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Cougs Return to Beasley Sunday to Host No. 7/10 Arizona

Jan 9, 2021

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State women's basketball team takes Friel Court for the first time in 2021, as the Cougars host No. 7/10-ranked Arizona this Sunday, Jan. 10, at Beasley Coliseum. Tip-off is set for 11 a.m. PT Pac-12 Network Washington.

(RV) WASHINGTON STATE (6-1, 4-1 Pac-12) vs. No. 7/10 ARIZONA (8-1, 6-1 Pac-12) | Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021 | 11 a.m. PT | Beasley Coliseum
Live Stats |
Watch | Pac-12 Network Washington (Greg Heister & Alyssa Charlston)
Listen | WSU IMG Radio (Steve Grubbs)
Game Notes | Click Here

>> The Cougs come back to Pullman boasting a 6-1 overall record and 4-1 mark in Pac-12 play, after picking up their first Pac-12 road sweep since the 2013-14 season. Washington State collected up back-to-back wins at Utah and at Colorado, first defeating the Utes, 79-74, on Jan. 1, before taking a 76-63 win over the Buffaloes on Jan. 3.

>> Washington State will be seeking to extend its current winning streak to four games this Sunday. The Cougar's last four-game winning streak came last season, when WSU opened the 2019-20 season with four consecutive wins.

>> The Cougars will face No. 7/10 Arizona for the 67th time in program history this Sunday. The Wildcats hold a 37-29 edge over Washington State in the all-time series. The Cougs will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak against Arizona, after the Wildcats swept the season series last year.

>> Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the second-consecutive week and for the third time over the past four weeks. The guard averaged 19.5 points per game, which was a league-high amongst freshman last week. Leger-Walker opened her week by scoring 23 points at Utah, then collected her first career double-double with a 16-point, 10-assist performance at Colorado. She is the first freshman in WSU history to collect a double-double via points and assists, and is just the seventh Coug all-time to accomplish the feat.

>> Washington State comes into this weekend's contest against Arizona ranked No. 41 in the NCAA NET Rankings. The NCCA Evaluation Tool (NET) is in its first season of use for NCAA Division I Women's Basketball, replacing the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) as the contemporary sorting tool used to measure a team's quality and help evaluate a team's resume for the NCAA Tournament selection and seeding processes.

Receiving Votes
Washington State received three votes in this week's Associated Press Top-25 poll. It is the first time the Cougars have obtained votes in the AP poll since the 2018-19 Associated Press preseason poll, where they earned one vote. The last time WSU received AP votes during the season was in 2015-16, where they collected votes for an eight-week stretch. Washington State has never cracked into the top-25 of the AP Poll.

Last Sunday, junior Ula Motuga and freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker became the first pair of Pac-12 teammates to record a double-double in the same game this season. Motuga collected 15 rebounds and scored 11 points in the win at Colorado, while Leger-Walker tallied 16 points and handed out 10 assists. It was the first career double-double for each player, while they became the first pair of WSU teammates to record a double-double in the same game since Dec. 19, 2019, when Borislava Hristova (20 pts, 10 reb) and Bella Murekatete (15 pts, 13 reb) accomplished the feat against UC Irvine.  

Leading the Pac
Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker enters this weekend's set of Pac-12 Conference games as the league's top scorer at 19.0 points per game. Her 19.0 scoring average is the third-highest for a freshman in all of NCAA Division I. Leger-Walker also leads the Pac-12 in steals per game at 3.29, which is the second-highest steals-per-game average by a freshman in NCAA Division I.

Cleaning the Glass
Junior Ula Motuga's 15-rebound performance at Colorado this past Sunday, Jan. 3, was the most rebounds collected by a Coug since Maria Kostoukova's 19-rebound effort against Nebraska on Nov. 16, 2018.

Finding Her Stroke
Redshirt senior Krystal Leger-Walker is starting to heat-up offensively, as the guard has scored double-digit points in three of her last four games. Leger-Walker is coming off a career-high 25 points at Colorado this past Sunday. Her 25-point effort against the Buffaloes marks the third WSU player to score 20-or-more points in a game this season, joining her sister Charlisse Leger-Walker and junior Johanna Teder.

Scouting the Wildcats
Arizona comes into Sunday's matchup against the Cougs ranked inside the top-10 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/WBCA Poll. The Wildcats check in at No. 7 in the AP Poll, while they're No. 10 in the Coaches Poll. Overall Arizona holds an 8-1 record, while they are 6-1 in Pac-12 play.

Senior All-American Aari McDonald paces the Wildcat offense with her 18.3 points per game scoring average. The point guard has scored double-figures in all nine games this season, which includes a 30-point performance against Southern Cal. McDonald also leads the team in assists at 5.0 assists per game. Junior Cate Reese is Arizona's other double-digit scorer. The 6-2 post averages 12.7 points and a team-best 6.3 rebounds per game.

As a team, the Wildcats average 71.7 points per game while shooting 42.6% from the field. They have had trouble connecting from behind the arc, as they hold a 28.4% 3-point field goal percentage. Arizona's defense has been solid all season. The Wildcats give up only 57.4 points per game, while opponents are shooting 36.1% from the field against them. Arizona is averaging 9.1 steals per game, led by McDonald's 2.8 steals per contest.

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