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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Travel South To Arizona State, Arizona
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 02/04/2003
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Feb. 4, 2003

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What's Happening:
Thursday, Feb. 6
at Arizona State (12-8, 4-7 Pac-10)
5 p.m. Pacific
Tempe, Ariz.

Saturday, Feb. 8
at Arizona (14-6, 7-4 Pac-10)
1 p.m. Pacific
Tucson, Ariz.

On Tap:
Thursday, Feb. 13
vs. California
7 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court, Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

What's Happening: The Washington State women's basketball team returns to the road this week against Arizona State and Arizona...the Cougars (0-19, 0-11 Pac-10) begin the trip against the Sun Devils (12-8, 4-7 Pac-10), Thursday, Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. Pacific...after their stint in Tempe, the Cougars travel to Tucson to play Arizona (14-6, 7-4 Pac-10), Saturday, Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. Pacific.

Radio: The Arizona State and Arizona games will be broadcast live on KRPL AM 1400, Moscow, Idaho in addition to being carried live on the net at wsucougars.com. Alex Webster will be calling the action with the pre-game airing at 4:45 p.m., Feb. 6 and 12:45 p.m., Feb. 8. All of the Cougars' Pac-10 road games will be aired live on KRPL during the 2002-03 season.

About Arizona State: The Sun Devils dropped a pair of games to the Oregon schools last week...Jill Noe leads the team with a 14.9 points a game average...Kristen Kovesdy (10.8 points/game) and Amy Denson (10.8 points/game) are also averaging double digits in points.

ASU-WSU series: Arizona State leads the series with WSU 22-11...the Sun Devils have won the last 11 contests including a 66-58 decision, Jan. 11 at Pullman.

Last Time Against ASU: Bianca McCall recorded a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds in the Cougars' 66-58 loss to Arizona State, Jan. 11...Jessica Perry poured in 20 points - just one shy from her career high - against the Sun Devils...the Cougars never trailed in the first half and held as much as a 10-point advantage before ending the opening 20 minutes with a 24-19 lead...WSU extended it halftime advantage to 33-24 with 16:32 remaining...however, a 16-5 Sun Devil run gave ASU its first lead of the game at 40-38 at the 11:20 mark...the Cougars responded with consecutive buckets by McCall and Perry to retake the lead at 42-40 with 10:36 remaining...trailing 43-42, the Sun Devils scored five consecutive points to take the lead for good at 47-43 at the 7:52 mark...WSU would get no closer than three points the rest of the way...the Cougars led for a total time of 29:54.

WSU Coach Sherri Murrell On Arizona State And If The Cougars Can Take Anything Away From The Season's First Meeting: "It's a brand new game. What we can take away is learning why we didn't beat them. We had so many chances to score and to do some things to really widen our lead and we didn't - that hurt us. What we have learned from watching it on film is that we can stop ASU offensively. We just have to make sure that we score on the other end. That was the biggest thing we learned from that game. It's a positive step in the right direction to get that close to them but we need to win."

About Arizona: The Wildcats split a pair of games to the Oregon schools last week, losing in overtime to Oregon State (71-65) and besting Oregon (71-66)...Shawntinice Polk leads the team in scoring with a 17.6 points/game average, which is second in the conference...Polk leads the Pac-10 in rebounding at 11 .4 boards a game...Dee-Dee Wheeler is averaging 16.1 points a contest, which is fifth in the conference...Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano will be a "guest coach" at the game and will sit on the Wildcat bench.

Arizona-WSU series: Arizona leads the series 18-15 and has won the last three...earlier this season in Pullman, the Cougars fell 86-65, Jan. 9.

Murrell On Arizona: "Arizona plays really well at home. They are not just playing against Washington State; they're playing to try to get a seat in the NCAA Tournament so they have a lot to play for. I expect them to come out to protect their court but anything can happen in the game of basketball."

Last Week: The Cougars concluded their four-game homestand in disappointing fashion by dropping a pair of games to the Los Angeles schools...WSU fell to UCLA 86-70, Jan. 30 and lost to USC 89-36, Feb. 1.

Murrell On Heading Into This Week's Games After Last Week's Losses: "It was a tough weekend. The kids came in with their heads down but having them turn it around in practice (Monday) gave me hope because we had one of our best practices of the year. They're not going to roll over and die."

Injury Update: Candace Fields is questionable for this week's games with a left foot stress fracture...she has missed the last eight 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 sixth in the WBCA/Summerville RPI ratings...the combined won-loss record of Cougar opponents is 210-110...that makes for a winning percentage of .656...13 of the Cougars' opponents are rated in the top 100 of the organization's RPI ratings: LSU (No. 7), Stanford (No. 13), Utah (No. 26), Virginia Tech (No. 33), Washington (No. 34), Arizona (No. 35), Wyoming (No. 55), USC (No. 56), Montana State (No. 64), Oregon State (No. 79), UCLA (No. 92), Oregon (No. 97) and Arizona State (No. 100).

Attendance High: The Cougars averaged an attendance of 587 in their recent four-game homestand...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.

Double-Digit McCall: Bianca McCall has scored in double-digits in 15 of 19 games this season...the 6-foot-1 junior forward from Santa Rosa, Calif., has recorded seven double-doubles in points and rebounds this season, which is third in the conference...she leads the Cougars in points (13.9/game) and rebounds (8.7/game)...before a six-point performance against USC, Feb. 1, McCall had scored 20 or more points in four consecutive games...McCall is in the top 10 in the conference in five categories...she is second in offensive rebounds (3.95/game), third in total rebounds and blocks (1.32/game), fourth in defensive rebounds (4.74/game) and ninth in scoring.

20 In A Row: Before its loss to USC, Washington State had a player score at least 20 points in six consecutive games...Bianca McCall reached 20 or more points in four consecutive games...the streak began at California, Jan. 18 (24 points) and continued against Oregon State (20 points), Oregon (20 points) and concluded against UCLA, Jan. 30 (21 points)...prior to McCall's streak, JessicaPerry scored 20 and 25 points against Arizona State, Jan. 11 and Stanford, Jan. 16, respectively...the six-game streak marked the longest run since a six-game stretch during the 1995-96 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 17 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... Perry is fifth in the conference in steals (2.12/game) and her 3.35 assists per game ranks eighth in the conference...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.

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 64 blocks (3.37/game) this season, which is second in the Pac-10... Bianca McCall (1.32 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 nine rebounds against USC, Feb. 1...she is averaging 5.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 12 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 6.9 points a game...she is the only Cougar to have started all 19 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: The Cougars led for a total time of 33:20 in their 65-62 loss to Oregon State, Jan. 23...that was the longest duration WSU has led in a game since it held an advantage during a span of 31:32 over UCLA, Jan. 6, 2002...the Cougars fell to the Bruins 76-64 in that game...last season, one conference game (Washington, 75-68, Jan. 25, 2002) 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...the 53-point margin of defeat (89-36) to USC, Feb. 1 was a school record...the previous mark was 50 points at Arizona, Jan. 10, 2002 (107-57)...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 15 of 19 games...the three games in which WSU did out-rebound its opponent were against No.3 LSU (29-24), Montana (46-40), Oregon (43-39) and UCLA (48-38)...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.

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