WSU women bust out of funk in victory

Washington State guard Johanna Teder, left, saves the ball in front of USC guard Alyson Miura during the first half of Friday’s Pac-12 game at the Galen Center.

LOS ANGELES — It looked as if the Washington State women’s basketball team was going to continue its prolonged funk early in a Pac-12 Conference game Friday at the Galen Center.

The Cougars, who had lost four of their previous five games entering the day, struggled out of the gate against a solid USC team.

Then, WSU arose from its slumber.

The Cougars scored 49 points in the middle two quarters, offsetting a terrible first quarter, and registered a 71-63 victory against the Trojans.

Washington State (10-5, 2-2), which had started the season 8-1 before its recent slump, missed 13 of its first 14 shots, in falling behind 17-3 at the end of the first quarter.

But all of a sudden, everything started to click. Trailing 25-8 with seven minutes to go before halftime, junior guard Johanna Teder was fouled attempting a 3. She canned all three free throws, and it led to a 12-1 run to get the Cougars back into it. They still trailed 26-21 with 3:54 left, but it was the juice they needed.

Washington State scored 27 points in the quarter and went into the locker room with a manageable 37-30 deficit.

The Cougars chipped away, pulling to 47-45 with 4:43 left in the third on senior forward Ula Motuga’s 3. After the Trojans (8-5, 1-2) hit a free throw to make it a three-point game, WSU went on a 7-0 spurt, fueled by five points from Teder — who finished with 20 — to put it on top 52-48 late in the quarter. It was a two-point game going to the fourth.

USC briefly took the lead at the start of the final quarter, but freshman Tara Wallack’s 3 gave the Cougars the lead for good and it began an 8-0 run. Sophomore guard Charlisse Leger-Walker, who had 13 points, scored the final six points of the spurt to put WSU up 60-53.

Motuga had 14 points and five rebounds, and junior post Bella Murekatete added 10 points and six rebounds.

Jordyn Jenkins paced the Trojans with 20 points and Bella Perkins added 15.

Washington State next plays at noon Sunday at UCLA.

WASHINGTON STATE (10-5, 2-2)

Teder 5-14 6-7 20, Motuga 5-8 0-0 14, C. Leger-Walker 5-17 3-3 13, Murekatete 4-6 2-2 10, K. Leger-Walker 1-5 4-4 6, Wallace 3-10 0-0 7, Sarver 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 23-60 16-18 71.

USC (8-5, 1-2)

Jenkins 8-11 3-3 20, Perkins 5-8 0-0 15, Pili 2-11 0-0 6, Reed 1-7 2-4 4, Caldwell 1-8 0-0 3, Marshall 3-7 0-0 6, Miura 2-3 0-0 6, Akunwafo 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 23-57 6-9 63.

Washington State 3 27 22 19—71

USC 17 20 13 13—63

3-point goals — Washington State 9-28 (Motuga 4-5, Teder 4-10, Wallack 1-3, K. Leger-Walker 0-2, C. Leger-Walker 0-8), USC 11-22 (Perkins 5-6, Miura 2-3, Pilli 2-5, Jenkins 1-1, Caldwell 1-4, Reed 0-3). Fouled out — Caldwell. Rebounds — Washington State 35 (Murekatete 6), USC 34 (Caldwell 7). Assists — Washington State 15 (K. Leger-Walker 6), USC 18 (Reed 9). Total fouls — Washington State 12, USC 15. A — N/A.