Hristova becomes WSU’s all-time leading scorer in a 96-75 victory at Cal

Borislava Hristova becomes WSU's all-time leading scorer with 26 points over the Cal Bears on January 5th
Borislava Hristova scored 26 against Cal to become WSU's all-time leading scorer.
Borislava Hristova becomes WSU's all-time leading scorer with 26 points over the Cal Bears on January 5th

BERKELEY, Calif. — Redshirt senior Borislava Hristova further solidified herself as one of the all-time greats in Washington State women’s basketball history, as she became WSU’s all-time leading scorer on Sunday afternoon, to guide the Cougars to their first Pac-12 Conference victory of the season, with a 96-75 victory over California in Haas Pavilion.

Hristova broke Jeanne Eggart’s career record of 1,967 points with a contested jumper in the lane in the first quarter that capped off a nine-point opening frame for the forward. Hristova tallied 26 points against the Golden Bears on Sunday to give her 1,986 career points, and dethrone Eggart from atop the Washington State all-time scoring list after a 38-year reign.

Washington State scored a season-best 96 points against the Bears. Hristova and senior Chanelle Molina, who tallied a game-high 28 points, paced a quartet of double-digit scorers for the Cougs. It was the second-straight outing that the duo has scored 20-plus points apiece.

The victory improves Washington State’s record to 1-2 in Pac-12 play, while they move to a game over .500 on the year at 8-7. For California, they fall to 0-2 in the Pac-12 and 8-5 overall. The win for the Cougars snap a five-game losing streak to the Golden Bears, while it is the first victory for Washington State in Haas Pavilion since Feb. 12, 2011.

Molina tallied a game-high 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the floor, as she flirted with a triple-double by tacking on eight rebounds and eight assists to her stat line. The 28 points for the point guard establishes a new season high for the second-straight contest, as she scored 27 points at No. 4/5 Stanford on Friday night.

The 28-point outing for Molina concludes a spectacular offensive weekend that saw her score 55 points on 23-of-32 (72%) in two games on the road.

Redshirt junior Johanna Muzet posted a career-high 12 points off the bench, behind a career-best three 3-point field goals. Sophomore Ula Motuga rounded out the group of double-digit scorers for Washington State with her third 11-point outing over the last four games.

WSU shot a season-high 61.9% from the floor in the victory over Cal. The Cougs blitzed the Golden Bears out of the gate, by scoring the game’s first 12 points, which helped them jump out to a 31-6 lead after one quarter of play.

The Cougs hit 21 of their first 25 shots (84%) on Sunday to build a 36-point lead, 50-14, with 3:56 remaining in the second quarter. California responded with a 27-4 run the spanned across the second and third quarters to cut the WSU lead to 13 at the 7:09 mark of the third frame, which forced the Cougars to take a timeout.

The break proved beneficial for Washington State, as they went on a short 5-0 spurt out of the timeout thanks to a Muzet jumper and a Molina 3-point field goal. The Cougars were able to keep the Bears at bay for the remainder of the game, as they led by as many as 26 points in the fourth quarter, before capturing the 21-points road win.

The Cougs conclude their three-game road trip next Saturday, Jan. 11, with their second matchup against the Washington Huskies in 13 days. Tip-off for the ­Boeing Apple Cup Series contest is set for 12:30 p.m. from the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.

Coach Ethridge on Today’s Victory: 
“It’s unbelievable the way we came out and played in the first quarter. It was beautiful basketball. When the ball goes into the basket like that, everyone feels good. Defensively, we were so on-point and played with a lot of energy. We gave Cal some rope and that was bound to happen. They are hard to guard and hard to box out. They went on a run when we had to go to our bench (in the second quarter). I was worried about coming out of halftime after so many starters sit for so long, but we stay posed and handled it well. I loved how we bounced back, stayed confident and made them pay for their mistakes.”

Borislava Hristova on becoming the WSU All-Time Leading Scorer: “I am very honored to have my name next to some of the greatest players that have player here at WSU. This record was broken by a village of people, and I am thankful to all the coaches and every teammate I have had throughout my time as a Coug. Thank you to all of these people that helped make this possible.”

–  Today’s 96-75 victory over California snaps a five-game losing streak for Washington State against the Golden Bears. It also marks the first win for the Cougs in Haas Pavilion since Feb. 12, 2011.

– The win over Cal marked the 100th career victory as a head coach for Kamie Ethridge.

–  Washington State shot a season-best 61.9% from the field against the Golden Bears. WSU has now shot over 42% from the floor in each of their last six games.

– The 31 points scored by Washington State in the first quarter today marks the highest point total posted by the Cougs in an opening quarter in program history. Meanwhile the six points scored against WSU in the first tied a program record for the fewest points allowed in the first quarter.

– Redshirt senior Borislava Hristova’s 26-point effort is her 45th career game with 20-or-more points. While senior Chanelle Molina posted her 10th career game with 20-plus points this afternoon.

– Senior Chanelle Molina has now shot over 68% from the floor in each of her last two outings. She went 11-of-16 (68.7%) on Friday against Stanford, and followed that up with a 12-of-16 (75%) performance against California.