Cougs complete USC season sweep

First season sweep of USC since 1998-99 season



WSU guard Krystal Leger-Walker (4) dribbles around USC center Desiree Caldwell (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Beasley Coliseum, Feb. 13.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

The Cougars completed the Southern California weekend sweep, beating the USC Trojans 57-54 on Sunday. 

WSU is now 9-2 at home this season and has won 11 of their last 13 games at Beasley Coliseum dating back to last season. This is also the first season sweep of USC since the 1998-99 season.

Coming off Friday’s electric win against the UCLA Bruins, the Cougars were able to carry the momentum to Sunday’s matchup against the Trojans. With the win, the Cougs are now 15-8 and 8-5 in the Pac-12. 

“I say it every time, but [we’re] just thrilled to get this win,” WSU head coach Kamie Ethridge said. 

The Cougars are peaking at the right time, heading closer and closer to the Pac-12 Championship. WSU’s role players continue to step up and provide pressure on opponents. 

The Cougs came ready to play, securing a 36-22 lead at the half. The offense provided consistent buckets, leading by as many as 20 points in the second quarter. The Cougs had a 16-0 run which gave WSU a 36-16 lead with less than two minutes before halftime. 

“You know how hard it is to get a win,” Ethridge said. “I thought we played a really good first half. I thought our first half won the game for us.”

WSU guard Johanna Teder (left) and center Bella Murekatete (right) celebrate after defeating USC 57-54 in Beasley Coliseum, Feb. 13.

The Cougs were able to maintain that lead, but the Trojans started to climb back and were able to cut the Cougars’ lead to eight at 50-42 going into the fourth quarter. The Cougars shot significantly better than the Trojans as they shot 43% from behind the arc while USC shot just 33%. 

Charlisse Leger-Walker led the WSU offense with 20 points. She was one of the most impactful players in WSU’s victory, hitting tough shots on the court and finding open teammates, which helped her secure two assists. 

Coming off her best game of the season, Krystal Leger-Walker led in assists for the Cougars with five. She advanced her assist streak to 89 games. She also closed out the game for the Cougars, stealing the ball on the final possession of the game to secure the victory.

Bella Murekatete continued her dominant inside game, scoring 15 for the Cougars. She has now scored 10-plus points in 13 games this season. Murekatete barely missed a double-double, recording nine rebounds.

Johanna Teder also scored in double-digits, putting up 11 points. She has now scored in double-digits 10 times this season. 

The Cougars take the court at 7 p.m. Friday in Beasley Coliseum against Arizona State.