Waves Pull Out Strong 80-78 Come-From-Behind Win at Cal Poly
Shay Cooney-Williams hits game-winning shot to cap career-high 19 point effort.
Nov. 30, 2011
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - After being down most of the game, the Waves fought back in a true team effort, led by seniors Lauren Bell and Katie Menton and junior Shay Cooney-Williams to defeat Cal Poly 80-78 on the road Wednesday evening.
For the second straight game the Waves fought back from a double-digit deficit to pull out the road victory. On Wednesday the Waves were down by as much as 18 in the first half, but came together when it mattered. The Waves took the lead for good with 15 seconds left off Cooney-Williams' (Frisco, Texas/Frisco HS) fourth-straight basket. She scored 14 of her career-high 19 points in the final 12 minutes of play. Cooney-Williams also shot an impressive 9-of-10 from the field.
Bell (San Bruno, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral HS) played all 40 minutes for the Waves, staying consistent on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. She had 15 points and was tied for the team-lead with seven rebounds. Bell also led the team with seven assists and four steals from her point guard position.
Menton (Coarsegold, Calif./Yosemite HS) led the squad in the points category with 27 and was clutch down the stretch with key baskets for the Waves.
On the game, head coach Julie Rousseau said, "It is always great to be on the winning end. I am just proud of the kids for sticking with it. They are learning how to win and that is really important, especially early in the season. Kids are stepping up, we are asking them to do things some of them have never done before.
Shay had a big winning shot today. Lauren Bell has been spectacular for us all season. We are asking her to play a lot minutes and she barely comes out of the game. For her to be as sharp as she is on both the offensive and defensive sides of the court is special. Everyone has been stepping up and I am just proud of our team."
Sophomore forward Robie Mayberry (San Leandro, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd HS) started things off for the Waves with a three-pointer at the 19:41 mark. The host Mustangs would hit a three-pointer of their own to tie things up with 18:53 left in the first. At the 16:40 mark the Mustangs went on a seven-point run to go up six, 15-9 with 15:47 to go. Mayberry would hit her second three-pointer of the game to cut the lead to three, 12-9 with 15:29 left in the half.
With 13:32 left in the half and the Waves only down 17-14, the Mustangs went on a run to boost their lead to 33-15 with 9:32 left in the half. The Waves would cut it down to 13 off a three-pointer from Menton and a layup by Kelsey Patrick (Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak HS) at the 8:33 mark. However, the Mustangs would match their biggest lead of the day at the 7:46 mark with a three-pointer and a layup of their own.
The Waves would go on a 9-0 run over the next 1:30 to cut the deficit to nine, 38-29 at the 4:59 mark. With 3:26 left in the half Bell completed a three-point play to put the score at 42-34. Over the final minutes of the half the Waves and Mustangs would trade baskets and a Mustang layup with seven seconds left put the Waves down at the half 46-36.
At the half the Waves led the Mustangs with eight second chance points. Individually Menton led with 10 points and Bell had eight, along with four assists and three steals.
Jade McNorton (Boise, Idaho/Centennial HS) started off the scoring for the Waves in the second half as she drained a free throw to cut the deficit back to single-digits at nine, 46-37. Over the next five minutes the point differential hovered around 10 points. The Waves would cut the deficit to six at the 13:08 mark, 55-49 because of a 10-1 run punctuated by a layup by Menton.
The Mustangs continued to answer the Waves' attack, and through the 9:26 mark Cal Poly held a 66-56 lead. That was when Cooney-Williams made her presence known, scoring all six of the Waves' points as they went on a 6-0 run and cut into the Mustangs' lead, 66-62 with 7:31 left. Bell sank two free throws at the 7:06 mark to bring the Waves even closer, 66-64. The Mustangs would answer and extend their lead back to seven with 5:57 left, but the Waves continued their attack. Menton went on a six point run of her own, hitting a three-pointer and completing a three-point play to put the score at 74-72, Mustangs.
With 3:14 left Cooney-Williams tied the game up at 74-74 off a layup. The Mustangs would answer with their own layup to go up two, but the Waves tied the game up for the third time in the half off another two-pointer from Cooney-Williams after Bell set things up with an excellent pass. After the Mustangs hit two free throws, Cooney-Williams continued on her streak to tie things up 78-78 with 57 seconds left. The Waves played excellent defense on the next Mustang possession and Menton came up with the rebound. The Waves took a timeout with 32 seconds left in the half to set up a shot. Cooney-Williams struck again, with her fourth straight basket to give the Waves a 80-78 lead with 15 seconds to go. The Mustangs had a chance to equalize the score, but the Waves' defensive pressure prevented them from sinking a layup.
The Waves finished the game shooting 50.0 percent and forced the Mustangs into 19 turnovers. Second chance points (13) and points off turnovers (19) were key for the Waves in the game.
The squad returns to Malibu for only its second home game of the season, as the Waves host Cal State Northridge on Saturday (Dec. 3) at 4 p.m. PT at Firestone Fieldhouse.