Women's Basketball Earns Second-Straight Bid into the NCAA Tournament
INDIANAPOLIS – The Washington State women's basketball team will be putting on its dancing shoes for the second-straight season, as the Cougars earned an at-large bid into the 2022 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. WSU will be the No. 8 seed in the Bridgeport Region and takes on No. 9-seeded Kansas State in the first round in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Washington State will battle the Wildcats Saturday, March 19 at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. Tip-off is set for 8:30 a.m. PT and will air live on ESPN 2. Fans can purchase tickets to the game through NC State Athletics. Ticket sales begin for the general public Monday, March 14 at 2 p.m. PT. Fans can click here to purchase tickets.
WSU earned its second-straight at-large bit into March Madness after going 19-10 overall this season and finishing tied for second in the Pac-12 Conference with an 11-6 mark. The 19 wins are the most collected by the Cougars in a single season in the NCAA era in program history, while the 11 Pac-12 victories are a program record for most conference wins in a season.
Kansas State comes into the 2022 NCAA Tournament with a 19-12 overall record and finished sixth in the Big 12, going an even 9-9 in league games. The Wildcats are led by junior Ayoka Lee, who is averaging 22.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Lee, a 6-6 center, set an NCAA single-game scoring record earlier this season by scoring 61 points against Oklahoma on Jan. 23.
WSU will be seeking its first NCAA Tournament win, as the Cougars are 0-2 all-time in the Big Dance. Last season, Washington State was a No. 9 seed in the Mercado Region and fell to No. 8-seeded South Florida, 57-53, in the first round in Austin, Texas. WSU was also selected as the No. 11-seed in the Midwest Region in the 1991 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The Cougs lost in the first round after falling to No. 6-seed Northwestern, 82-62, in Evanston, Illinois.
The Cougars return all five starters from last season's NCAA Tournament game, which includes sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker and junior Johanna Teder, who scored 18 and 16 points respectively in last season's NCAA Tournament contest. Leger-Walker earned All-Pac-12 honors for the second-consecutive season after leading the Pac-12 in points scored with 463. Leger-Walker's 16.0 points per game average pace a trio of double-digit scorers for the Cougars this season. Both Teder and 2021-22 Pac-12 Co-Most Improved Player of the Year Bella Murekatete each averaged 10.6 points per game this season.
The winner of Saturday's first-round matchup will advance to take on the winner of No. 1-seed NC State and either No. 16 seeded-Longwood or No. 16-seed Mount St. Mary's, Monday, March 21. Click here to see the entire 2022 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament bracket.
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