Cougs Season Comes to an End in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament
RALEIGH, N.C. – Washington State women's basketball run in the 2022 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament came to an end in the first round Saturday, March 19, as the No. 8-seeded Cougars was handed a 50-40 defeat to No. 9-seed Kansas State.
Sophomore Charlisse Leger-Walker broke her program record for most points in an NCAA Tournament game, as the guard from Waikato, New Zealand scored 20 points against the Wildcats. Leger-Walker is averaging 19.0 points per game in a pair of NCAA Tournament contests.
The Cougars held a 24-17 lead going into the locker room. WSU held a game-high nine-point lead after a jumper from redshirt fifth-year senior Krystal Leger-Walker at the 9:01 mark of the third quarter. Kansas State rolled off 10 consecutive points after Leger-Walker's jumper to take a one-point lead at 29-28 with 5:30 left to play in the game. Charlisse Leger-Walker hit back-to-back shots to put Washington State back on top 33-31 in the closing minutes of the third. Kansas State answered with a 4-0 run of its own to close out the frame with a 35-33 lead.
Kansas State opened the fourth quarter on an 8-2 run to take a 43-35 advantage with 6:35 left to play in the game. Washington State punched back and cut its deficit in half, as the Cougars trailed by four after a Charlisse Leger-Walker jumper with 4:53 left. KSU went on a 7-1 run from that point to close out the game to knockoff the Cougars by 10 points.
Washington State shot 25 percent from the field against Kansas State, while the Wildcats shot 26.4 percent. WSU outrebounded KSU, 44-40. Senior Ula Motuga pulled down a season-high 14 rebounds.
WSU ends the 2021-22 season at 19-11 overall. The 19 wins are the most collected by the Cougs in a season in the NCAA era and were two wins shy of the program record of 21 wins, which was set back in 1978-79.
WSU Head Coach Kamie Ethridge on the Result
"Just really sad and disappointed in how we played. K-State was awesome in the second half and made great adjustments, really we just got standing still. I thought we really lost some opportunities in the first half to extend our lead. That just was glaring to me with some of the turnovers that we had in trying to do too much at times. But again, it was just a hard game to compete in. You know, you hold a really good team to 50 points you think you're going to have a much better chance to win. We just had one of those days where our best shooters didn't always shoot it very well. So, congrats to K-State. Really proud of our team for being here and fighting like they do on a daily basis. And you know, disappointed that we didn't do a better job today."
- Charlisse Leger-Walker collected her 11th 20-point performance of the season. That ties her with WSU's all-time leading Borislava Hristova for the third-most 20-point games by a sophomore in WSU history.
- Leger-Walker's 20-point outing is her 24th game this season with double-digit points. That ties her with April Cook for the third-most double-digit scoring games by a sophomore in program history.
- Senior Ula Motuga pulled down a season-high 14 rebounds. It is one rebound shy of her career-high of 15 rebounds set last season at Colorado.
- Redshirt fifth-year senior Krystal Leger-Walker scored nine points in her final game with the Cougs. She ends her two-year WSU tenure with 472 points and 243 assists.
- Washington State falls to 0-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
- WSU falls to 0-5 all-time against Kansas State.