Villanova, PA- #12 seed, and #22 nationally ranked: FGCU (32-3), faces PAC-12 Champion, #5 seed, and #23 nationally ranked: Washington State University (23-10), Saturday afternoon at 2:30 PM in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, from Finneran Pavilion. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Stats (#12 FGCU):

FGCU averages 78.1 ppg, shoots 47.8% (991/2074) from the field, and 37.6% (413/1099) from beyond the arc. The Eagles average 33.4 team rebounds per game. FGCU dishes out 17.9 assists, 9.1 steals, and 2.5 blocks per game. The Eagles average 12.4 team turnovers per game.

Stats (#5 WSU):

WSU averages 67.2 ppg, shoots 43.3% (826/1909) from the field, and 33.2% (215/648) from beyond the arc. The Cougars average 36.6 team rebounds per game. WSU dishes out 15.0 assists, 7.3 steals, and 4.4 blocks per game. The Cougars average 15.0 team turnovers per game.

3 Players To Watch For (#5 FGCU):

5’3 5th G TK Morehouse 15.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg

Accolades (this season):

-ASUN Conference Player of the Year

-ASUN 1ST TEAM All-Conference

6’0 5th G Sha Carter 13.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Accolades (this season):

-ASUN 1ST TEAM All-Conference

5’8 R-JR G Alyza Winston 12.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg

Accolades (this season):

-ASUN 3RD TEAM All-Conference

3 Players To Watch For (#5 WSU):

5’10 JR G Charlisse Leger-Walker 18.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg

Accolades (this season):

-ALL PAC-12 Team this season

As a Sophomore:

-2021-22 All PAC-12 Team

-2021-22 Anne Meyers Drysdale Award Top-10 Finalists

-Pac-12 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 12

-2021-22 Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List

-2021-22 John. R. Wooden Award Player of the Year Preseason Watch List

6’3 SR C Bella Murkekatete 13.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg

Accolades (as a JR):

-2021-22 Pac-12 Co-Most Improved Player of the Year

-2021-22 Lisa Leslie Award Preseason Watchlist

6’2 SO G Tara Wallack 9.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg


#5 seed WSU and #12 seed FGCU square off for the first time in program history, Saturday afternoon from the Finneran Pavilion. The Cougars won the PAC-12 Championship, defeating UCLA 65-61, as a #7 seed. Head Coach Kamie Ethridge has led WSU since 2018. 5’10 JR G Charlisse Leger-Walker is the best player on the court for WSU, and was named to the All-PAC 12 team, as well as named the Most Outstanding Player of the PAC-12 tournament, and is averaging 18.1 ppg this season.

#12 seed FGCU is playing their best basketball, after routing Liberty University, in the ASUN Championship game, 84-60. Guard TK Morehouse leads the Eagles offensively, and is averaging 15.9 ppg. The Eagles boast two other guards in Sha Carter (13.9 ppg), and Alyza Winston (13.9 ppg), who can take over games at any minute for the Eagles. Head Coach Karl Smesko is in his 24th season leading the Eagles, and has been with the program since it’s inception.

For the Eagles to defeat the Cougars, FGCU is going to need to limit Leger-Walker at guard, and find a way to defend both 6’2 SR C Bella Murkekatete (13.9 ppg) and 6’4 JR C Jessica Clark (4.8 ppg) in the post. The Cougars boast the height in the post, but also have tall guards with 3rd leading scorer Tara Wallack (9.2 ppg), standing at 6’2. FGCU has a super athletic team, and it’s no secret their game will be to shoot often from beyond the arc. When the threes are raining, this team is difficult to beat. Should be a classic between both the Cougars and Eagles in Philadelphia, Saturday afternoon.

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