The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Through the Lens: WBB season opening win over Cal Poly

Bella Murekatete’s efficient 18 leads WSU
Bella Murekatete dances as she is introduced as the final starter for the women’s season opener, Nov. 6, in Pullman, Wash.

For the first time in the 2023–24 season, the defending Pac-12 Champs were back in action in a game that matters to their record. In their season, and home opener against Cal Poly, the women’s basketball team at WSU took care of business.

Center Bella Murekatete led the team with 18 points, shooting 70% from the field and going 4-for-7 from the free-throw line. She also had seven total rebounds and an assist in just 20 minutes of action but did commit four personal fouls, which limited the action she saw on the court.

As a team, WSU shot 46% and 40% from three. Despite the loss, Cal Poly shot a very efficient 57% from beyond the arc but had attempted just 14 shots of that kind to the Cougs 25. WSU also got to the line far more often, shooting 25 from the line to the Mustangs’ 13.

The Cougs were better physically and on the boards, out-rebounding their opposition 41–33.

Despite shooting just 20% from the field and generally struggling to find her shooting stroke, star guard Charlisse Leger-Walker had done a great job in every other aspect of the game. With six total points, she had eight rebounds and nine assists to positively impact the floor.

Murekatete was not the only player to get the offense going. Five players finished with double-digit points and eight players at least scored one bucket. Jenna Villa had 12 points despite not shooting a single free throw.

Tara Wallack had 11 along with five rebounds in 18 minutes.

Tara Wallack fights for possession of a loose ball with a Cal Poly player, Nov. 6, in Pullman, Wash.
Tara Wallack and a Cal Poly player fall to the floor after colliding, Nov. 6, in Pullman, Wash.

Astera Tuhina attempted just four shots from the field but put up 10 points, five rebounds and got an assist, finishing with a +/- of 16 in her 34 minutes of action.

Beyonce Bea had arguably the second-best performance out of everyone on the court, nearly getting a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. Bea also proved to be a force defensively, finishing with five blocks in her 34 minutes on the court.

WSU guard and forward Beyonce Bea goes for a 3-pointer during an NCAA women’s basketball game against Cal Poly, Nov. 6, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

Near the end of the game, the Cougs got Kyra Gardner in the game, despite not scoring, making her return after dealing with injuries is a big morale boost for her and the rest of the team as they look ahead in their schedule.

The Cougs will be back in action, as well as celebrating their Pac-12 Championship with a ring ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Thursday as they take on Gonzaga.

Bella Murekatete and Charlisse Leger-Walker pose with fans after the Cougs season-opening win, Nov. 6, in Pullman, Wash.
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About the Contributors
BRANDON WILLMAN, Editor-in-chief
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be EIC starting in summer 2023 and enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.
EMMA DECASA, Evergreen photographer
Emma Decasa is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Originally from Issaquah, Washington, she is a junior majoring in Advertising, with a minor in Sports Communication. Emma started working for the Daily Evergreen in the fall of 2023.