Cougs fall to Cougars

WSU cannot get by No. 20 BYU in first of consecutive road games



WSU guard Johanna Teder (21) dribbles the ball towards the basket 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 came up short Saturday on the road against No. 20 BYU Cougars, 53-71.

This was the second game that WSU played against a ranked opponent this season. WSU previously lost to No. 2 NC State (62-34) on Nov. 27 in the Bahamas. 

WSU drops to 8-2 in nonconference games this season and are 6-6 all-time against BYU. With Saturday’s loss, the Cougars’ four-game winning streak came to an end. 

In the first half, the Cougars struggled as they were 8-25 in field goals and just could not get the ball moving. Rough shooting, missed rebounds and second-chance opportunities played an impact in WSU’s loss. 

Bella  Murekatete, the Pac-12 leader in rebounds, had no points or rebounds in the first half. BYU took advantage, as they dominated on the boards with 24 rebounds and took the lead from WSU from the start of the game. 

Despite the loss, Charlisse Leger-Walker had a great game for the Cougars as she led WSU in points, scoring 21. She played 35 minutes in the game and was one of the highlights for the Cougars. 

Leger-Walker’s ability to score was showcased against BYU and her recognition across the nation is growing. On Monday, she was named Pac-12 Player Of The Week and placed on’s Starting Five being the first Cougar selected for this honor.

Ula Motuga was one of the motivating factors in the Cougars trying to get back in Saturday’s game, earning a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. 

“I thought we were as inconsistent as we have been in a long time,” WSU head coach Kamie Ethridge said. 

The biggest factor in BYU’s win was how dominant they were in all phases of the game and how WSU has to improve from this lesson for Sunday’s game. 

“I think in a nutshell, the team that was more aggressive, the team that was more physical, and the team that attacked the rim better, won the game and it’s pretty much that simple,” Ethridge said. 

The game also marked the collegiate debut of Kaia Woods, who reclassified from the class of 2022 to the class of 2021 due to her high school canceling their season. Woods played one minute and recorded no stats in her debut.

The Cougars stay on the road, facing Stony Brook on Sunday to replace a canceled meeting with Cornell.