Cougs get clawed by Bruins

WSU now seventh in Pac-12; UCLA fourth



WSU guard Krystal Leger-Walker (4) looks to pass the ball during a college basketball game against the University of San Francisco in Beasley Colliseum, Dec. 3, 2021.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

The Cougars lost to the UCLA Bruins on Sunday, 71-58, and remain winless in Pauley Pavilion.

This was the Cougars 44th matchup against the Bruins. Last matchup, the Cougars upset the 5th-ranked Bruins on Feb. 5, 2021 behind a spectacular performance from Charlisse Leger-Walker who scored 28 points. Sunday’s loss against the Bruins continues the losing streak as the Cougars are now 0-34 in Pauley Pavilion.

The Cougars were off to a great start in the first quarter, having a lead as high as 13-2. The Cougars caused problems for the Bruins early by playing fast-paced and causing turnovers. 

However, the Bruins fought back in the second quarter to take a 28-24 lead at halftime. 

“Well, I loved our start,” WSU head coach Kamie Ethridge said. “I thought we had great energy and, you know, got off to a quick start, then dried up pretty fast.” 

In the second half, the Cougars struggled to get going on offense, shooting 3-10 from behind the arc and 11-27 from field goal range. 

UCLA went on a scoring run late in the fourth and did not look back. The Bruins made four consecutive three-pointers to take a 61-53 lead with 7:13 remaining in the game. 

“We had a good first quarter and kind of got worse,” Ethridge said. “Had a decent third quarter, and then just got beat 22-11 and had eight turnovers and they had zero, and you’re not just gonna stay in that game playing that kind of basketball.” 

The Bruins were also able to score six more points to secure a 14-point lead at 67-53, a lead that the Cougars would not be able to come back from. 

The Cougars struggled to score late in the fourth, unable to score a bucket in the last 2:18 minutes of play.

With Sunday’s loss, the Cougars dropped their record to 10-6 and 2-3 in Pac-12 play. WSU falls to 9-59 all-time against UCLA and 0-34 in Pauley Pavilion. 

Charlisse Leger-Walker was the high-scorer for the Cougars, responsible for 24 points. Leger-Walker’s 24 points marked the seventh time this season that she scored 20 or more points in a game. This is also the highest amount of points she scored all season in an away game. Her sister Krystal had four assists which extended her assist streak to 81 games in a row. 

The Cougars return back to the Palouse as they go up against the Oregon State Beavers in Pullman on Friday Jan. 21.