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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Travel To Gonzaga
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 12/24/2003
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Dec. 24, 2003

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UP NEXT: Sunday, Dec. 28, 2003 -- WSU at No. 15/18 Gonzaga-7 p.m. (FOX Sports Net Northwest)
LAST GAME: LOST, 46-29 at Fresno State

WSU HEAD COACH Dick Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Dick Bennett is in his first season at WSU...coached at Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976-85), Wisconsin-Green Bay (1985-95) and Wisconsin (1995-2000)...owns a .639 career winning percentage (460-260)...career highlights include a 1984 NAIA national runner-up finish at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a 2000 Final Four appearance at Wisconsin...he is 6-3 this season...with 62-55 win vs. Idaho, Dec. 20, Bennett moved into 77th place on the NCAA career wins list.

BENNETT RECORDS QUICK START: WSU won six of its first eight games, marking its best starts since 1996-97 when the Cougars opened 7-1...with two wins to open the 2003-04 season, WSU Head Coach Dick Bennett became the first mentor to begin his Cougar career 2-0 since Len Stevens in 1983-84.

GONZAGA PREVIEW: The Bulldogs are 7-2...ranked 15th in Associated Press poll and 18th by ESPN/USA Today...Gonzaga and WSU have both defeated Idaho this season...Bulldogs have also defeated Washington and lost to Stanford...three players average double figure scoring led by Ronny Turiaf's 16.0 points per game...Cory Violette leads Gonzaga with 8.0 rebounds per outing...Blake Stepp averages 7.7 assists per game.

SERIES WITH THE BULLDOGS: Washington State leads 95-42...Bulldogs have won four straight...last Cougar win was 85-70, Dec. 4, 1997...Gonzaga won the last meeting in The Kennel, 67-44, Dec. 15, 2001...last season, the Bulldogs an overtime game 110-104, Dec. 7, 2002 in Pullman...Marcus Moore (Inglewood, Calif.) scored 17 of his career-high 42 points in the final 3:19 of regulation, including a half court shot at the buzzer to force overtime...added 10 points in the extra stanza.

WSU SUFFERS LOSS AT FRESNO STATE: The Cougars lost 46-29 at Fresno State, Dec. 22...first time since 80-46 loss at California, Jan. 27, 2000 WSU did not have a player score in double figures...WSU shot season-low 23 percent from the field...fewest points scored by Cougars since 39-27 loss at Oregon State, Jan. 6, 19953.

WSU WIN STREAK: The Cougars had a four-game winning streak snapped with their 46-29 loss at Fresno State, Dec. 22...it was WSU's first four-game winning streak since Dec. 2-20, 1998.

DOUBLE FIGURE WINS: WSU won three straight games by double figures Dec. 1-13...last time Cougars accomplished the feat was Dec. 5-20, 1998.

WINNING IN DECEMBER: Washington State won its first four December games for the first time since 1998-99.

PROTECTING THE HOUSE: WSU's 62-55 win over Idaho, Dec. 20, the Cougars closed our their 2003-04 nonconference home schedule at 3-0...WSU is 63-2 since 1990-91 in nonconference games played in Pullman...the mark includes a 5-0 record in Bohler Gym during the 1990-91 campaign...losses are 78-66 to Utah, Dec. 11, 1999 and 110-104 to Gonzaga in overtime, Dec. 7, 2002.

WSU ROAD SUCCESS: With the 57-51 win at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22, WSU broke a 27-game road losing streak...previous win was 58-57 at Arizona State, Feb. 8, 2001...Cougars won second road game 64-50 at Montana, Dec. 13...first win in Missoula since Dec. 11, 1984 after losing last two trips...WSU 3-46 combined last four years on the road prior to this season...last time Cougars had two road wins this early was 1991-92.

FORTY PERCENT EQUALS PASSING GRADE: WSU is 6-0 this season when shooting 40 percent from the field...Cougars shot season-high 51 percent in 73-52 victory over TCU, Dec. 6...Cougars 4-0 when holding opponent under 40 percent from the floor.

