The underdog No. 12 seed Florida Gulf Coast Eagles looked across the court at No. 5 seed Washington State and thought to themselves, “That don’t impress me much.” FGCU pulled off the biggest upset of the NCAA tournament thus far, knocking off Washington State 74-63.
FGCU senior guard Sha Carter led the way for the Eagles, going 10-for-13 from the field and dropping 26 points in the victory. Senior guard Tishara Morehouse added 16 points of her own in the win.
FGCU looked strong early, taking a 17-13 lead over Washington State at the end of the first quarter. Washingon State battled its way back in the second quarter, taking a one-point lead going into halftime. That momentum didn’t carry into the third quarter. FCGU outscored Washington State 30-16 in the quarter, essentially putting the game out of reach for the Cougars.
It was the second straight year FGCU pulled off an upset in the first round of the tournament. The team knocked off Virginia Tech last year before falling to Maryland in the second round of the event.
If you were fortunate enough to pick FGCU in your bracket, good for you. If not, well, many feel your pain. Only 42 perfect brackets are left following FGCU’s upset win.
Washington State was sunk by foul trouble and an inefficient night from star guard Charlisse Leger-Walker, who went just 2-of-11 from the field. Leger-Walker averaged 18.1 points for the Cougars during the regular season. She finished Saturday’s game with 5 points.
Leger-Walker wasn’t even on the court when the game ended. She ran into foul trouble early in the contest, and fouled out of the game with over five minutes to play.
The team’s second leading scorer during the regular season, Bella Murekatete, also ran into foul trouble. She finished with 10 points.
In the leadup to the tournament, Washington State received attention for adopting Shania Twain’s anthem “Man! I feel like a woman,” as their unofficial fight song. Twain even tweeted about that development, congratulating the team on winning the Pac 12 title.
That storyline came to the end Saturday, as FGCU was still the one standing when the clock hit zero.