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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Open Four-Game Homestand Versus Beavers
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 01/21/2003
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Jan. 21, 2003

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What's Happening:
Thursday, Jan. 23
vs. Oregon State
7 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court, Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

Saturday, Jan. 25
vs. Oregon
7 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court, Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

On Tap:
Thursday, Jan. 30
vs. UCLA
7 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court, Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

What's Happening: A four-game homestand is ahead for the Washington State women's basketball team as it concludes the opening half of its conference season this week...the Cougars face Oregon State (9-7, 3-4 Pac-10), Thursday, Jan. 23 and Oregon (6-10, 2-5) Saturday, Jan. 25...both games are at Friel Court and tip-off at 7 p.m...after facing the Oregon schools the Cougars begin the second half of the conference season by hosting UCLA (Jan. 30) and USC (Feb. 1).

About Oregon State: The Beavers arrive at Pullman riding the momentum of a two-game winning streak...OSU's most recent outing was a 67-51 win over in-state rival Oregon...Hollye Chapman leads the team averaging 11.4 points a game...Leilani Estavan (10.3 points/game) is also averaging double-digits in scoring.

OSU-WSU series: Oregon State owns a 31-20 advantage and has won the last six in the all-time series with WSU...last year the Beavers captured a 57-33 decision at Corvallis and a 74-52 verdict at Pullman.

About Oregon: The Ducks have dropped four of their last five games...Brandi Davis and Carolyn Ganes lead the team in scoring averaging 10.6 and 10.4 points a game, respectively.

Oregon-WSU series: Oregon has captured 41 of the 50 meetings with WSU including three in a row...the two teams last met in the first game of the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament, which Oregon won 85-67...the Cougars' last win was a 77-76 triumph at Oregon, which marked the second greatest comeback in school history...WSU was down by 16 to the Ducks in the first half of that game.

WSU Coach Sherri Murrell On This Week's Games: "My biggest concern right now is these kids' heads. They came in expecting to win against Cal and I told them you have to get your heads back up and get after it. Hopefully, they are going to respond much better and these are two games that hopefully we can take at home."

Last Week: The Cougars dropped a pair of games to the Bay Area schools...Jessica Perry poured in a game-high 25 points in an 85-56 loss to Stanford, Jan. 16... Stanford took a 14-4 lead less than four minutes in, as the Cougars missed 11 of their first 12 shots...the Cardinal upped their lead to 31-11 with 7:36 left in the first half, and took a 44-21 edge into halftime despite 17 turnovers in the half...the Cougars kept pace with Stanford in the second half...the Cardinal outscored WSU by only a 41-35 margin in the final 20 minutes...Perry scored 16 points in the second half...Bianca McCall recorded her third consecutive double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds in the Cougars' 73-61 loss to California, Jan. 18...Lindsey Egeland added 11 points and eight rebounds for WSU...the Cougars opened the game by jumping out to a 9-2 advantage but Cal rallied to make the first half a back-and-forth affair that featured seven ties and seven lead changes...the Bears closed out the half with a 9-1 run to end the opening 20 minutes with a 30-24 lead...Cal extended its advantage to 43-32 with 14:57 remaining but an 11-2 WSU run brought the Cougars to within 45-43 at the 10:03 mark...Cal responded with an 11-2 run of its own to re-establish an 11-point margin at 58-47 with 6:18 remaining...the Cougars would get no closer than seven the rest of the way.

Murrell On The Stanford Game: "I was not happy with our first half, how we weren't aggressive. We talked about it at halftime. The kids were fearing them and I said 'Don't fear them; respect them but don't fear them.' I felt that our pressure in the second half - even in the first half - caused them to make some lobs and forced them into bad passes. I thought our aggressiveness was good (in the second half) and that carries over sometimes on the offensive end. We had some good open looks in the first half and just were not knocking them down. That's Stanford, they are bigger, taller and stronger than us."

Murrell On The California Game: "In the first half we had a lead but we got real tired and made mental mistakes. Then we get in the second half and the same thing happens. We just got driven on; their penetration just killed us. Bianca McCall did an outstanding job despite the fact that she was tired. She did an excellent job offensively. Defensively, we didn't stick to the game plan and that hurts. We didn't double down and we let the ball go in the post too much. Those things can't happen. I got on them pretty hard on some of the things they have to do better when they are tired."

