Jan. 9, 2006
WASHINGTON STATE (9-3, 2-1 Pac-10)
COUGARS IN LOS ANGELES: The Washington State men's basketball team travels to Los Angeles for Pacific-10 games against No. 11 (Associated Press)/12 (ESPN/USA Today) UCLA (Thursday, 7:30 p.m.) and USC (Saturday, 5 p.m.)...both games will be televised by FSN West2.
THE HEAD COACHES: Dick Bennett is 34-35 at Washington State and in his third season on the Palouse...owns a 488-292 career record (.626) in 27 collegiate seasons...guided Wisconsin to 2000 Final Four...Ben Howland is 42-30 and in his third season at UCLA...overall record is 210-129 in 12 seasons...Tim Floyd is 11-4 in his first season at USC...overall record is 254-132 in 13 seasons...Bennett is 1-3 against Howland and 1-4 vs. UCLA (1-3 as WSU head coach)...Bennett is 4-0 vs. USC and has never faced Floyd.
ABOUT UCLA: The Bruins are 13-2, 3-1 Pac-10...UCLA is in three-way tied for first in the conference with Arizona and California...Jordan Farmar leads the Pac-10 in assists with 5.62 per game, eighth in assist/turnover ratio at 1.52 and ranks 13th in scoring at 13.5 points per game...Luc Ri Mbah a Moute is second in rebounding at 8.7 per game...Arron Afflalo is third in scoring with 19.0 points per game and minutes played with 34.73 per game, and is tied for 10th in 3-point field goal percentage 41.9.
SERIES WITH THE BRUINS: UCLA leads 83-11...Bruins have won 47 of 48 meetings in Los Angeles...Cougar victory was 55-48 Feb. 5, 2003 in WSU's first trip to Pauley Pavilion under Dick Bennett...Cougars are 3-59 against UCLA when the Bruins are ranked, including 0-29 on the road...WSU has lost 19 straight to UCLA when the Bruins are ranked...last win was 81-73 over No. 17 UCLA, Dec. 19, 1986 in Pullman...last season, UCLA won 80-77 in double overtime at home and 58-56 in overtime at Washington State.
ABOUT USC: The Trojans are 11-4, 2-2 Pac-10...tied for fifth in the conference...plays Washington, Thursday...Nick Young is the fourth leading scorer in the Pac-10 with 16.5 points per game and is seventh in the conference with a 6.4 rebounding average...Greg Pruitt is third in the conference with 2.47 steals per game and ranks sixth in the Pac-10 with 16.2 points per game...Ryan Francis is tied for second in the Pac-10 with a 2.00 assist/turnover ratio, ranks fourth with 2.00 steals per game and seventh in the conference with 4.00 assists per outing...Abdoulaye N'diaye is third in the Pac-10 with 1.73 blocks per game.
SERIES WITH THE TROJANS: USC leads 62-36...Trojans are 39-11 at home...Washington State has won all four meetings with Dick Bennett as head coach...Cougars have never defeated the Trojans five consecutive times...WSU has never won three straight against USC in Los Angeles...both could be accomplished with a win Saturday at the Los Angeles Sports Arena...last season, WSU won 69-52 in Los Angeles and 61-53 in Pullman.
THESE DATES IN COUGAR HISTORY: Washington State swept a series over Stanford and California, Jan. 12/14, 1980...Cougars defeated Cardinal 102-74, Jan. 12 and Golden Bears 83-64, Jan. 14...WSU and Stanford were tied 41-41 at the half before the Cougars outscored the Cardinal 61-33 after intermission...Don Collins tallied 23 of his game-high 34 points in the second half for WSU and added 10 rebounds in the game for a double-double...Stuart House also had a double-double for WSU with 11 points and 11 boards...in the victory over California, Collins scored 17 of his game-high 25 points in the second half and House added 21 points and 10 rebounds...WSU made 31-of-36 free throws in the victory...Cougars finished the season 22-6, 14-4 to finish third in the Pac-10 and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 39 seasons.
