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Photo Gallery: WSU women return to the NCAA tournament

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It might have ended with a loss, but the game was one to remember.

Jack Ellis/CougCenter

WSU women’s hoops ended their historic season Sunday night in Austin, Texas, falling to 8-seed USF by a score of 57-53. The American Athletic Conference champion Bulls will move on to face Mercado Region 1-seed NC State later this week.

The Cougars ultimately finish the season with a record of 12-12, but that does little to deflect from how miraculous this season has been for the women in Crimson and Gray. From Charlisse Leger-Walker winning Pac-12 freshman of the year, to multiple wins over top 10 teams, head coach Kamie Ethridge has catapulted the program to new levels with no plans of slowing down. If Ethridge’s plans come to fruition, WSU may be dancing for years to come:

Unsurprisingly, freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker led the entire field with 18 points, followed closely by Johanna Teder (16 points). Teder went 4-9 from deep, including the opening shot that gave WSU an early 3-0 lead. The Cougs trailed by as much as 12 in the second quarter, but rallied in the third to force a decisive final quarter. However, WSU had more turnovers (4) than buckets (3) in the final period and ultimately came up just short of their first ever NCAA tournament win.

Now the focus turns to 2021-22, with Washington State potentially returning their entire squad due to COVID eligibility extensions. Krystal Leger-Walker is the sole senior currently on the roster, so the future is bright for women’s basketball in Pullman. Go Cougs!

Previous photo galleries:

Photo Gallery: WSU women complete season sweep of UW

Photo Gallery: WSU sweeps Cal and Stanford in final home stand of season

Photo Gallery: WSU splits home series against UCLA/USC

Photo Gallery: Mountain schools travel to the Palouse

Photo Gallery: A 5-0 start for WSU Basketball