Washington State women dominate first quarter en route to 79-64 win over Arizona State

Jan. 19—From staff reports

PULLMAN — Washington State sprinted out to a big lead in the opening minutes and coasted past the visiting Arizona State Sun Devils in a Pac-12 women's basketball matchup Friday evening at Beasley Coliseum.

The Cougars built an 18-0 advantage after 5 minutes and led comfortably the rest of the way, breezing to a 79-64 victory over the Sun Devils.

WSU (13-5, 2-3 Pac-12) hit six of its first eight shots while the Sun Devils went 0 for 6 from the field and committed seven turnovers during the Cougs' game-opening run, which saw five players score.

Arizona State (8-10, 0-6), which trailed 22-6 at the end of the first quarter, made a push in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to nine. But the Cougs responded late and took a 40-28 lead into the half.

Back-to-back Sun Devils 3-pointers to open the third quarter trimmed WSU's lead to eight points, but the Cougars answered with an 8-0 run to regain control. WSU led by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter.

Center Bella Murekatete led WSU with 16 points, shooting 6 of 9 from the field, and seven rebounds. Star guard Charlisse Leger-Walker totaled 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. WSU freshman guard Ele Villa scored 16 points and wing Tara Wallack added 10 points as WSU shot 49.2% from the field, 5 of 23 (21.7%) from 3-point range and 16 of 21 (76.2%) from the free-throw line. The Cougs outscored ASU 42-20 in the paint.

Arizona State shot 36.2% from the floor and went 6 of 24 (25%) on 3-pointers. Sun Devils guard Jalyn Brown led all players with 21 points.

The Cougs host Arizona at noon Sunday.