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

WAZZU WEEKLY: David Vs. Goliath in Tuscon tonight, Leger-Walker’s legacy

Wazzu Weekly: Feb. 22, 2024
Charlisse+Leger-Walker+shows+love+to+the+crowd+after+the+team+won+big%2C+Nov.+29%2C+in+Pullman%2C+Wash.
BRANDON WILLMAN
Charlisse Leger-Walker shows love to the crowd after the team won big, Nov. 29, in Pullman, Wash.

Cougar basketball fans will find a TV at 8 p.m. Thursday when No. 21 WSU men’s basketball (20-6, 11-4 Pac-12) battle No. 4 Arizona (20-5, 11-3) with first place in the Pac-12 Conference on the line.

The Cougs are 9-53 against Arizona since 1991, but have beaten the Wildcats in two out of their last three matchups, including a scrappy upset of the Wildcats in 2023 on their home floor.

The Cougs were a massive underdog and caught the Wildcats off guard with an explosive offensive and dominant defensive performance.

NBA player Mouhamed Gueye paced the Cougs with 24 points and Justin Powell, DJ Rodman and Jabe Mullins each sank three 3-pointers. Only Mullins remains with the team and has seen his playing time reduced on the deepest team head coach Kyle Smith has assembled in his five-year tenure.

The Cougs beat Arizona, 73-70 in Pullman this year. It was their second win in an active seven-game win streak.

The Cougs continued to run their offense through a big up front as Isaac Jones led Wazzu with 24 points while guards Myles Rice and Jaylen Wells sank a 3-pointer but got a slew of their 18 and 11 respective points from inside the arc.

Evergreen columnist Brandon Willman broke down the David vs. Goliath aspect of this matchup 

and Evergreen sports co-editor Hayden Stinchfield breaks down the matchup with Zona.

David vs Goliath: Can MBB find magic in Tucson once again

WSU to play ranked matchup in Arizona

Stanford win proves WSU’s defense is legit

Charlisse Leger-Walker’s legacy: ‘she makes other people better’

This season has not gone the way Charlisse Leger-Walker or the Cougs wanted. Leger-Walker suffered a season-ending ACL injury during WSU’s biggest regular season win in program history over then-No. 2 UCLA.

Leger-Walker is more than just a program icon who is third 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).

She is a true team leader who affects the game in different ways, on and off the court.

“Her mind is as good as I’ve ever been around. She sees the game, she knows our system. She knows what to look for,” Ethridge said. “She has a great feel for individual players and what they need to hear and where she needs to step in and try to help them.”

Leger-Walker is one of six seniors being recognized following WSU’s game versus Oregon at noon Sunday.

WSU women’s basketball to recognize six seniors Sunday

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

Bella Murekatete has captured the program records in rebounds, blocks, games played and games started and is 10th in scoring.

I wrote about Murekatete last spring and her jump from good to great. In her fifth and final year on the Palouse, she has continued to become even better and rise to the occasion.

WSU men’s basketball plays Arizona at 8 p.m. tonight in Tuscon. FS1 will broadcast the game.

WSU women’s basketball will host No. 9 Oregon State at 7 p.m. Friday and celebrate six seniors and battle the Oregon Ducks at noon Sunday.

Baseball will face round-robin of opponents in upcoming weekend

WSU baseball No. 24 Kentucky, Kansas and Texas State in Round Rock, Texas over the weekend.

The Cougs opened the season with three out of four wins over Utah Tech. Connor Wilford was the best starting pitcher of the weekend with a career-high six scoreless innings.

Cougar baseball takes on Kentucky at noon Friday.

Happening this weekend

WSU tennis (5-2) hosts Montana at 10 a.m. Saturday in the fieldhouse.

WSU track and field travel to Seattle to participate in the Ken Shannon Invitational.

Watch your ranked Cougs Thursday and Saturday, celebrate the most impactful senior class in WSU women’s basketball history and catch some tennis if you’re in Pullman.

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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.