Washington State wins first Pac-12 Tournament title with 65-61 win over UCLA

The Pac-12 women’s tournament already surprised many by pitting the No. 5 and No. 7 seeds against each other in the conference tournament championship game.

Staying true to the theme, the Washington State Cougars finished their own surprising run with a 65-61 win over No. 19 UCLA on Sunday to win the program’s first-ever Pac-12 tournament championship.

The Cougars became the first 7-seed to reach the conference tournament championship game, upsetting 2-seed Utah and 3-seed Colorado along the way, despite having lost twice to each program in the regular season.

UCLA took down top-seed Stanford in the semifinals after wins over Arizona State and Arizona to set up the title game matchup with the Cougars.

WSU junior guard Charlisse Leger-Walker was voted the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after leading the Cougars with 76 points scored in four games in Vegas, the most points scored ever in the conference tournament.  The New Zealand native averaged 19 points a game and scored at least 15 points in each of the Cougs four victories on their way to the title.

The Cougars claim the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  The Pac-12 is regarded as the deepest conference in the sport, and will await to see how many teams it places in the tournament field on Selection Sunday, March 12th, at 5:00 p.m. on ESPN.

 

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