Jan. 23, 2007
COUGARS HOST OREGON SCHOOLS: The Washington State men's basketball team (No. 20 Associated Press/No. 18 ESPN/USA Today) hosts Oregon State (7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 25) and Oregon (7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 27)...Saturday's game will be televised by FOX Sports Net Northwest.
COUGAR HEAD COACH Tony Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Tony Bennett is in his first season at the helm of the Cougar program...fourth year with WSU...assistant coach in 2003-04...associate head coach in 2004-05 and 2005-06...assistant coach at Wisconsin from 2000-03...became the first head coach at a current Pacific-10 institution to start 7-0 in his inaugural campaign at the school since Stanford's Robert W. Burnett was 9-0 in 1951-52...Bennett's accomplishment is tied for the third best start in a debut season at Pac-10 school in the post-World War II era.
ABOUT THE BEAVERS: Oregon State is 9-11 overall, 1-6 in the Pacific-10...only conference win came against Arizona State in Corvallis, 67-59, Jan. 13...lost first four conference games vs. Oregon (76-73), vs. then-No.1 UCLA (71-56), vs. USC (91-46) and at Arizona (83-72)...coming off two losses at home to California (77-74) and Stanford (67-56)...two players are putting up double figure scoring for the Beavers...juniors Marcel Jones and Sasa Cuic are averaging 16.9 and 13.3 points per game, respectively...Jones also leads the team in rebounds (6.9 per game) and steals (1.45 per game)...head coach Jay John is in his fourth season with the Beavers and carries a 64-75 record.
SERIES WITH OREGON STATE: The Beavers lead the series 161-111...Washington State owns a 71-59 record in Pullman...Oregon State has won three straight and 12 of the last 15 meetings...last home win for WSU came Jan. 13, 2005, 63-45.
BEAVER REVIEW: Oregon State swept the series last season with a 59-50 victory in Pullman, Jan. 21, and a 71-62 win at Gill Coliseum, Feb. 16...Chris Stephens led all scorers with 23 as the Beavers outlasted WSU at Friel Court...Robbie Cowgill (13 points) and Kyle Weaver (12) each scored in double-figures for the Cougars...in Corvallis, OSU's Sasa Cuic , led all scorers with 23 points...three Cougars scored in double-figures, led by Derrick Low's 13 points.
THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY (Jan. 25): Washington State is 12-10 when competing Jan. 25 including an 8-4 record at home...Cougars cruised to a 106-59 victory over Cal State Northridge at Friel Court in 1995...Cougars held the Matadors to 26 percent shooting in the first half and used a 22-4 run to lead 50-22 at halftime...five players scored in double-figures for WSU led by Tavares Mack's 21 points...Donminic Ellison recorded a double-double with 12 points and school-record 15 assists...WSU finished the season 18-12 and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the National Invitational Tournament.
REMEMBER WHEN?: The Washington State men's basketball team was ranked 17th nationally by the Associated Press and defeated Oregon 64-48, Feb. 7, 1950...three days later, the Cougars lost to Idaho 51-50...those games marked the last time the Cougars were ranked by AP and playing in Pullman...here is a look at some other facts about 1950.
COUGARS EARN NATIONAL RANKING: Washington State is currently ranked No.20 in the Associated Press poll and No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today...WSU is among the nation's best for the seventh straight week...Cougars began receiving votes after upsetting then-No. 18 Gonzaga, 77-67 Dec. 5...earned first AP ranking (No. 22, Jan. 8) since Feb. 1983...first time since 1950 WSU has been ranked by Associated Press in two different polls during the same season.
RANKED COUGARS POST VICTORY: Washington State's win at California, Jan. 11, was the first for the Cougars as a ranked team (No. 22) since Feb. 23, 1980...WSU, ranked 20th at the time, was victorious 69-67 at USC...last time the Cougars won consecutive games as a ranked team was Feb. 17-18, 1950, both at Washington.
WSU IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: The Cougars are ranked nationally in fewest turnovers (third, 10.4 per game), win-loss percentage (tied-12th, 84.2), scoring defense (18th, 58.1 points per game), fewest personal fouls committed (tied-39th, 16.4 per game), scoring margin (47th, +10.2 points per game), and field goal percentage defense (48th, 40.3 percent).
COUGARS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: Washington State leads the Pac-10 in scoring defense (58.1 points per game), turnover margin (plus 4.95 per game) and assist to turnover ratio (1.44)...Cougars rank second in field goal percentage defense (40.3) and blocked shots (4.37 per game)...rank third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (32.2).
ABOUT OREGON: The Ducks are currently 18-1, 6-1 in the Pac-10 (play at Washington, Jan. 25) and No. 7 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls...record equals the Ducks' best start in school history...opened up their season 13-0 before losing at home to USC, Jan. 4 (84-82)...bounced back to defeat then-No. 1 UCLA, 68-66, Jan. 6...currently hold a five game winning streak after sweeping the Arizona and Bay Area schools...are 6-0 when playing on the road...lead the Pac-10 in scoring margin (plus 15.5 points per game), 3-point field goal defense (28.3) and 3-point field goals per game (9.3)...scoring margin also ranks 12th in the nation...all five starters are averaging in double figure scoring led by Aaron Brooks's 18.4 points per game...head coach Ernie Kent is in his 10th year in Eugene and owns a 164-112 record.
SERIES WITH THE DUCKS: Oregon leads the series 152-116...WSU holds the advantage in Pullman at 71-55...Oregon is on an 11-game winning streak...last victory at home for Washington State came Feb. 15, 2001, 63-62...last three games in Pullman have been decided by a combined 10 points.
DUCK REVIEW: Oregon pushed its winning streak over the Cougars to 11 last season as the Ducks were victorious in Pullman (52-50, Jan. 19), at Mac Court (67-37, Feb. 18) and in Los Angeles at the Pacific-10 Tournament (66-55, March 8)...in the first meeting last season, a pair of 3-pointers by Malik Hairston in the last 12 seconds pushed the Ducks to victory...Josh Akognon led all scorers with 18 points and Robbie Cowgill added a dozen points...in Eugene the Ducks held Washington State to its lowest point total in a conference road game since 1970...neither team hit a field goal for the first six minutes of the first half...Chamberlain Oguchi tallied 18 points to lead all scorers while three Cougars combined for 31 of the team's 37 points...in Los Angeles, Oguchi lit up the Cougars again with a career-high 26 points in the Ducks' victory...Aron Baynes and Robbie Cowgill both tallied double-figure scoring at 14 and 13 points, respectively.
THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY (Jan. 27): The Cougars are 9-12 when competing Jan. 27 including an 8-3 record in Pullman...WSU edged past California 66-64 at home in 1983...California jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the opening five minutes of the contest...Cougars trailed most of the first half before a jumper by Aaron Haskins with 1:24 left gave WSU a 35-34 advantage at intermission...roles reversed in the second half as the Cougars led by as many as seven...California battled back behind its leading scorer Michael Pitts, who finished with 20 points, to go on a 12-5 run and take a 58-57 lead...Craig Ehlo and Haskins responded as Ehlo hit two shots and Haskins nailed a 12-foot baseline jumper with five seconds remaining to give the Cougars the victory...Washington State went on to the second round of the NCAA tournament finishing the season 23-7.
QUICK STARTS: The Cougars are outscoring their opponents 146-80 in the first four minutes of the second half this season.