Cougs win in overtime thriller

WSU has won last four games against UW



WSU forward Ula Motuga (15) drops back after shooting a 3-pointer during the second half of an NCAA collegiate basketball game, Jan. 28, in Beasley Coliseum. Motuga tied the game with 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter, sending the game into overtime.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

The WSU women’s basketball team defeated the Washington Huskies 60-56 in overtime on Friday. 

The Cougars captured their 12th win of the season, tying the amount of wins WSU achieved all last season. 

WSU has won nine of their last 10 games in Beasley Coliseum. This was the Cougars’ 10th all-time win against the Huskies. Six of those 10 wins have come under current WSU head coach, Kamie Ethridge. 

The victory over the Huskies is the Cougars’ second straight win. Their previous game was a 58-51 win against Oregon State on Wednesday. 

Charlisse Leger-Walker led the Cougs with 18 points on a 6-15 shooting performance and grabbed seven rebounds off the boards.

Krystal Leger-Walker also stepped up for the Cougars, scoring a season-high 14 points on 5-13 shooting. Krystal added five rebounds and three assists during the game as well.

The Huskies were led by Haley Van Dyke’s double-double outing. Van Dyke scored 11 points and tied her season-high with 13 rebounds. Nancy Mulkey also proved a challenge for the Cougs, grabbing seven rebounds and blocking three shots. The 6-foot-9-inch center fouled out during the game, allowing the Cougars to attack the paint during overtime and score easy buckets. 

WSU’s Johanna Teder recorded 10 points, going 4-8 from the field and 2-5 from three-point range. 

Washington controlled the game early on, leading 13-8 after the first quarter. Krystal scored four of WSU’s eight points in the first quarter.

The Cougs defense came up strong in the second quarter, only allowing six points and taking a 24-19 lead going into halftime. The Cougar comeback was helped by a trio of threes from WSU’s guards.

Butch T. Cougar shows off a drawing he made before an NCAA collegiate basketball game against UW, Jan. 28, in Beasley Coliseum

Washington took over in the third quarter, shooting 9-15 and scoring four threes on their way to a 23-point quarter while the Cougars scored 13 on 4-14 shooting. A bright spot for the Cougs in the third quarter was the eight points from Charlisse, four of which came from the free-throw line. 

“During that second half, we really were struggling to score,” Krystal said. 

The Cougars came up clutch in the fourth quarter, led by Charlisse with seven points. The Cougars outscored the Huskies 13-8 in the final quarter to tie the game at 50-50. WSU’s late-game comeback was aided by Ula Motuga, who scored four points in the last 30 seconds. Motuga hit a game-tying three-pointer with 14 seconds left to save the Cougars and send the game into overtime.

“Thankfully enough, Krystal was able to find me, and thank God that went in,” Motuga said. 

In overtime, clutch free-throw shooting from the Cougs helped propel them to victory. WSU went 6-6 from the line in overtime. Bella Murekatete made four from the charity strip and took advantage of Mulkey fouling out with hard drives to the basket. Krystal had four points of her own in overtime, including two free throws with 13 seconds left to give the Cougars a lead of four. That four-point lead ended up being the difference-maker for WSU, defeating the Huskies 60-56. 

“Her commitment to get her shot and her free throw better, it just shows growth,” Ethridge said. “It shows where she’s going, and she’s a long way from being done.”

WSU finished the game shooting 21-59 from the field and 6-19 from three. The Cougars were outrebounded 50-34 by the Huskies but made up the difference by forcing 15 turnovers. Another key stat in the game was free throws. WSU went 12-16 from the free-throw line for 75%, while the Huskies went just 6-21 for an abysmal 28.6%. 

The Cougs finished the series with another victory over the Huskies on Sunday, 57-43.