Cougs Look for a Perfect Weekend in the Mountains this Sunday at Utah
SALT LAKE CITY – The Washington State women's basketball team looks to make it a perfect road trip through the mountains for the second-straight season when the Cougars take on Utah this Sunday, Feb. 6. Tip-off from the Huntsman Center is set for 11 a.m. PT and will air live on Pac-12 Network Washington.
WASHINGTON STATE (14-6, 6-3 Pac-12) at Utah (12-7, 3-4 Pac-12) | Sunday, Feb. 6 | 11 a.m. PT | Salt Lake City, Utah (Jon M. Huntsman Center)
Live Stats | Click Here
Watch | Pac-12 Network Washington (Krista Blunk & Amanda Smith)
Listen | WSU IMG Radio Network (Steve Grubbs)
Game Notes | Click Here
>> WSU comes into Sunday's contest at Utah fresh off a 63-56 win at Colorado on Friday, Feb. 4. The Cougars were led by sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker's career-high 30-point performance, while junior Johanna Teder chipped in 14 points. The win improved Washington State's overall record to 14-6 on the year. The Cougars are 6-3 in Pac-12 play and are currently tied for third in the Pac-12 with No. 8 Arizona.
>> Washington State will be seeking its fifth win in a row this Sunday when they take on the Utes. The last time the Cougars won five-consecutive Pac-12 games came back during the 2013-14 season, when WSU opened the year with a 5-0 mark in league play.
>> The Cougars will also be searching for their fourth-straight win over Utah. Washington State swept the season series last season against the Utes, as the Cougs were 3-0 against them last season.
>> Sunday's matchup will serve as the 29th all-time meeting between Washington State and Utah. The Utes lead the all-time series, 19-9, but WSU has won each of the last three games in the series. The Cougars are 5-9 in Salt Lake City and will be searching for back-to-back wins in the Huntsman Center after beating Utah, 77-74, back on Jan. 1, 2021.
>> Washington State is 13-0 this season when holding teams to 60-or-less points. The Cougars are 49th in the nation in scoring defense, as WSU is holding teams to 57.6 points per game. Washington State has held its opponent under 60 points in each of the last four games.
Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker became the 16th player in program history to score 30-or-more points in a game with a 30-point outing in Friday's win at Colorado. Leger-Walker shot a blistering 50 percent from the field (9-of-18) and connected on four shots from behind the arc. She becomes the first WSU player since Jan. 31, 2020 to score 30-or-more points in a game, as Borislava Hristova registered 32 points in a win over California.
Leading the Conference
Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker leads the Pac-12 in Points scored (346), field goals attempted (328), Field Goals Made (124), minutes played (727:00) and minutes played per game (36.35).
Ula The Snipper
Senior Ula Motuga has been on one of the best stretches of her career from behind the arc of late. The forward has gone 12-of-19 (.631) from behind the arc over the last seven games, which includes a career-high four 3-pointers made at Southern California on Jan. 14. Motuga has hit 18 3-pointers through 16 games played this season and is shooting a career-best 50.0 percent from behind the arc.
Taking Care of Business on the Road
Washington State heads into Sunday's contest sporting a 6-4 record in true road games this season. WSU has won back-to-back Pac-12 road games heading into Utah and will seeking the program's first three-game road winning streak since the 2013-14 season with wins at USC (Jan. 31; 79-75), at Utah (Feb. 14; 83-73) and at Colorado (Feb. 16; 80-77).
Friday's win at Colorado bumped the Cougars up to No. 57 in the NET rankings. The NET is a formula used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee to determine at-large bids and seeding. WSU has another chance to improve its NET ranking on this Sunday, as Utah has a NET of 21.
Scouting the Utes
Utah comes into Sunday's contests against Washington State sporting a 12-7 overall and a 3-4 mark in Pac-12 play. The Utes have won back-to-back games coming into Sunday, as they 've collected victories at Colorado (78-67) and knocked off Washington at home, 71-66, on Friday. Utah currently has a NET of 21.
The Utes feature a freshmen duo that was won Pac-12 Freshman of the Week a combined six times this season. Freshman Gianna Kneepkens is the reigning two-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week and has won the award four times this season. The 5-11 guard is averaging 11.7 points per contest, while she has scored double-digit points in six of her last seven contests. Freshman forward Jenna Johnson has also won the league's freshman accolade twice this season, as the 6-2 post is averaging 11.0 points and a team-best 4.7 rebounds per contest. Junior Brynna Maxwell is averaging a team-best 12.2 points per game off the bench, though she is averaging 21.2 minutes per game.
Utah is averaging a league-high 79.7 points per game through 19 contests. The Utes are shooting 45.3 percent from the field, while connecting on 35.9 percent from behind the arc. Conversely, Utah is giving up the second-most points per game in the Pac-12 at 66.0 points. Teams are shooting 41.1 percent against the Utes this season, while posting a 29.9 percent success rate on 3-point field goals.
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