Ethridge Named Pac-12 Coach of the Year by Media


WSU guard Krystal Leger-Walker looks for a pass during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona at Beasley Coliseum, February 20.

The WSU women’s basketball team had its best season of the NCAA era this year, earning the No. 3 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament and possibly earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

From ranking second in the Pac-12 to upsetting the No. 14 team in the nation, the Cougars had one of the best seasons in program history. Despite tough games against BYU and Oregon earlier in the year, they used the losses as fuel to help finish the regular season strong.

The Cougars’ final regular season game was a 73-67 win over the Cal Bears for their 19th win of the year and a program record. The previous record was 18 wins and 10 Pac-12 wins set by the 1990-91 team. This game also gave the Cougars their first conference bye in program history.

“It’s exciting for our team to set these records,” said WSU head coach Kamie Ethridge. “I think so many people are just blown away by the the success of this team and the tenacity of this team.

WSU senior guard Michaela Jones hugs head coach Kamie Ethridge during senior night before an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona at Beasley Coliseum, February 20.

With the team’s success throughout the season, players received Pac-12 accolades for their contributions. The Leger-Walker duo have gone wild on the court this season, resulting in Charlisse being voted to the All-Pac-12 team while Krystal received honorable mentions for the All-Pac-12 team. 12 and the All-Pac-12 defensive team. The sisters rocked the conference, leading the Pac-12 in total points and total assists for the second straight year. Charlisse has scored 457 points in 28 regular season games, while Krystal has dished out 131 assists.

The Pac-12 honors continued to roll in for the Cougars as 6-foot-3 center Bella Murekatete Rwanda was named Pac-12 Conference Most Improved Co-Player of the Year. She averaged 10.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game this season. She turned out to be one of the most dominant players in the conference, ranking in the top 10 in blocks and rebounds all season. His consistency in painting was one of the main factors in this distinction. 203 by Murekatete rebounds rank third in the Pac-12 this season, while his 48 blocks are ranked fourth.

The Cougs have made progress in strengthening their roster with players such as Johanna Teder and Ula Motuga. In Arizona’s surprise, Teder, the junior of Estonia led the team with a season-high 21 points. Motuga was everythingaround the player the Cougars needed, being effective in big moments to help secure closed games.

“Having accomplished what we have this year in the regular season is just really a testament to our seniors, first, but also to all pprogram,” Ethridge said. “The whole team is committed to doing whatever it takes for us to succeed and win without an individual agenda.

With the regular season is coming to an end, the Cougars plan to add more success and accolades to the Pac-12 Tournament and hopefully the NCAA Tournament.


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