Women’s basketball ends record-setting season 

Ethridge named Pac-12 coach of the year by media



WSU guard Krystal Leger-Walker looks for a pass during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona in Beasley Coliseum, Feb. 20.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

The WSU women’s basketball team had their best season in the NCAA era this year, earning the No. 3 seed in the Pac-12 tournament and possibly securing a spot in the NCAA Tournament. 

From ranking second overall in the Pac-12 to upsetting the No. 14 team in the nation, the Cougars had one of the best seasons in program history. Despite the rough games played against BYU and Oregon earlier in the year, they used the losses as fuel to help finish the regular season strong. 

The last regular season game for the Cougars was a 73-67 victory against the Cal Bears for their 19th win of the year and a program record. The previous record was 18 wins and 10 Pac-12 wins set by the 1990-91 team. This game also gave the Cougars their first conference bye in program history.

“It’s thrilling for our team to set these records,” WSU head coach Kamie Ethridge said. “I think so many people are just blown away by the success of this team and the toughness of this team.”

WSU senior guard Michaela Jones hugs head coach Kamie Ethridge during senior night before an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona in Beasley Coliseum, Feb. 20.

With the team’s success throughout the season, players received Pac-12 accolades for their contributions. The Leger-Walker duo unleashed on the court this season, resulting in Charlisse being voted to the All-Pac-12 team while Krystal received honorable mentions for the All-Pac-12 team and All-Pac-12 Defensive team. The sisters shook up the conference, leading the Pac-12 in total points and total assists for the second-straight year. Charlisse scored 457 points through 28 regular season games, while Krystal dished out 131 assists.

The Pac-12 honors kept pouring in for the Cougars as Bella Murekatete, the 6-foot-3-inch center from Rwanda, was named the Pac-12 Conference Most Improved Co-Player of the Year. She averaged 10.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game this season. She proved to be one of the most dominant players in the conference, ranking inside the top-10 in blocks and rebounds all season. Her consistency in the paint was one of the main factors for this accolade. Murekatete’s 203 rebounds rank third in the Pac-12 this season, while her 48 blocks are ranked fourth. 

The Cougs have made strides to bolster their roster with players such as Johanna Teder and Ula Motuga. In the Arizona upset, Teder, the junior from Estonia, led the team with a season-high 21 points. Motuga was the allaround player the Cougars needed, being efficient in big moments to help secure close games.

“To have accomplished what we have this year in the regular season is just really a testament to our seniors, first, but also the entire program,” Ethridge said. “The entire team is committed to doing whatever it takes for us to succeed and win without any individual agenda.”

With the regular season coming to an end, the Cougars plan on adding more success and accolades in the Pac-12 Tournament and hopefully the NCAA Tournament.