Utah’s run to Las Vegas and hopes for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament ended Thursday night.
Washington State knocked out No. 3 Utah 66-58 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament. The win was the first in program history against a top-3 team and will move the Cougars to the semifinals. They will face either Colorado or Oregon State on Friday.
Utah, however, will likely miss out on a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Utes, who hold a 25-4 record and earned a first-round bye at the Pac-12 tournament, were replaced by Maryland as the final No. 1 seed by ESPN’s Charlie Creme.
After a close first-half battle, Washington State finally took the lead late in the third quarter. The Cougars used a massive 19-3 streak that lasted about seven minutes and into the fourth quarter to suddenly take complete control of the game.
Although Utah came back to it in the final minutes, it was too late. Washington State guard Charlisse Leger-Walker sealed the victory with a deep 3-pointer just eight seconds from the end, which propelled them to victory by eight points.
Leger-Walker finished with 15 points and five rebounds in the win. Center Bella Murekatete added 19 points and five rebounds. The win will send the Cougars to the semifinals and mark the first time since 2016 that a top-2 seed hasn’t reached the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament.
Gianna Kneepkens led Utah with 18 points and three rebounds, and Alissa Pili added 11 points after shooting 3 of 14 from the field. They were the only two players to score in double figures for the Utes, who shot just 37.7% from the field as a team.
According to Creme, Maryland is now the No. 1 final seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Terrapins finished their regular season on a six-game winning streak and will face Illinois in the Big Ten tournament on Friday afternoon.
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