Cougs Collect a Win over California in their Pac-12 Season Opener
PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State women's basketball team closed out 2021 in a big way on Friday, Dec. 31, as the Cougars cruised to a 69-42 victory over California in Beasley Coliseum to open Pac-12 Conference play.
WSU blitzed an undermanned California team throughout the night with a strong defensive effort, while three Cougars score double-digits en route to a 27-point victory. The Cougs limited the Golden Bears to just a 21.7 shooting percentage through the first two quarters to take a 24-point lead into the half. WSU held California to single-digit points in each of the game's first two quarters of play, as the Cougars held Cal to 28.8 percent from the field. The 42 points allowed by WSU tonight marks the fewest points scored against the Cougars in a Pac-12 game since Dec. 21, 2006, when Oregon State scored 41 points.
With the win, Washington State moves to 1-0 in the Pac-12 and 9-3 on the year. Meanwhile, California falls to 0-1 in league play and 9-3 overall. Tonight's victory extends WSU's current home winning streak to seven games.
All but two Cougs scored in Friday's victory over the Golden Bears. Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker scored a game-high 22 points, while shooting a blistering 57.1 percent (8-of-14) from the field. Freshman Tara Wallack matched her career high in points, as the Canadian guard scored 12 points and pulled down five rebounds. Junior Johanna Teder also recorded double-digit points with a 10-point effort against the Golden Bears.
Washington State hit 11 3-point field goals and shot 47.8 percent from behind the arc on the night. The Leger-Walker sisters led the way with three 3-pointers each, Wallack hit a pair of 3-point field goals. Redshirt fifth-year senior Krystal Leger-Walker collected six rebounds and six assists each to pace the Cougars in each category.
WSU rolled off 14-straight points to close out the first quarter and never looked back in a New Year's Eve matchup against California. The Cougars led for 36:51 of game time against the Golden Bears to help Washington State win its second-straight Pac-12 season opener.
Head Coach Kamie Ethridge on the Win
"We're extremely happy to get a win. We sat on a two-game losing streak over the break and no one has any fun when that happens. I liked how our kids responded and executed. Obviously, that was a shell of the team Cal is and will be. They are missing three of their top players. I expect them to be a competitive team against the rest of the league and we will see a different team when we go back there. We're 1-0 and we're happy with that."
- Washington State has now won three-straight games over California
- The Cougars move to 19-16 all-time against the Golden Bears in Pullman
- Tonight's game marks the fourth time this season WSU has held a team under 50 points
- The 42 points allowed by WSU tonight marks the fewest points scored against the Cougars in the Kamie Ethridge era
- Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker extended her double-digit scoring streak to seven games
- Charlisse Leger-Walker's 22-point performance marks her 18th career game with 20-or-more points
- With tonight's 11 3-point field goals, WSU has now hit 10-or-more shots from behind the arc for the third time this season
- Freshman Tara Wallack matched her career high in points with 12
- Sophomore Ekin Celikdemir scored the first points of her WSU career with a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter
- The Cougars close out the 2021 calendar year with 17 total wins
Washington State returns to action this Sunday, Jan. 2, when they host the defending national champions, Stanford Cardinal. Tip-off against the No. 2/3-ranked Cardinal is set for 12 p.m. PT from Beasley Coliseum and will air live on the Pac-12 Network.