UW women win first Apple Cup matchup over WSU, 65-56

Cougs Come Up Short

PULLMAN, Wash. The Washington State University women’s basketball team was outscored 14-2 at the free throw line by the University of Washington on Sunday afternoon, as the Cougars fell, 65-56, to open Pac-12 Conference play.

The Cougs managed to get to the line just six times on Sunday, while the Huskies attempted 17 shots from the charity stripe. WSU posted a higher field goal percentage (42.1%) than UW (38.6%) on the afternoon, but the 12-point differential at the charity stripe offset WSU’s shooting advantage from the field.

The loss drops the Cougars to 0-1 in Pac-12 play, while they remain a game over .500 on the season at 7-6. Meanwhile, the win improves Washington to 9-3 on the year and 1-0 in the Pac-12.

Despite a season-low 56 points against UW, Washington State had a quartet of players post double-digits in the scoring column. Senior Chanelle Molina paced the way with 15 points on a blistering 60% from the field. The point guard connected on three of her four shots from behind the arc, which provided half of WSU’s production from behind the arc on Sunday.

Redshirt Junior Jovana Subasic fell just a rebound shy of her second career double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench. The forward also collected a career-high three steals to go along with three assists. Sophomore Ula Motuga posted double-digits for the second-straight contest with 11 points, while redshirt senior Borislava Hristova collected 10 points to bring her within 29 points of Washington State’s all-time scoring record.

WSU held a one-point advantage at 13-12 after 10 minutes of play, as Motuga drained a shot from 30-plus feet out as the buzzer. Washington scored the first five points of the second stanza to take a 17-13 lead, but the Cougs responded with an 8-0 run that was capped off by a Molina steal-and-basket to put her team ahead, 21-17, with 4:01 left in the frame.

From that point, the Huskies went on a 14-3 run that extended into the third quarter, as WSU found itself down 31-24 at the 9:18 mark of the third stanza. Washington State was able to pull within a point of UW with back-to-back 3-point field goals from Subasic and Molina made it 35-34 with 5:59 on the clock.

The Cougs went cold from the field after Molina’s three-pointer, as they didn’t hit a shot from the field in over five minutes, to allow Washington to jump out to a game-high 12-point lead at 47-35.

Washington kept Washington State at bay over the final 10 minutes of play, as WSU never got closer than six points in the fourth quarter, due in large part to the Huskies shooting 60% from the field in the last stanza.

The Cougars will be back in action this Friday, Jan. 3, as Washington State opens 2020 at No. 4/5 Stanford. Tip-off from the Golden State is set for 7 p.m. PT and will be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Network Bay Area.

Head Coach Kamie Ethridge on Today’s Loss: 
“The better and more aggressive team won tonight. They got the breaks; they got every loose ball and they played with more energy than we did. They got a lot of calls and got to the free throw line and that’s an indication of a more aggressive team. We struggled in every phase of the game. We struggled mightily on the offensive end, and they turned us over a little bit too much. It was just a bad night for us offensively.”

Coach Ethridge on Washington State’s Defensive Struggles: “Washington plays a unique style of basketball and they spread the floor. I thought we made some bad mistakes throughout the game where we tried to play help defense and they hit timely threes. Their 3-point shooting killed us in the first half, but ultimately even with that, 65 points shouldn’t be enough to beat you, especially at home. They switched a lot on defense, especially in the post, and with our youth in the post, we weren’t able to make them pay for switching. They got us out of rhythm today, especially for Bobi and Chanelle, and it’s tough on us when those two aren’t clicking offensively.”

– R­­­edshirt junior Jovana Subasic and redshirt senior Borislava Hristova extended their double-digit scoring streaks on Sunday with 12 and 10 points respective against the Huskies. For Subasic, it’s now six games in double figures, while Hristova pushes her streak to seven contests.

– Redshirt sophomore Johanna Muzet set a new career-high with seven rebounds on Sunday, while the Lyon, France native matched her career-best in assists with five.

– Sophomore Ula Motuga posted a season-high 11 points for the second-consecutive contest.

– Senior Chanelle Molina connected on three-of-four attempts from behind the arc, as the Kailua Kona, Hawaii native has now hit at least one 3-point field goal in 12 of the 13 games this season.

– Today’s loss snaps a two-game winning streak for the Cougars in the Boeing Apple Cup Series. The defeat also extends WSU’s conference losing streak to six games.