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WOMENS BASKETBALL


Washington State 85, UCLA 82

Washington State 85, UCLA 82

JOE REEDY
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES - Bella Murekatete scored 20 points, Jenna Villa added 18 and Washington State held on for a 85-82 victory over No. 2 UCLA despite All-Pac-12 guard Charlisse Leger-Walker suffering a knee injury during the second half.

Leger-Walker — an Associated Press All-America honorable mention selection last season — suffered the non-contact injury with 7:30 remaining in the third quarter and with the Cougars (15-6, 4-4 Pac-12) holding a 48-32 lead. The senior guard was taken to the locker room and had 17 points.

Kiki Rice had 25 points and Charisma Osbourne added 20 and Londynn Jones 19 for UCLA (16-3, 5-3), which has dropped two of its last three.

UCLA trailed 52-32 early in the second half but got the deficit down to 12 at the end of the third quarter. The Bruins opened the fourth on a 15-7 rally that included four 3-pointers to get within 72-68.

A pair of free throws by Jenna Villa put Washington State up 81-75 with 54 seconds left, but the Bruins made a final late push to make it a one possession game late. Rice had five points during a 7-2 run, including a pair of free throws with 19 seconds remaining as Washington State held on to an 83-82 advantage.

A pair of free throws by Murekatete put the Cougars back up by three. After a timeout, UCLA had a final chance to send it to overtime but the Bruins missed all three potential tying 3-pointers in the final 11 seconds, including one by Rice that went off the glass as time expired.

The Cougars led 19-17 at the end of the first quarter. UCLA regained the lead on Jones’ 3-pointer before Washington State countered with 11 straight points as part of a 19-2 run. Leger-Walker had eight points during the spurt as the Cougars were 9 of 12 from the field, including three 3-pointers.

Leger-Walker and Murekatete combined to go 12 of 16 from the field in the first half as Washington State had a 46-30 advantage at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Washington State: Leger-Walker’s injury figures to have a major impact on the Cougars heading into the second half of the Pac-12 season.

UCLA: Lauren Betts missed her second straight game due to a non-disclosed medical issue, and her presence in the paint was needed as the Cougars dominated inside.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Washington State athletics press release

January 28, 2024





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