WSU Cougar Women are in the NCAA tournament, will play South Florida in first round
SPOKANE, Wash. — The Washington State Cougar women did enough this season to earn their first NCAA tournament bid since 1991.
The Cougars get a nine seed and will play South Florida in the first round of the tournament.
The Cougars finished with a winning record and a 7th place finish in the Pac-12, but their strength of schedule was huge and multiple top-25 wins made an impact on the committee getting the Cougs an at-large bid.
The entire women’s tournament will take place in San Antonio, Texas.
KAPP-KVEW’s Dylan Hunter Carter provides analysis on the WSU Cougar Women:
Much of the success that the WSU Cougar women had during the regular season should be credited to their powerhouse duo: Krystal and Charlisse Leger-Walker. The two sisters from New Zealand ranked top two in points, assists, steals and minutes for WSU this season with the latter being the star scorer of this unit.
Despite being just a freshman, Charlisse Leger-Walker leads the team with 18.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest. Though her 35.9% field goal percentage on the season may tell one story, Charlisse is the funnel through which her team competes. The 5-foot-10 guard is the youngest player to ever play for the New Zealand women’s national basketball team, so she knows how to compete under pressure.
Her sister, Krystal, is less of a go-to scorer and is more of a facilitator for the Cougar women. Her 106 assists in 12 games this season leads the team as she uses her own scoring threat to generate better shots for her teammates, including her sister.
This WSU team is full of players who compete for each other, competing on defense and forcing their opponents into difficult shots. The rest of the unit is sparked by the Leger-Walker sisters, who combine for half of the team’s eight steals per game.
There isn’t much historical precedence for the Cougar women competing in the NCAA tournament, but there’s good reason to be excited in Pullman this March.
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