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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Return Home for No. 9 Stanford, Cal
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 12/31/2003
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Dec. 31, 2003

What's Happening:

Friday, Jan. 2
vs. No. 9 Stanford
7 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

Sunday, Jan. 4
vs. California
1 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

Up Next:

Friday, Jan. 9
At UCLA
7 p.m.
Los Angeles, Calif.

What's Happening This Week: The Washington State women's basketball team (4-7) returns home to face the Bay Area schools this weekend...the Cougars meet No. 9 (AP) Stanford (9-2) Friday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m....two days later WSU hosts California (8-3), Sunday, Jan. 4 for a 1 p.m. tip-off...both games are at Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum...the last time the Cougars defeated a ranked opponent was Feb. 10, 2001 when WSU bested No. 22 Arizona 93-86 at Pullman.

Tickets: Tickets for all Cougar home games are available through the WSU Ticket Office, North 225 Grand, Pullman, Wash. 99164-1910, or by calling 800-GO-COUGS.

About Stanford: The Cardinal's two losses have come to No. 2 Texas Tech and No. 5 Tennessee...Stanford opened Pac-10 play with a sweep over the Oregon schools last week...Stanford leads the all-time series with WSU 36-0...Nicole Powell leads the team and is second in the Pac-10 with a 19.9 points a game average...Powell also leads the conference in rebounds (10.9/game).

About California: Cal saw a five-game winning streak end with a 70-67 loss at Oregon State, Dec. 29...the Bears play at Washington, Friday before coming to Pullman for the Sunday matinee...Nihan Anaz leads the Bears averaging 16.1 points a game...that figure is fifth best in the conference...Cal leads the series 22-17...WSU won the team's last meeting in Pullman, 67-64, Feb. 13...the win snapped a 45-game losing streak for the Cougars.

Last Week's Recap: The Cougars dropped a pair of games at the Arizona schools last week...WSU fell to Arizona State 68-61, Dec. 27 despite 20 points from Bianca McCall... WSU out-rebounded ASU 40-37 and held the Sun Devils to 21-of-62 (33.9 percent) from the field but was done in by a season-high 29 turnovers...two days later, the Cougars fell to Arizona 78-51... The Cougars shot 8-of-30 (26.7 percent) in the opening 20 minutes...WSU began the game cold, missing seven of its first eight shots and ended the first half in similar fashion, misfiring on its final six attempts. Conversely, Arizona, which had also started slow by missing five of its first seven attempts, ended the half 14-of-34 (41.2 percent) from the field.

WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell on This Week's Games: "Stanford is loaded in every spot and Cal is having a great year. We can't be passive. We have to go out and concentrate on things that we have to do well at and that is taking care of the ball. It's our home court and teams are winning in the Pac-10 at home. I hope that our kids come off this road trip, lick their wounds, and not worry about Stanford or Cal but just worry about us."

Benz Makes a Mark In Record Book: Freshman Kate Benz pulled down 19 rebounds against San Diego State, Dec. 22, tying her for sixth on the school's all-time list for rebounds in a game...Benz tallied nine offensive and 10 defensive boards before fouling out with 3:15 left...the WSU record for rebounds in a game is 22, set on three occasions....last year Bianca McCall also grabbed 19 rebounds in a game as she hit the number against Wyoming....Benz leads the team averaging 6.8 boards a game, which is ninth in the Pac-10.

Equaling the Past Two Seasons: With four wins this season, the Cougars have matched their combined win total over the past two seasons. (2001-02: 2-27; 2002-03: 2-26).

Defensive Display: The Cougars have held their opponents to under 60 points four times...in 28 games last season, the Cougars held their opponents to under 60 points three times...WSU is holding its opposition to 62.4 points a game... through 11 games last year the Cougars allowed an average of 80 points a game...the 49 points allowed by the Cougars against Utah Valley State were the fewest allowed by the team since a 55-49 win over Portland State, Nov. 26, 2001...WSU has held two opponents (Fresno State, .291; Utah Valley State, .288) to under 30 percent field goal percentage...the last time WSU held two opponents under 30 percent field goal percentage in the same season was in 2000-01...WSU held American (.263) and Vermont (.269) to under 30 percent that season....the Cougars are third in the Pac-10 in blocks (4.09/game) and field goal percentage defense (.389).

McCall 20/20: Bianca McCall recorded her first 20-point game of the season with 20 points at Arizona State, Dec. 27...that marked her seventh career 20-point game...McCall leads the Cougars in scoring (10.6 points/game)...she returned to the court against Utah, Dec. 13 after missing the previous two games recovering from a concussion sustained in the second half of the Nov. 29 loss at Baylor... McCall scored 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting in the 59-50 win at Wyoming, Nov. 24...she followed that up with 13 points (all in the second half) in the 59-58 win at Eastern Washington, Nov. 26...the last two points of the 13 were the most dramatic as McCall's put back off of a Charmaine Jones miss with 3.9 seconds left propelled the Cougars to victory....McCall is fifth in the conference in blocks (1.00/game) and offensive rebounds (2.67/game).

