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Cougs season ends with NCAA Tournament loss

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 21: Washington State center Bella Murekatete (55) gets pressured under the hoop during the third quarter of the Women’s NCAA Tournament First Round matchup between the USF Bulls and the Washington State Cougars on March 21, 2021, at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX. Jack Ellis/CougCenter

In the many years since I began my freshman year at WSU, I never expected to spend a Sunday night yelling at the TV, agonizing over a Women’s NCAA Tournament game. The Cougars changed that this season, and while the season ended with an agonizing loss on Sunday night, the growth of the program this season should make all Coug fans proud.

Including Klay Thompson.

Four months ago, the Cougs were picked to finish 12th in the Pac-12 in both the media and coach’s polls. And it wasn’t even close. In the media poll, the Cougars received just 27 points, while No. 11 Washington received 53 (No. 1 Stanford received 248 points).

Two top 10 upsets and an NCAA Tournament berth later, and the Cougs went from being picked to finish dead last to a potentially program changing season. The Cougs achieved a lot of “the first time in 30 years” or “the first time ever” moments this season. And while they still didn’t win a NCAA Tournament game, there is always next season.

The Cougars only had a single senior on the roster this season — Krystal Ledger-Walker — and are loaded with underclassmen. Last night, eight players saw action for the Cougars, including five sophomores, one freshman, a junior and one senior. This team is going to be back and with a vengeance.

I’m already looking forward to agonizing over several Women’s NCAA Tournament games next season.

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Women’s basketball

WSU Cougars women knocked out in first round of NCAA tournament by South Florida | The Seattle Times
Elena Tsineke scored the go-ahead basket with 1:32 to play, and eighth-seeded South Florida defeated No. 9 seed Washington State 57-54

Recap: South Florida beats Washington State in NCAA Tournament | The Spokesman-Review
Elena Tsineke scored 18 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:32 remaining, to help South Florida to a 57-53 win over Washington State in the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament on Sunday night in Austin, Texas.

Cougars fall to South Florida in first NCAA tournament game in 30 years - KXLY
The Washington State Cougars waited 30 years to get back to the NCAA tournament, and they take South Florida to the wire but can’t get the win in a 57-53 loss.

Baseball:

Oregon State Baseball: Beavers Beat Cougars 9-8 in Back and Forth Brawl - Building The Dam
After giving up an early lead, the Beavers battled back to take the series over WSU.

Andy Armstrong’s solo homer lifts Oregon State baseball past Washington State in series finale - oregonlive.com
The Beavers win the game and the series.

Cougars Upset Bid Turned Away on Late OSU Homer - Washington State University Athletics
Washington State dropped the rubber game of the Pac-12 Conference opening series 9-8 after an eighth inning solo home run by No. 18 Oregon State at Goss Stadium Sunday afternoon. WSU won Friday's opener 5-2 and the Beavers claimed Saturday's contest 10-3.

Track and Field

T&F Sees Successful Trip to Los Angeles - Washington State University Athletics
Ulloa Daza and Taylor post all-time marks for the Cougs at Loker Stadium.