Washington State University dropped a 59-45 contest to No. 20 University of Colorado Friday.
Colorado improved to 21-5 overall and 10-5 in conference after holding WSU (10-16, 6-9 Pac-12) to 19.6 percent shooting and tallied 25 points off of Cougars turnovers. Washington State went 21-of-28 from the free throw line but was held to 2-for-10 from behind the arc.
“Colorado has been doing this to teams all year and again they played well on defense and tough inside tonight,” head coach June Daugherty said. “We played tough defense of our own, keeping it a six-point game down the stretch. We just had too many turnovers and struggled inside against their big front line.”
Freshman forward Lia Galdeira led the Cougars with 12 points, seven rebounds and four steals and freshman forward Mariah Cooks added 10 points and five boards.
“I thought Mariah came up big again for us for the second straight game. She really worked hard underneath, played with aggressiveness and gave us a spark off the bench,” Daugherty added. “We have to do a better job inside on both ends of the floor.”
The Cougars owned an early lead after receiving layups from senior center Carly Noyes and redshirt-senior guard Katie Grad. Colorado answered with a 10-0 run and later grew its lead to 21-8 with 8:37 remaining.
Late in the half, Washington State received a boost from veteran as redshirt-junior guard Ireti Amojo knocked down a baseline jumper that sparked a 10-1 run. Freshman guard Dawnyelle Awa followed with a three from the right corner the ensuing possession before freshman guard Taylor Edmondson drained a three from the left wing. Junior forward Hana Potter capped the run with a fastbreak layup to make it a four-point game.
Colorado scored the final bucket of the half and took a 26-19 lead into the break. Both teams struggled from the floor in the first 20 minutes as WSU was held to 21.9 percent and the Buffaloes, 28.1 percent.
Washington State stayed within seven points early in second half as Cooks went to work down low in the post, scoring 10 points in the second 20 minutes. Midway through the half, the Cougars knocked down six straight free throws for a 6-0 spurt that kept them within seven, 42-35 at the 9:46 mark.
Minutes later, a Cooks layup cut the Colorado lead to six, with 6:34 remaining but the Buffs answered with a three and followed an 11-0 streak to pull away for good.
Washington State will close out its road slate Sunday against the University of Utah. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. (PT).