From Pullman– The Washington State women’s basketball team (2-1) couldn’t keep up with the Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-0) in the second half of the game on Wednesday night; as the Cornhuskers picked up an 82-61 road win. Nebraska went on a 21-5 run, at the beginning of the second half, to take control of the game.
Washington State came out of halftime unable to keep Nebraska out of the lanes in the first ten minutes of the second half. The Cougar defense failed to rotate several times throughout the second half and that left Nebraska lanes to drive into.
“They [Nebraska] went on a run because we weren’t rotating on defense.” Said senior center Shalie Dheensaw, “I mean we’ve talked about this. When our defense works, it works beautifully — you’ve seen that the first two games.”
Nebraska’s guard Rachel Theriot exploited the lanes that the defense created all night, as she had five shots within five feet of the net.
Rotating wasn’t the defense’s only problem on Wednesday night, as the players and coaches frequently referred to the lack of communication on the defensive end of the court.
“They get the easy buckets when we don’t talk, don’t move.” said Dheensaw.
The communication lapses were evident throughout the night, as WSU’s guards were quick to collapse on the ball handler inside the paint and leave Nebraska guard Tear’a Laudermill open past the arc. Laudermill hit three of her eight three point attempts, as she scored 26 points for the Cornhuskers.
Offensively, the Cougars struggled to find a rhythm and made several poor shots. The offense never really moved the ball like it is supposed to, which hindered the team’s ability to score points.
“You’ve got to catch the ball in rhythm,” said Washington State head coach June Daugherty. “And if you’re not going to take the shot, then great. Then move it.”
As the offense continued to struggle scoring, it put more pressure on the defensive end of the court to make stops. Unfortunately, the defense was unable to step up to make those stops as the Cornhuskers kept a fast pace on offense and didn’t let the Cougs get set defensively.
It was a bad night for the women’s basketball program, but there was a lot to take away from the game.