Cougs Sweep the Huskies to Close Out the 2020-21 Regular Season
PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State women's basketball team closed out the 2020-21 season the same way it began, with a win over rival Washington, as the Cougars sweep this season's Boeing Apple Cup Series with a 61-52 victory at Beasley Coliseum on Sunday, Feb. 28. The victory gives WSU its first winning regular season since the 2014-15 campaign.
Facing a 42-31 deficit early in the third quarter, WSU turned up the defensive pressure to mount the come-from-behind win over the Huskies. Washington State outscored Washington 31-10 to close out Sunday's contest. The Cougars limited the Huskies to 19 percent from the field (4-of-21) and forced them into 11 turnovers over the final 18 minutes of play to pick up the come-from-behind win.
Sophomore Johanna Teder sparked the WSU offense, as the Tartu, Estonia native scored a career-high 23 points in the win over the Huskies. Teder made five of Washington State's seven 3-point field goals on Sunday, as the guard shot a blistering 55.6 percent from behind the arc (5-of-9) against the Huskies. The 5-6 guard also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds on Sunday and dished out a team-best five assists, which establishes a new career-high in each category for Teder.
Teder led a trio of double-digit scorers for WSU against the Huskies. Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker tallied 13 points in the win, while sophomore Bella Murekatete collected 12 points.
With the win, Washington State ends the 2020-21 regular season with a winning record at 11-10 overall. It marks the first time in seven seasons that the Cougars have concluded the regular season with an overall record above .500, while it is the sixth time in program history WSU has finished the regular season with a winning record.
Washington State also collected its ninth Pac-12 Conference win of the year, as they finish league play at 9-10. The nine conference wins this season is tied for the second-most Pac-12 wins collected in a single season in program history. The nine victories match the win total of the 1989-90, 1994-95 and 2013-14 teams. The 1990-91 team holds the program record for most Pac-10/12 wins with 10.
The Cougars faced an eight-point deficit against the Huskies entering the halftime break, as Washington scored 21 points in the second quarter to take a 35-27 lead over Washington State. WSU saw its deficit grow to as many as 11 points in the third quarter, as they trailed 42-31 with 8:09 in the frame. The Cougars caught fire from that point, as they went on a 14-0 run over the next seven minutes of play to take a three-point lead at 45-42. Washington was able to end its drought with a layup in the closing-minute of the third stanza, as WSU held a one-point lead going into the fourth.
The Coug defense tightened up even more in the fourth, as WSU limited the Huskies to just eight points over the final 10 minutes of play. Washington State scored the frame's first six points to take a 51-44 lead. The Cougars held UW scoreless over the final 4:42 of play to help WSU sweep the Boeing Apple Cup series for the second time in three seasons.
Washington State will now play the waiting game to find out its first opponent in Las Vegas for the 2021 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament, presented by New York Life. The Cougars will open the tournament this Wednesday, March 3, at the Michelob ULTRA Arena, formerly Mandalay Bay Events Center. The Pac-12 Conference will announce tournament pairings later this evening.
Coach Ethridge on Today's Win: "It was a tale of two halves. We weren't very solid in the first half on either end of the floor. A lot of credit goes to UW for that. They do some unique things offensively and defensively, and we made some mistakes and they made us pay. I was really encouraged with how loose our team was in the locker room at half. They knew what they had to do, knew they had to be better. They came out and had a tremendous second half on the defensive end. Got to be happy with (the win). It feels good to beat a rival, and I love the fact that we played so well in the second half."
- Washington State moves to 5-1 all-time against Washington under head coach Kamie Ethridge.
- The five wins against Washington for coach Ethridge is the most by any WSU head coach against the Huskies.
- The Cougars sweep the Boeing Apple Cup Series for the second time in three seasons. It is only the third time during the NCAA era (post 1986) that the WSU has swept the season series against Washington.
- Johanna Teder's 23-point performance against Washington marks her second 20-point game of the season. Teder also scored 20 points back on Dec. 19, 2020 in a win over then-No. 20-ranked Oregon State.
- With seven 3-point field goals, Washington State has now made five-or-more 3-point field goals in each of its last 13 games.
- Charlisse Leger-Walker's 13-point performance marks the 19th-time this season the freshman has scored 10-or-more points.
- Sophomore Bella Murekatete has now scored exactly 12 points in each of her last two games to close out the 2020-21 regular season. The 12-point effort against the Huskies marks Murekatete's fifth game this season with 10-or-points.
- The Leger-Walker's only committed one turnover combined in 47-plus minutes of action.
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