Cougs Leave Corvallis with a Double-Overtime Victory
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Washington State women's basketball team collected its first season sweep against Oregon State in a decade, as the Cougs picked up a thrilling 77-75 double-overtime victory over the Beavers at Gill Coliseum on Sunday, Jan. 24.
Washington State was able to tie the game at 75-all in the second overtime after a free throw from junior Cherilyn Molina. Junior Ula Motuga was able to corral in the offensive rebound on Molina's second free throw attempt to keep the WSU possession alive. The Cougars put the ball into the hands of freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker with 40 seconds remaining on the clock, and she came through once again for Washington State, as the guard nailed a 15-foot jump shot from the elbow to give the Cougs a two-point lead with 37 seconds left in the game.
Oregon State missed a shot of inside the paint on the ensuing possession, but was able to grab the offensive board and called a timeout with 16 seconds remaining. Washington State was able to draw up the perfect play defensive during the break, as Motuga blocked OSU's Aleah Goodman with five seconds to play. The Beavers were able to maintain possession off the Motuga block, but the Cougar defense once again rose to the challenge, as WSU forced Oregon State into a shot that hit the side of the backboard as time expired.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Cougs, as they move to 8-4 overall on the year, while improving to 6-4 in Pac-12 play. For Oregon State, they fall to 3-5 on the season and 1-5 in league play.
Washington State used its defense to overcome a slow start on Sunday, as the Cougars forced the Beavers into 20 turnovers in the contest, which led to 19 WSU points. Redshirt senior Krystal Leger-Walker led the defensive charge with five steals, while Molina and Charlisse Leger-Walker each had three steals apiece. As a team, Washington State collected 14 steals on the day.
Krystal Leger-Walker led a quartet of double-digit scorers for Washington State with a 23-point performance at Gill Coliseum. Charlisse Leger-Walker followed up her older sister's performance with a 22-point effort of her own against the Beavers. Cherilyn Molina provided WSU an offensive spark off the bench, as she scored a career-high 15 points to go along with three assists and three steals. Sophomore Bella Murekatete rounded out the group of double-digit scorers for the Cougs, as the 6-3 center nearly had a double-double by scoring 10 points and pulling down a team-high nine rebounds.
Washington State hit 34.6% from the field against Oregon State, while they made nine 3-point field goals against the Beavers. Charlisse Leger-Walker paced the team with four 3-pointers, while her older sister Krystal hit a trio of shots from behind-the-arc in the win. The Cougs got a clutch performance from Molina at the free throw line in the two extra stanzas, as she went a combined 5-of-6 at the charity stripe during the overtime periods.
The Cougars hit the offensive glass hard against the Beavers on Sunday, as they collected 19 offensive caroms, which led to a 21-12 advantage in second-chance points.
Washington State now returns to Pullman to open a four-game home stand. The Cougars open their extended stay at Beasley Coliseum with back-to-back contests against No. 5-ranked Stanford. The first contest against the Cardinal is set for this Wednesday, Jan. 27. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. PT and will air live on Pac-12 Washington.
Coach Ethridge on Today's Win: "It's so difficult to win in the Pac-12. It was such a great game, both teams played so hard. I was really impressed with Oregon State, they're really a hard matchup, I think for anyone. We took such an unbelievable shot from Oregon State in the first quarter, but this team responded. They continue to impress me with the way the battle through adversity and how resilient they are."
Coach Ethridge on Cherilyn Molina's effort off the bench: "We're still not shooting the ball great, but to have that energy coming from Cherilyn Molina off the bench is great. Everybody out there thinks she can't shoot, but she has worked so hard (on her shot) in the offseason. There is just something about someone who is so gritty and so tough. She is not afraid of the big moments. She hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers for us while we were struggling offensively, and she makes those free throws in double overtime. She also had some big, big rebounds for us. She gets in there and battles so hard. To have that coming off the bench, is clearly something we really need. I thought everyone we played today off the bench was really good."
- The Cougs collect their first win at Gill Coliseum since the 2012-13 season, when they picked up a 51-49 win back on Feb. 15, 2013.
- Today's double-overtime contest marked the first time that WSU has played in a double-overtime game since Nov. 16, 2018 against Nebraska in Beasley Coliseum. The Cougs were also victorious in that double-OT affair, as WSU picked up an 87-84 win over the Cornhuskers.
- Washington State hit nine 3-point field goals against the Beavers on Sunday, which marks the Cougars sixth game this season with eight-or-more made 3-point field goals.
- With her 22-point effort, Charlisse Leger-Walker has now scored 20-plus points in back-to-back games for the second time this season.
- Charlisse Leger-Walker's 22-point performance marks the seventh time this season that the freshman has scored 20-or-more points in a game.
- Senior Krystal Leger-Walker's 23 points performance marks her third game this season with 20-or more points.
- The Leger-Walker's only committed one turnover combined in 47-plus minutes of action.
- Sophomore Bella Murekatete led the team in rebounds for the seventh time this season.
- The 15-point effort from junior Cherilyn Molina establishes a new career-high in points. Molina's previous career-best scoring performance also came against the Beavers at Gill Coliseum, as she scored 12 points in her lone career start back on March 1, 2020.
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