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May 11, 2021

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WSU beats UCLA for first ever win over top-five team

Leger-Walker scores 28 points, hits go-ahead 3 in final minute

The Columbian
Published:
5 Photos
Washington State guard Charlisse Leger-Walker (5) shoots next to UCLA guard Chantel Horvat (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Pullman, Wash., Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.
Washington State guard Charlisse Leger-Walker (5) shoots next to UCLA guard Chantel Horvat (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Pullman, Wash., Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Photo Gallery

PULLMAN  — Charlisse Leger-Walker hit a go-ahead 3 with 42 seconds left and finished with 28 points, leading Washington State over No. 5 UCLA 67-63 on Friday.

The Cougars beat a team ranked in the top five for the first time in program history.

Leger-Walker’s shot put Washington State ahead 64-63. The freshman sensation made three late free throws and scored the Cougars’ final nine points.

Her sister, Krystal Leger-Walker, added 10 points for the Cougars (9-6, 7-5, Pac-12), who are enjoying their best season in years. Last month, they lost to UCLA 68-66 in overtime.

Charisma Osborne had 21 points for UCLA (10-3, 8-3), which had won five straight. Michaela Onyenwere added 16 points for the Bruins, who missed two shots in the closing seconds.

The Bruins led 22-16 after the first quarter despite 11 points from Charlisse Leger-Walker.

Washington State outscored the Bruins 19-13 in the second quarter for a halftime tie at 35.

The Cougars outscored UCLA 17-10 in the third, with seven points from Grace Sarver, to take a 52-45 lead. The Bruins made only 3 of 13 shots in the quarter.

BIG PICTURE

Washington State: The Cougars have their best team in years, and entered this week with a NET ranking of 35. The NET, which stands for the NCAA Evaluation Tool, is used as the primary sorting tool for selection and seeding for the NCAA tournament. Friday’s game marked the sixth time over the last eight contests that the Cougars have played a ranked foe. Charlisse Leger-Walker’s 17.9 points per game is currently the fifth-highest scoring average for a freshman in NCAA Division I.

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