PHILADELPHIA – Washington State’s historic 2022-23 season came to an end in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, as the No. 5-seeded Cougars fell to No., 12-seeded Florida Gulf Coast, 74-63, at Finneran Pavilion on the campus of Villanova.
The Cougars, who are ranked No. 23 in the Associated Press Poll, ran into a hot-shooting Florida Gulf Coast squad that is currently ranked No. 22 in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll. The Eagles shot 55.6 percent from the floor against Washington State. The Cougs had trouble keeping a smaller FGCU squad from penetrating toward the hoop, as Florida Gulf Coast outscored WSU 50-26 in points in the paint.
Washington State ends its third-straight season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Despite the loss, the Cougs still have a lot to celebrate this season. This season’s WSU women’s basketball squad became the first female sports team in school history to win a Pac-12 Conference title. Washington State was a No. 7 seed at the 2023 Pac-12 Tournament two weeks ago in Las Vegas and won four games in five days to become the lowest-seeded team ever to win the Pac-12 Tournament.
The Cougars conclude the 2022-23 season with a 23-11 overall record. The 23 wins for WSU this season set the school record for most wins in a season. It is just the second time in program history that Washington State has won 20 or more games in a season.
Sophomore Tara Wallack became the second Cougar in program history to collect a double-double in an NCAA Tournament game, as the South Surrey, Canada native scored a team-high 16 points and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds. Wallack was one of three WSU players to score double-digit points against Florida Gulf Coast, as she was joined by senior Johanna Teder, who chipped in 11 points, and senior Bella Murekatete tallied 10 points. The Cougar shot 38.9 percent from the field against FGCU and made more 3-point shots than the NCAA’s top 3-point shooting team, as WSU hit seven 3-pointers and held the Eagles to five 3-point makes which matches a season-low performance from behind the arc for Florida Gulf Coast.
Washington State got off to a hot start, as the Cougs jumped out to a 9-2 advantage less than three minutes into the game. Florida Gulf Coast responded with a 13-0 run to take a six-point…
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