PULLMAN, Wash. – No. 17 UCLA shot 85 percent in the second half and pulled away late to defeat Washington State 80-65 in a Pac-12 Conference contest at Beasley Coliseum Sunday.
Freshman guard Lia Galdeira scored a game-high 19 points for WSU (9-14, 5-7 Pac-12) who saw its four-game winning streak snapped. UCLA improved to 19-4 overall and 10-2 in conference play after hitting 17-of-20 field goal attempts in the second half and scoring 50 points from inside to the paint.
Junior forward Sage Romberg added 10 points for Washington State who shot a season-high 44.3 percent from the floor and scored 27 points off of UCLA’s 23 turnovers. The Bruins shot 63.8 percent and had five players score in double figures.
The Cougars used a 7-0 run to own an early 9-4 lead as Galdeira hit a pair of free throws and added a stepback jumper before Romberg knocked down a long three from the right wing. Sophomore forward Shalie Dheensaw later scored on spinning post move and freshman forward Mariah Cooks followed with a baseline drive to put Washington State up five at the 14:39 mark.
Both teams traded baskets for most of the first half as Romberg added another three before UCLA used a 6-0 spurt to take a 26-22 lead. WSU countered with a 7-0 run as Galdeira drove the lane for a layup, redshirt-senior guard Katie Grad hit a free throw, Galdeira scored on a fastbreak layin and junior forward Hana Potter capped the run with layup and a 32-28 advantage for the Cougars.
The Bruins countered with a three and scored the final six points of the half to take a 34-32 lead into the break. Romberg and Galdeira both tallied eight points for WSU who shot 50 percent in the first half but saw UCLA score 24 points from inside the paint in the first 20 minutes.
Early in the second half, Washington State took a 42-41 lead on Romberg’s runner but the UCLA offense erupted, scoring nine straight points and using a 16-3 run over a four minute stretch to build a double-digit lead at the 11:40 mark.
WSU made one last push as Galdeira made things interesting with her own 7-0 run before redshirt-junior Ireti Amojo hit a three in the right corner to bring WSU within 11 with 4:35 remaining. UCLA again answered by getting the ball down low and picked up a couple more baskets from inside the paint and went on to hit its free throws and post the victory.
Washington State hits the road for its next four contests beginning with matchups against the Oregon schools next weekend. The Cougars will face Oregon State University, 7 p.m. Friday and the University of Oregon, 4 p.m. Sunday on the Pac-12 Networks (Washington).