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Cougs Win Third-Straight Over UW in Seattle to Start 2020-21

Dec 11, 2020

Kamie Ethridge Postgame | Boxscore

SEATTLE – The Washington State women's basketball team began the 2020-21 season on the winning side of the scoreboard, as the Cougars knocked off in-state rival Washington, 60-52, in Pac-12 Conference action Friday, Dec. 11. The win gives WSU its first three-game winning streak over the Huskies in Seattle for the first time in the NCAA era.

Today's contest marked the first time in program history that WSU has opened a season with a Pac-12 opponent. With the win, Washington State also improves to 1-0 on the year in Pac-12 play. It is the second time in the last three seasons that WSU has opened up Conference play with a victory. For Washington, they fall to 3-2 and 1-2 in Pac-12 play.

Washington jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, but Washington State responded with a 29-4 run, that extended into the second quarter, and never looked back. The Cougar defense led the charge, as WSU forced eight UW turnovers during the extended run.The Cougars led by as many as 23 points on Friday en route to winning their third-straight road contest over UW in 45 years. The last time Washington State won three-consecutive road games over Washington came between Feb. 23, 1974-Feb. 20, 1975.
 
Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker had an impactful debut, as the Waikato, New Zealand native scored a team-high 20 points and four steals, and tied for the team lead in rebounds with seven caroms in her first game in a WSU uniform. The first-year guard collected 16 points through the first two quarters of play against the Huskies to help Washington State jump out to a 37-16 lead at the break.

Leger-Walker becomes just the sixth WSU freshman over the last 10 seasons to score 20-or-more points in a game, and she becomes the first freshman to score 20 points in a game since Chanelle Molina's 33-point performance against UCLA back on Jan. 6, 2017.

Junior Ula Motuga collected a career-high 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting. The Logan, Australia native matched Leger-Walker's performance on the glass with seven rebounds, one shy of her career-high. Sophomore Bella Murekatete also pulled down seven rebounds to go along with six points and three blocks in 19 minutes of action.

Washington State now takes a 1-0 advantage over Washington in this year's Boeing Apple Cup Series. The next game in the Series comes on Feb. 28, when the Cougars host the Huskies for Senior Day at Beasley Coliseum.
COUG QUOTES
Coach Ethridge on The Season-Opening Victory: "I'm really happy for our team. If you asked me, I'd prefer to have a game under our belt before playing a conference rivalry game. When we knew that wasn't going to be the case, and we thought we would have an advantage because no one really knows how capable our players are right now. We got a great effort from Charlisse Leger-Walker. We think she is going to be a great player for us. Even though we won, I didn't think we were really sharp and we didn't get into a rhythm. But for us to overcome that and pick up a win on the road is huge for this program. I'm thrilled for this team."

Coach Ethridge on the 29-4 Run: "I thought we were really locked in defensively. I think we have some really good defenders, maybe a little better than what we've had in the past. We got them out of rhythm and we put enough points on board to get some separation. I think we're a deeper team this year, so it lets us play more people, if we need to.

COUG NOTES

  • Three players made their WSU debut in Friday's win, as redshirt senior Krystal Leger-Walker, sophomore Johanna Teder and freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker logged their first minutes in a Coug uniform.
  • Redshirt senior Krystal Leger-Walker scored eight points and pulled down six rebounds in her WSU debut. The point guard also dished out three assists. Meanwhile, Johanna Teder added three points and five assists.
  • With today's season-opening win, head coach Kamie Ethridge moves to 2-1 in season openers, and has now won back-to-back season-opening contests.
  • Head coach Kamie Ethridge improves to 4-1 against Washington at WSU. The four wins are the most by a WSU Coach against Washington in the NCAA Era.
  • Washington State collected its first season-opening win on the road since the 2000-01 season, when the Cougs collected a 59-52 win at American.