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

COMMENTARY: The women’s basketball season is about to end, hope you didn’t miss it…

Low Attendance has Plagued the Team All Season
WSU beat Oregon 71-61 to commemorate their seniors, Feb. 25, in Pullman, Wash.

When I got to Wazzu, one of the sports teams I was most excited to watch was the women’s basketball team. My grandma and I excitedly watched the Cougars win the Pac-12 championship last year, and I was hopeful they would be able to continue their success this season. 

Although the team has not found as much success this season so far, following the injury to star Charlisse Leger-Walker, they were still competitive in nearly every game, and are going to finish the season with a winning record. I kept going to games because they were fun! The Cougars had a little bit of everything.

Senior Bella Murekatete became the WSU all-time leader in rebounds, as well as in games played. Leger-Walker, before her injury, was making a name for herself as one of the best women’s basketball players in the country.

Sophomore Astera Tuhina could hit 3-pointers as well as anybody, and 6-foot, 6-inch Alex Covill used her height to help vault her to the top-5 in the PAC-12 in blocks per game as a freshman. 

However, as the season progressed, I noticed a common theme: nobody was there. Sure, there were reporters, photographers, cheerleaders and the always energetic pep band. And there were plenty of older fans and alumni.

Pullman families brought their kids to the games, and you could tell the greater community of Pullman was very invested in the success of their team. Yet, the students of WSU seemed to lack that enthusiasm. 

Especially in the isolated environment of Pullman, where there are fewer options for evening activities than in most cities, it is remarkable that the women’s basketball team, the team that upset No. 2 UCLA less than a month ago, and has been to March Madness three years in a row, is only able to draw a crowd of students that can fill a quarter of the student section. What plays a role in the lack of student support? 

Maybe it is because students would rather be partying with their fraternities and sororities than watching basketball. Maybe it is due to a lack of advertisement. Maybe sexist stereotypes play a role as well, with the perception of women’s basketball being less exciting than men’s basketball. It is likely a combination of all of those factors, and it is sad. The team had an excellent season, they were exciting, they were competitive and they deserved to have more fans in the seats watching them play.

With no more home games left, if you haven’t seen them play live you have missed your chance. But you can still root them on in the Pac-12 Tournament.

Despite a 2-6 stretch without Leger-Walker, WSU has two top 25 trips to Utah and Colorado to close the regular season, plus the Pac-12 Tournament opening up an avenue to even more wins, WSU is on the cusp of the NCAA Tournament.

If they miss it, the Cougs will almost certainly host the Women’s National Invitational Tournament at Beasley Coliseum, giving Cougs one more chance to support a great team.

They’ll be underdogs the rest of the way, but in the NCAA anything can happen, so as Cougars, we should all support our team and cheer them on. 

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About the Contributors
Levi is a sophomore broadcast news major from Tacoma, Washington. He loves the Seahawks, Mariners, Kraken and of course the Cougs.
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.