Cougs Hit the Road Again this Friday at No. 13 Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. – The Washington State women's basketball team continues its season-long four-game road trip this Friday, Jan. 22, as the Cougars travel to Eugene to take on No. 13-ranked Oregon. Tip-off from the Matthew Knight Arena is set for 5 p.m. PT and will air live on Pac-12 Washington.
WASHINGTON STATE (RV) (7-3, 5-3 Pac-12) vs. No. 13/13 Oregon (9-3, 7-3 Pac-12) | Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 | 5 p.m. PT | Matthew Knight Arena
Live Stats | WSUCougars.com
Watch | Pac-12 Network Washington (Ann Schatz and Elise Woodward)
Listen | WSU IMG Radio (Steve Grubbs)
Game Notes | Click Here
>> The Cougs come into the Friday's matchup against the Ducks looking to get back into the win column after dropping back-to-back overtime games last weekend at USC (81-77) and at No. 6/6 UCLA (68-66). Washington State still holds a 7-3 mark on the year, while they stand at 5-3 in the Pac-12 play.
>> Washington State will be looking for redemption at Oregon on Friday, as the Cougars seek to avenge a 69-65 loss to the Ducks in Pullman back on Dec. 21. There were 10 ties and four lead changes the last time these two met, with Washington State leading for over 31 minutes in the contest. The Cougars had a chance at a potential game-winning shot in the closing seconds of the game, but their 3-point field goal from the corner sailed long, as Oregon was able escape Beasley Coliseum with a four-point win.
>> Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker enters Friday's affair against the Ducks on a 10-game double-digit scoring streak. Leger-Walker's 10-consecutive games with 10-or-more points ties her with Borislava Hristova for the longest double-digit scoring streak to begin a WSU career.
>> Friday's matchup will be the 90th all-time meeting between Washington State and Oregon. The Cougs trail in the all-time series against the Ducks, 19-70. WSU will look to snap a six-game losing streak against Oregon. Washington State's last win in the series came back on Jan. 1, 2017, when the Cougars scored a 75-59 win at Matthew Knight Arena.
>> Washington State has logged the minutes over the last three games, as the Cougars have played in three-consecutive overtime contests. That stretch marks the first time in program history that WSU has played in three-straight overtime games. The first overtime contest came back on Jan. 10 when the Cougs knocked off No. 7/10 Arizona, 71-69, in Beasley Coliseum. Unfortunately, WSU has found itself on the wrong side of the scoreboard in the other two overtime affairs, as they dropped back-to-back decisons last weekend at USC, 81-77, and at No. 8/8 UCLA, 68-66. WSU has scored the game-tying bucket at the end of regulation in each of the past three games.
Leading the Pac
Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker enters this week's slate of games as the Pac-12 Conference's leader in scoring and steals. The 5-10 guard currently paces the Pac-12 with her 19.7 points per game, while her 3.0 steals per contest is also tops in the conference. No freshman has ever ended the season leading the Pac-12 in scoring. Leger-Walker's 37.7 minutes per game is also a league-high.
Sophomore Bella Murekatete saved her best for the bright lights of Los Angeles, as the center posted her first double-double of the season with a 16-rebound, 14-point performance at No. 8/8 UCLA on Jan. 17. The effort against the Bruins marks her second career double-double, while the 16-rebound effort sets a new career-high for Murekatete. The 6-3 post player also collected a career-best five blocks against the Bruins, with her last block on UCLA's Michaela Onyenwere prevented the All-American from a potential game-winning bucket.
Redshirt senior Krystal Leger-Walker's game-tying shot against UCLA made No. 9 on ESPN's SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays for Jan. 17. Leger-Walker was able to get the rebound off an intentionally-missed free throw from her younger sister Charlisse Leger-Walker, and tipped the ball into the hoop right before the horn sounded.
The elder Leger-Walker has been on fire offensively of late, as she is riding a five-game double-digit scoring streak. Leger-Walker has put up 17.4 points per game over that stretch, while she is also averaging 5.6 assists per game over the past five contests.
Still Getting Votes
Despite falling out of the Associated Press top 25 poll after back-to-back overtime losses in Los Angeles, the Cougars were still able to pick up votes in both the AP Poll and the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll this week. WSU earned 14 votes in the AP poll, while they picked up four votes in the Coaches poll. Washington State also enters this weekend's slate of games with a NET ranking of 32.
Scouting the Ducks
Oregon comes into Friday's matchup with a 9-3 record overall and 7-3 mark in Pac-12 games. The Ducks have lost three of their last four contests, though all three losses came against teams ranked inside the top-10. Oregon checks in at No. 13 in both the Associated Press and the USA Today/WBCA Coaches polls.
Redshirt sophomore Nyara Sabally leads a trio of double-digit scorers for an Oregon team that averages 79.7 points per game. The 6-5 post player also averages a team-best 8.0 rebounds per game. Sabally collected a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds against Washington State in their Dec. 21 matchup. Senior Erin Boley and freshman Te-Hina Paopao follow Sabally in the scoring ledger, as each player is averaging 11.5 points per game.
As a team, Oregon holds a 47.7% field goal percentage, while teams are shooting an even 36% against them from the floor. The Ducks have been tenacious on the defensive end all season, as they're forcing teams into 16.3 turnovers per game this season.
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