20 In A Row: Bianca McCall's 24 points marked the third consecutive game a Cougar has reached the 20-point barrier...Jessica Perry recorded 25 and 20 points in games against Stanford, Jan. 16 and Arizona State, Jan. 11, respectively.

Injury Update: Candace Fields is out for this week's games and possibly longer with a left foot stress fracture...Kim Dugan is out for the rest of the season with a scaphoid fracture of her left wrist...Jessica Ottmar is out for the rest of the season with a right knee injury...Lindsey Bogachus is also out for the season with a lower back disc injury...the absence of Dugan and Fields has forced WSU to suit up just nine players in the last four games.

Murrell On The Team's Injuries: "We're playing better. We just have some key players on the bench that are not helping us right now. We're getting better, it's just not showing up in the win column yet and we need some of those kids healthy. "

Strength Of Schedule: WSU's strength of schedule ranking is currently second in the WBCA/Summerville RPI ratings...one would be hard-pressed to dispute that rating upon examining the teams the Cougars have played...the combined won-loss record of the 15 opponents that WSU has played thus far is 166-73...that makes for a winning percentage of .695...13 of the Cougars' 15 opponents have posted double-digits in the win column...10 of the Cougars' opponents are rated in the top 77 of the organization's RPI ratings: Stanford (No. 7), LSU (No. 8), Arizona (No. 13), Virginia Tech (No. 35), Washington (No. 42), Utah (No. 45), Montana State (No. 59), USC (No. 60), UCLA (No. 66), Wyoming (No. 77)...the Cougars are rated No. 201 in the RPI rankings...WSU's non-conference strength of schedule rating is sixth in the WBCA's rankings.

Double-Digit McCall: Bianca McCall has scored in double-digits in 12 of 15 games this season...she leads the team with five double-doubles in points and rebounds including three in a row...the most recent occurred at Stanford and California last week...McCall posted 12 points and 10 rebounds against the Cardinal, Jan. 16...she followed that up with a season-best scoring effort against Cal...McCall poured in 24 points and added 13 rebounds against the Bears...McCall's other three double-doubles were against Arizona State, Jan. 11 (15 points, 14 rebounds), Eastern Washington, Dec. 4 (13 points, 10-rebounds) and Wyoming (18 points, 19 rebounds)... McCall leads the team in scoring (13.1 points/game) and rebounding (8.5/game)...McCall is fourth in the conference in rebounding and eighth in scoring...her 4.07 offensive boards a game is second in the conference behind Shawntinice Polk of Arizona (4.44/game).

McCall Threatens Rebounding Record Against Wyoming: Bianca McCall grabbed 19 rebounds to tie her for the sixth-best single-game rebounding performance in WSU history in the Cougars' 82-51 loss to the University of Wyoming, Nov. 22 at Friel Court...McCall's effort tied the junior from Santa Rosa, Calif., with three other Cougars (Janet Kusler, 1976; Gail Houser, 1977; Brittney Hawks, 2001) who hit the 19-rebound mark...Jennifer Grey holds the school record with 22 rebounds in a game, having done it twice in 1975...McCall's contribution wasn't limited to the boards as she scored 18 points tying her with Lindsey Egeland for the team high point total.

20/Perry: After sitting out the first two games because of mononucleosis, Jessica Perry has started all 13 games since returning to action...at Stanford, Jan. 16, Perry poured in a career-high 25 points on a career-best nine field goals...Perry also posted a career-high tying five steals against the Cardinal...Perry's 25 points followed up a 20 point-effort against Arizona State, Jan. 11, which was just one shy of her career-high at the time...her 3.69 assists per game ranks seventh in the conference and she is the team's second leading scorer (9.2 points/game)...Perry dished out a season-high nine assists twice (Washington, Dec. 28 and at Gonzaga, Dec. 11) ...against Montana, Dec. 14 Perry pulled down a career-high nine rebounds...Perry also is fourth in the conference in steals (2.15/game).

