A last ditch effort and a pair of career efforts proved to not be enough as Washington State dropped a 69-67 decision to No. 18 Kentucky on Wednesday in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Cougars (5-6) closed out nonconference play with the loss to the Wildcats (9-3), who ran their streak to 65-straight nonconference wins in Memorial Coliseum.
WSU was led by Alexys Swedlund with a career-high 20 points on a career-best six 3-pointers. She also had three of the Cougs’ nine steals. Freshman Channel Molina had a career-best 17 points to go with five assists.
Down by as much as nine in the final period, the Cougars fought their way back, tying it at 67 with 1:12 to go on a 3-pointer by Swedlund. Despite the rally, the comeback was not to be as the Wildcats hit a pair of free throws in the final minute and the Cougars saw a pair of put-backs fall short.
Makayla Epps led Kentucky with 20 points, Evelyn Akhator scored 19 points with 13 rebounds and Maci Morris added 14 points.
With the finish of non-conference play, the Cougars start Pac-12 play when they return from the holiday break. Conference play begins on Dec. 27 with the instate rivalry as the Cougars go to Seattle to take on No. 9 Washington.
Tulane 63, Eastern Washington 51: The Eagles had three players post 13 points apiece, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to Tulane in the team’s first contest of the 21st Annual Tulane Classic in New Orleans.
Eastern had to shake off some rust after an unexpected 10-day layoff due to the cancellation of last Sunday’s game at Air Force. Ashli Payne, Delaney Hodgins and Violet Kapri Morrow scored 13 points apiece to make up 39 of the team’s 51 points on the night.
Eastern (5-5) looked like it was in the midst of a comeback towards the end of the third quarter, as a 12-4 run pulled the Eagles to within four points at 47-43. The run was capped off by a 3-point field goal from redshirt senior Tisha Phillips at the 2:23 mark of the frame.
But Tulane (7-4) held Eastern to just two points over the next 7:33 to build a 13-point advantage with 4:50 left to play in the fourth quarter.
Eastern Washington went 8 of 26 from behind the arc on the night.
The Eagles will conclude their stay in the 21st Annual Tulane Classic Thursday afternoon in the consolation game against Drake. Tip-off from New Orleans is set for 1 p.m.
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