SEATTLE — Washington State women’s basketball coach June Daugherty tried to sit still, but the pull was too strong.
She popped up from her second-row seat early in the second half of the Cougars’ game against Stanford in the Pac-12 tournament at KeyArena. And she didn’t stop until she was on the court talking to her team as it huddled during a timeout. Nothing unusual. Except for the fact that less than 24 hours earlier she had undergone surgery for acute appendicitis.
Daugherty, who suffered a cardiac arrest in 2007, was medically cleared to attend the Cougars’ quarterfinal matchup. She was released from a Seattle hospital Friday morning and rested at the team hotel until the evening matchup. But she was supposed to keep calm.
By the second timeout in the second half of eighth-seeded WSU’s 79-60 loss to the top-seeded Cardinal, she was standing baseline with her husband, assistant coach Mike Daugherty. He was charged with coaching the game.
And she continued to participate in timeout huddles until the final buzzer.
“I’m all taped up and ready to go,” Daugherty said before the game.
And she wasn’t joking.
Daugherty began to feel pain in her stomach during her team’s shoot-around on Thursday. The WSU team physician advised the couple to take a taxi to a hospital, but June insisted her husband stay to coach the team’s first-round game that night against ninth-seeded Arizona State.
She was told after surgery that her team had beaten Arizona State. Mike Daugherty told media after the game that June was feeling fine and warned that if she was able to get to the hotel Friday, she would be on the sideline.
WSU was down 15-6 early Friday. Stanford All-American Chiney Ogwumike had a double-double five minutes into the matchup and finished with 23 points and 21 rebounds. It’s her second 20-20 game of the season.
It was the spurts of solid shooting and defensive stops by the Cougars (11-20) that were irresistible. Freshman guard Mariah Cooks made a pretty layin to make the deficit eight points (31-23) with 1:47 remaining in the first half.
WSU never led.
The Cougars have lost 55 consecutive games against the Cardinal, an NCAA record among active streaks. Only four of those losses, all early in the series, were by fewer than 10 points.
UCLA 54, Utah 43
Utah sophomore Cheyenne Wilson, a former star at Cleveland High School, was doing everything she could against UCLA.
Wilson nailed a jumper with 9:27 to play, giving the Utes their first lead of the game and visions of an upset over the third-seeded Bruins. But UCLA shut down the Utes the rest of the way, and pulled away for a 54-43 victory.
No. 14 UCLA (23-6) will play California in a semifinal matchup at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Forward Atonye Nyingfa and guard Jasmine Dixon scored 11 points apiece for the Bruins, who led by 13 late in the first half.
Wilson scored 10 for Utah, tying for team-high honors with Taryn Wicijowski and Michelle Plouffe. The Utes (18-12) are likely to be awarded a Women’s National Invitation Tournament bid.
California 78, USC 59
USC’s plan was to deny Gennifer Brandon rebounds.
The California junior recorded a Pac-12-record 26 in an eight-point overtime victory over USC in January and 10 in a seven-point win in February. In USC’s quarterfinal matchup Friday, it wasn’t even close.
Brandon grabbed 17 rebounds to help the Golden Bears win easily.
“I knew they were going to try to box me out, so I just slithered my way through it,” said Brandon, who scored a team-high 16 points.
Cal (28-2) was up 12-2 five minutes into the game and led 37-22 at halftime. The Bears, who won a share of their first conference regular-season title in program history, advance to the tournament semifinal round at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“I’ve played against Gennifer since eighth grade,” USC senior Christina Marinacci said. “We just go at each other and it’s fun. She got the best of me tonight … but I want to see her somewhere again, pickup game outside.”
USC finished its season at 11-20. USC has not advanced to the NCAA tournament since 2006.