Cougs Look to Lock Up the Vandals this Sunday at ICCU Arena
MOSCOW, Idaho – The Washington State women's basketball team makes the quick nine-mile drive over to the University of Idaho this Sunday, Nov. 21, to take on the Vandals in the Battle of the Palouse. Tip-off from the brand-new Idaho Credit Central Union Arena is set for 2 p.m. PT and will stream live on ESPN+.
WASHINGTON STATE (RV) (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12) at Idaho (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) | Sunday, Nov. 21 | 2 p.m. | Moscow, Idaho | ICCU Arena
Live Stats | GoVandals.com
Watch | ESPN+
Listen | WSU IMG Radio Network (Steve Grubbs)
Game Notes | WSUCougars.com
>> Washington State will be seeking its third-straight 3-0 start to a season this Sunday when they head to ICCU Arena to take on the Vandals. If the Cougars can knock off Idaho, it would mark the first time in program history that WSU has started the year at 3-0 in three-consecutive seasons.
>> The Cougars will also be looking for their fourth-straight win over Idaho this Sunday. The Cougars won last year's Battle of the Palouse, 74-55, in Beasley Coliseum. Sunday's matchup will serve as the 41st all-time meeting between Washington State and Idaho, with the Cougs holding the 27-13 series lead. The Cougars are 11-6 all-time in Moscow and will be seeking the first victory between the two schools at ICCU Arena.
>> Charlisse Leger-Walker scored a career-high 29 points against the Vandals last season in what was just her second collegiate game. Leger-Walker went on to match her career-high in points at Southern Cal and at Arizona. Leger-Walker has scored 20-or-more points in 14 of her career 26 games at Washington State.
>> Sunday's matchup will serve as the first non-conference road game for Washington State in over 700 days. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WSU was limited to two non-conference home games last season. It will have been exactly 701 days since the Cougar's last true non-conference road game, which came back on Dec. 21, 2019, at Miami (Fla.).
>> The Cougars will play seven of their next nine games away from Pullman starting with Sunday's contest at Idaho. After its battle with the Vandals, WSU heads to the Bahamas to take on Miami (Fla.) and No. 5/4 NC State in the Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Championship. The Cougs return to Pullman for Dec. 2 contest against San Francisco before hitting the road again to head to UC Davis (Dec. 4) and Gonzaga (Dec. 8). Washington State closes out its non-conference home slate on Dec. 12 against Boise State, then travels to BYU (Dec. 18) and Cornell (Dec. 19).
Junior Bella Murekatete has been one of the most tenacious rebounders this season in the Pac-12. She currently ranks second in the Pac-12 in rebounding at 11.0 boards per game. That mark is also the 22nd-best average in the NCAA heading into this weekend's slate of games. In her last time out, Murekatete matched her career-best performance on the glass with 15 rebounds in the win over Northern Arizona. Her 15-rebound performance against NAU is the highest total of caroms pulled down in a single game by a Pac-12 player this season.
Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker enters Sunday's contest coming off back-to-back 22-point performances against San Jose State and Northern Arizona to open the 2021-22 season. Leger-Walker is currently second in the Pac-12 in scoring at 22.0 points per game, while she is one of four Pac-12 players to have scored 20-or-more points in two-consecutive games this season.
Getting Everyone Involved
Redshirt fifth-year senior Krystal Leger-Walker heads into this weekend's slate of games second in the Pac-12 in assists per game at 5.5. Leger-Walker opened the season by handing out eight assists against San Jose State, which is the most assists collected in a single game by a Pac-12 player this season.
Washington State once again earned votes in the most recent Associated Press Top-25 poll. The Cougars picked up 10 votes in the first AP poll of the regular season, which is one more vote than the Cougs earned in the AP Preseason Top-25.
Junior guard Johanna Teder has been absence from WSU's first two regular season games due to having to play for her home country of Estonia at the FIBA Women's Eurobasket 2023 Qualifiers. Teder helped her homeland go 1-1 in a pair of qualifying games and scored a team-high 15 points in a win over Great Britain. She went 4-of-7 from behind the arc and pulled down a team-best seven rebounds to go along with five assists against the Brits.
Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker is the only player in the Pac-12 to rank inside the top-six in steals per game (1st; 3.5 spg), points per game (2nd; 22.0), 3-point makes per game (3rd; 2.5 3pmpg), and assists (6th; 4.5 asp).
Scouting the Vandals
Idaho comes into Sunday's matchup at an even 1-1, as the Vandals have knocked off Lewis-Clark State (95-46) before losing to San Diego (66-46) last Sunday. Last season, Idaho went 17-7 and advanced all the way to the Big Sky Conference Tournament Championship, where they fell to Idaho State, 84-49.
The Vandals return two of their top four scorers from a season ago, which includes junior Beyonce Bea, who earned All-Big Sky first team honors after averaging a team-best 16.2 points a season ago. Graduate transfer Louise Forsyth, who comes to the program from Gonzaga, currently leads the team in scoring this season at 16.5 points per game. Forsyth is coming off a 17-point performance against San Diego.
It's been feast of famine for the Vandals through two games this season. They opened the year by hitting 21 3-point field goals in a 95-46 win over LC State, then went on go 2-of-21 from behind the arc in the loss to San Diego. Idaho is shooting 35.2 percent from the floor, while nearly half of their field goals made this season have become from behind the arc, 23-of-50. Teams are shooting 33.9 percent against the Vandals this season.
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