No. 24 WSU Cougars women beat Cal Poly 78-61 in opener

Nov 6, 2023, 5:58 PM | Updated: 11:04 pm

WSU Cougars women...

WSU Cougars' Bella Murekatete, Charlisse Leger-Walker and Tara Wallack. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Bella Murekatete scored 18 points, Beyonce Bea had 11 points, nine rebounds and five blocks and the No. 24 WSU Cougars women beat Cal Poly 78-61 on Monday night in a season opener for both teams.

WSU Cougars 78, Cal Poly 61: Box score

Washington State trailed 34-31 at halftime after Ania McNicholas closed the half with back-to-back 3-pointers for Cal Poly. The Mustangs’ last lead of the game was 41-40 with 6:16 remaining in the third quarter before the Cougars scored 14 straight points to build a double-digit lead.

Cal Poly scored the first four points of the fourth quarter, but Murekatete answered with a three-point play and the Cougars led by at least eight points the rest of the way.

Jenna Villa added 12 points, Tara Wallack had 11 and Astera Tuhina scored 10 for Washington State. Villa was 4 of 9 from distance and Tuhina added three makes to help the Cougars go 10 of 25.

Natalia Ackerman scored 12 points for Cal Poly.

Washington State is ranked entering the season for the first time in program history. WSU returns eight players from last year’s Pac-12 Conference Tournament championship team, including three starters who won a program-record 23 games.

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