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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Caravan To Cactus Country
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 01/25/2005
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Jan. 25, 2005

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THIS WEEK:
Thursday, Jan. 27 - WSU at Arizona State - 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 29 - WSU at Arizona - 11 a.m. (FSN Northwest/Arizona)

NEXT WEEK:
Thursday, Feb. 3 - -WSU vs. UCLA - 7:30 p.m. (FSN Regional)
Saturday, Feb. 5 - -WSU vs. USC - 2 p.m.

WSU HEAD COACH Dick Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Dick Bennett is currently in his second season on the Palouse...he is 8-8 this season and 21-24 in his WSU career...coached at Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976-85), Wisconsin-Green Bay (1985-95) and Wisconsin (1995-2000)...owns a .628 career winning percentage (475-281)...career highlights include a 1984 NAIA national runner-up finish at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a 2000 Final Four appearance at Wisconsin...with 49-46 win over BYU, Dec. 11, Bennett moved into 73rd place on the NCAA career wins list among coaches with at least 10 years experience at the Division I level.

TEAMS DO NOT EXCEED FIFTY-FIVE: Dick Bennett has been the Washington State men's basketball coach for 45 games...in 24 of those, the Cougar opponent has scored 55 points or less...from 1994-95 through 2002-03, WSU held a total of 20 opponents to 55 points or less.

ARIZONA STATE PREVIEW: The Sun Devils are 14-5, 3-4 in the Pacific-10...Sun Devils split last week, losing 88-61 at Oregon State and winning 64-51 at Oregon...junior Ike Diogu leads the Pac-10 in seven categories, including scoring (21.9 points per game) and rebounding (9.9 per game)...ranks sixth nationally in scoring and 14th in rebounding.

SERIES WITH THE SUN DEVILS: Arizona State leads 30-25...Cougars swept the Sun Devils last year, winning 63-56 at Pullman and 83-70 at Tempe......Arizona State has won 18 of 28 home games in the series...team winning first meeting has swept the series each of the last nine seasons.

ARIZONA PREVIEW: The Wildcats are 16-3, 6-1 in the Pac-10...host No.10 Washington Thursday in showdown of teams tied for first place in the conference...Arizona is No. 11 in both ESPN/USA Today and Associated Press polls...Wildcats lead the Pac-10 in rebounding at 38.4 per game...Arizona is led by senior Salim Stoudamire who averages 16.8 points per game...Stoudamire leads the Pac-10 in 3-point field goals (58) and the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (56.9).

SERIES WITH THE WILDCATS: Arizona leads 45-10 and has won 38 straight...Cougars' last win in series was 65-63 at home, in overtime, Jan. 30, 1986...WSU is 5-22 at Arizona and has lost 20 straight...last win was 51-49, Jan. 14, 1984...WSU won first game in series 64-58 at Arizona, Dec. 22, 1959...Last meeting, WSU's Thomas Kelati scored a career-high 27 points in 72-60 loss at Tucson.

COUGARS AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: Washington State is 31-187 all-time against ranked opponents...of the 31 wins, 14 have come in the month of January...Cougars have lost 48 straight (last win 89-87 vs. No. 25 California, Feb. 22, 1997)...Cougars are 4-100 against ranked opponents on the road...have lost 26 straight (last win 68-58 at No. 24 Stanford, Feb. 22, 1996)...WSU is 0-34 all-time against a ranked Arizona team...second time this season Cougars have faced a Pac-10 team that is ranked...first ranked Pac-10 opponent the Cougars played came Jan. 23, at No. 10 Washington...Cougars lost to the Huskies, 66-48...WSU is 0-3 against ranked opponents this season.

TOP OFFENSE TEST COUGARS: After losing 66-48 to the No. 2 scoring offense in the country last Sunday, WSU faces Arizona State (77.8 points per game) and Arizona (77.5 points per game), which are 27th and tied for 30th, respectively in the nation...Cougars are ranked third in scoring defense, yielding just 54.6 points per outing...WSU holds opponents to 38.5 percent shooting from the floor to rank 13th nationally.

WSU PLAYING CLOSE GAMES: The Cougars have played seven games this season decided by three points or less...WSU is 3-4 in those games...Cougars defeated Idaho 37-36, BYU 49-46 and Portland 55-54...lost at home to Gonzaga (54-52) and Oregon (55-52) and road games against Wyoming (49-47) and UCLA (80-77/2 OT).

