Cougs fail to cut down first place Stanford

Cougs have one game left before Pac-12 tournament



WSU guard Johanna Teder (21) dribbles around Arizona guard Shaina Pellington (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Beasley Coliseum, Feb. 20.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

The WSU women’s basketball team lost to No.2 Stanford 61-54 Thursday evening. WSU is now 18-9 overall and 10-6 in conference play. The Cougs are tied for second place with Oregon, behind Stanford (15-0) in first.

WSU is now 0-45 against Stanford all-time. This was the closest the Cougs have come to beating the Cardinal since the 2014-15 season when the Cougs lost 86-76 in overtime. 

“Yea, you need to win but you need to know you can compete,” said head coach Kamie Ethridge. 

The Cougs were led by Charlisse Leger-Walker who scored 17 points on 7-17 shooting and a trio of three-point shots. Charlisse also added four rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes of action. Krystal Leger-Walker had nine points, five rebounds and five assists in the game. Bella Murekatete was effective on the glass, grabbing seven rebounds for the Cougs, three of them on the offensive end. Murekatete also scored seven points and had a steal. 

Stanford had three players in double-digit scoring and two of them had 10 or more rebounds. Cameron Brink led the Cardinal in scoring with 16 points, she also grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked four shots for a double-double outing. Haley Jones had 14 points and 11 rebounds in the game, she also had four assists and blocked two shots in her double-double performance. Hannah Jump rounded out the double-digit scoring for the Cardinal with 12 points, including two three-point shots. 

“Just a hard night offensively again, but I’m pretty proud of how we competed and how we stayed with it,” Ethridge said. 

The game started off slow for both teams — WSU missed their first four shots of the game while Stanford missed their first two, leaving the game scoreless until the 7:36 mark in the first quarter. Stanford then ended the scoring drought on a layup. The scoring went back and forth in the first with no team holding a lead larger than three until the last two minutes. Stanford hit a hot streak, going on a 7-2 run to end the first quarter up 18-10. 

The Cougs went 4-13 in the quarter while Stanford went 7-12, including two three-point shots. Charlisse had five points in the quarter, while Brink and Jones each had four for Stanford. 

“I thought we got hurt a little bit by some offensive rebounds,” Ethridge said. 

Defense was the theme of the second quarter, as the Cougs were held to single-digit scoring. The Cardinal were held to just 10 points in the quarter. The Cougs went just 3-16 on a three from Tara Wallack, a layup from Johanna Teder and a layup from Charlisse. WSU had five turnovers in the quarter. Stanford went 3-15 and made four free throws in the quarter, which helped grow their lead to 11 heading into halftime with a 28-17 lead over the Cougs. 

Offense took over in the third quarter for both teams with WSU scoring 15 points and Stanford scoring 16. The Cougs went 5-18 and scored three free throws. Teder had five points in the quarter and Krystal added four. The Cardinal went 7-16 in the quarter, including two three-point shots. Jump scored five points in the quarter, which helped the Cardinal maintain a double-digit lead heading into the fourth quarter up 44-32. 

WSU gave it their best in the fourth, outscoring Stanford by five with 22 points to cut the deficit to seven, resulting in a 61-54 loss. WSU shot 9-17 in the quarter and raked in four three-point shots. Murekatete had four points, while Ula Motuga added six points on two threes. Stanford shot 8-15, with Jones scoring six points to help propel the Cardinal to victory. 

The Cougs have one regular-season game left before the Pac-12 tournament. The Cougs are set to take on the 11-11 Cal Golden Bears at noon on Saturday in Berkeley, Calif.