Freshman guard Lia Galdeira set a Washington State freshman single-game record with 33 points as the Cougars dropped their season-opener 87-83 in double overtime Saturday to the University of Minnesota at the Best Buy Classic.
Washington State shot 42.5 from the floor and scored 27 points off of 29 Minnesota turnovers but surrendered a 55-39 rebounding advantage. The Golden Gophers, WBI champions last season, made 49 trips to the free throw line while the Cougars went 14-of-18 from the charity stripe.
Konawaena High School standout Galdeira went 12-for-27 from the field and 7-of-8 at the free throw line. The Hawaii native also grabbed three rebounds and five steals in her collegiate debut.
Galdeira kept the Cougars in it during the first half, scoring 12 points in the first 20 minutes. WSU and Minnesota traded leads before UM closed the period with a 10-2 run and went into the break leading 26-19.
WSU opened the second half with five quick points on a bucket from Romberg and a three from Galdeira. Midway through the second half, the Cougars used a 6-0 run to cut the Golden Gophers lead to two with 7:42 remaining. WSU used two jumpers from Minnesota native Hana Potter and a layin from Thomas that brought WSU within two, 47-45.
The Cougars stayed within two buckets for the next couple minutes before a Romberg three again cut the lead to two with 24 seconds remaining.
The Golden Gophers went on to hit two free throws, Galdeira then drove the lane, got fouled, and hit both free throws to keep it a two point game, 65-63 Minnesota with 16 seconds left.
WSU fouled again but UM only hit one of two at the line and Romberg tied the game with a three in the corner with seven seconds remaining. Minnesota missed its three-point attempt at the buzzer.
The Cougars opened the first overtime with six straight points from Galdeira but the Golden Gophers came back with seven of their own to take a 73-72 lead with 56 seconds left. Romberg gave WSU the lead, 75-73 with a driving layup and free throw after she was fouled on the play.
Minnesota tied things up at 75 with a pair of free throws and both teams came up short in their final possessions that sent the game to its second overtime.
UM opened the final period with four straight points but Thomas connected from behind the arc to cut the UM lead to 79-78 with 2:54 left.
Galdeira followed with a steal and jumper to give WSU a one point advantage with just over a minute remaining. Minnesota answered with a pair of buckets but it was Galdeira, again, who gave WSU a chance, converting on all three of her free throw attempts after she was fouled on a 3-point attempt to bring WSU within one.
Following a Minnesota timeout, with time running down, WSU was forced to foul and the Golden Gophers hit both free throws to go up three. Galdeira’s three-point attempt didn’t fall on WSU’s possession and Minnesota came down with the rebound, got fouled and sealed things up with another free throw.
Galdeira’s 33 points is tied for the seventh-most in WSU single-game history and was the first 20-point effort by a WSU freshman since Ireti Amojo scored 21 points at Arizona in January 2011.
Galdeira broke the previous freshman record of 28 points shared by Nikki Mohr (Puget Sound – 11/26/83) and Jazmine Perkins (Northern Colorado – 11/28/08).
Galdeira, who is joined at WSU by Konawaena teammate Dawnyelle Awa, led her high school team to three Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I titles in the last four years.
Then, on Sunday, the Washington State University women’s basketball suffered a second overtime defeat, falling 65-56 to South Dakota State University in the consolation game of the Best Buy Classic.
Sophomore guard Tia Presley led a balanced effort for Washington State, notching a team-high 13 points along with career highs of eight rebounds and five assists.
Galdeira added 12 points and six boards while junior forward and Minnesota native Hana Potter grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds.
Washington State held the lead for most of the second half before the Jackrabbits used a 13-3 run late in the period to take a six point lead 5:51 remaining.
The Cougars return to Pullman to open a three-game homestand, beginning Friday against Monmouth University (N.J.) in Beasley Coliseum.
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