WSU’s Molina earns first Pac-12 player of the week award

CJ Elleby and Isaac Bonton lead WSU to season sweep over UW
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CJ Elleby and Isaac Bonton lead WSU to season sweep over UW

PULLMAN, Wash. – For the first time in illustrious career as a Cougar, senior Chanelle Molina has been named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Monday, Jan. 6, after an astounding two-game performance on the road this past weekend in the Bay Area.

Molina averaged a Pac-12-best 27.5 points per game and shot a league-high 71.8% (23-of-32) from the floor in a pair of contests at No. 4/5-ranked Stanford and at California. It is the second-career weekly Pac-12 honor for the Kailua Kona, Hawaii native, as she previous was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, which ironically also came on Jan. 6 of 2017.

Molina opened her monster weekend with a then-season-high 27-point outing at No. 4/5 Stanford on Jan. 3. The sharp-shooter connected on 11 of her 16 attempts from the field in the 96-76 loss in Maples Pavilion, which included a 5-of-8 effort from behind the arc, to move into fourth on WSU’s all-time 3-point field goals made list.

The diminutive guard flirted with a triple-double at Cal on Sunday, Jan. 5, as she scored a season-best 28 points, pulled down eight rebounds and dished out a season-high eight assists to guide Washington State to its first win inside Haas Pavilion since Feb. 12, 2011. Molina went 12-of-16 (75%) from the floor against the Golden Bears, as she recorded her second-straight contest with a field goal percentage of 68.8% -or-better on the weekend. She also added four steals and a block to her ledger in 37 minutes of action.

It is the first-time since Dec. 31, 2018 that a Cougar was been named the Pac-12 Player of the Week. She is the first player other than redshirt senior Borislava Hristova, who has earned the distinction twice, to be named the Pac-12 Player of the Week since Dec. 15, 2014 (Tia Presley).

For the season, Molina is second on the team and fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 16.3 points per game. The eldest of the three Molina sisters has scored double-digits in all but two games this season. The do-it-all guard also leads the team in assists at 4.3 per contest, while her 6.1 caroms per contest is second-best for the Cougs.

Washington State looks to get even in Pac-12 Conference play this Saturday, as they travel across the Evergreen State to take on Washington at the Alaska Airlines Arena. Tip-off is set for 12:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network Washington.