Cougs Uncaged in Exhibition Win over Saint Martin's
PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State women's basketball team came out of the gates firing on all cylinders to score an 89-38 exhibition victory over Saint Martin's on Sunday, Oct. 24, at Beasley Coliseum.
The Cougars used an 16-0 run midway through the first quarter to build a double-digit lead they would never relinquish in the 51-point victory. WSU shot a blistering 58.5% in the game, while holding the Saints to just a 19.4% field goal percentage. The Cougars made 38 field goals in Sunday's exhibition, 31 of which came off an assist.
WSU's height advantage over the Saints proved to be beneficial, as the Cougars outscored Saint Martin's 62-16 in points in the paint. Senior Ula Motuga was perfect from the field, hitting all seven of her field goal attempts to register a game-high 17 points. Junior Bella Murekatete was nearly as efficient as Motuga, shooting 8-of-9 from the field to tally 16 points in the win. Motuga also pulled down a team-best seven rebounds, while Murekatete collected a team-high three blocks.
Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker posted a 14-point performance, while collecting a team-best three steals in 21 minutes of action. Fifth-year senior point guard Krystal Leger-Walker dished out 11 assists and committed only one turnover in the exhibition victory. Freshman Tara Wallack had a double-digit scoring performance in her unofficial WSU debut, as the 6-2 guard tallied 10 points and pulled down six rebounds in 20 minutes of action.
All but two Cougars scored in the blowout victory, which helped Washington State post a 31-3 advantage in bench points on Sunday. WSU also forced the Saints into 20 turnovers in the exhibition, which led to 28 points off turnovers.
The Washington State women's basketball team returns to action Nov. 5, as the Cougars host Northwest Nazarene for their final exhibition of the season. Tip-off against NNU is set for 7 p.m. PT.
Head Coach Kamie Ethridge on the Exhibition Win: "It just feels great to be back in the gym and back with fans. Our team was super excited to get out and play. We didn't have to talk too much scout with them for this game. We gave them some personnel things to look for, but for the most part we just let them loose. I feel like (the players) needed that because they feel like they've been caged up for a while. I really liked the energy and maturity of our team. I feel like we are in a really good place, but we have a lot to grow on."
- Sunday's matchup against Saint Martin's is the first time that the Cougars and Saints have played in either an exhibition or regular season contest.
- The 51-point victory would mark the largest margin of victory for Washington State in the Ethridge Era.
- Washington State moves to 3-0 all-time in exhibition contests under head coach Kamie Ethridge.
- The Cougars held Saint Martin's to single-digit points in three of the four quarters played on Sunday.
- Senior Krystal Leger-Walker's 11 assist effort ties her single-game career high, as she has previously dished out 11 helpers on two separate occasions.
- The eight field goals made by Bella Murekatete ties her career-high for most made field goals in a single game, while her 16-point performance is one-point shy of her career high of 17 points set back on Jan. 29, 2021 against Stanford.
- If this had been a regular season game, freshman Tara Wallack's 10-point performance in her WSU debut would've marked the third-straight season that WSU has had a freshman score 10-or-more points in their Cougar debut. Last season, Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 20 points in her WSU debut at Washington, while Emma Nankervis tallied 10 points in her Coug debut against Pepperdine.