Cougars hit 12 3s in 76-72 upset of No. 10 Huskers

June Daugherty knew she had a good 3-point shooting team. It

took until Saturday for her Washington State Cougars to really show

it.

The Cougars made a season-high 12 shots from beyond the arc and

held off Nebraska twice after building big leads in a 76-72 upset

of the No. 10 Cornhuskers. It was the WSU program’s first win over

a Top 10 team.

”Honestly, not to be boastful, this is what I know this team

can do,” Daugherty said. ”We went to Europe in August and this is

what we were doing. We hadn’t found our rhythm from the 3-point

line, although we have some very good shooters. The key for us was

we were moving the basketball better tonight.”

The Cougars (4-4) made 9 of 17 3s in the first half, most

against Nebraska’s zone defense, while getting out to a 45-38 lead.

It was 58-40 early in the second after Lia Galdeira and Sage

Romberg combined for three more early in the second, and the

Cougars’ lead was 19 points with under 13 minutes.

”Right now we’re playing defense like we hope they miss as

opposed to let’s make them miss,” Nebraska coach Connie Yori said.

”We knew that defensively that we had a lot of work to do, and I

thought they hit shots, but we’re just not able to take a lot of

things away from opponents right now.”

The Huskers (6-1) made it a one-point game late but couldn’t

finish the comeback against a WSU team picked to finish ninth in

the Pac-12.

”A lot of our girls had never played in an arena this loud, so

for us to keep our composure and poise when they came back on us

showed that we can hang with some of the top teams,” said Tia

Presley, who scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half.

Galdeira added 14 points and reserve Taylor Edmondson and

Dawnyelle Awa had 13 apiece for the Cougars.

Jordan Hooper led the Huskers with 24 points but was 6 of 27

from the field. Emily Cady had 13 points, Hailie Sample added 11

and Rachel Theriot and Tear’a Laudermill 10 apiece.

”We weren’t efficient enough offensively to beat a team that’s

a good offensive team,” Yori said. ”We knew we would have to

score some in order to beat them. They go 12 for 25 from the

3-point line and we have the same shots and go 4 for 18. There you

go.”

Cady scored 10 points during a 16-0 spurt that got the Huskers

within 63-60 with 8 minutes to play, and it was a one-point game

after Laudermill’s left-handed scoop putback.

The Huskers were still within 71-69 after Hooper hit a

3-pointer, and three times in a row they had chances to tie or go

ahead.

Presley made two free throws to make it a five-point game with

14 seconds left. Hooper hit a 3 to cut it to 74-72, but Shalie

Dheensaw made two free throws with 4.6 seconds to play for her only

points of the game.

”They’re a really good shooting team, and we knew that coming

in,” Hooper said. ”We just didn’t find them quick enough. When we

found them, unfortunately, they already had shot the shot and made

it.”

The Cougars, who came in shooting 28 percent on 3-pointers, made

six shots from beyond the arc in the first 10 minutes to open a

double-digit lead that grew to 15. Yori called a timeout, and after

that the Huskers went on a 16-0 surge that produced a brief lead.

But Brandi Thomas and Sage Romberg made 3s in the last 1:23, and

Washington State led 45-38 at half.

”We reminded them that it’s a game of runs and they’re a great

team ranked 10th in the country for a reason and undefeated,”

Daugherty said. ”We’re going to make our runs, too. That was the

same message the second half.”

The Cougars got first-half offense from an unlikely source in

Edmondson, who averaged 3.7 points and had made a total of three 3s

in seven games. She went 3 for 4 from long range in the first half

and scored 11 of her points the first 20 minutes.

”It’s no surprise to me. She comes off the bench right now but

she could start,” Daugherty said. ”Taylor knows that she’s a good

scorer and that she has the green light, and it was great to see

her in this atmosphere.”