COUGARS START FRESHMEN: Prior to this season, Washington State had never started three true freshmen in a game...Cougars have done it six times this season...Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas), Derrick Low (Honolulu) and Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.) started in WSU's 49-46 win over BYU, Dec. 11...Cowgill, Low and Kyle Weaver (Beloit, Wis.) started in the Cougars' 49-47 loss at Wyoming, Dec. 22 and in each of the last four games...first time since 1982-83 season that four WSU true freshmen have made at least one start in a season.

FRESHMEN CONTRIBUTION: Washington State's roster features eight freshmen, including a pair of walk-ons...combined, Cougar freshmen account for 40.6 percent of WSU's scoring this season...Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas) leads in points with 90 while Kyle Weaver's (Beloit, Wis.) 5.8 points per game is tops among the freshmen...Cowgill leads WSU with 17 blocks, fourth most all-time by a Cougar freshman in a season.

WSU ROAD SUCCESS: The Cougars are 9-13 on the road over the last two seasons...in addition, WSU has notched a pair of victories at neutral sites and two more at the Spokane Arena...from 1997-98 through 2002-03, WSU was 13-78 away from Friel Court...with 57-51 win at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22, 2003, WSU broke a 27-game road losing streak...previous win was 58-57 at Arizona State, Feb. 8, 2001.

WASHINGTON STATE DEFENSE: Washington State held Montana State to 42 points in the season opener, the fewest given up by the Cougars in an opener since a 66-34 win over Whitworth in 1948-49...WSU followed up by yielding just 42 points in its next game against Georgia Southern...the 84 points over a two-game span were the least given up by the Cougars since Dec. 27/29, 1972...WSU yielded 140 points (Nov. 24-30), its best three-game span since Dec. 12-17, 1981...the 182 points the Cougars gave up in their first four games this season mark their best four-game stretch since Dec. 11-15, 1951.

STATISTICAL TRENDS: Washington State is 14-2 under Dick Bennett when holding the opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field, including 7-2 this season...exceptions are California's 59-47 win at the Spokane Arena, Jan. 2 when the Golden Bears shot 37.5 percent and Washington's 66-48 victory in Seattle, Jan. 23 when the Huskies shot 35.9 percent...Bennett's Cougars are 15-0, including 6-0 this season, when outrebounding their opponent...Cougars have won all four games this season when scoring 60-69 points.

WSU EXTENDS 3-POINT STREAK: The Cougars made three 3-pointers at Washington, Jan. 23 and have made at least one 3-pointer in 269 straight games...last time Cougars did not make a 3-pointer was Feb. 18, 1995 at Oregon...since 3-point line was adopted in 1986-87, WSU has failed to make a 3-pointer three times...other two occasions were Jan. 5, 1987 at Idaho and Dec. 9, 1988 at home against Portland.

COUGARS STREAKING AGAINST USC: Washington State's 69-52 win at USC, Jan. 8 marked the first time since the 1975-76 and 1976-77 seasons that the Cougars have won back-to-back games on the road against the Trojans...first three-game winning streak overall against USC since 1986.

COUGARS BREAK LOSING STREAK AGAINST CARDINAL: Jeff Varem notched his second career double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead Washington State past Stanford 60-51, Dec. 31...win broke a 17-game losing streak against the Cardinal dating back to Feb. 22, 1996...WSU won its Pac-10 opener for the first time since 1998-99.

GONZAGA GAME DRAWS A CROWD: The 8,151 fans who attended the WSU-Gonzaga game, Dec. 7, marked the largest crowd at Friel Court for a nonconference game since 9,925 watched the Cougars defeat Idaho 66-54, Dec. 16, 1995.

WSU-IDAHO GAME LOW SCORING AFFAIR: Washington State defeated Idaho, 37-36, Nov. 30, marking the fewest points in a Cougar victory since a 36-28 triumph at Idaho, Jan. 11, 1947...fewest point in a win by a Pacific-10 team since the shot clock was instituted for the 1985-86 season...tied for third fewest in NCAA history in shot clock era...fewest points given up by WSU in a game since a 41-34 win at Montana State, Dec. 15, 1958...lowest scoring game in Cougar history since 37-36 loss at Washington, Jan. 24, 1970...lowest scoring WSU-Idaho game since 39-34 Cougar win at Idaho, March 3, 1950.

PROTECTING THE HOUSE: With home wins over Montana State and Georgia Southern and a loss to Gonzaga this season, the Cougars are 65-3 since 1990-91 in nonconference games played in Pullman...the mark includes a 5-0 record in Bohler Gym during the 1990-91 campaign...two of the three losses are to Gonzaga (2002, 2004).

