WSU women’s basketball defense dominant in 61-41 win

Cougars prevent a single SDSU field goal in the second quarter

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports editor

While adverse weather conditions prevented many fans and the band from attending the game, WSU women’s basketball emphatically beat South Dakota State, 61-41.

Contrary to what the 20-point difference may suggest, the Cougs could not burrow the Jackrabbits until the second quarter. In the first quarter, it appeared the Cougs had cold feet about a week removed from their trip to Hawaii and their last game.

They shot 21.4% from the field and were outscored 16-8 in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, WSU kept the reigning Women’s National Invitational Tournament Champion Jackrabbits at bay, as they did not allow a single field goal.

Their shooting warmed up a bit too as they outscored South Dakota State 13-3 on 33.3% to hold a 21-19 halftime lead.

The Cougs really found themselves in the third quarter when they scored 23 points on a blistering 8-for-11 clip (72.7%) and allowed only 10 points.

The Cougs held their ground and then some outscoring the Jackrabbits for the third straight quarter, 17-12 to close out the game and lock in a 61-41 win.

HAILEE SPEIR

Although the Cougs did not hit the 80-point mark, they did not need to with the exceptional pressure they placed on SDSU.

Bella Murekatete recorded her third double-double in four games with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Johanna Teder scored her season-high of 17 points on a 6-for-10 day in which she made three 3-pointers.

Charlisse Leger-Walker has cooled off after her electric first week of the season that landed her Pac-12 Player of the Week honors but that is understandable given the increased quality of competition the Cougs are facing.

Leger-Walker scored 13 points but missed nine shots.

Tara Wallack has emerged as a consistent starter for WSU to begin her second year on the Palouse.

Wallack recorded her third double-digit performance in four games with 10 points on a 5-for-11 shooting day.

Astera Tuhina was 0-for-4 from the field against the toughest competition she has faced yet in her young career.

HAILEE SPEIR

After a rough first quarter, the Cougars delivered three-quarters of dominance to defeat their toughest home out-of-conference opponent in convincing fashion.

They shot 40% from the field Monday night. However, against a stout SDSU defense who defeated now No. 18 Louisville 65-55, Nov. 21, shooting as well as they did down the stretch and holding the Jackrabbits to no field goals throughout the entire second quarter is a fantastic performance.

The Cougs also prevented a single opponent from scoring in double digits. The Jackrabbits’ leading scorer Myah Selland who lit her previous opponents on fire by averaging over 30 points per game, scored a season-low 7 points against the Cougs.

Although they have not received national attention in the form of rankings yet, the Cougs are staying the course in their out-of-conference schedule in an unbelievably tough conference where six out of 12 teams have lost one game and four are undefeated.

“I couldn’t be happier that we held a team like that to 41 points. Especially with how slow things were for us in the first quarter. I liked our response and the shots we got early,” head coach Kamie Ethridge said.

WSU women’s basketball is next in action at 6 p.m., Friday at Beasley Coliseum.