NCAA Women

Women’s Basketball Season Ends at WBIT Semifinals

Women’s Basketball Season Ends at WBIT Semifinals


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 1, 2024) – Washington State women’s basketball fell to Illinois, 81-58, in the WBIT Semifinals Monday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

The Cougars (21-15) were able to drain 10 from beyond the arc, shooting nearly 42 percent from beyond the arc, but Illinois 54-percent shooting from the floor in for the game was too much to overcome.

Astera Tuhina led the scoring with 20 points, splashing a career-high five 3-pointers. She also ended the game with three assists and three rebounds.

Eleonora Villa finished with 14 points, three assists, a rebound and a steal.

Bella Murekatete grabbed a team-high nine boards to go with three assists, two steals and two points.

Beyonce Bea recorded six points, four rebounds, and two assists, while Jessica Clarke had five boards, a block and an assist.

Alex Covill added three rebounds, a block and three points. Kyra Gardner had three points and a steal, and Tara Wallack finished with four points, two assists and a block.

Illinois opened with an 11-4 lead before back-to-back buckets from Bea made it 15-8 going into the first media break. A pair of Tunina threes in the final minutes of the first quarter kept Illinois within striking distance, making it 23-14 heading to the second quarter.

Shots from Murekatete, Bea and E. Villa to start the second, and a Tuhina three midway through the quarter helped WSU keep pace, putting the game at 35-23. E. Villa scored on a layup as the clock ticked down to the final minute in the first half before burying a three on the final possession, sending the game into halftime, 42-28.

Illinois continued to knock down shots out of the break to extend its lead to 51-30 with 5:28 to go in the third. Later in the third, triples from E. Villa and J. Villa cut into the Illinois lead, making it a 17-point game, 58-41. After free throws from Covill and E. Villa, the game entered its final quarter with a score of 62-45.

In the fourth, the Cougar offense saw threes from Tuhina, Gardner and E. Villa down the stretch, but it wouldn’t be enough as they would go on to fall, 81-58.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

Bella Murekatete

  • Grabbed nine rebounds to extend her program lead to 990 career rebounds
  • Two points today puts her at 1,552 career points, fifth most in program history
  • Played in game number 153, and…

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