PULLMAN - The Washington State women's basketball team made history Monday, January 11, as the Cougars were placed inside the top 25 of this week's Associated Press poll for the first time in program history, checking in at No. 25.
The No. 25-ranking comes less than 24 hours after the Cougars picked up a thrilling 71-69 win in overtime against then-No. 7/10 Arizona at Beasley Coliseum. Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker's layup as time expired gave the Cougs their second win over an AP top-25 team this season, while it marked the program's first win over a top-10 opponent in five seasons.
"I'm extremely happy for this team. I was not aware that WSU had never in its history been ranked," expressed head coach Kamie Ethridge. "It's truly a great accomplishment for this program. This summer I pointed out that there are no banners hanging in our gym and I shared that we could be a team that accomplishes a lot of firsts. We're doing it now, and we are enjoying the process every day. We realize however, that it's fleeting if we don't stay focused on today and the next great challenge before us."
Washington State picked up 73 points in this week's AP Poll to earn the No. 25 ranking. No team prior in Cougar women's basketball history had been ranked inside the AP Top 25, though the program has received votes on 10 separate occasions since the 2015-16 season. WSU moved into the AP Top 25 after picking up three votes in last week's poll. The most points WSU earned previous to Monday's ranking came back during the Jan. 5, 2016 AP Poll, when WSU earned 18 total points.
Washington State currently holds a 5-1 record in Pac-12 play and stands at 7-1 overall. The Cougars enter this week's slate of Pac-12 games in second place in the league standings. The 5-1 mark in the Pac-12 also ties for program's best start in league play, matching the 5-1 start set by the 2013-14 team. Meanwhile, the 7-1 overall record gives Washington State its second-best start to a season through eight games, only trailing the 2015-16 squad that began the year a perfect 8-0.
The Cougars return to action this Friday, when they open a four-game road trip with a matchup at Southern Cal. Tip-off against the Trojans is set for 4:30 p.m. PT from the Galen Center in Los Angeles and will be aired live on Pac-12 Washington.