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

WSU women’s basketball to recognize six seniors Sunday

WSU hosts Oregon St. at 7 p.m. Friday, Oregon at noon Sunday
The+Pac-12+Champions+2022%E2%80%9323+womens+basketball+team+were+honored+ahead+of+the+new+teams+bout+with+Gonzaga%2C+Nov.+9%2C+in+Pullman%2C+Wash.+
BRANDON WILLMAN
The Pac-12 Champions 2022–23 women’s basketball team were honored ahead of the new team’s bout with Gonzaga, Nov. 9, in Pullman, Wash.

Three NCAA Tournament appearances, one Pac-12 Championship. Six seniors changed the program forever and they may not be done yet.

“They changed an average program and made it into an above-average and competitive program in the toughest league in the country,” Ethridge said.

WSU will recognize a senior class that includes All-Americans Charlisse Leger-Walker and Bella Murekatete, fifth-year Johanna Teder, center Jessica Clarke, fifth-year transfer Beyonce Bea and women’s basketball creative assistant Ekin Celikdemir, who played on the team.

Murekatete leads the program all-time in blocks, rebounds, games played and games started. She has made preseason and midseason appearances on the Lisa Leslie Award watchlist (reserved for the best center in NCAA women’s basketball) and made the All-Pac-12 team in her fourth year.

Leger-Walker’s career is well documented. She is third in program history in scoring with 1,743 career points, second in made threes (199), third in career minutes played (3,794), fourth in career scoring average (16.6), fourth in field goals made (607), fourth in assists (389), fifth in made free throws (330), and ninth in career starts (105).

Teder’s 3-pointer propelled the Cougars through the Pac-12 Tournament and was reliable for four years. Clarke and Celikdemir fulfilled crucial roles when called upon and Bea has contributed as a veteran leader on this year’s team after becoming Idaho women’s basketball’s second all-time leading scorer.

WSU will recognize their six seniors following the Sunday game vs. Oregon.

Ethridge said her hope for each senior when they entered was that they 1. Become a good basketball player and 2. Be great teammates. Each has met and exceeded those two expectations

“They’ll forever be up in the rafters with that Pac-12 Championship and those banners that show the NCAA appearances,” Ethridge said. “They are the springboard for where we want to continue to be, they are the examples that we speak to when we talk to recruits that we’re trying to come in and follow after them. They’re just difference-makers.”

The story of WSU women’s basketball may be over at first glance.

Without their star player, Charlisse Leger-Walker, WSU is 1-5 in 2024 and 1-9 the last two years

But head coach Kamie Ethridge said the Cougs still have plenty to play for.

When asked to guess what the Cougs need to do to reach the NCAA Tournament for a fourth consecutive year, Ethridge said the Cougs need to win at least two out of their final four Pac-12 games and win one in the Pac-12 Tournament.

Doing that would ensure at least one regular season win against a ranked opponent, as three of the Cougars’ final four opponents are ranked (No. 9 Oregon State, No. 18 Utah and No. 11 Colorado) and what could be a ranked matchup in the Pac-12 Tournament in the first or second round.

WSU has held late leads versus ranked opponents, including Colorado, Utah and Stanford, but looked stuck in the mud versus California and Arizona, unranked teams that got the better of WSU.

Ethridge said the Cougs beat Arizona State Sunday because of their high effort.

The Cougs welcome No. 9 Oregon State (21-4, 10-4) and unranked Oregon (11-16, 2-12) to town for Senior Weekend.

The Beavs are a highly competitive team who beat UCLA 79-77 on a Talia von Oelhoffen buzzer-beater Friday.

Ethridge said OSU head coach Scott Rueck has assembled a highly competitive team with a lot of potential to do well in the NCAA Tournament.

Rueck is in his 13th season as OSU’s head coach. He has led the Beavers to seven NCAA Tournaments in that span and appears poised to qualify for an eighth.

After a fierce top-10 matchup Friday, WSU welcomes the last-place Oregon Ducks to town at noon Sunday.

Pac-12 Oregon will broadcast WSU’s Friday game vs. OSU at 7 p.m. Friday and Pac-12 Washington will broadcast WSU’s senior day vs. Oregon at noon Sunday.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor
Sam is a senior multimedia journalism major from Lacey, Washington and the sports editor for spring 2024. He was the sports editor for the 2022-23 school year and managing editor for the summer and fall 2023. He plays the trumpet in the Cougar Marching Band, loves sports and has worked at the Evergreen since fall 2021.
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.