COUGARS CONTINUE TO BREAK STREAKS: In the first two seasons under Dick Bennett, the Cougars accomplished several firsts and have broken many losing streaks...last Saturday in Seattle, WSU snapped three more streaks at No. 10 Washington...Cougars broke an 11-game slide at Washington and a 34-game skid against top 10 opponents...WSU won for the first time in 57 games all-time against a top 10 team on the road.
COUGARS IN PACIFIC-10 RANKINGS: WSU leads the Pacific-10 in scoring defense (55.5 points per game), field goal percentage defense (36.8), 3-point field goal percentage defense (29.1), blocked shots (4.92 per game) and 3-point field goal percentage (40.5)...injured sophomore Derrick Low is fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (47.7), sixth in assist/turnover ratio (1.56), eighth in assists (3.82 per game) and minutes played (33.18 per game), and 10th in 3-pointers made (1.91 per game)...sophomore Josh Akognon is fifth in 3-pointers made (2.17 per game) and tied for 10th in 3-point percentage (41.9)...sophomore Robbie Cowgill is tied for fifth in blocked shots (1.33 per game), ninth in free throw percentage (81.8) and tied for 17th in rebounding (4.7 per game)...junior transfer Ivory Clark is tied for fifth in blocked shots with Cowgill (1.33 per game)...sophomore Kyle Weaver is sixth in assists (4.08 per game), eighth in steals (1.58 per game) and 15th in rebounding (4.8 per game).
Josh Akognon NAMED PACIFIC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Washington State sophomore Josh Akognon was named U.S. Bank Pacific-10 Player of the Week for Jan. 2-8...Petaluma, Calif., native led the Cougars to 78-71 win at then-No. 10 Washington, Saturday, Jan. 7...tallied a a career-high 27 points, shooting 9-for-16 from the field, including 6-for-10 from 3-point range...scored 17 points in the second half to help WSU overcome a 33-31 halftime deficit...rebounded his own missed shot, then received the ball back from fellow sophomore Robbie Cowgill before hitting game-winning 3-pointer with under 20 seconds remaining to snap 71-71 tie...Akognon is 13th WSU player to win the award...marks 16th time Cougar has won the honor.
WASHINGTON STATE RECEIVES VOTES: The Cougars garnered four points in this week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll...point total ties WSU with Kansas for 41st nationally...last time WSU was a top 25 team was February, 1983.
COUGARS RECORD FAST START: Washington State is 9-3, its best 12-game start to a season since opening the 1993-94 campaign 10-2...last time WSU was six games over .500 was 7-1 in 1996-97...last time Cougars were six games above .500 this late in the season was 15-7 in 1995-96 (included forfeit win over California)...WSU is 2-1 in the Pac-10 for the first time since the same start in 1994-95...last time the Cougars were 3-1 or better was 1982-83 when they won their first seven conference games.
WSU PERFECT IN SATURDAY GAMES: The Cougars are 7-0 in Saturday games...WSU has wins over UC Riverside, Idaho, Kansas State, San Diego State, Portland, Arizona State and Washington.
GET THAT SHOT OUT OF HERE: Washington State leads the Pac-10 with 4.92 blocked shots per game...in conference games, the Cougars are leading the Pac-10 with 6.67 rejections per game...sophomore Robbie Cowgill leads the Pac-10 with 3.33 blocks per game in conference.
CLUTCH FOUL SHOOTING: Washington State is the second best foul shooting team in the Pacific-10 at 74.3 percent...in the last five minutes of games, the Cougars are 81.8 percent (36-for-44).
BENCH SCORING: Washington State is averaging 25.7 points per game this season off the bench...Aron Baynes scored 19 points off the bench in the Cougars' 81-55 season-opening victory over UC Riverside, Nov. 19...against Idaho, Nov. 26, Cougar bench players tallied 31 points in 63-37 victory...bench players scored 28 of the team's 60 points in win at San Diego State, Dec. 10...in 61-46 win over Portland, Dec. 17, Cougar bench players tallied 46 points led by Ivory Clark's team-high 12...Josh Akognon recorded a career-high 27 points in a 78-71 upset win at No. 10 Washington, Jan. 7...bench played combined for 45 points in the win over the Huskies.
