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Cougs’ loss mystifies

Saint Mary’s center Louella Tomlinson looks to block a shot by WSU’s Katie Grad.  (Associated Press)
Saint Mary’s center Louella Tomlinson looks to block a shot by WSU’s Katie Grad. (Associated Press)

June Daugherty has been a head basketball coach for two decades and was an assistant at Stanford after an All-American career at Ohio State.

Yet she was surprised by what she saw last week in Beasley Coliseum when her Washington State team lost to Saint Mary’s 80-70.

“It was one of the quirkiest games I’ve ever seen,” she said. “I went back and watched the tape and it’s even quirkier.”

The Cougars grabbed 38 offensive rebounds, which led to 103 shots, and held the Gaels to just 37 shots while forcing 36 turnovers.

“How do you lose the game?” Daugherty wondered.

The trouble was WSU shot just 26.2 percent for the game while Saint Mary’s was a blistering 67.6 percent – and a staggering 10 for 12 on 3-pointers.

“It was the weirdest,” she said. “You have to credit Saint Mary’s.”

She didn’t blame youth, though she starts three sophomores and two freshmen.

Kiki Moore, a 5-foot-8 point guard out of San Francisco, is making the biggest impact. She is averaging 14.6 points and 5.1 rebounds with 31 steals and 27 assists in seven games.

Her arrival has allowed sophomore April Cook to settle in at shooting guard and lead the team in scoring at 15.1 ppg. Cook, Jazmine Perkins, who averages 12.6 points, and Rosie Tarnowski, who is just getting up to speed after minor knee surgery this fall, were starters as freshmen. Cook and Perkins averaged 14.0 and 13.8 points, respectively, and Tarnowski was second in rebounds at 5.3.

Carly Noyes, a 6-5 post from Moses Lake, has moved into the starting lineup and gives the Cougars a solid inside presence.

All the backups are young as well.

Point guard Danielle LeNoir is a sophomore, wing Katie Grad missed her true freshman season with a knee injury, junior Katie Madison sat out last season after transferring from Idaho and sophomore forward Lexie Pedersen (Shadle Park) has missed four games because of a concussion.

“All of them are dad-gummed young, but they’re so talented and they’re so competitive,” Daugherty said. “Each practice you can see them get better, each game you see them get better. We’re excited.”

Even with a few quirky games thrown in.


Junior Courtney Vandersloot is 16 points from becoming the 14th member of Gonzaga’s 1,000-point club. … Bulldogs coach Kelly Graves is five wins shy of 250 in his 13th season as a Division I coach. … Washington State lost freshman Ireti Amojo, who is from Germany, for the season to a knee injury suffered in practice.

Junior Lyndi Seidensticker (Lewis and Clark) had a season-high 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting as Montana State posted an 89-59 win over NAIA Montana State-Northern. … Senior Tonya Schnibbe (University) is 22 assists shy of the Weber State career record. … Junior Angie Bjorklund (U-Hi) had three 3-pointers and a game-high 15 points as No. 5 Tennessee destroyed No. 17 Texas 78-58 Sunday. She has 153 3-pointers, fourth on the Lady Vols’ career list. … Redshirt junior Heidi Heintz (Central Valley) is second in scoring and rebounding (10.9, 4.3) for UC Davis (5-3). She was just named the Big West player of the week after averaging 13.3 points in three wins. … Portland State junior Kelli Valentine (Mead) sprained an ankle in the opening minute of the Vikings’ last game and her status is questionable.