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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Continue Homestand Against UCLA, USC
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 01/28/2003
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Jan. 28, 2003

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What's Happening:
Thursday, Jan. 30
vs. UCLA
7 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court, Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

Saturday, Feb. 1
vs. USC
7 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court, Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

On Tap:
Thursday, Feb. 6
at Arizona State
5 p.m. Pacific
Tempe, Ariz.

What's Happening: The second half of the conference season commences and a four-game homestand concludes for the Washington State women's basketball team this week...the Cougars (0-17, 0-9 Pac-10) host UCLA (6-3, 11-7), Thursday, Jan. 30 and USC (4-5, 9-11), Saturday, Feb. 1...both games are at Friel Court and tip-off at 7 p.m.

About UCLA: After beginning the conference slate with six consecutive wins, the Bruins have dropped their last three games...after they were edged by Stanford 80-78, Jan. 23 the Bruins were the victims of an upset by California 69-61, Jan. 25...with a 19.3 points a game average, Michelle Greco leads the conference in scoring ...Nikki Blue (15.6 ppg) and Julia Pitts (10.0 ppg) are also averaging double-digits in points.

UCLA-WSU series: UCLA leads WSU 26-6...UCLA has won the last three meetings between the teams...earlier this season at Los Angeles, UCLA defeated the Cougars 93-51, Jan. 5...last year the Bruins captured a 76-64 win at Pullman.

About USC: After beginning the conference season 1-6, the Women of Troy have won three straight...USC handed No. 5 Stanford a 75-72 loss, Jan. 25...that snapped Stanford's 28-game Pac-10 winning streak...four USC players are averaging double figures in points led by Ebony Hoffman (15.4 ppg)...Rometra Craig (13.3 ppg), Aisha Hollans (12.7 ppg) and Rachel Woodward (10.0 ppg) complete the quartet.

USC-WSU series: The Women of Troy have won 22 of the 33 meetings against WSU...USC has won the last three meetings against the Cougars...earlier this season, the Women of Troy defeated WSU 92-44 at Los Angeles, Jan. 3...last year at Pullman, USC captured an 87-66 victory.

WSU Coach Sherri Murrell On This Week's Games: "We will definitely see how far we've come because that was our lowest point down in L.A. - we just played our worst. A lot of it had to do with what they were doing but a lot of it also had to do with us. I think we are handling pressure much better. When we faced the Arizona schools, they put pressure on us, and I thought we did a much better job. Hopefully, that confidence carries over to the Los Angeles schools, which do the same thing - pressure the basketball defensively."

Last Week:
Oregon State (Jan. 23): WSU fell to the Beavers 65-62... Bianca McCall recorded her fourth consecutive double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds and Charmaine Jones added a season-high 14 points to the Cougars' cause... the game was a tight affair featuring six lead changes and three ties in the second half alone... up 28-27 at the half, the Cougars upped their lead to as many as 10 points at 45-35 with 10:38 remaining...the Beavers went on a 12-2 run to tie matters up at 47 with 7:16 remaining; however, WSU responded with a 9-2 run of its own to re-establish its lead to 56-49 with 3:45 left...but then Oregon State's Hollye Chapman took over, scoring 10 of her team-high 16 points in those final minutes as the Beavers overtook WSU down the stretch...after each team traded baskets to make the score 58-51, the Beavers ripped off 10 consecutive points to open a 61-58 lead with 35 seconds remaining...the Cougars would pull to within one on two occasions but the Beavers held off WSU to capture the three-point victory.

Murrell On the Oregon State Game: "We did everything that we possibly could to win the game and it didn't happen. I want these kids to be rewarded when those things happen. That's probably the toughest thing. Sometimes the ball bounces the other way. I told the kids that's how life is. You could be doing all the right things and something happens and it doesn't go your way. But these kids have a look in their eye; they know how they can play. They are getting themselves in position to win and it will happen."

