Cougs split weekend 1-1

Cougs end four-game win streak



WSU guard Charlisse Leger-Walker (5) shoots a 3-pointer during the second half of an NCAA collegiate basketball game against Oregon State, Wednesday, Jan. 26, in Beasley Coliseum.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

The Cougars finished their two-game road trip against the Utes, losing 72-66. 

This was the 29th all-time meeting between WSU and Utah. With the win, WSU cuts their losing record to 20-9. 

“I think it’s a really good Utah team,” WSU head coach Kamie Ethridge said. “They’re hard to scout in one day, and we made some mistakes.” 

The Cougs struggled in the first two quarters, putting up 27 points. This is the second-lowest scoring half this season for the Cougars. 

The Cougars had a rough start in the first quarter, limited to 18 points. They started to claw their way back in the game on a 6-0 run late in the second quarter but immediately went on a scoring drought. The Utes took advantage of WSU’s inability to score by gaining an 11-point lead going into halftime.

“I thought the first half we made so many mistakes in exactly the thing that we wanted to not let them do,” Ethridge said. 

The Cougars started to fight back again late in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to eight. However, the Utes’ defense and foul trouble stopped the Cougars from building any kind of momentum. Both Charlisse Leger-Walker and Ula Motuga, who are essential pieces for the Cougars, fouled out late in the fourth. 

WSU’s Johanna Teder led the Cougars with 16 points. Aside from Teder, there were two Cougars who scored in double-digits. Leger-Walker scored 15 points, and Bella Murekatete scored 12 points. The Cougars struggled from behind the arc, shooting 27% for 6-22. 

Bench points were the deciding factor in the Pac-12 game. The WSU bench put up just 14 points compared to Utah’s 41 points by bench players.

“We’ve been on the road a lot. This was a hard trip,” Ethridge said. “It’s just disappointing that we just didn’t compete as well as we should’ve.” 

The Cougars head back home to Pullman to face the No. 19 Oregon Ducks at noon on Wednesday in Beasley Coliseum.