SCORING LIMIT IS FIFTY-FIVE: The Cougars have held eight of nine opponents this season to 55 points or less, including six straight...WSU held eight opponents to 55 points or less over the last four seasons combined prior to 2003-04...last time Cougars limited six opponents in a season to 55 or fewer points was 1987-88...last time WSU held six straight opponents to 55 points or less was Dec. 21-Jan. 5 (seven games) during the 1950-51 season.

NO SECOND CHANCES: The Cougars have allowed just 18 points on second chance opportunities during their six wins this season...five of those came in the first half of the season opener against VMI...conversely, the Cougars gave up 36 second chance points in their three losses...on the offensive end, WSU is averaging 9.8 second chance points per game (88 in nine games), including 6.1 in the second half.

EIGHT BALLS FROM BEYOND THE ARC: WSU is 4-0 this season when it makes eight or more three-pointers...Cougars made season-high nine treys in 66-46 win over IPFW, Dec. 1...sophomore Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla), who led the Pacific-10 last season in three-point percentage (.456), leads the Cougars with 21 treys in 2003-04...junior Randy Green (Renton) is shooting a team-best .441 (15-for-33) from beyond the arc.

SLAMMING THE DOOR SHUT: The Cougars are 4-0 this season when leading at halftime...last season, WSU was 6-6 after outscoring its opponent in the first stanza.

COUGARS IN NCAA RANKINGS: Washington State is second nationally in scoring defense, allowing 51.7 points per game...only Air Force (49.8 points per game ranks ahead of WSU).

DEFENSIVE STAT OF THE WEEK: Cougars have held three opponents to under 50 points this season...prior to this season, the last time WSU held a team under 50 points was an 80-46 win at Eastern Washington, Dec. 7, 1996...Cougars had not held multiple opponents under 50 points since 1989-90 season...last time WSU held three opponents under 50 points was 1987-88 season when the Cougars accomplished the feat five times in Kelvin Sampson's first season on the Palouse.

WSU A TRAVELING TEAM: The Cougars have played in Fairbanks, Alaska, Cedar City, Utah, Missoula, Mont., and Fresno, Calif., this season...during its road trips, WSU has traveled over 8,000 miles by plane and over 1,200 miles by bus.

COUGARS AWAY FROM HOME: After defeating Idaho at Friel Court, Dec. 20, the Cougars played at Fresno State, Dec. 22, the first of four straight road games...with WSU's first two "home" Pac-10 games scheduled at the Spokane Arena, the Cougars will have five weeks between games in Pullman before hosting Washington, Jan. 24.

