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Cougs open the 2022-23 Season this Monday against Loyola Marymount

Nov 4, 2022

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State women's basketball team kicks off its fifth season under the direction of Head Coach Kamie Ethridge this Monday, November 7, as the Cougars open the 2022-23 campaign inside Beasley Coliseum to take on Loyola Marymount. Tip-off is set for 12 p.m. PT and will stream live on Pac-12 Plus and the WSU Live Stream.

WASHINGTON STATE (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12) vs. Loyola Marymount (0-0, 0-0 WCC) | Monday, Nov. 7, 2022 | 12 p.m. | Beasley Coliseum
  Live Stats | WSUCougars.com
  Watch | Pac-12 Insider/WSU Live Stream (Steve Grubbs)
  Listen | WSU Radio (Steve Grubbs)
  Game Notes | Click Here

STARTING FIVE
>> Admission is free to all in attendance for Monday's season opener. Fans can still buy season tickets at WSUCougars.com or by calling the WSU Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-COUGS.

>> Washington State is coming off a historic season that saw the Cougars go 19-11 and set several program records along the way. WSU's 19 wins in 2021-22 are the most in a single season at the NCAA level. The Cougs also won a program record 11 Pac-12 Conference games a season ago to finish second, giving Washington State its highest finishes in the league standings in program history. The Cougars capped off the 2021-22 season by earning a bid into the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season, marking the first time WSU has played in March Madness in consecutive seasons.

>> The Cougars will be one of the most experienced teams in NCAA Division I this season, as Washington State returns four of its five starters from a season ago. The Cougars return 84% of their scoring from a year ago, led by junior Charlisse Leger-Walker whose 17.3 points per game career scoring average is the highest for a returning Pac-12 player that has played in 25-or-more career games.

>> WSU is entering its fifth year under the direction of head coach Kamie Ethridge. Washington State has seen its win total increase every season under Ethridge, as her 51 wins at WSU is the most by a Cougar women's basketball head coach through their first four seasons on the Palouse.

>> Monday's matchup against Loyola Marymount will be the first meeting between the two since the 2016-17 season, while it will be the third overall game played between the schools. Washington State is 2-0 against the Lions all-time, picking up a 92-45 victory the last time the two played back on November 11, 2016, in Pullman.

Game Coverage
Monday's season-opening contest against Loyola Marymount will be streamed live for free on Pac-12 Plus and the WSU Live Stream. Fans can follow the action via live stats on WSUCougars.com.

Preseason Pac-12 Honors
Earlier this week, the Pac-12 Conference announced that junior Charlisse Leger-Walker and senior Bella Murekatete each earned preseason accolades from the league.  Leger-Walker was selected to the Preseason All-Pac-12 squad, while Murekatete picked up a Preseason All-Pac-12 honorable mention selection.

It is Leger-Walker's second career selection to the Preseason All-Pac-12 team, as the two-time All-Pac-12 honoree was selected to last season's preseason all-conference team. Meanwhile, it is Murekatete's first preseason league honor, as the 6-3 center from Rwanda is coming off a 2021-22 season that saw her earn the Pac-12 Conference's Most Improved Player of the Year Award.

Watch List Worthy
Junior Charlisse Leger-Walker and senior Bella Murekatete were once again selected for a pair of individual award watchlists from the Basketball Hall of Fame. For the second-straight season, Leger-Walker was selected for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award watch list, which goes annually to the top shooting guard in NCAA Division I, and Murekatete was named to the Lisa Leslie Award watch list, which goes to the country's top center.

Last season, Leger-Walker earned a spot as a finalist for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, joining Borislava Hristova as the only two WSU players to be named a finalist for a Basketball Hall of Fame individual award.

In addition, Leger-Walker was recently selected to the 2023 Jersey Mike's Naismith Trophy Women's Watch List. It is the second-straight season that the guard has been selected to the Naismith Trophy Watch List. The Naismith Trophy is presented to the top women's college basketball player as voted on by a selected committee at the end of the season.

Welcome the New Cougs
Washington State is bringing in four new freshmen into the program this season. The Cougars will be welcoming Cia Eklöf (Helsinki, Finland), Kyra Gardner (Raymond, Washington), Lauren Glazier (North Bend, Washington), and Astera Tuhina (Pristina, Kosovo) to the Palouse. Eklöf will be redshirting this season, while the other three are expected to make an immediate impact this season for the Cougars.

Taking Care of the Home Court
Beasley Coliseum has become a tough venue for opponents to come into and walk out with a victory. Last season, Washington State won 11 games at home which set a program record for most wins at Beasley in a season.

The Cougars are 18-7 at home over the last two seasons, while Washington State has won seven-straight non-conference games inside Beasley Coliseum dating back to the 2019-20 campaign. WSU is 14-4 against non-conference foes at Beasley during the Ethridge Era.

Collecting the Wins
Washington State Women's Basketball Head Coach Kamie Ethridge has won 51 games during her first four seasons in Pullman. The 51 victories are the most collected by a WSU head coach during their first four years at the helm. 

The Cougars have seen their win total improve each season under Ethridge, as Washington State collected 19 victories last season to set a program record for most single-season wins in the NCAA era.

Scouting the Lions
Loyola Marymount is coming off a 2021-22 campaign that saw the Lions go 11-19 overall and 4-13 in the West Coast Conference. LMU returns a veteran squad this season, as all but one start is back in the fold for second-year Head Coach Aarika Hughes.

Graduate student Ariel Johnson leads the way for Loyola Marymount, as she returns a team-best 14.8 points per game last season to this year's Lion's roster. Johnson was the lone LMU player to average double-digit points last season, but not far behind was junior Alexis Mark, who averaged 9.5 points and a team-best 8.0 rebounds per game.

The Lions averaged 59.2 points last season while shooting 40.1 percent from the field. Opponents shot 42.7 percent from the field against LMU last year, while teams averaged 66.7 points per game against them.

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