WASHINGTON STATE NEWCOMERS CONTRIBUTING: The Cougars have eight new faces this season, including a pair of walk-ons...WSU newcomers have accounted for 31.2 percent of the minutes played and are contributing 30.2 percent of the scoring...junior transfer forward Ivory Clark leads the team with 16 blocks and is tied for fifth in the Pac-10 with 1.33 per game...newcomers have recorded 34.9 percent of the rebounds grabbed by individuals...first-year Cougars are shooting 48.4 percent from the field led by freshman Caleb Forrest's 55.2 percent.
COUGAR SCORING UP: Washington State is averaging 64.6 points per game this season...Cougars averaged 56.9 points per game during Dick Bennett's first two seasons.
WHO IS STARTING?: Washington State has used nine different starting line-ups in its 12 games this season...sophomore Derrick Low started the first 11 games before breaking his right foot in practice, Jan. 4...Robbie Cowgill has started all nine games in which he has played after missing the first three due to a fractured right clavicle..
COUGARS POST BLOWOUT VICTORIES: Washington State defeated Utah 69-42, Dec. 22 at Seattle's KeyArena for its third 25-plus point victory this season...widest margin of victory in Dick Bennett era prior to this season was 21 (73-52 over TCU in Pullman, Dec. 6, 2003)...WSU has five wins of 15 or more points this season after posting eight such victories combined in Bennett's first two seasons on the Palouse...Cougars had three wins of 25 or more points over the last five seasons...last time WSU had three or more 25-plus point victories in the same season was 1997-98 (two over non-Division I schools)...had three over Division I schools in 1996-97...last time WSU had four such wins was 1994-95 when it finished 18-12 and advanced to the NIT quarterfinal round.
WSU NOTCHES WIN IN CLOSE GAME: The Cougars defeated Kansas State 58-57 in Pullman, Dec. 3...first game decided by less than eight points this season...in 2004-05, WSU was 4-8 in games decided by three points or less...dozen games decided by three points or less tied Fresno State for most nationally. FROM: WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY MEDIA INFORMATION 4-4-4 January 9, 2006 Men's Basketball Contacts: Craig Lawson/Becca Faulds
STATISTICAL TRENDS: WSU is 23-2 under Dick Bennett when holding the opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field, including 8-0 in 2005-06...Bennett's Cougars are 22-1, including 6-1 in 2005-06, when outrebounding their opponent.
PROTECTING THE LEAD: The Cougars have won all seven games this season when leading at halftime...WSU never trailed in wins over Wyoming and Utah.
COUGARS POST COME-FROM-BEHIND VICTORIES: Washington State overcame a 27-21 halftime deficit to win at San Diego State, Dec. 10...Cougars trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half at No. 10 Washington, Jan. 7 and 33-31 at halftime before coming back to win 78-71...WSU is 8-26 under Dick Bennett when trailing at halftime, but 2-3 this season.
TEAMS DO NOT EXCEED FIFTY-FIVE: Dick Bennett has been the Washington State men's basketball coach for 69 games...in 34 of those, including six this season, the Cougar opponent has scored 55 points or less...from 1991-92 through 2002-03, WSU held a total of 34 opponents to 55 points or less.
WSU EXTENDS 3-POINT STREAK: The Cougars have made at least one 3-pointer in 293 consecutive games...last time Cougars did not make a shot from beyond the arc was Feb. 18, 1995 at Oregon...since 3-point line was adopted in 1986-87, WSU has failed to make a 3-pointer three times...other two occasions were Jan. 5, 1987 at Idaho and Dec. 9, 1988 at home against Portland.
WSU COMPLETES MOUNTAIN WEST SCHEDULE: The Cougars' 69-42 win over Utah, Dec. 22 was the fourth game WSU played against a Mountain West Conference opponent this season...Cougars won three of four meetings...lost to BYU 76-68, Nov. 22 at Spokane Arena...defeated Wyoming 63-47, Nov. 30 in Pullman...won 60-49 at San Diego State, Dec. 10.