SALT LAKE CITY – The Washington State women’s basketball team turned in a season-best offensive performance at Utah on Friday, winning 79-74.
The Cougs had a quartet of double-digit scorers to help them post their highest point total this season. Washington State shot a season-high 50% (29-58) from the field to give the Cougars their first win at the Huntsman Center since the 2016-17 season, while they also snapped a six-game losing streak to the Utes (2-5, 1-4 Pac-12).
Washington State (5-1, 3-1) has won back-to-back Pac-12 road games for just the second time since the 2014-15 season.
The offensive surge for WSU was sparked by a season-best nine three-point field goals. Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker drained a career-high five shots from behind-the-arc en route to a game-high 23 points.
Junior Ula Motuga and sophomore Bella Murekatete each posted a career-high 16 points. Senior Krystal Leger-Walker had 12 points and eight assists.
The Cougars forced 18 Ute turnovers, which led to 19 WSU points. Charlisse Leger-Walker had four steals.
“I thought we did so many good things today,” WSU coach Kamie Ethridge said. “I thought we handled ourselves well on the road. I don’t think we did a great job at finishing the game. What you saw was a team get really desperate. (Utah) got really aggressive and it threw us off a bit and we went really dry (offensively) at inopportune times.”
Washington State posted its largest lead at 60-43 with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter. Utah chipped away throughout the fourth quarter and made it a one possession game at 77-74 with 10 seconds left.
Junior Cherilyn Molina knocked down a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining to extend the WSU lead to 79-74, then she picked up a game-clinching steal.
“I think we’re showing the signs of having some good (offensive) weapons,” Ethridge said. “I don’t think we’re a surprise anymore. We’re going to get someone’s best efforts against Charlisse every night. She is a hard one to stop because she is so multidimensional.”