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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Travel To Face Huskies
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 02/17/2004
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Feb. 17, 2004

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WASHINGTON STATE (11-12, 5-8 Pac-10)

WSU HEAD COACH Dick Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Dick Bennett is in his first season at WSU...coached at Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976-85), Wisconsin-Green Bay (1985-95) and Wisconsin (1995-2000)...owns a .634 career winning percentage (465-269)...career highlights include a 1984 NAIA national runner-up finish at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a 2000 Final Four appearance at Wisconsin...he is 11-12 this season...with 60-51 win at USC, Feb. 7, Bennett tied Taps Gallagher for 76th place on the NCAA career wins list.

BENNETT RECORDS QUICK START: WSU won six of its first eight games, marking its best start since 1996-97 when the Cougars opened 7-1...with two wins to open the 2003-04 season, WSU Head Coach Dick Bennett became the first mentor to begin his Cougar career 2-0 since Len Stevens in 1983-84.

COUGARS SHOW MARKED IMPROVEMENT: WSU has 11 wins this season, a four-win improvement from last season under first-year mentor Dick Bennett...only other time a Cougar head coach has had a better improvement during his inaugural season was John R. Bender in 1907-08...Bender's squad finished 12-3 after Everett M. Sweeley's 1906-07 team posted a 5-4 record...WSU has tallied five Pac-10 wins after winning just five of its last 43 conference games entering this season.

WASHINGTON PREVIEW: The Huskies are 12-9, 7-6 in the Pac-10...Washington is fifth in the Pac-10, a half game behind Oregon and California and one game back of Arizona...Huskies are hot having won seven of their last eight after losing their first five conference outings...Brandon Roy leads Washington in scoring (13.6 points per game) and ranks 12th in the Pac-10...Huskies average 81.8 points scored, 11th nationally.

SERIES WITH THE HUSKIES: Washington leads 164-91...the 265 meetings are second most against an opponent (Oregon State-268) in WSU history...Huskies won the first meeting this season, 75-62 in Pullman, Jan. 24...the 75 points are the most given up by the Cougars in a Pac-10 game this season...Huskies never trailed in the game...WSU scored first eight points of the second half to pull within 37-31 after Washington led 37-23 at intermission...Huskies scored next seven points and the Cougars were not closer than 11 points the rest of the game...Nate Robinson led all scorers with 17 points while Jeff Varem paced WSU with 14 points...Huskies and Cougars have split each of the last three seasons...Washington has won last nine meetings in Seattle...last Cougars' victory in The Emerald City was 67-46, Jan. 29, 1994 in Kelvin Sampson's last season as WSU mentor...Washington State is 32-94 all-time at Washington...first meeting in the series was in Pullman, Feb. 16, 1910...Huskies snapped Cougars' eight-game winning streak with a 13-9 victory in J. Fred Bohler's second season at WSU.

COUGARS EARN NATIONAL RECOGNITION: Washington State was named men's basketball national team of the week (Feb. 2-8) by ESPN.com after winning games at UCLA and USC, Feb. 5/7...the following is an excerpt from ESPN.com:

The Cougars won for the first time ever at Pauley Pavilion and then won at USC. Washington State's Dick Bennett has turned this program around in just a few short months. The Cougars are now in the middle of the muddled Pac-10, but they're just as tough a team to beat as Oregon at home or on the road. The Cougars are scoring well enough to win, and playing pretty tough defense. Bennett's staff is doing a remarkable job of making this team a factor in the Pac-10. The Cougars should be a postseason team within a year or two, and that alone would be a major accomplishment. Washington State moved to 5-6 in the league, and 11-10 overall, which means the NIT isn't out of the question for this season, either.

PAC-10 ROAD SWEEPS: A 60-51 victory at USC, Feb. 7 gave the Cougars their first road sweep of the Los Angeles schools in WSU history...Cougars closed the first half with a 26-9 run over the final 14:53...first season sweep of USC since 1985-86...first road sweep in conference since defeating Oregon State and No. 19 Oregon, Feb. 16/18, 1995 and 11th in school history since Pac-10 began in 1978-79.

