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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Women’s basketball: No. 24 Washington State overcomes slow start, beats Cal Poly in season opener

Freshman guard Jenna Villa watches a 3-pointer fly during Washington State's 78-61 win over Cal Poly on Monday. Villa finished with four 3s.  (Courtesy of WSU athletics)
From staff reports

Improved depth is expected to be a strength for the 24th-ranked Washington State women’s basketball team this season.

It showed in the Cougars’ season opener on Monday.

With star guard Charlisse Walker-Leger struggling offensively, WSU got 18 points from Bella Murekatete – one of five players in double figures – in a 78-61 victory over Cal Poly at Beasley Coliseum.

Idaho transfer Beyonce Bea added 11 points, nine rebounds and five blocks in her WSU debut. 

Jenna Villa had 12 points, all on 3-pointers, Tara Wallack had 11 points and Astera Tuhina 10 for the Cougars, who trailed 34-31 at halftime.

Cal Poly led 41-40 before Leger-Walker’s layup with 6:09 left in the third quarter keyed a 14-0 burst to put WSU up 54-41. The Mustangs never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

Leger-Walker was just 2-of-10 shooting, but added nine assists and eight rebounds.

Idaho wins opener

Kennedy Johnson scored 18 points and the Vandals used a big third quarter to pull away from Walla Walla 92-50 in Moscow.

Leading 41-34 at the half, Idaho outscored the Wolves 35-6 in the third. 

Aspen Caldwell added 13 points off the bench for UI.