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Cougar women ranked 24th in AP preseason poll

Another first for the WSU women’s basketball program.

PULLMAN, WA - JANUARY 28: Washington State Women’s Basketball versus the Washington Huskies at Beasley Coliseum - Washington State center Bella Murekatete (55) Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Kamie Ethridge has led the Washington State women’s basketball program to plenty of firsts since she took over as head coach in 2018. She came to a team that had only made the NCAA Tournament once in team history and has led them to the dance in three consecutive campaigns. Last season, led by all-everything star Charlisse Leger-Walker, the Cougs shocked the world by winning the Pac-12 Tournament championship. This season, WSU is set to defend their Pac-12 title and set a couple more records along the way.

As it turns out, they didn’t even need to play game number one before making more history for Washington State University.

On Tuesday, the preseason Associated Press poll was announced and Washington State was ranked 24th in the nation. The Cougs picked up 61 points overall, finishing 7 points higher than number 25 Mississippi State. The ranking is the first AP preseason ranking in the history of the WSU women’s basketball program. Overall, WSU is one of six Pac-12 programs in the preseason poll. Three more teams in the conference were in the received votes category.

Looking to go back-to-back and cap off their final year in the Pac-12 (as we know it) in style, the Cougars return an impressive group of players. Eight players make their return from the 2022-23 squad, including four starters. Among that group is All-America guard Charlisse Leger-Walker and fifth year center Bella Murekatete, both of which were named to the all-Pac-12 preseason team.

The Cougars were picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 in both the preseason coaches and media polls. That selection is tied for the highest in WSU history, matching their pick prior to the 1991-92 season.

We’ll get our first chance to see the defending champions in action on October 29 when they host Montana State for an exhibition game in Pullman. They’ll tip off the regular season just over a week later on November 6 in a home game against Cal Poly at 4 o’clock. That game is part of a doubleheader with the men’s squad who will play Idaho later that night at 8 p.m. in Beasley Coliseum.

Cougars Earn Program’s First Preseason AP Ranking, Appear at No. 24 - Washington State University Athletics
WSU is ranked No. 24 in the preseason poll.

Cougar Women’s Basketball Pac-12 Schedule Announced - Washington State University Athletics
WSU opens the season Monday, November 6.

More Links

Washington State Faces No. 9 Oregon in Eugene on ABC - Washington State University Athletics
Kickoff is set for 12:30 pm on ABC.

WSU Football Looks To Get Back Into Win Column at No. 9 Oregon This Saturday | Nonstop Local Sports |
Coming off back to back losses the Cougs look to get back into the win column and to the success that they had early in the season.