WSU women’s basketball beats No. 19 Arizona

Cougs 8-1 on the road

WSU+center+Bella+Murekatete+jumps+for+a+layup+during+an+NCAA+basketball+game+against+UCLA%2C+Jan.+22.+2023+in+Beasley+Colisuem.

COLE QUINN

WSU center Bella Murekatete jumps for a layup during an NCAA basketball game against UCLA, Jan. 22. 2023 in Beasley Colisuem.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen managing editor

Despite Charlisse Leger-Walker having an off game in only her second game back, WSU women’s basketball beat the No. 19 Arizona Wildcats on their home court, 70-59 in a total team effort.

The win over No. 19 Arizona marks the first time in program history Wazzu women’s hoops has won two straight road games against ranked opponents.

Bella Murekatete led all Cougar scores shooting 53% (7-for-13) from the floor. The senior center also hit 4-of-5 free throws as part of an 18-point, nine-rebound day. Murekatete also accounted for two assists, two blocks and two steals in 27 minutes of play.

Senior Ula Motuga was close behind Murkeate as she shot 63% (7-of-11) from the field as part of a 16-point, five-rebound and three-assist day.

Tara Wallack continued her hot streak by scoring 12 points and snagging a career-high 12 rebounds.

Leger-Walker played her worst game of the season as she snapped her double-digit game streak by scoring only 5 points. However, she nearly totaled a double-double anyway with 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Astera Tuhina continues to dazzle her teammates, coaches and Coug fans alike. Against a top-25 opponent, Tuhina scored 10 points off of two 3-pointers, two free throws and a 2-point shot from the floor. She shot 37.5% from the field.

The Cougars went on several scoring runs and did not allow Arizona to take the lead in the second half.

“We didn’t play a great game at Arizona State and we needed to clean up some things even to have a chance against Arizona. Our team was focused and didn’t panic at any time. They kept taking punches and we kept hitting back and kept our poise,” said head coach Kamie Ethridge.

Arizona pulled even with their first shot of the fourth quarter but the Cougs drew a foul on a Wallack layup. They got the ball back and drilled another layup to build a 6-point advantage. The Wildcats never clawed back into it as the Cougs left the desert with an 11-point lead and their best road schedule season start (8-1) in program history.

The Cougars turn their attention to No. 2 Stanford at 7 p.m. Friday at Beasley Coliseum and face Cal at noon Sunday.