Ducks destroy Cougs in Beasley

WSU now fourth in Pac-12; Oregon now second



WSU guard Tara Wallack (right) drives to the basket past Oregon State forward Kennedy Brown (left) during the first half of an NCAA collegiate basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 26, in Beasley Coliseum.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

The WSU women’s basketball team lost decisively against the No. 24 Oregon Ducks, 83-30. 

Oregon pounced on the Cougars very quickly in the first quarter, gaining a 17-point lead. Nothing progressive was happening for the Cougars offensively or defensively and the Ducks took advantage of the opportunity. 

This was one of the few home games left for the Cougars of the 2021-22 regular season. With the loss, WSU falls to 14-8 overall and 6-5 in Pac-12 play. WSU has also lost eight straight games to Oregon and is 19-72 all-time against them. This proved be a tough Oregon team that kept the Cougars on lockdown for the duration of the game 

“Congrats to Oregon,” WSU head coach Kamie Ethridge said. “They are hard to guard and have great weapons all over the floor and we never figured out how to guard them.”

The Cougars were unable to get anything going, which opened the gates for Oregon scoring runs. Charlisse Leger-Walker, one of the most efficient scorers in the NCAA, was limited to four points. 

“We got really out of whack and missed a lot of early shots and that affected our confidence,” Ethridge said. “We couldn’t put any points on the board.” 

Bella Murekatete led the way for the Cougars, securing nine points. She was able to thrive in the tough matchup against the Ducks, weaving her way past the offense and finding ways to score aggressively in the paint. She has also grabbed at least nine rebounds in three of her last six games. 

Krystal Leger-Walker followed with eight points. She made two from behind the arc. She was also able to provide two assists against the Ducks, extending her assists streak to 87 straight games. 

One of the main ways that the Ducks were able to dominate against the Cougars was shot selections. It was a rough shooting day for the Cougars as they shot 17.5% from the floor. Oregon shot 50.8% and was able to capitalize off of the Cougars’ mistakes.

Despite Oregon’s scoring prowess, the Cougars did have opportunities to turn the tide and build momentum but were unable to. 

“They were giving us some threes,” Ethridge said. “When we did have good looks and did have some easy baskets inside, we made them hard and difficult, and missed them.” 

The game did raise awareness on how the Cougars must approach every game; to attack from the get-go and have players step up in big games. 

“At this point, no one is going to be afraid to walk in our gym and play us,” Ethridge said. “We gotta play better, we gotta prepare better, we have to have our best players step up and score the basketball. We have to get role players playing at a better level, and if anyone thought it was gonna become easier as we went down the stretch, it’s just not.” 

The Cougars have a chance to regroup and capitalize off of Wednesday’s loss tonight, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. against UCLA.