Cougs Leap Back into Action Friday at Utah
SALT LAKE CITY – The Washington State women's basketball team returns to action after a 10-day break, as the Cougars kickoff a two-game Pac-12 Conference road trip at Utah this Friday, Jan. 1. Tip-off from the Huntsman Center is set for 11 a.m. PT and will be streamed live on Pac-12 Plus.
WASHINGTON STATE (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12) vs. Utah (2-4. 1-4) | Friday, Jan. 1 | 11 a.m. PT | Huntsman Center
Live Stats | WSUCougars.com
Watch | Pac-12 Plus (Utah Live Stream)
Listen | WSU IMG Radio Network (Steve Grubbs)
Game Notes | Click Here
>> The Cougs leap back into action this Friday after picking up a 73-52 win over Eastern Washington in Beasley Coliseum on Dec. 22. The Cougars had a season-high four players reach double-figures in the scoring column for the second-consecutive game, led by junior Ula Motuga's 13-point performance, to improve to 4-1 on the year.
>> The contest against Utah kicks off a brief two-game Pac-12 road trip for WSU against the Conference's mountain schools. After their battle against the Utes, the Cougars will head over to Boulder, Colorado for a Sunday-morning affair against the University of Colorado.
>> Washington State will be battling Utah for the 26th time in program history this Friday. The Utes have won six-straight games in the series and holds a 19-6 advantage all-time over the Cougars. The last WSU win in the series came on Feb. 5, 2017, when the Cougs collected a 61-55 win in Salt Lake City.
>> This past Monday, Charlisse Leger-Walker was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the second time in the past three weeks. The guard averaged 16.0 points per game, which was a league-high amongst freshmen last week. Leger-Walker opened her week by scoring 20 points against No. 8/7 Oregon. The 20-point performance by Leger-Walker against UO is the most points the Ducks have allowed to an opposing player this season. She followed up with a 12-point effort in 21 minutes of action against Eastern Washington.
>> The youngest Leger-Walker sister will be looking to extend her double-digit scoring streak to six games when she takes the court against the Utes this Friday. She is currently tied with Lia Galdeira's streak of five-consecutive games with double-digit points to begin a WSU career. Borislava Hristova holds the WSU freshman record for most consecutive double-figure scoring games to open a season. Hristova opened her Coug career with a 10-game double-digit scoring streak to open the 2015-16 season.
Washington State will get familiar with life on the road over the next four weeks, with six of the next eight games taking place outside of Pullman. The Cougars will be seeking their second-consecutive Pac-12 road win on Friday against Utah after picking up a win at Washington to open the 2020-21 season back on Dec. 11.
Picking Their Pockets
Junior Cherilyn Molina picked up a career-high five steals in the win over Eastern Washington on Dec. 22. She becomes the first Coug to collect five steals in a game since her oldest sister Chanelle Molina, who had five steals against San Francisco on Nov. 29, 2018.
Chasing Bobi Buckets
Charlisse Leger-Walker's second Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honor ties her with Lia Galderia for the second-most in WSU history. Leger-Walker needs just one more selection to tie Borislava Hristova's WSU record of three Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors.
Among the Nation's Best Rookies
Washington State freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker entered the week ranked second in the Pac-12 in scoring at 18.8 points per game. The Waikato, New Zealand native's scoring average is fifth-highest for a freshman in NCAA Division I this season.
Rolling in a New Year
Friday's contest will mark the first game for the Cougs in 2021. Washington State will look to improve on its 8-14 record over the past calendar year. WSU ended 2020 on a high note, as they've won four of their last five contests to end the year.
Scouting the Utes
Utah will be coming into Friday's matchup looking to snap a three-game losing streak. The Utes dropped back-to-back home contests against Arizona State and Arizona prior to the holiday break. Utah stands at 2-4 overall through six games this season, while holding a 1-4 mark in Pac-12 play.
Sophomore Brynna Maxwell is the Utes' lone double-digit scorer, averaging 12.7 points per game. The sharp-shooter scored 34 points over Oregon State on Dec. 8 to earn Pac-12 Player of the Week honors on Dec. 14. As a team, Utah is averaging 59.8 points per game, while shooting 36.4% from the floor.
The Utes have had a hard time keeping a hold of the basketball this season. They're averaging 20.2 turnovers per game, which has led opponents to score 24.0 points off turnovers per contest. Teams are shooting 42.2% from the field against Utah, as they are giving up 73.0 points per game.
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