WSU women win Pac-12 tourney opener minus ailing coach

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WSU's Lia Galdeira chases a loose ball while defended by Arizona State's Promise Amukamara during the second half Thursday at Seattle.

SEATTLE - Washington State's 48-41 Pac-12 women's basketball tournament win over Arizona State on Thursday night at KeyArena had Cougars assistant coach Mike Daugherty talking retirement.

Daugherty, husband of Cougars head coach June Daugherty, filled in for his ailing wife, who was rushed to a local hospital before the game with appendicitis, and recorded his first career win. June Daugherty was out of surgery and "doing well" according to Mike late Thursday night. Will she coach the Cougars' second-round game against Stanford (6 p.m., PAC12, P12WA) tonight?

"I hope so, because I want to retire 1-0," he said. "I'd like to go out undefeated."

No. 9 seed ASU (13-18) led the No. 8 seed Cougs (11-19) 18-13 at halftime.

"We told them at halftime, 'We're playing great defense,'" Daugherty said. "'The toughest team is going to win this game. If you guys just stay with it the ball will start going in.' Pretty much all of that came true."

WSU freshman Lia Galdeira, the conference's top-scoring freshman, totaled 17 points and five rebounds.ASU's Janae Fulcher scored 20 points.

June Daugherty's absence hung over this game. Daugherty was diagnosed with acute appendicitis Thursday afternoon before her squad arrived for shootaround and left immediately for a local hospital, leaving her husband to patrol the sidelines as she underwent surgery. It's the first game Daugherty has missed in her 24-year coaching career.

The Cardinal took it to the Cougars 72-50 when they met March 2 in Pullman.

"We're excited to play them," Mike Daugherty said. "We've got a game plan ... Hopefully it's a better game plan than the one we had last week when we played them, and we'll see if it works."

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