WSU cracks AP women’s hoops preseason top 25 for first time

Oct 17, 2023, 1:35 PM

WSU Cougars Charlisse Leger-Walker...

WSU guard Charlisse Leger-Walker drives against Florida Gulf Coast during the 2023 NCAA Tournament. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The WSU Cougars women’s basketball team is ranked in The Associated Press preseason poll for the first time in program history.

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Washington State just cracked the top 25 of the poll, which was revealed Tuesday, as the No. 24 team in the country. The Cougars are coming off of a season where they beat UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship Game to reach the NCAA Tournament.

WSU returns leading scorer Charlisse Leger-Walker, a 5-foot-10 guard from New Zealand, and 6-foot-3 center Bella Murekatete, who starred in high school at Genesis Prep Academy in Post Falls, Idaho.

Defending champion LSU is ranked No. 1, marking the first time in school history it has landed in the top spot in the preseason poll.

Click here for the full AP top 25 women’s basketball preseason poll

Rounding out the top five are UConn at No. 2, followed by Iowa, UCLA and Utah.

WSU, UCLA and Utah are three of six Pac-12 teams in the top 25, which is the most ranked teams of any conference.

The Cougars begin the season on Oct. 29 against Montana Western. Notable games for WSU include Gonzaga at home on Nov. 9, three games at the Cancun Challenge from Nov. 23-25, and meetings with the rival UW Huskies on Dec. 10 (in Pullman) and Jan. 14 (in Seattle).

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WSU cracks AP women’s hoops preseason top 25 for first time