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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Open Conference Play In Bay Area
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 12/30/2003
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Dec. 30, 2003

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UP NEXT: Friday, January 2, 2004 - at No. ???? Stanford (9-0, 0-0 Pac-10)-7 p.m.
Sunday, January 4, 2004 - at California (4-5, 0-0 Pac-10)-6 p.m.

LAST GAME: LOST, 96-58 at No. 15 Gonzaga

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 (460-261)...career highlights include a 1984 NAIA national runner-up finish at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a 2000 Final Four appearance at Wisconsin...he is 6-4 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.

STANFORD PREVIEW: The Cardinal is 9-0...ranked No. 5 by Associated Press and No. 7 by ESPN/USA Today...coming off a 100-59 win over Harvard, Sunday...four players average 10 points or more, led by 14.2 from Matt Lottich.

SERIES WITH THE CARDINAL: Stanford leads 56-52...Cardinal has won 14 straight overall and seven consecutive at home...last Cougar win was 68-59, Feb. 22, 1996 at Stanford...last season, Cardinal won an overtime game 73-68 in Pullman and 72-54 at home...in first meeting, Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.) sent the game to overtime by hitting a free throw with three seconds left...Schlatter and Stanford's Matt Lottich each scored 17 points...Cardinal had five players in double figures...Stanford's Justin Davis and WSU's Jerry McNair each tallied 21 points in the game at Stanford.

CALIFORNIA PREVIEW: The Golden Bears are 4-5 and host Washington Friday...lost last game at home Sunday, 49-44 to Air Force...Leon Powe is averaging team-leading 16.8 points and 9.7 rebounds.

SERIES WITH THE GOLDEN BEARS: California leads 62-41...Golden Bears have won six straight overall and eight straight at home...last Cougar win 81-78 in overtime, Feb. 26, 2000...last WSU win in Berkeley 89-87, Feb. 22, 1997...California won 76-63 in Pullman and 63-53 at home last season...Joe Shipp scored game-high 33 points in first meeting...he added 20 game-high 20 points in second meeting...Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) averaged 13.5 points in the two games last season.

COUGARS AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: WSU has lost 40 straight games to ranked opponents...last win 89-87 vs. No. 25 California, Feb. 22, 1997...Cougars 1-63 all-time against top five teams...WSU 2-14 against ranked Stanford teams...ninth straight year Cardinal has been ranked when hosting Cougars...WSU is 1-7 in those games with 68-59 win against No. 24 Stanford, Feb. 22, 1996...Cougars 4-96 all-time on the road against ranked teams.

PACIFIC-10 OPENERS: The Cougars have lost their last four conference openers and seven of the last eight...lone win during the span was 72-71 over Washington at Spokane Arena during 1998-99 season...WSU has lost 12 straight Pac-10 road openers...last win was 90-81 at California in 1990-91...WSU has opened the Pac-10 season on the road 10 times and is 0-10...last time Cougars began conference season on the road and won was 62-60 at Stanford, Jan. 9, 1976 in a Pac-8 game.

GONZAGA SHOOTS PAST COUGARS: Gonzaga shot 71 percent from the field in its 96-58 victory over Washington State, Dec. 28...loss tied for 12th worst in Cougar history...worst non-conference loss since 98-52 against fourth-ranked and Magic Johnson led Michigan State at Far West Classic, Dec. 27, 1978...Bulldogs outscored Cougars 40-14 in the paint.

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...earliest Cougars had two road wins in a season since 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 10 opponents this season to 55 points or less...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...WSU held six straight opponents to 55 points or less for the first time since 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 have given up 44 second chance points in their four losses...on the offensive end, WSU is averaging 9.4 second chance points per game (94 in 10 games).

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 24 treys in 2003-04...junior Randy Green (Renton) is shooting a team-best .447 (17-for-38) from beyond the arc.

COUGAR PLAYER NOTES
#1 Marcus Moore (Inglewood, Calif.) - Ranks on WSU all-time list in assists (fifth-357), steals (fourth-150) and scoring (14th-1,206 points)...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 (2.50 per game), ninth in assists (4.20 per game), and 14th in scoring (14.0 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 three 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 nine games...three times this season has tied his career-high with seven rebounds...equaled season high with nine points at No. 15 Gonzaga and added six boards...entered the week 19th in Pac-10 at 5.3 rebounds per game.

#11 Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) - Has scored in double figures five times this season...season-high 18 points vs. IPFW, Dec. 1...tallied team-high 15 points at No. 15 Gonzaga, Dec. 28...Pac-10 rankings entering the week: tied for seventh in three-pointers per game (2.40)...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: seventh in three-point percentage (.447).

#21 Anthony Grant (Seattle) - Has appeared eight games, including one start...struggled from the floor this season (1-for-18).

#22 Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) - Leads WSU with 5.7 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 15th 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 four games with deep right thigh bruise...status is doubtful for Bay Area trip. #25 Isaiah Simmons (Tacoma) - Walk-on has made two appearances...scored two points, grabbed one rebounds and registered one assist at No. 15 Gonzaga, Dec. 28.

#32 Ezenwa Ukeagu (Coral Springs, Fla.) - Made only 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...a breakdown of the lineups.

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.

SLAMMING THE DOOR SHUT: The Cougars are 5-0 this season when leading at halftime...last season, WSU was 6-6 after outscoring its opponent in the first stanza.

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 seven of their 10 games away from Pullman...WSU has played its last two games on the road and will play its next six away from Pullman, including "home" games in Spokane, Jan. 8 and 10...WSU traveled over 8,000 miles by plane and nearly 1,400 miles by bus during its non-conference schedule.

COUGARS AWAY FROM HOME: After defeating Idaho at Friel Court, Dec. 20, the Cougars have played two straight road games entering Pac-10 action...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.

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.

Washington State Cougars Men's Basketball
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