RADIO: All Washington State men's basketball games will be broadcast over the Cougar Basketball Radio Network...Bud Nameck is in his 12th season calling all the action...games can be heard on KCLK 1430 AM (Clarkston), KCLX 1450 AM (Colfax), KCVL 1240 AM (Colville), KRKO 1380 AM (Everett), KBAM 1270 AM (Longview), KZFN 106.1 FM (Moscow, Idaho), KRPL 1400 AM (Moscow, Idaho), KBSN 1470 AM (Moses Lake), KZXR 1310 AM (Prosser), KPTK 1090 AM (Seattle), KXLY 920 AM (Spokane), KHHO 850 AM (Tacoma), KJOX 960 AM (Tri-Cities), KGDC 1320 AM (Walla Walla) and KJOX 980 AM (Yakima).

COUGAR PLAYER NOTES
#1 Josh Akognon (Petaluma, Calif.) - Tallied eight points in 11 minutes off the bench against Montana State, Nov. 19...scored eight points in seven minutes at Kansas State, Nov. 27... ...scored nine points at BYU, Dec. 11...scored season/career-high 15 points at UCLA, Jan. 6...grabbed six rebounds against Oregon State, Jan. 13.

#2 Derrick Low (Honolulu, Hawaii) - Missed first five games of the season due to a fractured foot...has started last 10 games...recorded three steals at Wyoming, Dec. 22...has four games with 10 points scored.

#5 Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.) - Started nine games...tallied 10 points, and added six rebounds at Kansas State, Nov. 27...knocked down three treys and scored 10 points vs. Stanford, Dec. 31...tallied nine points off the bench against Oregon State, Jan. 13.

#11 Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) - Started all 16 games...moved into fifth place on Washington State all-time 3-point field goals list with three against Montana State, Nov. 19...currently has 187...ranks ninth at WSU with 116 career steals...had career-high five at Portland, Dec. 18 and added season-high 17 points...ranks 18th in the Pac-10 with 12.1 points per game...ranks seventh in the Pac-10 averaging 1.63 steals per game.

#12 Randy Green (Renton) - Started three games...scored team and season-high 12 points against Gonzaga, Dec.7...added three steals against the Bulldogs...grabbed four rebounds at Portland, Dec. 18.

#14 Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.) - Missed first six games of the season due to an ankle injury...started in season debut at BYU, Dec. 11...has appeared in eight games.

#22 Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) - Missed season opener and last five games with a back injury...status for this week is doubtful...started seven games...posted 12 points against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...recorded season-high seven rebounds and two steals at Idaho, Nov. 30.

#23 Alex Kirk (Prosser) - Invited walk-on...played one minute against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24, at USC, Jan. 8, against Oregon State, Jan. 13, and at Washington, Jan.23...had one assist against the Beavers.

#24 Kyle Weaver (Beloit, Wis.) - Started nine games...became first true freshman to start at point guard for Washington State in a season opener since Blake Pengelly in 1996-97...scored eight points in 10 minutes off the bench vs. California, Jan. 2...scored 10 points and had season/career-high seven rebounds at UCLA, Jan.6, and at USC, Jan. 8...scored season/career high 12 points against Oregon State, Jan 13.

#32 Daven Harmeling (Grand Junction, Colo.) - Scored 10 points off the bench in just 13 minutes against Montana State, Nov. 19...most points by a true freshman in a Cougar opener since Mike Bush had 14 in 1998-99...played season-high 24 minutes and recorded four rebounds at Idaho, Nov. 30.

#34 Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas) - Started eight games...had seven points, five boards and three blocks against Montana State, Nov. 19...posted eight points against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24, and in start vs. California, Jan. 2... made WSU's last four points in final 1:20 of 55-54 win at Portland, Dec. 18...ranks sixth in the Pac-10 averaging 1.06 blocks per game...tied season-high eight points and added four boards against Oregon, Jan. 15...recorded season/career-high seven rebounds at No. 10 Washington, Jan. 23.

#44 Arlen Plaister (Orcas Island) - Walk-on who posted one rebound in one minute of play against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...appeared in final minute of Cougar victory at USC, Jan. 8.

#45 Jeff Varem (Benue, Nigeria) - Started 12 games...tallied 11 points, three assists, and 14 rebounds against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...pulled down eight rebounds, and four assists at Kansas State, Nov. 27...second career double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds vs. Stanford, Dec. 31...added 17 points and career-high 15 rebounds at UCLA, Jan. 6...most rebounds since Rodrigo de la Fuente tallied 16 against then No. 5 Stanford, Jan. 22, 1998...ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 8.1 rebounds per game...recorded season-high 21 points at USC, Jan.8...tallied career-high four steals, 14 points and 13 rebounds vs. Oregon State, Jan. 13, marking his fourth career double-double.

Washington State Cougars Men's Basketball
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