Cougs beat Bulldogs in regional showdown

WSU earns first victory over Gonzaga since 2015



WSU guard Charlisse Leger-Walker (5, right) shoots a three-pointer during a college basketball game against the University of San Francisco in Beasley Coliseum, Dec. 3, 2021.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

The Cougars women’s basketball team defeated Gonzaga 51-49 to extend their winning streak to three games. 

WSU snapped a four-game losing streak to Gonzaga that dated back in 2015, when the Cougs picked up a 55-48 win over the Bulldogs in Beasley Coliseum. 

The Cougars were very efficient on defense, as they earned 13 steals with the Leger-Walker sisters leading the team with four. The Cougars also had an impressive day turning defense to offense as they had 18 points off turnovers. 

In the first half, the Cougars had a slow start as they only had 16 points and were 5-27 in field goals. They had issues with foul trouble and were unable to shoot behind the arc, going 3-11. 

The second half, however, was a different game for the Cougars, as they scored 35 and were able to dominate on the boards, collecting 18 rebounds. 

Charlisse Leger-Walker led the way for the Cougs. Her game against Gonzaga was impactful as she led the team in scoring with 14. She has now scored in double digits in three consecutive games, including a season-high 27-point performance in a win over San Francisco last Wednesday. She also tied with her sister, Krystal Leger-Walker, for the team lead in steals with four. 

Despite not taking the role as a scorer in Wednesday’s game, Krystal Leger-Walker was all over the court as she had three rebounds, three assists and four steals. 

Bella Murekatete also was a factor in the game as she was one point shy from a double-double scoring nine and 10 rebounds for the Cougars, which was the game-high for both the Cougars and Bulldogs. 

The Cougars  had 15 points from the bench with Tara Wallack leading the way. The freshman secured five points and two rebounds off the bench. Grace Sarver had five points for the Cougars as well. The Cougars’ improved defense in the second half helped to stop the fast-paced offense that Gonzaga plays

Gonzaga averages 69.38 points per game and shoots 46.0 percent from the floor as a team. In Wednesday’s game against the Cougars, they shot 34 percent and struggled to score in the second half as they had no field goals in the last 2:35 of the game.

“It just feels great,” head coach Kamie Ethridge responds. “It’s a big, big win. The team feels amazing. It was so much fun being in the locker room with them. They know this was a big win.” 

The Cougars head back to Beasley Coliseum to face Boise State on Sunday.