The Cougars checked in at No. 25 in the AP poll less than 24 hours after the 71-69 home win in overtime against Arizona. Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker’s left-handed layup in traffic as time expired gave Washington State their second win over an AP top-25 team this season, while it marked the program’s first win over a top-10 opponent in five seasons. The Cougars had earlier in season defeated No. 21 Oregon State on Dec. 19. Washington State, which now stands 7-1 overall and 5-1 in Pac-12 Conference play, suffered its only loss of the season by a 69-65 count to No. 8 Oregon on Dec. 21.
RANKINGS: AP poll | Power 10 | NET Rankings
After trailing by as many as 16 points against Arizona, Washington State mounted a comeback that was capped by Leger-Walker’s basket just before the overtime buzzer. The freshman showed poised down the stretch, scoring 10 of her team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. Leger-Walker’s wrap-around layup at the end of regulation sent the game into the extra stanza.
Redshirt senior Krystal Leger-Walker and sophomore Bella Murekatete each scored 14 points for Washington State. The elder Leger-Walker barely missed out on a double-double, as she dished out a Washington State career-high nine assists against the Wildcats. Meanwhile, Murekatete pulled down a team-best seven rebounds in the win.
Washington State enters this week’s slate of Pac-12 games in second place in the league standings. The 5-1 mark in the Pac-12 also ties for program’s best start in league play, matching the 5-1 start set by the 2013-14 team. Meanwhile, the 7-1 overall record gives Washington State its second-best start to a season through eight games, only trailing the 2015-16 squad that began the year a perfect 8-0.
The Cougars return to action this Friday, Jan. 15 when they open a four-game road trip with a matchup at Southern California, followed by a Jan. 17 game at UCLA.