Being there was a doubleheader in Kennewick and I was there early, I covered the WSU women's game with USF. On the link is the unedited version of the story we'll have in tomorrow's S-R. Read on.
• Here's is the story ...
KENNEWICK – In the course of the nonconference season, the Washington State University women's basketball team has struggled to make shots.
Home, road, it didn't matter. The Cougars entered Saturday's game with the University of San Francisco shooting 33.8 percent, 317th among the NCAA's 332 Division I teams.
Maybe they should play in the Toyota Arena more often. The Cougars shot 45.7 percent in the first half – their best opening half since the season opener – and 42.9 for the game in routing the Dons, 74-57.
Actually a big part of the improvement came from shot selection, in the sense WSU had the good sense to select 6-foot-5 post Carly Noyes as their No. 1 shooting option.
"We had great presence inside," said WSU coach June Daugherty. "That gave us a good inside/outside presence. We haven't had that in the last few games.
"Carly is just getting better and better. She's a true freshman and she was right on. It forced them to collapse the defense a little bit. Then she was able to kick it out too and hit those open shooters."
Noyes, the freshman from Moses Lake, towered over the Dons, whose center, Donnisha Taylor, stands 5-10.
Leading 12-11, WSU started feeding Noyes, who had eight points in a 17-7 run, hitting all four shots she took. She finished with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
"I was actually making my shots," answered Noyes, who played in the Toyota Arena with Moses Lake in state regionals, when asked what the difference was. "(My teammates) did a great job the first part (of the game) getting me the ball. It helped me build my confidence. All the credit goes to my teammates getting me the ball."
Jazmine Perkins did most of that, with five assists to go along with her nine rebounds and 11 points.
The Cougars, who evened their record at 5-5, keyed their offense with their defense, as is their usual method of operation. They limited USF to 29.6 percent shooting in the first half but more importantly forced 30 turnovers, turning them into 34 points, 23 of those in the first half.
"We count on our defensive identity to get it done," Daugherty said. "We were able to force turnover after turnover and get into our running game a little bit."
With a little more than 16 minutes left, USF (4-9) had just one less turnover (22) than it had points (23). It was at that point Noyes scored on a post move to give WSU a 20-point advantage. It wasn't the Cougars' largest – that would be 24 with 12:45 left – but it was more than the Dons were going to overcome.
Sophomore April Cook led the Cougars with 15 points, hitting 6-of-11 shots, while reserve Katie Grad added another 12 points.
Vania Singleterry, with one, was about the only Don who avoided the turnover bug – guards Brittany Brumfield and Rheina Ale combined for 13 – and as a result had 14 points. Ale led all scorers with 19 points, though 10 of those came in the game's final 6 minutes.
• That's it for now. We'll be back after the men's game. Until then ...