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Cougs Begin Two-Game Trip to the Desert this Friday at Arizona

Feb 11, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Washington State women's basketball team begins its final road trip of the 2020-21 regular season this Friday, Feb. 12, as the Cougars square-off against No. 10/8 Arizona. Tip-off from the McKale Center is set for 6 p.m. PT and will air live on Pac-12 Washington.

WASHINGTON STATE (9-7, 7-7 Pac-12) vs. No. 10/8 Arizona (12-2, 10-2 Pac-12) | Friday, Feb. 12 | 6 p.m. PT | McKale Center
  Live Stats | WSUCougars.com
  Watch | Pac-12 Network (Cindy Brunson and Joan Bonvicini)
  Listen | WSU IMG Radio Network (Steve Grubbs)
  Game Notes | Click Here

STARTING FIVE
>> This weekend will be the final regular season road trip for the Cougars. WSU will take on Arizona this Friday, Feb. 12 in Tucson, before heading Tempe for a Valentine's Day matchup against Arizona State. Washington State comes into this weekend's slate of games with hold a 9-7 overall record, while the Cougars stand at an even .500 in Pac-12 play at 7-7.

>> Washington State will be looking to sweep the season series against No. 10/8 Arizona, after WSU collected a 71-69 win in overtime against the Wildcats back on Jan. 10 in Beasley Coliseum. Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 17 points in the win over Arizona, which included the game-winning floater in overtime. The last time WSU swept the season series against Arizona came back during the 2015-16 season.

>> On Monday, the Pac-12 Conference named Charlisse Leger-Walker the league's Freshman of the Week for the sixth time this season. Leger-Walker averaged a league-best 26.0 points over a pair of contests against UCLA and USC last week. Leger-Walker is only the fifth player in Pac-12 history to garner the weekly honor six-or-more times in a season. The guard has three weeks remaining in the regular season to tie Kristine Anigwe's record of eight Pac-12 Freshman of the Week awards.

>> Friday's matchup will be the 68th all-time meeting between Washington State and Arizona. The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 37-30, though the Cougars have won three of the last five meetings. WSU will be seeking its first win in the McKale Center since the 2017-18 season, when the Cougars collected a 78-60 win on Feb. 2, 2018.

>> Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker enters Friday's game having scored 20-plus points in each of her last two contests. Leger-Walker has scored 20-or-more points in nine games this season, which ties her with Borislava Hristova for the most 20-point games collected by a WSU freshman.

Leading the Pac
Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker Enters this week's slate of games leading the Pac-12 in Points Scored (303), Field Goal Attempts (266), minutes played (607:21), minutes per game (38.0), steals (39) and steals per game (2.4).

Leger-Walker is also second in the Pac-12 in scoring at 18.9 points per game, just 0.7 points off UCLA's Charisma Osborne' league-leading 19.6 points per game. No freshman has ever ended the season leading the Pac-12 in scoring.

Building a Strong Resume for the Dance
Washington State enters the final three weeks of the regular season hoping to build upon an already strong NCAA Tournament resume. WSU currently sits at No. 35 in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET), while the Cougars have collected three top-50 wins, two of which came against teams inside the top-11. WSU has three games remaining against teams inside the top-60 of the NET, while all five of the Cougs remaining opponents sit inside the top-100.

Controlling the Glass
Junior Ula Motuga has pulled down 10-or-more rebounds in three of her last four games. Motuga currently leads the Cougars in rebounding at 7.1 rebounds per game. The Logan, Australia native is coming off arguably the best game of her WSU career, as she scored a career-high 25 points to go along with 10 rebounds against Southern Cal. Motuga leads the Cougars in double-doubles with three this season, while she is the first WSU player to record three-or-more double-doubles since Borislava Hristova tallied five in the 2018-19 season.

Cougar Prowess vs. Ranked Teams
Washington State is 3-5 against ranked opponents this season. The three wins against ranked teams is tied for the second-most in a season in program history, just one-off the program record of four set back during the 2013-14 season.

WSU knocked off the highest-ranked opponent in program history this past Friday, as the Cougars collected a win 67-63 over then-No. 5/4 UCLA in Beasley. WSU has posted two wins over top-10 teams this season, which is a program first. The Cougars previously defeated then-No. 7/10 Arizona, 71-69 in overtime, on Jan. 10.

Scouting the Wildcats
Arizona comes into Friday's at 12-2 overall and 10-2 in Pac-12 play. The Wildcats have won four-straight, which includes a 79-59 win at No. 11/13 Oregon on Monday. Arizona is featured inside the top-10 in both the Associated Press (No. 10) and USA Today/WBCA (No. 8) polls this week.

Senior All-American Aari McDonald leads the Wildcats at 18.4 points per game. The guard is third in the Pac-12 in scoring, while she is shooting nearly 39.2% from the field. McDonald is one of two double-digit scorers for Arizona, with junior Cate Reese (12.3) being the other. Reese also leads the team in rebounds at 6.0 caroms per contest.  

As a team, Arizona is averaging 70.2 points per game. The Wildcats are shooting 42.0% from the field, while they are connecting on 32.3% of their attempts from behind the arc. Defensively, Arizona is giving up 56.6 points per contest, while teams hold a 36.5% field goal percentage against them.

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