Cougs Break Out the Brooms against USC
PULLMAN, Wash. – Redshirt fifth-year senior Krystal Leger-Walker came up clutch and closed it out for the second-straight game this weekend for the Washington State women's basketball team, as the point guard stole the ball on the final possession of the game to secure a 57-54 win over Southern California at Beasley Coliseum on Sunday, Feb. 13.
Washington State's defense stood tall on the final Trojan possession. Southern Cal drove the ball down the lane and kicked it out to the top of the key looking for a 3-point attempt. Krystal Leger-Walker read the play perfectly and jumped the pass and picked it off with a second remaining. Leger-Walker sprinted down the court in jubilation after securing the Cougar victory.
With the win, WSU improves to 16-8 on the year and 8-5 in Pac-12 Conference action. The win over USC gives Washington State its first season sweep over the Trojans since the 1998-99 season.
Washington State led by as many as 20 points in the second quarter, as a 16-0 run by the Cougars gave WSU a 36-16 lead with less than two minutes before halftime. USC scored the final six points of the frame to give the Cougs a 36-22 lead going into the locker room.
WSU maintained a double-digit lead for the majority of the third quarter, but Southern Cal once again scored the final six points of the stanza to cut Washington State's lead to eight points at 50-42 going into the fourth quarter.
The Trojans kept pressing, as USC scored the first four points of the fourth to pull within four points of the Cougars with 7:32 remaining. Washington State ran off six-straight points from that point to build back a 56-46 advantage with 4:39 left on the clock.
Southern California continued to chip away at the Cougar lead and was able to make it a one-possession game at 56-54 with 13 seconds remaining. Junior Bella Murekatete hit a clutch free throw with 11 ticks left on the clock to give Washington State a three-point advantage. USC called a timeout out and advanced the ball to set up Leger-Walker's game-clinching heroics for the second-straight game.
The Cougars were led in scoring by sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker, who scored 20 points in the victory over USC. Leger-Walker was one of three Cougars to score double-digit points on Sunday against the Trojans. Murekatete tallied 15 points in the win, while junior Johanna Teder registered 11 points against the Trojans.
Head Coach Kamie Ethridge on the Win
"I say it every time, but you're just thrilled to get a win. You know how hard it is to get a win. I thought we played a really good first half. I thought our first half won the game for us. We really played well and built a lead. I thought we got some great looks in the third and fourth quarters. Those are looks we've got to take if we are going to beat the best teams, or anyone we play. I thought our team was poised enough at the end of the game to find a way to win a hard-fought game in a tough matchup for us."
- The Cougars improve to 9-2 at home this season.
- WSU has now won 11 of its last 13 games at Beasley Coliseum dating back to last season.
- Washington State completes its first season sweep of Southern California since the 1998-99 season.
- The Cougars won back-to-back game against USC for the first time since winning four-straight games between the 2012-13 and 2015-16 seasons.
- WSU improves to 20-55 all-time vs. Southern California and 12-22 all-time in Pullman against the Trojans.
- Charlisse Leger-Walker recorded 20-or-more points in a game for the ninth time this season and for the 21st time in her WSU career.
- Charlisse Leger-Walker has now scored double-digit points in 19 games this season.
- Leger-Walker has scored 10-or-more points in 41 of her 48 career games at WSU.
- The 16-0 run by WSU in the second quarter tied for the most consecutive points the Cougars have scored this season. Washington State also scored 16-straight points against San Jose State (Nov. 9) and San Francisco (Dec. 2).
- Johanna Teder tallied double-digit points in a contest for the 10th time this season and for the 11th time in her career.
- Washington State is now 9-1 this season when Johanna Teder scores 10-or-more points.
- Bella Murekatete scored 10-plus points in a game for the 13th time this season.
- Murekatete had now registered back-to-back games with 10-plus points for the first time scoring 11 points at Arizona (Jan. 7) and 10 points at Southern Cal (Jan. 14).
- Krystal Leger-Walker extended her consecutive assist streak to 89 games with five assists against the Trojans.
Washington State will continue its five-game home stand next Friday, Feb. 18, when the Cougars host Arizona State. Tip-off against the Sun Devils is set for 7 p.m. PT and will air live on Pac-12 Network Washington.