Saint Mary’s, but both teams struggled the rest of the way — combining for six points.

WSU missed seven of its last eight shots from the field and made 39.4 percent for the game. The Gaels (1-1) shot 50.9 percent and also had a 43-30 rebounding advantage in a game attended by 307.

WSU shot nine free throws, compared with 26 for Saint Mary’s.

“We battled really hard today,” Cougars coach June Daugherty said. “For our second game out, we battled much better than the first time. I thought that where we lost the game was in the rebound trenches. We have to be able to finish defensive plays with people boxing out and grabbing rebounds and not allowing our opponents to get those second and third opportunities.”


• Top-ranked Connecticut used a balanced offense and a dominant defensive effort to start the season with a 78-53 victory over No. 10 Stanford.

Crystal Dangerfield scored 24 points for UConn at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, the host site for the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four.

Reserve DiJonai Carrington led Stanford (0-2) with 21 points.

• Other ranked Pac-12 teams fared better than Stanford, as No. 8 UCLA beat Presbyterian 76-40 and No. 11 Oregon defeated Drake 110-77.