Cougs Win the North Shore Showcase with a Victory over Troy
LAIE, Hawaii – The Washington State women's basketball team captured the title at the 2022 North Shore Showcase, as the Cougars picked up an 87-72 win over Troy Monday, Nov. 21, to conclude their trip to the Hawaiian Islands.
The Cougars will come back to the mainland sporting a 4-1 overall record after picking up a 15-point win over the Trojans. With Washington State's victory over Troy, all three teams at the North Shore Showcase finished at 1-1, with the Cougars claiming the tournament title by having the field's best margin of victory.
WSU led for all but eight minutes in the victory over Troy in the win. The Cougars scored a total of 54 points over the first 20 minutes of play while shooting 44.7 percent from the field during the first two quarters of play to take a game-high 17-point lead (54-37) into the locker room.
Washington State had to battle foul trouble over the final 20 minutes of play, as the Trojans chipped away at WSU's lead to make it a two-point game at 67-65 after a pair of free throws with 7:58 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Cougars responded and ended the contest on a 20-7 run to claim both the victory over the Trojans and the team title at the North Shore Showcase.
Washington State was propelled by five double-digit scorers, which marks the first time since Feb. 15, 2019, in a win over Washington that WSU has had five-or-more players score double-digit points. Senior Bella Murekatete led the way for the Cougs by posting 22 points, pulling down a game-high 16 rebounds in the victory, and collecting five blocks. All three totals match Murekatete's career-best efforts in each category. The 6-3 post player had a double-double at the halftime break, as she had registered 16 points and 11 rebounds over the first 20 minutes of action.
Sophomore Tara Wallack collected 17 points in the win and pulled down eight rebounds. Junior Charlisse Leger-Walker nearly matched Murekatete's double-double, missing the mark by just a rebound, as she concluded the game with 14 points and nine rebounds. Leger-Walker also dished out six assists against Troy.
Freshman Astera Tuhina scored a career-high 14 points off the bench, while senior Johanna Teder collected her second-straight double-digit performance with her second-straight 12-point effort at the North Shore Showcase.
Charlisse Leger-Walker was named the 2022 North Shore Showcase's Most Valuable Player. The guard from Waikato, New Zealand averaged 17.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game on Oahu. Bella Murekatete was also selected to the 2022 North Shore Showcase All-Star team, as she averaged 14.0 points 9.0 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game.
Head Coach Kamie Ethridge on the Win
"I just loved the competitiveness and the toughness that we showed after coming off a disappointing loss to Brigham Young. It was like a brand-new team today. It was a team that was on edge that took the floor today and it resulted in one of our best halves of the year, so far. Give Troy a lot of credit. They're athletic, turn you over, and make you make mistakes. We got into a bit of a rut in the third quarter due to foul trouble. To come back and put the hammer down later in the game makes this win even better than having a blowout because it made us have to fight. A lot of different players made a lot of game-winning plays for us late. Overall, I'm really happy (with the win) and I think that we can grow from this."
- Today's win gives Washington State a win over Troy in the first meeting between the two schools.
- Washington State moves to 12-11 all-time in Hawai'i.
- Bella Murekatete's 22-point performance matches her career high in points set back on Nov. 9, 2021, against San Jose State. Meanwhile, the 16 rebounds equal her career-best performance set at UCLA on Jan. 17, 2021.
- Murekatete's five blocks also match a career-best for the center, which she has done five previous times before. The last time came on Nov. 21, 2021, against Northern Arizona.
- It is Murekatete's second double-double of the season and her second over the last three games. It is her seventh career double-double.
- The 14-point effort for Astera Tuhina establishes a new career for the freshman in points.
- Charlisse Leger-Walker's 14-point effort marks her 52nd career game with double-digit points in 59 career games at WSU.
- Tara Wallack's 17-point effort gives the sophomore her seventh career game with double figures.
- Johanna Teder's 12-point effort gives the guard her 16th career game with double-digit points.
Washington State will step away from games over the Thanksgiving holiday. WSU will be back in action Nov. 28, when the Cougars return to Beasley Coliseum to take on South Dakota State. Tip-off against the Jackrabbits is set for 7 p.m. PT and will stream on the WSU Live Stream and Pac-12 Insider.
For more information on the Washington State women's basketball team, follow @WSUCougarsWBB on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.