Cougs Knocked Off by Bruins on Sunday
LOS ANGELES – Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker scored a team-high 24 points for the Washington State women's basketball team on Sunday, Jan. 16, at UCLA but it wasn't enough to lift the Cougars past the Bruins, as WSU fell 71-58 in Pac-12 Conference play.
Leger-Walker's 24-point outing marked the seventh time this season that the guard from New Zealand has record 20-or-more points in a game. The 24-point performance for Leger-Walker against the Bruins on Sunday is the most points scored on the road by the guard this season. It is also the most points scored in a game by Leger-Walker since collecting a season-high 27 points against San Francisco back on Dec. 2.
Washington State jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game and held a 13-8 advantage after 10 minutes of play. UCLA was able to erase WSU's lead in the second quarter, as they took a four-point lead going into the half at 28-24.
The Cougars battled back in the third and took one-point lead at 33-32 after back-to-back 3-pointers from senior Ula Motuga. The Bruins recaptured a six-point lead with less than two minutes remaining in the frame. A pair of free throws from the younger Leger-Walker sister put the Cougs back ahead 47-46 with 53 ticks left in the third. UCLA ended the frame with a 3-pointer to take a 49-47 advantage into the game's final quarter.
UCLA opened the fourth with four consecutive 3-pointers to take a 61-53 lead with 7:13 remaining in the game. The Bruins rolled off six more points from that point to take a 14-point lead at 67-53. WSU would not be able to overcome that deficit, as the Cougars were denied the program's first weekend sweep on the road against USC and UCLA with a 13-point loss at Pauley Pavilion. With the loss, Washington State falls to 10-6 on the year and 2-3 in Pac-12 play.
Leger-Walker was one of two Cougs to record double-digit points on Sunday, as Motuga chipped in 13 points, while knocking down a team-best three 3-point field goals. Both Leger-Walker and Motuga pulled down nine rebounds a piece in the contest to pace the way for WSU on the glass.
Washington State posted a higher shooting percentage than UCLA on Sunday. The Cougs shot 38.9 percent from the floor, while the Bruins posted a 35.3 percent success rate from the field. UCLA forced Washington State into 19 turnovers, which led to a 17-11 edge for the Bruins in points off turnovers.
Head coach Kamie Ethridge on the Result
"I love the way we started the game. I thought we had great energy. We had a quick start and then it dried up fast. We lost some steam and got into foul trouble. We had to go with small lineup and never regained our momentum on the offensive end. Again, we have to work on that smaller lineup and make sure we are getting what we want out of that. UCLA is tough and gritty. They bounced back and the ultimate separation tonight was the fourth quarter."
- Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 20-or-more points for the 19th time in her career.
- Leger-Walker also posted her 36th career game with double-digit points.
- Senior Ula Motuga scored double-digit points for the second-straight contest after posting 14 points in Friday's win at USC.
- Motuga has also made three-of-more shots from behind the arc in each of her last two games. Her previous career high for more made 3-pointers in a game coming into this weekend was just two.
- Washington State falls to 9-59 all-time against UCLA and 0-34 in Pauley Pavilion.
- Redshirt fifth year senior Krystal Leger-Walker dished out four assists against the Bruins to extend her consecutive game assist streak to 81 games.