Murekatete scores a Career-High 17 Points in a loss to No. 6 Stanford
PULLMAN, Wash. – Sophomore Bella Murekatete scored a career-high 17 points against No. 6-ranked Stanford on Friday, Jan. 29, but it wasn't enough to lift the Washington State women's basketball team past the Cardinal, as the Cougars were handed a 77-49 defeat at Beasley Coliseum.
Murekatete was one of the few offensive bright spots against Stanford on Friday, as the Butare Huye, Rwanda native shot a blistering 72.3% from the field. The 17-point performance establishes a new career-high in points for Murekatete, passing her previous-high of 16 points scored at Utah back on Jan. 1, 2021. The center also pulled down a team-best seven rebounds in 24 minutes of action against the Cardinal.
Junior Ula Motuga followed up her double-double against the Cardinal on Wednesday with a 10-point, six-rebound performance on Friday. The forward from Logan, Australia connected on a pair of 3-point shots, which lead was a team-high. The Cougars made at total of five 3-pointers against Stanford.
Washington State had trouble on both sides of the floor in its second matchup against Stanford this week. The Cardinal shot a blistering 52.5% from the field (31-of-59) against the Cougars, while connecting on 47.4% of their shots from behind the arc. WSU posted a 33.3% (19-57) success rate from the floor against the Cardinal, while shooting just 29.4% (5-of-17) from behind the 3-point line.
The Cougars scored the first bucket of the afternoon, but Stanford would quickly roll off five-straight points to take a lead that they would never relinquish. Washington State went into the half trailing the Cardinal by 13 points at 40-27. Murekatete would come out of the break on fire, as she scored the Cougs' first nine points of the third quarter. Her personal 6-0 run made it a nine-point game at 45-36 with 5:31 left in the third.
Washington State pulled to within eight points of the Cardinal with 4:28 remaining in the third after a 3-point field goal from sophomore Johanna Teder. That would be the last Cougar field goal until the 8:04 mark of the fourth quarter, as Stanford went on a 14-2 run that extended its lead to 59-41 with 8:31 remaining in the fourth. The Cardinal lead grew to as many as 28 points in game's final period, as Stanford handed Washington State its second loss in three days, 77-49.
The Cougars will now enjoy a week break from game action, as they will not return to the court until Feb. 5, when they host to No. 5-ranked UCLA. Tip-off against the Bruins is set for 12 p.m. PT and will stream live via the WSU Live Stream.
Coach Ethridge on Today's Result: "Stanford is really, really good. They're so good at every position and they have depth. Their length is over-worldly compared to what we put out on the floor. What a great test for us to go against a final-four caliber kind of team. I thought we tried really hard and managed the game pretty good, outside of the 3-pointers that we gave up in the first half. I thought that really separated us. (Stanford) just keeps coming at you and if you make a mistake, they'll make you pay."
- The 17-point performance from sophomore Bella Murekatete sets a new career-high in points for the center. It is the third time this season that Murekatete has scored 15-or-more points.
- Murekatete's 17-point performance against the Cardinal marks her eighth career game with 10-or-more points.
- With her 10-point effort against the Cardinal on Friday, junior Ula Motuga collected her second double-digit scoring game against Stanford this week.
- Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker dished out a team-high five assists on Friday. The freshman guard has handed out three-or-more assists in 10 games this season.
- With today's loss the Cougars fall to 0-69 all-time against Stanford.