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Washington State women tune-up for Cancun Challenge with 81-43 win over Prairie View A&M

Washington State's Astera Tuhina dribbles against Prairie View A&M on Sunday in Prairie View, Texas.  (Courtesy of WSU Athletics)
From staff reports

The starters set the tone early for Washington State on Sunday.

The 24th-ranked Cougars held Prairie View scoreless for nearly 5 minutes to begin the game, and WSU coasted to an 81-43 victory in a nonconference women’s basketball game in Prairie View, Texas.

The Cougars are unbeaten through five games as they prepare to embark on a trip to Mexico for the Cancun Classic, which begins Thursday with an 8 a.m. tipoff against Maryland.

WSU’s Charlisse Leger-Walker drilled a 3-pointer, Beyonce Bea provided a putback, and Tara Wallack turned a Bea steal into a layup at the other end for a 7-0 lead at the 7:39 mark of the opening quarter. The Cougars stretched the lead to 19-3 after an Alex Covill bucket and carried a 19-7 lead into the second quarter.

Leger-Walker made both shots from the floor and all four attempts from the foul line in the second period, and that offensive surge helped WSU push its advantage to 41-21 at halftime.

Leger-Walker finished with 17 points, Astera Tuhina scored 13 for the Cougars. WSU’s frontcourt tandem of Bella Murekatete and Bea combined for 20 points and 19 rebounds.

Ryann Payne paced the Panthers with 14 points.