WSU ROAD SUCCESS: The Cougars have five road wins in a season (5-6) for the first time since 1995-96 (7-7)...with the 57-51 win at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22, WSU broke a 27-game road losing streak...previous win was 58-57 at Arizona State, Feb. 8, 2001...WSU was 5-64 in last 69 road games prior to this season dating back to January, 1998.

STREAK BREAKERS: WSU has snapped several losing streaks this season...the 57-51 win at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22 broke a 27-game road losing streak...Cougars 55-50 win at California, Jan. 4 erased a 22-game Pac-10 road losing streak...win also was first in seven games against the Golden Bears and first in last nine trips to Berkeley...WSU's 76-61 victory over USC, Jan. 10 broke a nine-game skid against the Trojans...WSU posted a 55-48 win, Feb. 5 at UCLA marking the first Cougar victory in 47 games at UCLA, including 39 at Pauley Pavilion.

TAKING CARE OF THE BASKETBALL: WSU turns the ball over at a rate of 12.1 per game...Cougars are 11th nationally in fewest turnovers per outing.

SUCCESS AT THE LINE: WSU is 7-1 this season when attempting more free throws than its opponent...Cougars are shooting 81 percent (75-for-93) at the charity stripe over the last six games and 83 percent (85-for-102) during their five Pac-10 wins.

FROM ZERO TO SIXTY: Washington State is 8-2 this season when scoring 60 or more points...exceptions are 75-62 loss to Washington, Jan. 24 and 67-62 overtime setback to Oregon, Feb. 14...Cougars are 3-10 when being held under 60 points.

FORTY PERCENT EQUALS PASSING GRADE: WSU is 10-4 this season when shooting 40 percent or better from the field...Cougars shot season-high 58 percent in 76-61 win over USC, Jan. 10...Cougars 7-0 when holding opponent under 40 percent from the floor...when the Cougars shoot under 40 percent, they are 1-8...WSU is 4-12 when its opponent connects on 40 percent or more shots from the field.

LOOKING AHEAD: If the season ended today, WSU would qualify for the 2004 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament...Cougars are currently in a tie for seventh place with USC and own tie-breaker by virtue of a season sweep of the Trojans...WSU would face Arizona in the first round...top eight in the Pac-10 standings qualify for the tournament...any combination of WSU wins and Oregon State losses equaling five and WSU wins and Arizona State losses equaling four would clinch a spot in the tournament for the Cougars.

PACIFIC LIFE PAC-10 TOURNAMENT MEDIA INFORMATION: Media members requesting credentials for the tournament may obtain a credential application through the Pac-10 web site at www.pac-10.org or at www.sportssytems.com/Pac-10...application deadline is March 2.

PACIFIC LIFE PAC-10 TOURNAMENT TICKET INFORMATION: Fans wishing to attend the 2004 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament, March 11-13 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles may order tickets through WSU at 1-800-GO-COUGS (1-800-462-6847) or the Pac-10 web site at www.pac-10.org.

DEFENSIVE STAT OF THE WEEK: Washington State is giving up 57.7 points per game this season...last time the Cougars' defense was this stingy came during the 1957-58 season when WSU limited its opponents to 57.3 points per outing.

COUGAR DEFENSE: Last season, WSU yielded 78.8 points per game and was last in the Pac-10 in scoring defense...this season the Cougars are best in the conference, allowing just 57.7 points per outing...WSU is eighth nationally in scoring defense.

SCORING LIMIT IS FIFTY-FIVE: The Cougars have held 13 of 23 opponents this season to 55 points or less...WSU held 12 opponents to 55 points or less over the last six seasons combined prior to 2003-04...last time Cougars limited 13 or more opponents to 55 points or less was 1951-52 when WSU accomplished the feat in 17 or 35 games...WSU held six straight opponents to 55 points or less (Nov. 28-Dec. 22) for the first time since Dec. 21-Jan. 5 (seven games) during the 1950-51 season.

