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‘A dream come true’: Washington State reaches first Pac-12 Tournament final

Mar 3, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington State Cougars center Bella Murekatete (55) celebrates the win over the Colorado Buffaloes at Michelob Arena. (Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports)

Washington State is having a Cinderella-style run in the Pac-12 Tournament, reaching the championship final for the first time in program history.

After beating Utah for their first-ever win against an AP top-three opponent on Thursday, the women’s basketball team beat Colorado 61-49 on Friday in the tournament semifinals.

“There’s so many emotions right now,” WSU guard Charlisse Leger-Walker said during the Pac-12 Network postgame show. “I’m just so proud of this team and so proud of how we’ve been performing. … We proved we deserve to be here. We deserve to be in this final.”

They’ll face UCLA, who upset top-seeded Stanford on Friday. 

While Colorado came out firing in the third quarter, Washington State locked it down in the fourth, outscoring the Buffaloes 23-11. Head coach Mary Camille Ethridge said afterward that she was proud of the team in that quarter, and called the team’s celebration “the greatest thing.”

“This is the greatest feeling in the world … to see the smiles and the community we have behind us,” Ethridge said. “It’s a dream come true, and with the best people in the world.”