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No. 25 Cougs Travel to No. 8 UCLA Sunday for a Top-25 Matchup

Jan 16, 2021

LOS ANGELES – The No. 25-ranked Washington State women's basketball team continues its weekend in the City of Angels this Sunday, Jan. 17, as the Cougars take on No. 8/8 UCLA in a top-25 Pac-12 Conference matchup. Tip-off from Pauley Pavilion is set for 11 a.m. PT on Pac-12 Washington.

No. 25 WASHINGTON STATE (7-2, 5-2 Pac-12) vs. No. 8 UCLA (7-2, 5-2 Pac-12) | Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021 | 11 a.m. PT | Pauley Pavilion
Live Stats | WSUCougars.com
Watch | Pac-12 Network Washington (Anne-Marie Anderson and Tammy Blackburn)
Listen | WSU IMG Radio (Steve Grubbs)
Game Notes | Click Here

STARTING FIVE
>> Washington State will look to rebound from an 81-77 overtime loss at USC this past Friday, Jan. 15. WSU comes into Sunday's contest tied with the Bruins for third place in the Pac-12 standings, as both teams come into this weekend's top-25 matchup at 5-2 in league play. Both squads also hold a 7-2 overall record coming into this weekend's affair.

>> Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker matched her career-high in points in Friday's loss at USC, as the guard scored 29 points against the Trojans. The Waikato, New Zealand native hit a career-high five 3-point field goals at the Galen Center to record her fifth 20-plus-point performance of the season.

>> Friday's game against No. 8/8 UCLA is the second contest in a four-game Pac-12 road trip for Washington State. After Sunday's game against the Bruins, the Cougars will head to No. 10/10 Oregon next Friday, Jan. 22, then closes out the trip next Sunday, Jan. 24, at Oregon State.

>> Washington State will be looking to snap a five-game skid against the Bruins this Sunday. UCLA has swept the season series in each of the last four seasons. WSU's last win in the series came back on Jan. 6, 2017, when the Cougars collected an 82-73 victory in Pullman. Washington State will be seeking its first-ever win at Pauley Pavilion in program history this Sunday.

>> Despite Friday's loss, No. 25-ranked Washington State is still off to its best start in Pac-12 play since the 2013-14 season. The Cougars enter Sunday's matchup against UCLA with a 5-2 record in league play, which matches the 2013-14 team for the best conference start in program history. If WSU can come away with a win on Sunday, it would mark the Cougs' best start in Pac-12 play through the first eight conference games in program history.

A Historic Matchup
Sunday's game against No. 8/8 UCLA marks the first time in program history that the WSU women's basketball team will participate in a top-25 matchup. Washington State is still seeking its first win as a ranked team, as they fell on Friday at USC in overtime in their first game as a ranked team after earning the No. 25-slot in this week's Associated Press Poll.

Letting It Fly
Washington State hit a season-high 13 3-point field goals in Friday's loss at USC. Three Cougs had a career-best performance from behind the arc against the Trojans, as redshirt senior Krystal Leger-Walker and freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker each drained five 3-point field goals, while junior Cherilyn Molina added two 3-pointers off the bench. The last time WSU made 10-or-more 3-point field goals came on Feb. 15, 2019 against Washington.

Not Your Typical Sisters
Sisters Krystal Leger-Walker and freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker each scored 20-plus points in the same game for the first time this season on Friday at USC. The younger Leger-Walker matched her career-high in points with 29 against the Trojans, while the elder Leger-Walker sister tallied 23 points. Each guard also handed out four assists against USC and drained five 3-point field goals apiece.

Hitting the Glass
Junior Ula Motuga continued her exceptional play on the boards this past Friday at USC, as the Logan, Australia native pulled down 12 rebounds. It marks the second time over the last three games that Motuga has recorded double-digit rebounds. She pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds in the Jan. 3 win at Colorado.

Scouting the Bruins
UCLA will be playing only its third game since the start of 2021, as they've had at least one game postponed due to COVID protocols over the past three weeks. The interruption hasn't seemed to phase the Bruins, as they've picked up wins at Oregon (73-71) and Utah (92-67) during the stretch. UCLA holds a 7-2 overall record and a 5-2 mark in league games, while they checked in at No. 8 in both the AP Poll and the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll this week.

Senior All-American Michaela Onyenwere leads a trio of double-digit scorers for the Bruins, as she is averaging 18.7 points per game. Sophomore Charisma Osborne follows Onyenwere at 17.0 points per game. Redshirt senior Natalie Chou, the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, rounds out the group with her 11.0 points per game average. As a team, UCLA is averaging 76.2 points per game, while connecting on 42.6% of their shots from the field.

UCLA features one of the top teams defensively in the Pac-12, as they are giving up 56.7 points per game to the opposition. Teams are shooting 37.2% from the field against the Bruins, while they're limiting foes to just 29.5% from behind the arc.

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