FIFTY POINT BARRIER: The Cougars have held five opponents to under 50 points this season...prior to this season, the last time WSU held a team under 50 points was an 80-46 win at Eastern Washington, Dec. 7, 1996...Cougars had not held multiple opponents under 50 points since 1989-90 season...last time WSU held five opponents under 50 points was 1987-88 season in Kelvin Sampson's first season on the Palouse...WSU also limited Montana and California to 50 points each while posting road wins.

WSU LIMITS OPPONENT SCORING IN PAC-10 GAMES: The Cougars have held every Pac-10 opponent below its current scoring average.

SLAMMING THE DOOR SHUT: The Cougars are 7-1 this season when leading at halftime and 1-0 when tied at intermission...last season, WSU was 6-6 after outscoring its opponent in the first stanza.\

COUGAR PLAYER NOTES

#1 Marcus Moore (Inglewood, Calif.) - Ranks on WSU all-time list in assists (fourth-400), steals (third-165), three-point field goals (fifth-142) and scoring (eighth-1,372 points)...needs 22 points to move past Brian Quinnett (1985-87, 89) into seventh place on WSU's scoring list...shooting .386 from three-point range (15-for-39) in the last seven games after connecting on just 10-of-62 from long range (.161) through the first 18 games...scored 29 points against No. 9 Arizona, Jan. 31...one of three players in WSU history with 1,000 points, 300 assists and 125 steals...Keith Morrison (1983-86) and Bennie Seltzer (1990-93) are the others...named to the BP Top of the World Classic all-tournament team after averaging 16.7 points and 3.7 assists in three games...scored 20 points at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22 and 22 points vs. Idaho, Dec. 20....Pac-10 rankings entering the week: Fifth in steals (1.74 per game), and 14th in scoring (13.3 points per game).

#2 Terry Ayers (Pearl City, Hawaii) - Walk-on has appeared in three games...played three minutes off the bench in first half at Montana, Dec. 13.

#3 Lance Den Boer (Sunnyside) - Has played in 12 games...scored season-high 11 points off the bench at Montana, Dec. 13 while celebrating his 19th birthday.

#5 Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.) - Has started 19 games...averaging 8.3 points over the last three games...tied season-high with 11 points at USC after scoring just two points in previous three games...four times this season has tied his career-high with seven rebounds...scored nine points at No. 15 Gonzaga and added six boards...tallied eight points at No. 5 Stanford, Jan. 2...played career-high 39 minutes against USC, Jan. 10.

#11 Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) - Has scored in double figures 11 times this season...averaging 12 points during last four games...did not start for only third time in last 48 games at Oregon, Jan. 17...other two non-starts were senior days in 2002 and 2003...had worst shooting game of his career with 0-for-9 effort at Oregon State, Jan. 15...season-high 18 points vs. IPFW, Dec. 1...tallied team-high 15 points at No. 15 Gonzaga, Dec. 28...has 123 career treys and ranks 10th on WSU's all-time list...Pac-10 ranking entering the week: Sixth in three-pointers per game (2.13) and eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.402)...led Pac-10 with .456 three-point shooting in 2002-03

#12 Randy Green (Renton) - Has made five starts in 2003-04...scored 12 points off the bench in 67-62 overtime loss to Oregon, Feb. 14...averaged 16.7 points per game during three-game stretch Dec. 6-20...Pac-10 ranking entering the week: Sixth in three-point percentage (.414).

#21 Anthony Grant (Seattle) - Has appeared in 21 games, including five starts...scored season/career-high five points in 65-58 loss to Oregon State, Feb. 12.

#22 Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) - Has started all 23 games...leads WSU with 5.6 rebounds per game...matched his career-high with 13 rebounds, including seven offensive, at Oregon, Jan. 17...grabbed 10 boards at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22 and at Southern Utah, Nov. 28...named all-tournament at BP Top of the World Classic...played career-high 36 minutes at California and dished out career-high three assists against the Golden Bears, Jan. 4...tied his career high with 17 points against USC, Jan. 10...Pac-10 ranking entering the week: 15th in rebounding.

#25 Isaiah Simmons (Tacoma) - Walk-on has made 11 appearances...made first career start vs. No. 9 Arizona, Jan. 31...played season/career-high 29 minutes against the Wildcats...recorded seven points and two assists against Arizona...tallied five points, three assists, two rebounds and one block against Washington.

