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Cougs End Regular Season with a Record-Setting Win at California

Feb 26, 2022

BERKELEY, Calif. – The Washington State women's basketball team set the program record for most wins in a season in the NCAA era, as the Cougars collected a 73-67 win at California Saturday, Feb. 26, to pick up their 19th win of the year to close out the 2021-22 regular season.

The victory sets a new WSU record for most wins in a season, as the Cougars are now 19-9 on the year. Washington State also picked up its 11th Pac-12 Conference win of the season, which also establishes a new program record for most Pac-12 wins in a single season. The previous record of 18 wins and 10 Pac-12 wins was set by the 1990-91 team.

With the win, Washington State also secures its first bye in the Pac-12 Tournament in program history. The Cougars end the 2021-22 regular season tied with No. 25 Oregon for second in the Pac-12 standings. WSU heads to Las Vegas next week as the tournament's No. 3 seed, as the Ducks hold the tiebreaker over the Cougars.

Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker led the Cougs in scoring, as the guard from New Zealand registered 21 points in the regular-season finale. Leger-Walker ends the 2021-22 regular season as the Pac-12 leader in points scored with 457 points. It is also her 10th game this season with 20-or-more points, which is the most 20-point games collected by a Pac-12 player this season.

Leger-Walker was one of four Cougars to score double-digit points in the win at California. Junior Bella Murekatete had 16 points, freshman Tara Wallack scored a career-high 14 points, and senior Ula Motuga tallied 12 points.

Washington State shot a blistering 54.9 percent from the field against the Golden Bears and an even better 66.7 percent from behind the arc. WSU went 8-of-12 on 3-point field goals.

The Cougars held a 31-25 advantage at the break and opened the third quarter on a 10-0 run to take a 16-point lead. Washington State led by as many as 18 points in the frame, but California was able to chip away at WSU's lead to make it a 10-point game at 54-44.

Washington State opened the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run to take a 21-point lead. Motuga's 3-point field goal gave the Cougars a game-high 22-point lead with 5:23 left to play in the game. The Cougs had to withstand one final punch from the Bears, as Cal pulled to within four points at 71-67 in the closing minute before securing a six-point victory.

Head Coach Kamie Ethridge on the Win
"It's thrilling for our team to set these records. I think so many people are just blown away by the success of this team and the toughness of this team. To have accomplished what we have this year in the regular season is just really a testament to our seniors, first, but also the entire program.  The entire team is committed to doing whatever it takes for us to succeed and win without any individual agenda. I'm proud that we won today. I know it wasn't perfect and I think our players felt some pressure and didn't handle things so well. Overall, what a great game. What a great finish to the season and what a great road win against a really quality opponent. I'm thrilled with our seed (for the Pac-12 Tournament) and the fact that we get a bye in the first round."

Coug Notes
- Washington State earns its 19th overall win of the season, which sets a program record for most wins in a season in the NCAA era. The program record for most wins in a season is 21, which was set by the 1978-79 team.
- The Cougars collect their 11th Pac-12 win of the season, which sets a new WSU record for most Pac-12 victories in a season. The previous record for most Pac-12 wins in a season was 10, which was set by the 1990-91 team.
- Washington State has now won four-straight games over California. It is WSU's first four-game winning streak against the Golden Bears since winning five straight against them between the 1996-97 and 1998-99 seasons.
- WSU picks up its seventh win all-time at Haas Pavilion.
- Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 20-or-more points in a game for the 10th time this season. It is also her 23rd game this season with 10-plus points in a game.
- Junior Bella Murekatete's 16-point performance marks her 14th game this season with double-digit points. It is also the fifth time over the last six games the center has scored 10-or-more points.
- Freshman Tara Wallack's 14-point performance is a new career-high in points. Her previous career-best scoring performance also came against California, with a 12-point effort back on Dec. 31.
- Senior Ula Motuga's 12-point performance marks the sixth time this season that she has scored 10-or-more points in a game.

Up Next
Washington State will now head to Las Vegas for the 2022 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament. All games will be played at the Michelob ULTRA Arena (Mandalay Bay Events Center). The Cougs earned the tournament's No. 3 seed and will play the winner of No. 6 Utah and No. 11 California Thursday, March 3, at 8:30 p.m. PT. Every game with the exception of the championship game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. The 2022 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament championship will air on ESPN 2.