LAS VEGAS (AP)Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 15 points and seventh-seeded Washington State stunned No. 20 Colorado 61-49 Friday night to earn a berth in the Pac-12 Conference championship game for the first time in program history.
The Cougars will face fifth-seeded UCLA in Sunday’s title game. It will be the first time none of the conference’s top four seeds have reached the finals.
Washington State, which set a program record with its 22nd win, shut down the third-seeded Buffaloes early, building a 20-6 lead in the second quarter.
Colorado regrouped in the second half and used a 12-0 run to tie it at 38 going into the fourth quarter. Ula Motuga drilled a 3-pointer with 6:17 left to jump-start a 12-2 run that put the Cougars in front by 10 and stayed there.
Bella Murekatete had 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Washington State (22-10). Astera Tuhina had 10 points and Motuga shot 3 of 4 from beyond the arc to add nine points. The Cougars were 23 of 49 from the field (46.9%), including 6 of 13 from long range and 9 of 11 from the free-throw line.
Colorado (23-8) shot 37% from the floor (20 of 54) and was just 4 of 18 from behind the 3-point arc. Aaronette Vonleh led the Buffaloes with 18 points. Jaylyn Sherrod had 13 points, five rebounds and six assists and Frida Formann added 11 points.
Washington State split its regular-season series with the Bruins. UCLA won in Pullman 73-66. The Cougars won 62-55 in Los Angeles.
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