Harris Joins Team: Holly Harris made her Cougar basketball debut against Utah, Dec. 21...Harris scored eight points and pulled down three rebounds in 15 minutes of action versus the Utes...she pulled down a season-high eight rebounds against Arizona, Jan. 9...Harris is averaging 4.1 points and 4.5 rebounds in eight games...Harris joined the team after a stellar run with the volleyball team...she was a member of a Cougar team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament...the Cougars were eliminated by Florida on the Gators' home floor in four games, Dec. 14...Harris earned a Pac-10 honorable mention selection in volleyball...she finished in the top seven on the school's career list in block assists (fifth - 333); total blocks (sixth - 384); and block solos (seventh - 53).

Montana Homecoming: Junior Lindsey Egeland turned in a solid performance in front of her hometown fans at Missoula, Mont., Dec. 14...Egeland scored six points, pulled down six rebounds and dished out four assists against Montana...Egeland, who was a four-year letterwinner at Missoula's Sentinel High School, is averaging 6.6 points a game...she is the only Cougar to have started all 15 games this season.

Access Denied!: The eight blocks against EWU were the most since the team tallied eight rejections at California, Feb. 9, 1991...that is tied for the Pac-10 best this season...last year, WSU set a single season school record with 106 blocks...the Cougars have tallied 54 blocks (3.60/game) this season, which ranks third in the Pac-10... Bianca McCall (1.33 blocks/game) and Candace Fields (1.27 blocks/game) rank third and fourth in the Pac-10, respectively.

Fields Earns All-Tournament Honors At FIU Classic: Candace Fields earned an all-tournament team selection at the FIU/Herald Thanksgiving Classic, Nov. 29-30 at Miami, Fla...in two games, Fields averaged 11.5 points and 9.5 rebounds...Fields recorded her second career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds against No. 3 LSU...Fields followed that with a team-high 11 points and seven rebounds against Virginia Tech...her other double-double was a 12-point, 12-rebound performance against Montana last year...Fields is the team's third leading scorer (8.3 points/game).

Cougar Net Notes: The 19 turnovers WSU committed against Arizona tied for a season-low...the Cougars also committed 19 turnovers against Montana, Dec. 11...the last time WSU committed fewer than 19 turnovers was at Stanford, Feb. 16, 2002 (18)...eight Cougars have hit double-digits in points in at least one game...nine players have started at least one game...before the Dec. 14 Montana game, the opposition had shot no worse than 44.6 percent in the first six games...the Lady Griz shot 30.4 percent (21-of-69), a season-low by the opposition... the Cougars have been out-rebounded in 11 of 13 games...the two games in which WSU did out-rebound its opponent were against No.3 LSU (29-24) and Montana (46-40)...last year the Cougars were out-rebounded in all but three games.

A Loooong Holiday Weekend: Thanksgiving weekend turned out to be a little longer than WSU anticipated...the Cougars already had a long day of traveling in store for them, Sunday, Dec. 1 as they were returning to Pullman from Miami, Fla...that day was made longer when the plane bound for Pullman, which was scheduled to arrive in Pullman at 6 p.m. was unable to land in the city due to fog...the plane turned around and returned to Seattle, landing at 7:30 p.m...the airline arranged a bus for the Palouse-bound passengers, which departed Sea-Tac airport at 10:30 p.m...five hours later, at 3:30 a.m., the bus arrived at the Pullman-Moscow airport...in all, the Cougars' return trip from Miami lasted a total of 25 hours from its 5:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) departure from the Miami hotel to the arrival at the Pullman airport.

Exhibition Round-Up: The Cougars recorded two wins in their exhibition slate...the first victory was an 82-57 victory over P & P Lady Express, Nov. 9...the Cougars made it two in a row with a 76-53 win over Denmark, Nov. 16...four Cougars scored in double figures in the win over Lady Express and three had double-doubles in points and rebounds...Candace Fields (16 points, 10 rebounds), Lindsey Egeland (12 points, 13 rebounds) and Bianca McCall (11 points, 12 rebounds) recorded double-doubles...Sarah Barrett added 13 points to complete the double-digit scoring quartet...in the win over Denmark, WSU came back from a 20-11 deficit in the game's opening 7:35... the Cougars rallied with an 11-0 run, which was capped by a trey from Egeland, to take a 22-20 lead at the 7:51 mark of the first half...both Egeland and McCall accounted for all the points in the run...Egeland led the Cougars with 20 points, including 13 in the second half...McCall recorded her second consecutive double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds... Egeland (16.0 points, 10.5 rebounds) and McCall (15 points, 13 rebounds) averaged a double-double during the two-game exhibition season.

