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Murekatete Named to Lisa Leslie Award Watch List

Oct 29, 2021

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Washington State women's basketball junior Bella Murekatete finds her name among the best centers in the nation, as the 6-3 post from Rwanda was selected to the Lisa Leslie Award watch list Friday, Oct. 29, as announced by the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

This marks the first time that Murekatete has been included on the prestigious Lisa Leslie Award watch list, which is presented annually to the best center in NCAA Division I women's college basketball. The junior is one of three Pac-12 players named to the Leslie Award watch list, as Murekatete is joined by Stanford's Francesca Belibi and Washington's Nancy Mulkey.

Murekatete has started 45 games in her WSU career and is coming off a 2020-21 campaign that saw her finish inside the top-10 of the Pac-12 in both total blocks and rebounds. Her 38 blocks last season tied her for the second-most in the Pac-12, while her 6.7 rebounds per game was the 10th-best average in the conference last season. The 6-3 post averaged a career-best 8.5 points per game a season ago and scored double-digit points in 10 games, which included a career-high 17 points against the eventual NCAA Champion Stanford Cardinal.

Started in 2018, the Selection Committee for the Lisa Leslie Award is composed of top women's college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. The winner of the 2022 Lisa Leslie Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy's in Los Angeles, California on Friday, April 10, 2020, along with the other four members of the Women's Starting Five.

College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the 2022 Lisa Leslie Shooting Guard of the Year Award will be narrowed to 10 and then in late February to just five. In March the five finalists will be presented to Ms. Leslie and the Hall of Fame's selection committee where a winner will be selected. Fans can vote for the Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award by clicking the link here.

Murekatete is the second Washington State women's basketball player to be named to a watch list by the Basketball Hall of Fame and WBCA. Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker was selected to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award watch list this past Tuesday, Oct. 26.  Fans can vote for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award by clicking the link here.

The WSU women's basketball team gets its final tune-up for the 2021-22 season on Nov. 5, when the Cougars host Northwest Nazarene for an exhibition game. Tip-off from Beasley Coliseum is set for 7 p.m. PT. Washington State unofficially kicked off its season last Sunday, Oct. 24, as the Cougars defeated Saint Martin's, 89-38, in Pullman. Senior Ula Motuga was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field to score a game-high 17 points.

Fans can purchase season and single-game tickets for the 2021-22 campaign now at WSUCougars.com.