#32 Ezenwa Ukeagu (Coral Springs, Fla.) - Has played in 20 games...made only start at Fresno State, Dec. 22...tied career-high with 15 points vs. Idaho, Dec. 20...added eight rebounds against the Vandals...averaged six points and three rebounds off the bench games at UCLA and USC...averaged 8.3 points and 5.0 rebounds during three games at BP Top of the World Classic.

#40 Julius McMillion (Seattle) - Walk-on who has not appeared in a game this season.

#44 Justin Garcia (Mira Loma, Calif.) - Has played in six games...scored buckets vs. IPFW, Dec. 1 and at Oregon State, Jan. 15...recorded a pair of rebounds against the Mastadons and at Fresno State, Dec. 22.

#45 Jeff Varem (Benue, Nigeria) - Scored team-high 15 points in loss to Oregon State, Feb. 12...Made 16-of-21 free throws during road games at UCLA and USC...tallied team-high five rebounds, four points and two assists in first game at Fresno State, Dec. 29...recorded 15 points at California, Jan. 4...added five boards against Golden Bears...registered season/career highs with 22 points and seven rebounds in Cougars' 76-61 victory over USC, Jan. 10...recorded team-high 14 points against Washington, Jan. 24 while making his fourth start of the season...scored game-high 17 points against Arizona State, Jan. 29...sat out WSU's first eight games due to impermissible benefits received prior to attending WSU.

#55 Justin Bellegarde (Ukiah, Calif.) - Tied his career-high with eight points against Arizona State, Jan. 29...pulled down season-high five rebounds in opener vs. VMI, Nov. 20...has made three starts.

MOORE ASSISTS: Senior Marcus Moore needs 15 assists to record the 23rd 100-assist season in WSU history...the Inglewood, Calif., native has accomplished the feat twice in his career posting 100 assists in 2000-01 and 131 assists in 2001-02.

GETTING A FRESH START: WSU has used 10 different starting lineups this season, with 11 players making at least one start.

ATTENDANCE NUMBERS UP: The Cougars are averaging 3,909 fans at Friel Court this season, the most since the 1998-99 campaign...WSU drew 10,878 fans for its two games against Arizona State and Arizona, Jan. 29/31...largest weekend for WSU basketball since 13,682 came to see USC and UCLA at the end of the 1996-97 season...Cougars drew 17,287 over three games (Jan 24-31), best since Feb. 22-March 8, 1997 (21,017)...the 6,409 attending the Washington game, Jan. 24 was the most since 6,493 watched No. 1 Stanford, Jan. 27, 2001 and the most for a non-ranked opponent since 8,373 attended Washington, Jan. 18, 1997.

WSU WIN STREAK: The Cougars had a four-game winning streak snapped with their 46-29 loss at Fresno State, Dec. 22...it was WSU's first four-game winning streak since Dec. 2-20, 1998.

WSU A TRAVELING TEAM: The Cougars have played 15 of their 23 games away from Pullman...WSU has traveled over 13,000 miles by plane and over 1,800 miles by bus...Cougars will fly from Pullman to Seattle this week and bus home.

DOUBLE FIGURE WINS: WSU won three straight games by double figures Dec. 1-13...last time Cougars accomplished the feat was Dec. 5-20, 1998.

WINNING IN DECEMBER: Washington State won its first four December games for the first time since 1998-99.

HAPPY NEW YEAR: The Cougars won three games (California, USC, Arizona State) in January for the first time since 1998-99.

PROTECTING THE HOUSE: WSU's 62-55 win over Idaho, Dec. 20, the Cougars closed our their 2003-04 non-conference home schedule at 3-0...WSU is 63-2 since 1990-91 in non-conference games played in Pullman...the mark includes a 5-0 record in Bohler Gym during the 1990-91 campaign...losses are 78-66 to Utah, Dec. 11, 1999 and 110-104 to Gonzaga in overtime, Dec. 7, 2002.

Washington State Cougars Men's Basketball
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