Charlisse Leger-Walker surpasses 1,000 points scored at WSU 

Cougars score more in third quarter than they have ever scored in any quarter before



WSU guard Charlisse Leger-Walker dribbles the ball during an NCAA women’s basketball game against Prairie View A&M, Nov. 13.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor

Charlisse Leger-Walker did not know it at the moment but soon realized she had scored her 1,000th career point as a member of WSU women’s basketball when her teammates began to pat her on the back and Beasley Coliseum was brought to their feet when P.A. Announcer Matt Loveless shared Charlisse’s achievement.

WSU women’s basketball (3-0) turned in another record-breaking performance on Sunday in its 89-61 win over the Prairie View A&M Panthers as in her 57th career game, Charlisse tied Jeanne Eggart as the fastest player to score 1,000 career points at WSU.

As a sizable cherry on top, the Cougar’s 39 points in the third quarter were their most points scored in a single quarter in program history. Their record-setting third quarter featured a 22-0 run two days removed from their 21-2 run versus San Francisco.

After a joyride of a game in San Francisco in which the Cougs overcame a 15-point deficit to win, WSU took care of business and then some in their third game of the season, never trailing after they took an 8-7 lead, less than three minutes into the game.

Charlisse led the way with 24 points. Her 25th career game with 20 or more points. Her day featured three three-pointers including the one that led to career points numbers 998, 999 and 1,000.

WSU guard Charlisse Leger-Walker drives to the hoop during an NCAA women’s basketball game against Prairie View A&M, Nov. 13.

“Super honored to put my name up there with some legends that were already here at WSU, I just want to credit my teammates, I mean they’re the ones that got me in those positions to score,” Charlisse said.

Charlisse joins her sister, Krystal Leger-Walker as players to have scored 1,000 points in their college careers. A key difference is that Charlisse did it in 57 games and all at WSU while Krystal scored 1,000 points throughout her college career but scored 472 in two seasons on the Palouse.

“It’s good to see [Charlisse] just stroke that three because she’s worked so hard on it,” head coach Kamie Ethridge said.

Ethridge also spoke about the progress that Charlisse has and will make in her game.

“You can imagine if you have to guard someone a step further out, with [Charlisse’s] explosiveness, with her mid-range game, with her body control, with her strength driving to the basket, with her ability to pass off the bounce, I mean the game will get easier and the game should get easier as they experience more and more competition on this level,” Ethridge said.

It is not rocket science that when more Cougs score, WSU wins. After scoring just 1 point on Friday in San Francisco, Tara Wallack submitted her own definition of bounce back by scoring a career-high 20 points.

WSU guard Tara Wallack dribbles the ball during an NCAA women’s basketball game against Prairie View A&M, Nov. 13.

“Just from last year to this year, I’ve gained so much more confidence,” Wallack said. “Knowing all of the positions on the court.”

Although she was quite humble in the postgame press conference, Wallack was not afraid to talk about the fact that she earned two gold medals on the Canadian National Team over the summer and returned to WSU with more skill than she had when she left.

“[Wallack] is just a savage,” Charlisse said.

Charlisse pointed out in her postgame press conference that WSU shared the ball well, with a total of 23 assists.

One assist that may blend in with the other 22 on the page but had a lot of pop on the court was Charlisse’s extraordinary over-the-shoulder no-look pass to Ula Motuga for a basket.

WSU forward Ula Motuga jumps for a layup during an NCAA women’s basketball game against Prairie View A&M, Nov. 13.

“Sometimes those plays just come to me, yeah I don’t know, Ula was just open and instead of turning my body all the way around, no, no I’m kidding,” Charlisse said. “It just happens in the moment.”

“It’s just natural for her,” Wallack said.

One sore thumb in this game is the injury of fast-starting freshman Astera Tuhina. Tuhina exited the game and did not return. Ethridge did not have an update on her at her postgame press conference.

“I thought we made some really good adjustments especially when we went small at the end of the second quarter and really locked them down,” Ethridge said. “I think that small lineup matched us up better against their quickness.”

The team started the game by raising their NCAA Tournament appearance banner, newly decorated with the year 2022, to mark their third ever and second consecutive trip to the Tournament.

WSU center Bella Murekatete looks for a pass during an NCAA women’s basketball game against Prairie View A&M, Nov. 13.

“It felt amazing [to raise the banner] knowing this is my second year here that we could go back-to-back-to-back and it’s all because of this one here,” Wallack said, patting her teammate Charlisse on the shoulder. “This girl here really does everything for us, she is the motor of the team, the leader of the team and does so much for us.”

This matchup between WSU and Prairie View A&M, a historically Black university, was the first-ever edition of the Pac-12/Southwest Athletic Conference Legacy Series, a partnership between the two conferences that will facilitate basketball matchups and educational opportunities regarding U.S. history, social justice and anti-racism.

The Cougars are next in action Friday in Hawaii Against the Cougars of BYU in the 2022 Northshore Showcase, hosted by BYU Hawaii.