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Cougs Open the Pac-12 Tournament this Wednesday vs. Utah

Mar 2, 2021

LAS VEGAS – The Washington State women's basketball team begins its run in the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament, presented by New York Life, this Wednesday, March 3, as the No. 7-seeded Cougars take on No. 10 seed Utah. Tip-off from the Michelob ULTRA Arena is set for 5 p.m. PT and will air live on Pac-12 Network.

WASHINGTON STATE (11-10, 9-10 Pac-12) vs. Utah (5-15, 4-15 Pac-12) | Wednesday, March 3 | 5 p.m. PT | Michaelob ULTRA Arena
  Live Stats | WSUCougars.com
  Watch | Pac-12 Network Network (Mary Murphy and Krista Blunk)
  Listen | WSU IMG Radio Network (Steve Grubbs)
  Game Notes | Click Here

STARTING FIVE
>> Washington State will look to keep up its winning ways heading into the Pac-12 Tournament, as the Cougars won their last two games of the regular season to end the 2020-21 campaign with an 11-10 record. It marks the first time WSU has ended the regular season with a record above .500 for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

>> Wednesday's matchup against Utah will serve as the third meeting between the two programs this season. WSU swept the season series against the Utes this season. The Cougars picked up a 79-74 win in Salt Lake City in the first matchup, then collected a 68-55 victory in Beasley Coliseum back on Feb. 21.

>> This will mark the first matchup between Washington State and Utah in the Pac-12 Tournament. The Utes hold the lead in the all-time series, 19-8, but the Cougars have won each of the last two matchups after sweeping the season series.

>> Washington State enters the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament as the No. 7 seed in the 12-team field, which ties the program-record for the highest seed at the Pac-12 Tournament. It is the first time since 2017 that the Cougars have held the tournament's No. 7 slot, while it is the fourth-time overall that WSU has been in this position. The Cougs, as they have posted four wins as a No. 7 seed, and they are 3-0 in the first round at the Pac-12 Tournament from that slot.

>> Charlisse Leger-Walker was named the 2020-21 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year on Monday, March 2. It caps off a sensational rookie campaign for the Waikato, New Zealand native, as she ended the regular season as the conference's top point-scorer, racking up a league-best 407 points in 21 games. Leger-Walker becomes the second WSU player to win the conference's top freshman honor, joining Alke Dietel who was the 1997-98 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.

All-Pac-12 Honors
The Washington State women's basketball team had a pair of players earn All-Pac-12 honors on Monday. Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker was named to the All-Pac-12 and All-Pac-12 freshman teams, while redshirt senior Krystal Leger-Walker earned an All-Pac-12 Defensive honorable mention nod.

The younger Leger-Walker becomes the first WSU player in program history to be selected to the All-Pac-12. She is just the 22nd player in conference history to be selected to both the All-Pac-12 and All-Pac-12 Freshman squads.

Ending the Regular Season the Right Way
Sophomore Johanna Teder saved her best performance of the 2020-21 campaign for the regular season finale, as the guard from Tartu, Estonia scored a career-high 23 points in a win over Washington back on Feb. 28. Teder hit five 3-point field goals against the Huskies, while she also posted career-highs in rebounds (7) and assists (5) in the win.

Looking to Hit Big in Vegas
Washington State heads into this week's Pac-12 Tournament looking for its first win in the Pac-12 Tournament under head coach Kamie Ethridge. The last WSU win at the Pac-12 Tournament came back during the 2017 tournament, which was the last time WSU earned the No. 7 seed at the Pac-12 Tournament. WSU is 7-18 all-time at the Pac-12 Tournament, but hold a 4-3 record from the tournament's No. 7-slot.

Building a Strong Resume for the Dance
Washington State enters the Pac-12 Tournament hoping to build upon an already strong NCAA Tournament resume. WSU currently sits at No. 43 in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET), an evaluation tool used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. The Cougars have collected five top-50 wins, two of which came against teams inside the top-10.

Scouting the Utes
Utah comes into the Pac-12 Tournament looking to snap a five-game losing streak. The Utes stand at 5-15 overall this season and are 4-15 against Pac-12 teams. Utah ended the regular season with a 68-55 loss to Washington State at Beasley Coliseum back on Feb. 28.

Sophomore Brynna Maxwell leads Utah in scoring at 12.7 points per game. The guard has scored double-digits in six of her last eight games, but only managed eight points against the Cougars a few days ago. Fellow sophomore Kemery Martin is the Utes other double-figure scorer at 11.0 points per game. Junior Andrea Torres' 5.3 rebounds per game leads Utah.

As a team, the Utes are averaging 60.8 points per game. Utah is shooting 38.0 percent from the field, while connecting on 30.7 percent of its attempts from behind the arc. The Utes are giving up 71.6 points per game to teams, as the opposition is shooting 42.8 percent from the field against them.

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