February 1, 1998 in Sports

Ucla Rebounds To Wound WSU Cougs See Healthy Lead Turn Into A Painful Loss

By The Spokesman-Review

If Thursday’s loss hurt, then the outcome of the Washington State women’s basketball game on Saturday afternoon should be wrapped in bandages and checked into an intensive care unit.

After building a 17-point second-half lead, the Cougars could only nurse it for so long before falling to UCLA 76-70 at Friel Court.

The Cougars - playing one of their most inspired first halves of the season - took the lead early, led 40-28 at the half and increased their advantage to 52-35 with 15 minutes remaining.

But the possibility of upsetting the red-hot Bruins vanished when Doreen Evans’ ill-advised pass bounced off the fingertips of Tricia Lamb with 28 seconds left and UCLA ahead 69-67.

“As mad as I was at halftime, the players were even madder,” said UCLA coach Kathy Oliver.

The Bruins began taking over with a 10-0 run that cut the lead to 52-42 with 11:22 remaining.

But the Cougars weren’t done, particularly 6-foot-4 freshman forward Alke Dietel. After the Bruins pulled within 54-49 with 8:13 remaining, Dietel landed her fifth 3-pointer. Just 90 seconds later, she hit as pretty a 15-foot jumper as you’ll see to give the Cougars a 63-50 lead.

Dietel continually stunned the Bruins with her 3-point bombs. She led the Cougars with 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting. She also paved the way from 3-point range, hitting 5 of 9 of the Cougars’ 10 of 24 treys.

Senior guard Yvonne Kunze added 15 points and had six rebounds. UCLA’s Maylana Martin led both teams with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

“The only thing that’s frustrating to me is, with this type of an effort Thursday night, it’s a 30-point win for us,” Washington State coach Harold Rhodes said.

The Cougars, who lost to Southern California on Thursday, now have slipped to 9-9, 3-6 in the Pac-10 Conference. UCLA, winner of seven of its last eight games, improved to 12-6, 7-2.

After the Cougars rebuilt their lead to 13 points, UCLA outscored them 15-3 and trailed by just one when LaCresha Flannigan drained a wide-open baseline jumper with 1:47 to go.

With 39 seconds left, the Bruins took a 69-67 lead - their first since early in the game - when Marie Philman blew past Evans for a layup.

Washington State sprinted downcourt and a split second later, Evans threw an uncatchable pass that sailed off Lamb and landed out of bounds.

“I know what my players can and can’t do,” Rhodes said. “I put her (Evans) in a position where she was asked to do something that’s not her strength.”

The Bruins made 8 of 10 freethrows in the final 28 seconds. With 17 seconds left, Lamb hit 3 of 3 from the foul line but it was too late.

When the outcome still was undecided, the Cougars were 4 of 7 from the free-throw line. Both teams missed 11 free throws. WSU was 19 of 30 and UCLA was 20 of 31.

“The two things as far as not pulling this game out … ” said Rhodes. “We missed critical free throws and I didn’t use the timeouts wisely. I put Doreen in a bad position. And nobody can go and point the finger there.”

Rhodes had two timeouts left when UCLA took the lead.

“Now, you use your timeout, set the play, get the ball into the playmaker’s hand … maybe set something up for Kunze. Who knows?” Rhodes said.

UCLA 76, Washington St. 70

UCLA (12-6, 7-2) - Philman 4-7 6-10 14, Martin 11-14 2-4 24, Hubbard 2-3 2-2 6, Gomez 3-9 8-10 14, Grimes 1-3 0-0 2, Pearson 0-5 0-0 0, Houser 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 0-3 0-0 0, Veasley 5-7 1-2 11, Funicello 0-1 0-0 0, Flannigan 2-5 0-2 5. Totals 28-57 19-30 76.

Washington State (9-9, 3-6) - Dietel 8-17 2-3 23, Evans 1-5 1-2 3, Kunze 4-12 7-10 15, Nyseth 1-4 1-2 4, Lamb 3-6 7-9 14, Harrod 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 2-5 0-0 6, Kerns 1-4 2-4 5, Volkman 0-2 0-1 0, Rubio 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-56 20-31 70.

Halftime - Washington State 40, UCLA 28. 3-point goals - UCLA 1-4 (Flannigan 1-1, Grimes 0-1, Pearson 0-1, Jackson 0-1), Washington State 10-24 (Dietel 5-9, Smith 2-5, Kerns 1-1, Nyseth 1-2, Lamb 1-3, Evans 0-2, Volkman 0-2). Fouled out - Martin. Rebounds - UCLA 48 (Martin 10), Washington State 32 (Evans 8). Assists - UCLA 24 (Gomez 6), Washington State 21 (Evans 5). Total fouls - UCLA 24, Washington State 22. Technicals - None. A - 884.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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