STILLWATER, Okla. – The Washington State women’s basketball team lost its first contest of the season Monday night, falling to Oklahoma State, 70-60, at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
WSU freshman Borislava Hristova led the Cougars with 22 points while redshirt-freshman Nike McClure and senior Mariah Cooks each grabbed five rebounds for WSU. The Cowgirls had three scorers in double figures, led by senior Brittney Martin with 24 points.
WSU (5-1) played strong defensively, forcing OSU (6-0) into a season-high 27 turnovers. McClure’s five rebounds in 10 minutes of play was a career-high. The Cowgirls outrebounded WSU 44-34, but were held below their plus-19.0 average rebound margin. In a physical game with more than 50 fouls, Oklahoma State found its way to the line 31 times, converting 20 shots from the stripe, while WSU made 9 of 13 freethrows.
In the opening minutes of the game, the Cougars forced OSU into six turnovers, taking a five-point lead with 6:11 remaining in the first quarter. The Cowgirls would respond to take a four-point lead, before WSU scored four-unanswered points to close the quarter leading 17-16. WSU held OSU’s Martin scoreless in the opening period and grabbed six steals.
Washington State controlled a physical, back-and-forth second quarter with the Cougars leading or tied for nine minutes of the period. In the game, the lead changed five times and was tied five times. WSU took a 34-33 lead into halftime, as both teams scored 17 points in the second period. Ten Cougars scored in the opening half, led by Hristova with 11 points.
The third quarter proved the difference-maker as the Cowgirls limited WSU to just 10 points in the 10-minute span, while scoring 21 points to build a double-digit lead. Oklahoma State rattled off nine straight points to take a 52-40 lead with two minutes to play in the third period. The teams exchanged buckets to conclude the quarter, and OSU entered the fourth quarter leading 54-44.
The Cowgirls continued their strong run of play in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, building a 19-point lead before the Cougars would respond. WSU began to chip away at the deficit with 5:52 remaining in the game and cut the deficit to seven points with 52 seconds left to play. Oklahoma State sealed its victory from the free throw line.
Washington State continues its nine-day trip Thursday at Boise State at 6 p.m. PST inside Taco Bell Arena.
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