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No. 21 Women’s Basketball Heads to South Dakota State

Dec 4, 2023

NO. 21 WASHINGTON STATE (9-1) at SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (4-2)
Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. PT
Brookings, S.D.
Frost Arena

Watch | www.midcosportsplus.com
Live Stats | statbroadcast.com/events/statbroadcast.php?gid=sdst&t=1

NO. 21 COUGARS HEAD TO SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
Washington State women's basketball is set to take on South Dakota State in Brookings, S.D. on Tuesday, Dec. at 4 p.m. PT.

NEXT UP
The Cougars will open their Pac-12 schedule on Sunday, Dec. 10, hosting Washington at 1 p.m. before two final non-conference matchups with Houston and Auburn on Dec. 17 and 20.

ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE
WSU Women's Basketball is 9-1, and off to their best start since the 1978-79 season. The team has had five or more players score in double figures four different times this season, and in the team's outing on Wednesday, had seven in double-digit scoring and three record double-doubles. WSU returns eight players from last year's Pac-12 Conference Tournament Championship team including three starters who won a program-record 23 games (23-11, 9-9 Pac-12) and were ranked as high as No. 22 in the AP Poll after capturing the program's first Pac-12 Women's Basketball Championship to clinch their third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Kamie Ethridge, the 2022-23 National Coach of the Year by The Athletic, returns three All-Pac-12 players led by All-America guard Charlisse Leger-Walker.

COUGS RANKED NO. 21 ON LATEST POLL
The Cougs returned to the AP Top-25 this week at number 21. Earlier this season, Washington State was voted to the Preseason Associated Press Top-25 Poll for the first time in program history, appearing at No. 24 in the preseason poll and had previously been ranked as high as No. 23 in the week three Top-25 poll. WSU was picked to finish fifth by the Pac-12 Conference coaches and media, matching the best preseason pick in program history after also being picked fifth ahead of the 1991-92 season.

SERIES HISTORY
South Dakota State leads the all-time series 3-1 between these two programs.

CLIMBING THE RECORD BOOK, BEA CHASING MILESTONES
Charlisse Leger-Walker and Bella Murekatete continue to move their names up the Cougar record book.
>> Leger-Walker is 2nd in 3-FG (188) and 4th in career scoring (1,603) all-time at WSU
>> Murekatete is the all-time blocks leader, currently at 164, and is 4th in rebounding (810) and tied for second in starts (119)
>> Graduate transfer Beyonce Bea (Idaho) enters Friday with 2,002 career points and 944 career rebounds

LEGER-WALKER, MUREKATETE EARN PRESEASON ALL-PAC-12 ACCOLADES
Guard Charlisse Leger-Walker and center Bella Murekatete were named to the 2023-24 Preseason All-Pac-12 Conference Team as voted on by the conference's coaches and media. Ledger-Walker earned Preseason All-Pac-12 honors for the third-straight season after an All-America campaign last season. The senior from Waikato, New Zealand was named the Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player, earned All-Pac-12 honors, All-Defensive Team honorable mention and Academic All-America Second Team. In 30 starts, Leger-Walker averaged 17.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 4.1 apg while shooting at a 40.3% clip including 68 made threes. Murekatete earned her second Preseason All-Pac-12 accolade after earning honorable mention, was a Lisa Leslie Top-10 Finalist and earned a spot on the Pac-12 All-Tournament Team. The senior from Rwanda started all 34 games and was one of three Pac-12 players to rank inside the Top-10 in points, rebounds and blocks, joining Stanford's Cameron Brink and Haley Jones. Murekatete averaged 13.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg and tallied 43 blocks while shooting a team-best 49.1 field goal percentage.

LEGER-WALKER NAMED TO PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LISTS
Guard Charlisse Leger-Walker was one of 20 players named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List for the third straight season, the three-time All-American is up for the award presented annually to the best shooting guard in NCAA Division I. Leger-Walker was also one of 50 players named to the Naismith Women's College Player of the Year Watch List and was named to the John R. Wooden Award Women's Player of the Year Top-50 Watch List.

MUREKATETE NAMED TO LISA LESLIE AWARD WATCH LIST
Center Bella Murekatete was named one of 20 candidates for the 2024 Lisa Leslie Award. Named after the three-time All-American,1994 National Player of the Year and Class of 2015 Hall of Famer, the annual award, in its seventh year, recognizes the top centers in women's NCAA Division I college basketball. Murekatete was named to the watch list for the third straight season and is one of six Pac-12 Conference centers recognized.

JOHANNA TEDER TO MISS 2023-24 SEASON
Senior guard Johanna Teder will miss the 2023-24 season recovering from injuries. "We are saddened to announce that Johanna will miss her final season with us. Yo (Johanna) has been dealing with a prolonged acute and chronic injury for the past two years, and after pursuing every option to alleviate and manage her pain, she has come to the conclusion the best option to eliminate all pounding and loading activities for an extended period of time," Kamie Ethridge said. Teder started all 34 games last season, averaged 7.9 ppg, scored in double figures 15 times and shot 34.4 percent from behind the arc, eighth in the Pac-12 with 59 made three-pointers. The fifth-year senior from Tartu, Estonia is a two-time Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll selection and was named to the CSC Academic All-District Team (Digital Technology & Culture).

BEYONCE BEA TRANSFERS TO WSU
Idaho graduate transfer Beyonce Bea arrived on campus in May after an illustrious career at nearby Idaho. Bea, pronounced Be-Ontz Bee, is from Washougal, Wash., finished her Idaho career third all-time in scoring with 1,938 points and was the second-leading scorer in the transfer portal after she led the Big Sky in scoring last season at 22.8 points per game, the sixth-best scoring average nationally while shooting 49.1 percent from the floor along the way.

COUGS TOURED EUROPE LAST SUMMER
The Washington State women's basketball team spent two weeks abroad for a European tour this past summer, traveling through Croatia and Greece.

ETHRIDGE INKS EXTENSION
WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun announced this past May that Ethridge has signed a one-year contract extension keeping her in Pullman through the 2028-29 season. "Coach Ethridge is the best women's basketball head coach in the country and we are excited to have her lead our program for many years to come," said Chun. "To watch her and her staff pour their hearts into our student-athletes and transform our program these past five years has been amazing. Our program now lives at the highest levels of college basketball and we are appreciative of her commitment to WSU." Ethridge guided Washington State to its first Pac-12 title in any female team sport by winning the 2023 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Championship in Las Vegas. Washington State has seen its win total increase each season under Ethridge. Since coming to Pullman, Ethridge has led the Cougs to the 2023 Pac-12 Championship, made three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2021, 2022, 2023), and set program records for most wins in a regular season with 23 victories in 2022-23. The 2020-21 team set the program record for the highest regular season finish in the Pac-12, ending the season tied for second place with Oregon. The Cougars also won a school-record 11 Pac-12 games in 2020-21 en route to the program's second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.