CORVALLIS, Ore. – Freshman guard Lia Galdeira hit the go-ahead jumper with three seconds remaining to give Washington State a 51-49 road victory over Oregon State University Friday.
“Defense, defense, defense what an amazing job by our defense tonight, especially on the last two possessions,” head coach June Daugherty said. “We relied on our defense tonight and we were able to pull out a big win over a tough team on the road.”
Washington State won for the fifth in time in its last six games and improved to 10-14 overall and 6-7 in Pac-12 Conference play. Oregon State dropped to 9-16 overall and 3-10 in conference. WSU held the Beavers to 30.6 percent shooting and scored 20 points off of 18 OSU turnovers.
Galdeira finished with a game-high 17 points, five assists and four steals while junior forward Sage Romberg added 13 points and a team-high six rebounds.
Up 16 early in the second half, Washington State saw Galdeira hit a turnaround jumper from the left elbow to give the Cougars their third straight victory over the Beavers in Corvallis. OSU had two chances with under two seconds remaining to get a potential game-winning or go-ahead shot off but the Cougars defense came away with two stops to clinch the conference win.
“Lia is tough, tough exciting player who wanted the ball in her hands for that last shot and came up with a big time shot tonight,” Daugherty added. “Sage was in a great rhythm tonight. We had to keep on the floor and we ran some sets for her as she knocked down some big time shots while being matched up against some of their tougher defenders.”
Washington State scored the game’s first seven points as Galdeira opened with a three, Romberg followed with a jumper from the right elbow and Galdeira capped the run with a no-look pass to senior center Carly Noyes for a layup.
The Cougars defense continued to fluster the Beavers, allowing WSU to expand its lead. Galdeira delivered to more bullet passes in transition that resulted in layups for junior forward Hana Potter and sophomore forward Shalie Dheensaw. Minutes later, Dheensaw banked in a jumper for a 6-0 spurt and 21-10 lead. Minutes later, Galdeira knocked down a long three from the left wing, Noyes followed with a bucket and Romberg capped WSU’s 14-6 run with a three.
Washington State held Oregon State to 20 percent shooting and scored 14 points off 10 Beaver turnovers to lead 29-16 at the break. Galdeira led all scorers with nine points and Romberg recorded seven points along with five boards.
Galdeira hit at three and Edmondson added a pair of free throws to give WSU its largest lead of the night, 40-24 at the 14:55 mark. Minutes later, Oregon State caught fire from the outside, hitting a pair of threes and added two more buckets for a 10-2 run that cut the WSU lead to six with 6:53 remaining.
Romberg and Noyes answered with jumpers and Galdeira added a free throw to put Washington State back up nine with 1:57 remaining. Oregon State didn’t go away and made one more frantic rally, hitting a three and then stole the ball on consecutive WSU inbounds plays and hit buckets to tie the game up at 49 with 32 seconds left.
Washington State turned to Galdeira for the final shot as the freshman drove the lane and knocked down a turnaround jumper from the left elbow with three seconds to put the Cougars up by two. OSU then stepped out of bounds at midcourt on the ensuing inbounds play but the Cougars turned it back over on its inbounds play. OSU called timeout with 1.5 seconds left but Dheensaw broke up a pass before the Beavers got a shot off.
“We knew it was a going to be a battle tonight and it was great to come out of here with a win. We continue to see what this team, and these freshmen, can do in pressure situations and they played pretty well today,” Daugherty added. “Sunday is going to be a test to guard their (Oregon’s) up-tempo offense. We are going to have to play solid transition defense.”