PULLMAN — One remarkable losing streak down, one to go for the Washington State women’s basketball team.
The Cougars snapped an 18-year, 36-game losing streak against arch-rival Washington by edging the Huskies 82-80 Tuesday evening.
Lia Galdeira poured in 28 points for the Cougars, whose previous win against Washington was a 72-67 decision in Pullman on Feb. 25, 1995. The Cougars, 0-55 all-time against Stanford, hope to end that losing streak when the Cardinal visits WSU on Feb. 7.
As fans celebrated on the court with the Cougars, WSU coach June Daugherty — once fired at Washington — grabbed a court-side microphone and shouted, “That streak is over! It’s time for a new streak!”
A third straight win pushed the Cougars (9-6, 3-0 Pac-12) into a first-place tie with USC. The Cougars have not had a winning season or finished higher than sixth in the conference since 1995-96.
The Huskies (8-6, 1-2) lost their second straight game despite a 27-point performance by Jazmine Davis. She scored 20 points in the second half, when the Huskies rallied to take brief leads after falling behind 42-32 at the half.
“The first half, I’d say we were just a little complacent,” Davis said.
Daugherty, who was quickly hired by WSU after being fired by the Huskies in 2007 at the end of a successful 11-year run, has long played down the significance of the losing streak against Washington.
“I’m just glad it’s done,” she said.
“I think it’s big for her,” said WSU’s Tia Presley, who scored 13 points. “She’s probably more sick of hearing about the streak than anyone.”
Daugherty had been 0-12 against Washington since coming to WSU. She was 22-0 against the Cougars as Washington’s coach, having taken over in the second year of the streak.
The Huskies certainly respect Galdeira, who sank 11 of 23 shots and had four assists and four steals.
“Like Jaz (Davis) said, she’s a great player,” Mercedes Wetmore said. “She can get really hot. She’s really hard to guard with her fadeaway.”
Galdeira sank two free throws in a one-and-one situation to give WSU a four-point lead with 15.5 seconds left. Washington’s Talia Walton put back a rebound with 5 seconds to go. Presley then missed a free throw, and a desperation shot by Washington’s Chantel Osahor from beyond midcourt bounced harmlessly off the right side of the glass as time expired.
Each team had four players score in double figures, including Washington center Katie Collier. She scored 12 points before sitting out the final nine minutes after being hit in the face while pursuing a loose ball.