US-based Rwandan basketball player Bella Murekatete, on Sunday, March 5, helped her team Washington State Cougars to win the Pac-12 Conference women’s trophy. The Pac-12 is a collegiate athletic conference that operates in the Pacific Coast of the United States of America. The Cougars beat the UCLA Bruins 65-61 in the finals to win the game during which Murekatete, an all-conference honorable mention, put up a great performance, especially down the stretch. The 22-year-old controlled the paint in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of her 21 points, and added two blocks to help WSU preserve a narrow lead throughout the final 10 minutes. Murekatete finished eight of 11 from the field. “In the fourth quarter, I really had to step it up and actually rise to the challenge because I knew we only had 10 minutes in this thing if we wanted to make it another ‘first’ (for the program),” Murekatete said. The 1.95m Rwandan native averaged 16.3 points and shot 60% at the tourney. In February, Murekatete made history for the Cougars Women’s basketball team after she became just the 22nd player to score 1000 career points in the team’s history. With her latest milestone, she is believed to be the first Rwandan-born player in NCAA Division I women's basketball history. Murekatete was named the 2022 Pac-12 Conference co-Most Improved Player of the Year after averaging 10.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. On intentional duty, she represented Rwanda at the 2015 FIBA Africa Under-16 Championship for Women, where she averaged 14.3 points and a tournament-best 22 rebounds per game and earned all-tournament honors. She notably recorded 24 points and 37 rebounds during Rwanda’s loss to Tunisia. She also represented the country at the 2018 FIBA U18 Women's African Championship, where she averaged 16.8 points, 13.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game and earned all-tournament honors after leading her team to a fourth-place finish. Her debut in the national team was shaped by a stellar performance at the 2015 FIBA Africa Under-16 Championship in Antananarivo where she was named on the All-Star Team and voted the best rebounder of the tournament.