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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Hristova scores career-high 38 as WSU beats Huskies in Pac-12 opener

Borislava Hristova (45) of Washington State, shown here in a game against Gonzaga earlier this season, scored a career-high 38 points in the Cougars’ win over Washington. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
From news services

SEATTLE – Borislava Hristova scored 12 of her career-high 38 points in the final quarter and pulled down a game-saving rebound of a potential tying shot at the buzzer and Washington State held off Washington 79-76 in a Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams Sunday.

Alexys Swedlund and Chanelle Molina scored 16 and 14 points, respectively, for the Cougars (6-6). Molina added nine rebounds and six assists.

The Huskies (7-6) made it a one-possession game 10 times in the fourth quarter, the last when Amber Melgoza, who had 27 points, scored on a coast-to-coast layup making it 78-76 with 11 seconds to go. She was fouled but missed converting the three-point play and Ula Motuga grabbed the rebound for WSU.

Hristova made a free throw and after a timeout, Melgoza took the final shot but her 3-point attempt bounced off the rim and into Hristova’s arms.

“I hope they’re not all that crazy, but if we end up with a win I’m all for it,” WSU coach Kamie Ethridge said.

“Bobi (Hristova) was unbelievable making huge shot after huge shot. It’s nice to have someone that can do that.”

A Hristova jumper put the Cougars ahead 9-8 midway through the opening quarter. She followed with a 3-pointer and WSU, which led by as many as 16, never trailed again.

Hristova was 16-of-24 shooting, the 16 field goals setting a program record. She was 4 of 6 on 3-pointers.

Her 38 points marked the third-highest scoring game for a Cougar in program history.

The Cougars’ win in Seattle was their first since since defeating the Huskies 83-72 on Feb. 20, 2015.

WSU is .500 for the first time this season after winning its Pac-12 opener for the first time since 2014-15.