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Women’s basketball knocks off No. 7 Arizona in OT thriller

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Photo Services, Washington State University

There were a few times in recent seasons when the WSU women’s basketball team got off to a hot start in non-conference play only to have reality set in swiftly once conference play began. Any thoughts of a program turnaround quickly dashed.

The current WSU women’s basketball team is not like those others.

The Cougars instead capped the weekend with a 71-69 win against No. 7 Arizona on Sunday. The highest-ranked AP Poll team the Cougs have ever beaten, according to WSU. Freshman sensation Charlisse Leger-Walker hit the game winner at the buzzer to seal the victory.

It was a hard-fought victory, with Leger-Walker needing a bucket in the final seconds of regulation to force overtime. Before that, the Cougars had to claw their way back from a 16-point deficit, including starting the fourth quarter down 9. WSU benefited from a pair of timely missed free throws from Arizona, giving Leger-Walker the chance to tie the game.

Note to other Pac-12 teams, good luck stopping Leger-Walker from getting to the rim.

The Cougars are now 7-1 on the season, including 5-1 in Pac-12 play. A reminder, WSU went 4-14 in Pac-12 play last season.

According to Washington State Athletic Communications this is the sixth time the Cougars have beaten a team ranked in the Top 10 of the AP or Coaches’ Polls.

The Cougars could — and probably should — find themselves ranked in those polls this week. The Cougars received 3 votes in the AP Poll last week which put them No. 34 overall. A win against the No. 7 team could be enough to move them up into the top 25.

WSU can make it back-to-back wins against Top 10 teams next week with No. 9 UCLA on the schedule. I’m sure Klay Thompson would approve.

*****

Women’s basketball:

Leger-Walker's Heroics Leads WSU to an Upset of No. 7/10 Arizona - Washington State University Athletics
Washington State women's basketball freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker continued the blistering start to her WSU career Sunday, Jan. 10, against No. 7/10-ranked Arizona, as she connected on a left-handed layup in traffic to give the Cougars a 71-69 upset victory over the Wildcats in Beasley Coliseum.

Washington State Cougar's women score at OT buzzer to beat No. 7 Arizona Wildcats
Charlisse Leger-Walker made a layup at the buzzer in overtime and Washington State rallied past No. 7 Arizona 71-69 on Sunday.

"Those who know me, know I don't get too high or too low but when I made that shot I was so high," she said. "Just to get that final shot go in was so amazing and I'm so glad my teammates had the trust in me to let me try and make that play."

Washington State roars back to stun No. 7 Arizona women’s basketball in overtime - Arizona Desert Swarm
Going into the season, everyone would have expected a game between the Arizona Wildcats and Oregon Ducks to be for second place in the league. What few expected was for Arizona to be playing W...

At the buzzer, surging Cougs stun No. 7 Wildcats in OT | Sports | lmtribune.com
More heroics from the breakout Leger-Walker sisters, a double-digit comeback against a top-10 opponent and another signature win for a program that’s proving everyone wrong — all the more reason why Washington State’s women’s team is can’t-miss college basketball right now.