Cougars Add Three During Early Signing Period: WSU Coach Sherri Murrell signed three players - Vasha Adams, Adriane Ferguson and Nicole Stratton - to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period in November.

Ferguson, a 6-foot guard from Mead High School in Spokane, Wash., becomes the first player from the Greater Spokane League to choose WSU since 1985 (Lynda Clegg, Central Valley). Stratton is a 5-foot-11 guard from Coronado High School in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Adams is a 6-foot-1 forward from Clarendon College in Clarendon, Texas.

Ferguson enters her senior season coming off consecutive All-GSL First Team selections. Her first team nod as a sophomore marked only the sixth time that a sophomore earned a first team selection in GSL history. Her 15.2 points per game average was the third best in the GSL last year. She also started for the Spokane Stars AAU team this past summer averaging 8.1 points a squad that compiled a 33-6 record.

Stratton, whose sister, Jessika, is a guard at Baylor University, earned an All-State Honorable Mention selection last year and was an all-league second team pick the past two years. Last year, Stratton led Coronado in points (14 per game), assists (six per game) and steals (five per game). Additionally, Stratton served as a torch-bearer for the Winter Olympics flame's journey to Salt Lake City.

Adams, who will transfer to WSU from Clarendon College, entered her sophomore season as the third ranked power forward in All-Star Girls Report's pre-season junior college player rankings. In addition, Adams was No. 34 in the publication's junior college overall player pre-season rankings.

Coaching Staff: Sherri Murrell, who coached the University of the Pacific to four consecutive winning seasons, begins her first season as head coach of the Cougars...while at Pacific, Murrell coached the Tigers to a 68-46 record including a 40-20 mark in Big West Conference play...the Tigers' 19-11 record in 2002 was the most wins by the program since 1995...assistant Mark Lewis brings 17 years of coaching experience to the program... Lewis arrives at the Palouse after serving as an assistant at Western Kentucky last season...prior to his time at WKU, Lewis spent five years (1996-2001) as an assistant at Arizona State...assistants Lisa Fisher and Christopher Holland come to Pullman after serving as assistants on Murrell's staff at the University of the Pacific during the 2001-02 season...prior to coming to Pacific, Fisher coached at Northeastern in Boston, Mass., where she was an assistant during the 2000-01 season...preceding her coaching at Northeastern, Fisher was at Portland State from 1996-2000, where she also worked with Murrell from 1996 to 1998... before his year at Pacific, Holland was at Arizona State, where he was a team manager of the women's basketball team for five years.

2003 STATE FARM PAC-10 TOURNAMENT
March 7-10, 2003 * HP Pavilion at San Jose, Calif.

Fresh off its inaugural run and gaining in popularity, the 2003 State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament moves to San Jose, Calif. HP Pavilion at San Jose will serve as home to the five-session, nine-game event.

Eugene, Ore., was the site of the first-ever Pac-10 tournament in 2002, setting the stage for the league's premier women's sporting event. The total tournament attendance was 27,415 for an average of 5,483 per session. All 10 Pac-10 teams participate in the tournament, with the winner receiving the Conference's automatic bid to the 2003 NCAA Tournament. The tournament seeds and Conference Champion will be determined by the 18-game regular-season Pac-10 schedule.

Tickets for the 2003 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament are available now at www.pac-10.org, www.real-sports.com or by calling (800) 650-0122 or (408) 924-7434.

Fri., March 7
Game 1: No. 7 Seed vs. No. 10 Seed, TBA
Game 2: No. 8 Seed vs. No. 9 Seed, TBA
Sat., March 8
Game 3: No. 2 Seed vs. Winner 7/10, 11 a.m.
Game 4: No. 3 Seed vs. No. 6 Seed, 1:15 p.m.
Game 5: No. 1 Seed vs. Winner 8/9, 5 p.m.
Game 6: No. 4 Seed vs. No. 5 Seed, 7:15 p.m.
Sun., March 9
Game 7: Game 3 win vs. 3/6 win, 12:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)
Game 8: Game 5 win vs. 4/5 win, 3 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)
Mon., March 10
Game 9: Championship Game, 7:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)

-wsucougars.com-
Washington State Cougars Women's Basketball
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