Oregon (Jan. 25): WSU fell to the Ducks 73-69...McCall just missed her fifth straight double-double with 20 points and nine rebounds and Lindsey Egeland added 14 points for WSU... the game was close throughout with neither team gaining more than a nine-point advantage...the Ducks held that nine-point lead of 66-57 with 4:30 remaining but five consecutive points by WSU brought the Cougars to within four at 66-62 with 3:19 left...Oregon extended its lead back to eight to 70-62 with 1:17 remaining but the Cougars shaved their deficit down to five at 71-66 with 19 seconds left...four consecutive free throws pulled WSU to within two at 71-69 with 10 seconds remaining...the Cougars gained possession of the ball with five seconds left as Charmaine Jones gathered a missed Alissa Edwards free throw...however, Edwards gained redemption, as she stole the in-bounds pass, and after being fouled, sank two free throws to clinch the game for Oregon...WSU held as much as a six-point lead of 24-18 in the first-half thanks to an 11-0 run but Oregon rallied to end the first half with a 36-35 lead...Oregon shot 30-of-68 (44.1 percent) from the field while WSU was 26-of-60 (43.3 percent)... Oregon was led by Brandi Davis, who scored a game-high 24 points, including 19 in the first half.

Murrell On the Oregon Game: "I thought we attacked the basket really well. We didn't allow them to get points inside in the first half but they got some points in the second half. I think the first half was (Brandi) Davis against Washington State. She just did a phenomenal job and I am pretty proud of our kids she only had five (points) in the second half."

Injury Update: Candace Fields is questionable for this week's games with a left foot stress fracture...she has missed the last six games with the injury... 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.

Strength Of Schedule: WSU's strength of schedule ranking is currently fourth 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 195-101...that makes for a winning percentage of .659...15 of the Cougars' 17 opponents have posted double-digits in the win column...11 of the Cougars' opponents are rated in the top 74 of the organization's RPI ratings: LSU (No. 7), Stanford (No. 9), Arizona (No. 23), Virginia Tech (No. 29), Utah (No. 37), Washington (No. 38), USC (No. 48), Montana State (No. 57), Wyoming (No. 67), Arizona State (No. 72), and UCLA (No. 74).

Attendance High: The Cougars averaged an attendance of 608 in their two games against the Oregon schools...the crowd of 697 that attended the Jan. 25 game versus Oregon was the largest to witness a WSU home game since 712 came to see the Cougars defeat California, 74-59, Feb. 24, 2001.

Murrell On The Attendance: "I was happy with our fans. They didn't sit on their hands. It was awesome. They were there for us and anybody who comes to watch us play knows that we're a better team than when we started."

Double-Digit McCall: Bianca McCall has scored in double-digits in 13 of 16 games this season...in two games last week, McCall averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds a contest...the 6-foot-1 junior forward from Santa Rosa, Calif., recorded her fourth consecutive double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds against Oregon State, Jan. 23...she just missed her fifth consecutive double-double with 20 points and nine rebounds against Oregon, Jan. 25...McCall has now reached the 20-point plateau in three consecutive games and double-figures in points in eight consecutive contests...she leads the Cougars in points (13.9/game) and rebounds (8.7/game)...McCall is in the top 10 in the conference in five categories...she is first in offensive rebounds (4.06/game), third in total rebounds and blocks (1.24/game), fifth in defensive rebounds (4.65/game) and ninth in scoring.

20 In A Row: Washington State has had a player score at least 20 points in five consecutive games...prior to McCall's current three-game streak, JessicaPerry scored 20 and 25 points against Arizona State and Stanford, respectively...the five-game streak marks the longest run since a five-game stretch during the 1998-99 season.

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 15 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 3.47 assists per game ranks eighth 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 sixth in the conference in steals (2.00/game).

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 56 blocks (3.29/game) this season, which ranks third in the Pac-10... Bianca McCall (1.24 blocks/game) is also third in the conference.

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 4.7 points and 4.7 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 6.8 points a game...she is the only Cougar to have started all 17 games this season.

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: Last year the average margin of defeat for the Cougars in Pac-10 plays was 27 points...through nine games this season the average margin of defeat is 19.4 points...last season, one conference game (Washington, 75-68, Jan. 25) was decided by fewer than 10 points, this season that number is four through nine games...the 12 turnovers WSU committed against Oregon State was a season-low...that marked the fewest turnovers since the team committed 10 against Michigan, Dec. 7...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 14 games...the three games in which WSU did out-rebound its opponent were against No.3 LSU (29-24), Montana (46-40) and Oregon (43-39)...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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