From staff reports
Washington State couldn’t have dug itself into a deeper hole on Friday.
After the first quarter, the Cougar women trailed 17-3 on the road against USC – a team that beat No. 4 Arizona on Sunday – but rallied to beat the Trojans 71-63 for their first win of the new year.
WSU (10-5, 2-2 Pac-12) shot 1 of 14 from the field in the first quarter, but went 8 for 12 in the second to cut the deficit to seven points at halftime.
Johanna Teder and Ula Motuga combined for 19 of the Cougars’ 30 first-half points, as the team’s leading scorer – Charlisse Leger-Walker – scored two points on 1-of-8 shooting.
Teder made a corner 3-pointer in transition to put the Cougars ahead 50-48 for their first lead of the night with 2:03 remaining in the third quarter.
The Trojans (8-5, 1-2) regained the lead on a 3-pointer from Bella Perkins to open the fourth quarter.
Leger-Walker scored five of her 13 points in a 1-minute span to give WSU a seven-point lead .
Teder led WSU with 20 points, and Motuga added 14, shooting 4 of 5 on 3-pointers. Both scoring totals were season highs.
USC held statistical advantages in field-goal percentage (40 to 38) and 3-point percentage (50 to 32), but the Cougars scored 10 more points on free throws and had a 17-3 advantage in second-chance points.
The Cougars won their first game since beating California on Dec. 31, being rolled by No. 2 Stanford 82-44 on Jan. 2 and falling short against Arizona 60-52 on Jan. 7.
WSU will remain in Los Angeles this weekend for a noon meeting with UCLA on Sunday.
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