MORE PALOUSE HOOPS: WSU follows lead of Hristova, Molina in win over Arizona

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PULLMAN — Washington State’s Borislava Hristova and Chanelle Molina hardly wavered against visiting Arizona, despite the underdog tag.

They combined for 65 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds on over 71 percent from the floor in the Cougs’ 90-88 win over the Wildcats on Saturday at Beasley Coliseum, which snapped a seven-game skid for WSU.

Hristova scored 37, one shy of her career high, and nabbed six boards, while Molina had nine dishes and booked 28 points to tie her season-best.

Alexys Swedlund provided a boon with 12 points for a Cougars team that shot a season-best 57.4 percent overall.

WSU (8-16, 3-10 Pac-12), which assisted on 25 of 35 field goals, concocted several runs throughout that generally were in response to Arizona (15-8, 5-7) outbursts, many led by the top scorer in the league, Aari McDonald, who managed 26 points.

“I just am really proud of our team and how hard we sustained our effort,” WSU coach Kamie Ethridge said. “I think that has been a big problem for us to sustain effort, execution, and focus and ... purpose through a 40-minute game.”

Hristova and Molina closed it at the line after a final Wildcat flurry was assembled too late.

ARIZONA (15-8, 5-7)

McBryde 3-7 1-1 8, Reese 8-15 2-4 19, Thomas 7-9 0-0 16, Alonso 5-7 0-0 14, McDonald 7-16 12-14 26, Graham 0-2 0-0 0, Smith 1-2 0-0 2, Nixon 1-1 0-0 3, Totals 32-59 15-19 88.

WASHINGTON ST. (8-16, 3-10)

Hristova 14-19 8-10 37, Motuga 1-3 0-0 2, Kostourkova 0-4 1-2 1, Cha. Molina 11-16 2-2 28, Swedlund 5-11 0-0 12, Levy 0-2 0-0 0, Subasic 3-4 0-0 6, Jones 1-2 1-2 4, Cel. Molina 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 35-61 12-16 90.

Arizona 15 23 20 30—88

Washington St. 18 24 23 25—90

3-Point Goals — Arizona 9-15 (McBryde 1-1, Reese 1-3, Thomas 2-2, Alonso 4-5, McDonald 0-3, Nixon 1-1), Washington St. 8-18 (Hristova 1-1, Motuga 0-2, Cha. Molina 4-7, Swedlund 2-5, Levy 0-1, Jones 1-2). Assists — Arizona 15 (McDonald 6), Washington St. 25 (Cha. Molina 9). Fouled Out — Arizona Thomas, Rebounds — Arizona 25 (McDonald 6), Washington St. 30 (Hristova 6). Total Fouls — Arizona 19, Washington St. 17. Technical Fouls — None.A — 711.

MENMontana St. 86, UI 72

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Montana State capitalized from the foul line, shot 54 percent from the field and shared the scoring in its handling of Idaho.

UI (4-19, 1-11), which has won once since Dec. 1, shot 51 percent, but was outrebounded and committed more than twice as many fouls as the Bobcats (11-12, 8-5), who knocked down 25-of-28 freebies.

“That was the difference in the game, when they outscore you by 22 at the free-throw line,” UI coach Don Verlin said. “We gotta do a better job guarding without fouling. It was tough to overcome that margin.”

MSU, which held a 13-point edge at intermission, had five in double figures — Harald Frey led the way with 17 points.

For UI, Cameron Tyson had a team-best 14, Geno West logged 11 and Trevon Allen and Jared Rodriguez chipped in 12 apiece.

“Our pace was up tonight; we did a good job moving the ball,” said Verlin, whose team went 13-of-26 from deep. “We had a number of good offensive possessions. ... In the first half, offensively, we had some execution errors.”

IDAHO (4-19, 1-11)

Rodriguez 6-10 0-2 12, Smits-Francisco 2-2 0-0 4, Tyson 5-10 0-0 14, Allen 5-14 0-0 12, Mitchell 3-5 0-0 9, Samb 2-4 1-1 6, Blakney 1-2 0-0 2, Kamara 0-2 0-0 0, Smith 0-0 2-2 2, West 4-6 0-0 11. Totals 28-55 3-5 72.

MONTANA ST. (11-12, 8-5)

Blevins 5-8 4-4 16, Kirby 6-6 2-4 14, Frey 5-11 5-6 17, Daniels 2-5 0-0 4, Hall 5-13 2-2 13, Guliford 0-0 0-0 0, Ricketts 1-3 3-3 6, Neumann 2-3 9-9 13, Haruna 0-0 0-0 0, Schuecker 0-0 0-0 0, Nikkarinen 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 27-50 25-28 86.

Halftime — Montana St. 45-32. 3-Point Goals — Idaho 13-26 (Tyson 4-8, West 3-4, Mitchell 3-4, Allen 2-6, Samb 1-1, Kamara 0-1, Rodriguez 0-2), Montana St. 7-22 (Blevins 2-3, Frey 2-7, Nikkarinen 1-1, Ricketts 1-3, Hall 1-7, Neumann 0-1). Fouled Out — Samb, Blakney. Rebounds — Idaho 23 (Rodriguez 8), Montana St. 25 (Frey, Blevins 5). Assists — Idaho 19 (Allen 5), Montana St. 17 (Frey 7). Total Fouls — Idaho 24, Montana St. 11. A — 3,004 (8,455).

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