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(es): WSU jumps on ASU early in big win

Cougs parlay 18-0 start to 79-64 win
WSU guard Charlisse Leger-Walker drives to the basket during an NCAA women’s basketball game against Arizona State, Jan. 19, 2024, in Pullman, Wash.

The largest run of the Cougs 79-64 victory over Arizona State was the very first run of the game. Jumping out to a 18-0 lead, it took until there was 4:33 remaining in the first quarter for the Sun Devils to get their first points of the game, which came by a made free throw from Jalyn Brown to cut the lead down to 18-1.

After the first quarter, the score sat at 22-6, WSU looked primed for huge blowout win and the team was clicking. Alex Covill already had two blocks, Charlisse Leger-Walker stole the ball twice, four different players had two rebounds a piece and the players plus/minus were in the double-digits.

Bella Murekatete had 5 points in that 18-0 run, finishing the first quarter with 7 total points and at the half led all scorers with 11 points.

While the first quarter proved dominant for WSU, the second half was the opposite. After allowing just 6 points through 10 minutes, Arizona State exploded for 22 points of their own to end the half. Led by Eleonora Villa’s 6 points, the Cougs scored 18 points themselves in the second half, but the stark difference in play made the game interesting.

WSU and ASU both group up ahead of an Arizona State free-throw attempt, Jan. 19, 2024, in Pullman, Wash.

The second half proved to be a closer bout between the two teams, but as the Cougs outscored their opponent 39-36, the first-quarter lead they built proved to be insurmountable. Four Cougs scored in the double-digits in the win, with Beyonce Bea (9) and Jenna Villa (8) just barely missing out on joining the club.

Murekatete and Eleonora Villa led the team with 16 points each, but Murekatete proved to the MVP. With an astonishing plus/minus of +32, no one on the court performed better than the center. On top of her 16 points, Murekatete had seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in the win.

Eleonora Villa shot just 5-of-16 from the field, but with four assists and hitting 80% of her free throws, she has continued to prove her worth as a primary ball handler.

WSU guard Eleonara Villa drives to the basket during an NCAA women’s basketball game against Arizona State, Jan. 19, 2024, in Pullman, Wash.

Tara Wallack took just four shots in the first half, shooting 25% and scoring 4 points. While she proved key on defense, her efficiency on the offensive side of the ball left a lot to be desired. While not increasing her shot output in the second half, taking just three shots, she scored 6 more points and played much better. For the game, she finished with 10 points, four blocks, four rebounds and played strong defense in all 31 minutes she played.

Despite winning big, by 15 to be exact, three-point shooting served as a thorn for Kamie Ethridge’s team. The highest individual three-point percentage was Wallack’s 40%, but as a team the Cougs shot just 21.7% (5-of-23).

Leger-Walker continued to be the dominant thread keeping the team together, shooting 66% from the field, scoring 15 to go along with three steals, five rebounds and four assists. She has already cemented herself as one of the best in program history and her consistency will continue to keep her among the best until her eventual departure from the program.

The win propelled the Cougs to a 13-5 record and after the game, the team posed on the court with flags.


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About the Contributors
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
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 the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.
COLE QUINN, Evergreen Sports Photographer
Cole Quinn is a photographer and columnist for the Daily Evergreen. Cole primarily shoots sports for the Daily Evergreen and writes album reviews in his spare time. Cole is a junior broadcast production major and sports communication minor from Snoqualmie, Washington. Cole started working for the Evergreen in the fall of 2020 as a photographer. Cole was the Photo Editor during his sophomore year and Deputy Photo Editor for the fall 2022 semester.