COUGAR PLAYER NOTES
#1 Marcus Moore (Inglewood, Calif.) - Ranks on WSU all-time list in assists (fifth-353), steals (fifth-148) and scoring (14th-1,193)...one of three players in WSU history with 1,000 points, 300 assists and 125 steals...Keith Morrison (1983-86) and Bennie Seltzer (1990-93) are the others...named to the BP Top of the World Classic all-tournament team after averaging 16.7 points and 3.7 assists in three games...Pac-10 rankings entering the week: first in steals (2.38 per game), eighth in assists (4.38 per game), and 12th in scoring (14.9 per game)...scored 20 points at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22 and 22 points vs. Idaho, Dec. 20.
#2 Terry Ayers (Pearl City, Hawaii) - Walk-on has appeared in two games...played three minutes off the bench in first half at Montana, Dec. 13.
#3 Lance Den Boer (Sunnyside) - Scored season-high 11 points off the bench at Montana, Dec. 13 while celebrating his 19th birthday.
#5 Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.) - Has started eight games...three times this season has tied his career-high with seven rebounds...entered the week tied for 17th in Pac-10 at 5.5 rebounds per game.
#11 Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) - Has scored in double figures four times this season...season-high 18 points vs. IPFW, Dec. 1...Pac-10 rankings entering the week: tied for eighth in three-pointers per game (2.38) and tied for ninth in steals per game (1.50)...led Pac-10 with .456 three-point shooting in 2002-03.
#12 Randy Green (Renton) - Averaged 16.7 points per game during three-game stretch Dec. 6-20...Pac-10 rankings entering the week: fourth in three-point percentage (.484) and tied for ninth in steals (1.50 per game).
#21 Anthony Grant (Seattle) - Has appeared seven games, including one start...struggled from the floor this season (1-for-16).
#22 Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) - Leads WSU with 6.2 rebounds per game...grabbed 10 boards at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22 and at Southern Utah, Nov. 28...named all-tournament at BP Top of the World Classic...entered the week ranked 10th in Pac-10 in rebounding.
#23 T.J. Paterick (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) - Invited walk-on has made three starts this season...has missed last three games with deep right thigh bruise...status is doubtful for Gonzaga game.
#25 Isaiah Simmons (Tacoma) - Walk-on played two minutes in the late stages of WSU's 73-52 win over TCU, Dec. 6...contributed an offensive rebound.
#32 Ezenwa Ukeagu (Coral Springs, Fla.) - Made first start at Fresno State, Dec. 22...tied career-high with 15 points vs. Idaho, Dec. 20...added eight rebounds against the Vandals...averaged 8.3 points and 5.0 rebounds during three games at BP Top of the World Classic.
#44 Justin Garcia (Mira Loma, Calif.) - Has played in three games...scored lone bucket vs. IPFW, Dec. 1...recorded a pair of rebounds against the Mastadons and at Fresno State, Dec. 22.
#45 Jeff Varem (Benue, Nigeria) - Made first appearance at Fresno State, Dec. 22...tallied team-high five rebounds...added four points and two assists...sat out WSU's first eight games due to impermissible benefits received prior to attending WSU.
#55 Justin Bellegarde (Ukiah, Calif.) - Scored season-high six points vs. IPFW, Dec. 1...pulled down season-high five rebounds in opener vs. VMI, Nov. 20...started vs. Rice, Nov. 23.

GETTING A FRESH START: WSU has used five different starting lineups this season, with 10 players making at least one start.

COUGARS PICKED NINTH IN PRESEASON PAC-10 POLL: Arizona is the preseason selection to win the 2003-04 Pacific-10 men's basketball title according to poll of 35 media members who cover the conference...Wildcats garnered 26 first place votes...Arizona is followed by Stanford (seven first place votes), California (one first place vote), Oregon, USC (one first place vote), UCLA, Arizona State, Washington, Washington State and Oregon State.

INTERNET: Cougar men's basketball games can also be accessed via the Washington State athletic department web site at www.wsucougars.com or at broadcast.yahoo.com.

GET TO KNOW THE WSU ASSISTANT COACHES: Tony Bennett is the son of WSU Head Coach Dick Bennett...played for his father at Wisconsin-Green Bay...finished collegiate career as Mid-Continent Conference's all-time leader in points (2,285) and assists (601)...ranks as NCAA's all-time leader in three-point percentage (.497)...three seasons with NBA's Charlotte Hornets...selected 35th by Hornets in 1995 NBA Draft...Mike Burns helped Eastern Washington earn NIT bid last season...coordinated Eagles' defense that ranked top three in Big Sky Conference scoring defense during each of his three seasons at EWU...Mike Heideman served as an assistant to Dick Bennett at Wisconsin-Green Bay for all 10 seasons the latter was the mentor of the Phoenix...succeeded Bennett as head coach at UWGB...led Phoenix to 110-95 mark during seven seasons...named 1996 Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year.

RADIO: All Washington State men's basketball games will be broadcast over the Cougar Basketball Radio Network...Bud Nameck is in his 11th season calling all the action...games can be heard on KCLK 1430 AM (Clarkston), KCLX 1450 AM (Colfax), KCVL 1240 AM (Colville), KRKO 1380 AM (Everett), KBAM 1270 AM (Longview), KZFN 106.1 FM (Moscow, Idaho), KBSN 1470 AM (Moses Lake), KZXR 1310 AM (Prosser), KYCW 1090 AM (Seattle), KXLY 920 AM (Spokane), KHHO 850 AM (Tacoma), KALE 960 AM (Tri-Cities), KGDC 1320 AM (Walla Walla) and KUSA 980 AM (Yakima).

Washington State Cougars Men's Basketball
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