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Arizona women’s basketball drops to No. 22 in Associated Press Top 25 after weekend split

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 27 Womens Washington at Arizona Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Arizona women’s basketball played a lackluster game against unranked Washington State two days after fending off Washington. With the Cougars ranked No. 44 in the NET heading into the game, the Associated Press voters didn’t penalize the Wildcats much, dropping them three spots to No. 22 in this week’s Top 25.

Arizona ended the weekend 16-5 and 6-4 in Pac-12 play. The Wildcats pulled off the 61-54 win over the Huskies before falling 70-59 to the Cougars.

UA had no answer for WSU’s size with 6-foot-3 center Bella Murekatete, 6-foot-1 forward Ula Motuga, 6-foot-2 guard Tara Wallack, and 5-foot-9 guard Astera Tuhina all getting double digits in points. Wallack had a double-double with 12 rebounds to go with 12 points. Murekatete just missed a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds.

The Cougars’ star guard Charlisse Leger-Walker went 0 for 13 from the field but still grabbed 10 rebounds and had seven assists. She got five points by going 5 for 6 from the line.

Stanford moved back to No. 2 in the nation after beating the Oregon schools. The Cardinal are now 21-2 overall and in first place in the Pac-12 at 8-1.

Utah improved to 7th, the highest ranking in program history. The Utes got another win over a ranked opponent by taking out then-No. 8 UCLA. They also defeated USC, which was receiving votes. The two wins leave them standing alone in second place.

Like Arizona before them, UCLA found the road trip to the Mountain schools difficult. The Bruins lost to Colorado in overtime on Friday before falling to Utah on Sunday. That dropped them six spots to No. 14 in the media poll. They are tied with Arizona for fourth in the league at 6-4 in conference play.

The Wildcats and the Bruins meet on Friday for their only regular-season matchup this season. It will be played in Pauley Pavilion. Two days later, Arizona plays USC, which also has a 6-4 conference record. As with UCLA, it’s the only time the Wildcats play the Women of Troy during the regular season; they do not get a return game in McKale Center.

Arizona is the fourth and final Pac-12 team in the media poll as Colorado fell out this week.

CU is second on the “others receiving votes” list with 40 points. Just behind the Buffaloes is USC with 17 points. Oregon is tied with Baylor and Columbia at seventh on the list. Each team is appearing at No. 25 on one ballot.