TEMPE, Ariz.- Washington State freshman guard Lia Galdiera scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds and swiped seven steals, as the Cougars (7-13, 3-6 Pacific-12) limited Arizona State (11-10, 3-6) to equal its season-low, winning 54-43, Friday.
“I think we just got really frustrated,” said ASU Coach Charli Turner Thorne, whose team also scored 43 in a loss to Colorado last month. “When we were aggressive, we did some good things, but we didn’t play strong enough to support that. This young team, when they couldn’t make shots, they went in the tank.”
The Cougars went on an 11-point run early, sparked with a Galdiera three . After Mariah Cooks scored a three to double ASU, 14-7, Turner Thorne called a timeout that only resulted in a WSU trey from Sage Romberg.
The Sun Devils got back in it with five unanswered from freshman Arnecia Hawkins, who had a career-high 18 points, to cut it to 17-12. A wide open Ireti Amojo (Berlin, Germany) brought WSU up 20-13, and Galdiera intercepted back-to-back steals, but only one resulted in a basket to make it 22-15. She would hit one more three in the first half’s final minute, as the Cougars went up by 10 at recess.
Midway through the second half, the Cougars’ lead swelled to 42-24, and ASU only had 26 with five mintues remaining before a cortet of late three pointers, including three from Hawkins. The Sun Devils only shot 18 percent in the final period, and they were outrebounded 46-35, being outscored in the paint 22-12.
Galdiera, at 5-foot-11 from Kamuela, Hawaii, is averaging 14 points per game and poured in 33 in her debut, a 2OT loss to the Minnesota Gophers.
“Lia’s a true freshman,” WSU Coach June Daugherty said, “she’s four-time Hawaii Player of the Year, three-time state champ, I thought she came out tonight with a lot of energy, she’s confident. We were moving the basketball against their zone, and she got some early looks, and I think her confidence grew. Every day she’s getting better.”
Coach Turner Thorne was also impressed with Galdiera.
“She’s been hot, she was hot the last game,” Turner Thorne said. “That was my only concern, we’re usually really good at locking down, and we gave her a few good looks. She’s a very good creator and obviously an aggressive scorer.”
Hawkins’ 18 on 7-of-12 shooting (4-of-6 from beyond the arc) would lead the Sun Devils, Haley Videckis scored seven, and Joy Burke collected eight rebounds. Carly Noyes also had eight points for WSU.
“Personally, I am glad I could step up to help my team, but overall, I am not really happy,” said Hawkins, who eclipsed her personal best of 11, from Dec. 12 versus San Diego. “Whether I was comfortable or not, I needed to get shots up, and my teammates kept finding me with good passes.”
The Cougars may have only won a half dozen games going into Friday, but they own the nation’s No. 22 ranked strength of schedule. In addition to Minnesota, they fell at the hands of nationally-ranked Louisville and Syracuse, but defeated then-No. 19 Ohio State.
“This is all my six freshmen know,” Daugherty said. “You have a chance to win when you go on the road; the Pac-12 is way better than its been in several years.”
The Sun Devils continue the season at 11 a.m. Sunday versus the Washington Huskies, while the Cougars head to Tucson to play the Wildcats at 2 p.m. the same day.
Friday night, Kristi Kingma led the Huskies (15-5, 7-2) with 22 points as they defeated the Wildcats (11-9, 3-6), 74-65, despite 20 from Davellyn Whyte.