For Three!: The eight treys by the Cougars against Nebraska, Dec. 4 were the most by the team since WSU made eight in an 86-65 loss to Arizona last season in Pullman...Lindsey Egeland's perfect 4-of-4 performance from 3-point range in the win over Utah Valley State, Dec. 6 marked the first time a Cougar was perfect from behind the arc with a minimum of four attempts since Tricia Lamb (4-of-4) Feb. 13, 1999 against Oregon State at Pullman.

Road Warriors: The Nov. 24 Wyoming game began a stretch of three road games over the course of six days...along with the trip to Laramie, Wyo., WSU traveled to Cheney, Wash. for a game at Eastern Washington before going south to Waco, Texas for a game at Baylor...the road trek encompassed 4,628 air miles, 780 bus miles, six motels and four states.

First Time Since...

*The win against Fresno State marked the first season-opening triumph for WSU since three years ago to the day. The Cougars captured a 59-52 win at American University, Nov. 21, 2000 to open the 2000-01 campaign.

* The win at Wyoming improved the Cougars' record to 2-0 marking the first time since the 1998-99 campaign that WSU began a season with consecutive victories. The Cougars opened up that season with five straight wins.

* The Wyoming victory also marked the first road win for WSU since a 77-76 win at Oregon, Feb. 15, 2001, a span of 28 games.

* The win at Eastern Washington, which followed up the road triumph at Wyoming, marked the second road win for WSU in the span of three days. The last time WSU won two consecutive road games was in 1997 when the Cougars followed up a win at, coincidentally, Wyoming, Nov. 23 with a victory at Gonzaga, Nov. 28.

Cougar Notes: Three players (Jessica Perry, Lindsey Egeland, Kate Benz) have started all 11 games...nine players have started at least one game for WSU...Perry is 25-of-30 (.833) from the charity stripe, which is third in the conference...as a team, the Cougars are second in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (149-of-204, .730)...six players have scored in double figures in at least one game...the Cougars have out-rebounded their opponents in three of the last four games, all losses...the Cougars' .449 shooting percentage at Arizona State was the second best of the season (.532, at Wyoming, 11/24/03)...the ASU shooting percentage came on the heels of the team's 21.2 percent (11-of-52) shooting performance against San Diego State, Dec. 22...that was the worst percentage from the Cougars since the team went 12-of-69 (17.4 percent) from the field in a 57-33 loss at Oregon State, Dec. 28, 2001.

Double Doubleheaders: The Cougars have been part of four men's/women's basketball doubleheaders this season...WSU was part of the opening act at Eastern Washington and was in the finale at Baylor, vs. Utah Valley State and at Utah...the Cougars were 2-2 in the doubleheader games scoring wins over Eastern Washington and Utah Valley State.

Murrell Member of National Committee: In addition to her WSU head coaching duties, Sherri Murrell is a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/Kodak All-American Team Selection Committee...Murrell serves as the representative for District 8, which encompasses the western part of the nation...the Kodak/WBCA All-America Teams honor the 10 best collegiate women's basketball players in the nation...Murrell, along with the representatives from the other seven districts, select the Kodak/WBCA All-America Team from a list of finalists determined by WBCA member coaches....for more information on the All-American Team go to wbca.org.

Moore Transfers: Keisha Moore, a 6-foot-2 center from J.W. North High School (Riverside, Calif.), has elected to transfer to the Washington State women's basketball program from the University of Idaho, WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell announced, Dec. 22...because of NCAA Division I transfer rules; Moore is not eligible to play for the Cougars until the day after the conclusion of the 2004 fall semester...she is allowed to practice with the team however....Moore is not the only player to join the Cougars as Crystal Blue - a 5-foot-10 guard from Seattle Wash., who signed with the team last spring - has been declared academically eligible and can practice with the team as well... Blue will be eligible to compete in the 2004-05 season.

Cougars Ink Shired: Sabrina Shired, a 6-foot-4 center from Casa Grande High School (Petaluma, Calif.), signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Washington State women's basketball team next fall, head coach Sherri Murrell announced Nov. 12...as a junior at Casa Grande, Shired averaged seven points, eight rebounds and three blocks in leading her team to the playoffs...that followed up a sophomore season in which she averaged 12 points and nine rebounds a contest...Shired earned Sonoma County League Freshman of the Year honors and was selected as the California Intercollegiate Federation Woman of the Year in 2001. She participated in the adidas All-Star Camp and the Triple Threat Basketball Club last summer.

Westside Clinic A Success: The fall coaching clinic that Murrell conducted with her coaching staff and team proved to be a success as it drew approximately 150 coaches and student-athletes to Redmond High School, Nov. 1...the clinic featured on court demonstrations in a live practice setting with the team...coaches were able to ask questions as the drills were being conducted...this was the second consecutive year that Murrell has conducted a fall clinic...last year's clinic was in downtown Seattle with special guest speaker Lin Dunn, the former head coach and general manager of the WNBA's Seattle Storm.

Internet: WSU women's basketball releases, statistics, and notes are loaded weekly on the WSU Athletics Home Page. The address is: http://www.wsucougars.com.

Washington State Cougars Women's Basketball
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