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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Return To The Road At USC, UCLA
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 12/30/2002
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Dec. 30, 2002

What's Happening: After giving Washington all it could handle in its conference opener, the Washington State women's basketball team (0-9) hits the road this weekend at USC and UCLA...the Cougars take on the USC Women of Troy (5-7, 0-2), Friday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m...two days later, WSU faces the UCLA Bruins (7-4, 2-0), Jan. 5 at 2 p.m...this weekend's games marks the first road contests for WSU since Dec. 14 (Montana).

Radio: The USC and UCLA games will be broadcast live on KRPL AM 1400, Moscow 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 6:45 p.m., Jan. 3 and 1:45 p.m., Jan. 5. All of the Cougars' Pac-10 road games will be aired live on KRPL during the 2002-03 season.

About USC: The Women of Troy have dropped three in a row and five of their last six...USC is coming off two close losses at Oregon State (63-61) and at Oregon (79-73)...four USC players are averaging double figures in points led by Rometra Craig (16.0/game in four games) and Ebony Hoffman (15.1 points/game in 12 games).

USC-WSU series: USC holds a 22-11 advantage in the all-time series with WSU...the Women of Troy have captured three consecutive games including last season's 87-66 triumph at Pullman and a 79-38 win at Los Angeles...the Cougars' last win occurred Jan. 4, 2001 at Pullman (79-78).

About UCLA: The Bruins opened conference play with a 93-68 win at Oregon and a 58-54 victory at Oregon State...Michelle Greco leads the Pac-10 in scoring with a 19.3 points a game average...Nikki Blue (15.6 points/game) and Julia Pitts (10.o points/game) are also averaging double figures for UCLA.

UCLA-WSU series: UCLA leads the series against WSU 26-6...the Bruins have captured the last three games and 11 of the last 12 in the series...the Cougars last tasted victory at Pullman, Jan. 6, 2001 (74-52)...last year the Bruins captured a 76-64 win at Pullman, Jan. 6 and defeated the Cougars 79-55 at Los Angeles, Feb. 1.

Last Game: Candace Fields and Jessica Perry led a quartet of Washington State players in double figures with 17 points each in the Cougars' 77-69 loss to Washington in Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball action, Dec. 28.

Although the Huskies captured the conference opener for both teams, the Cougars did not make it easy, rallying from a 19-point first half deficit to take the lead in the second half. Emma Joneby (12 points) and Kim Dugan (11 points) rounded out the double-digit scoring contingent for WSU. Fields also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.

Washington sprinted out of the gates taking a 35-16 lead at the 7:47 mark of the first half. After shaving its deficit to 37-20, WSU ended the half with 13 unanswered points to go into halftime down 37-33.

The Cougars would pull to within two points on three separate occasions in the opening 3:03 of the second half. WSU completed its comeback and took its first lead of the game at 45-44 on a Dugan three-pointer with 16:28 remaining.

WSU extended its lead to 47-44 on a lay-up by Sarah Barrett but Washington would respond by scoring six unanswered points to take a 50-47 lead with 13:16 remaining.

A bucket by Holly Harris brought the Cougars to within one at 50-49 but the Huskies countered with five consecutive points to take a 55-49 lead with 11:10 left. Washington would pull ahead by as much as nine at 65-56 with 6:50 remaining in the game.

A 14-6 run, capped by a Perry trey, brought WSU to within two at 71-69 with 2:05 left. Washington closed out the game on a 6-0 run, with all the points coming by way of free throws. Both teams converted 27 field goals - Washington on four fewer attempts. The difference proved to be from the charity stripe as Washington made 18-of-25 free throw attempts while WSU was 9-of-11 from the line.

Washington turned the ball over a season-high 21 times as WSU forced 11 steals, the third time this season the Cougars have recorded 11 or more steals in a game.

The five treys by Washington tied for a season low and its 77 points was its fifth lowest scoring output of the season.

WSU Coach Sherri Murrell On The Washington Game: "I told the kids to feel the pain of the loss but feel the glory that got you there - to be able to possibly win it. I was real proud of them. They were playing the type of defense that I've always wanted them to play.

"To me, how many times have (the Huskies) been in a situation where they have only made five three-point shots this year? How many times have they not scored 80 points? They have been doing a lot of things to a lot of different teams and I think Washington State should hold its heads up high to do some things a lot of teams haven't done this year.

"With the kids, we're not coaching them like they're 0-8 and they're not playing and practicing like we're 0-8. I'm coaching them like they're 8-0 and they're practicing like they're 8-0 and I think that is the key, we're not going to roll over and die."

Double-Digit McCall: Bianca McCall's eight points against Utah, Dec. 21 snapped her string of five consecutive games of scoring in double figures...McCall has scored in double-digits in six of nine games this season...she leads the team with two double-doubles in points and rebounds (18 points, 19 rebounds vs. Wyoming, Nov. 22; 13 points, 10 rebounds vs. Eastern Washington, Dec. 4)...McCall leads the team in scoring (11.3 points/game) and rebounding (7.8/game)...McCall is seventh in the conference in rebounding and 17th in scoring...her 4.11 offensive boards a game is second in the conference behind Shawntinice Polk of Arizona (4.8/game).

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...Harris joined the team after a stellar run with the volleyball team this season...Harris 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...Egeland scored six points, pulled down a career-high six rebounds and dished out four assists against Montana, Dec. 14...Egeland, who was a four-year letterwinner at Missoula's Sentinel High School, is averaging 7.4 points a game...she is the only Cougar to have started all nine games this season.

Perry Posting: After sitting out the first two games because of mononucleosis, Jessica Perry has made her presence felt on the court...Perry is the team's second leading scorer (9.0 points/game)...she scored a season-high 17 points versus Washington, Dec. 28...Perry also added a season-high tying nine assists against the Huskies... Perry turned in her first double-digit scoring effort of the season with 14 points against Eastern Washington, Dec. 4...she had a solid performance against Gonzaga, Dec. 11 recording nine points, nine assists and five steals against the Bulldogs...three days later at Montana, Perry pulled down a career-high nine rebounds.

Access Denied!: The eight blocks against EWU was the most since the team tallied eight rejections at California, Feb. 9, 1991...last year, WSU set a single season school record with 106 blocks...the Cougars have tallied 28 blocks (3.11/game) this season, which ranks fourth in the Pac-10.

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.

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 (8.7 points/game).

Cougar Net Notes: WSU's strength of schedule ranking is currently first in the WBCA/Summerville RPI ratings...eight Cougars have hit double-digits in points in at least one game...nine players have started at least one game...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)...the 19 turnovers WSU committed against Montana were the fewest this season...the last time WSU committed fewer than 19 turnovers was at Stanford, Feb. 16, 2002 (18)...the Cougars are averaging 24.6 turnovers this season... the Cougars have been out-rebounded in seven of nine games...the two games in which WSU did out-rebound its opponent were against No.3 LSU (29-24) and Montana (46-40)...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 will transfer to WSU from Clarendon College and will reunite with current WSU guard Ravon Justice as both were teammates at Clarendon last year. Adams 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.

2003 STATE FARM PAC-10 TOURNAMENT
March 7-10, 2003 * HP Pavilion at San Jose, Calif.

Fresh off its inaugural run and gaining in popularity, the 2003 State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament moves to San Jose, Calif. HP Pavilion at San Jose will serve as home to the five-session, nine-game event. Eugene, Ore., was the site of the first-ever Pac-10 tournament in 2002, setting the stage for the league's premier women's sporting event. The total tournament attendance was 27,415 for an average of 5,483 per session. All 10 Pac-10 teams participate in the tournament, with the winner receiving the Conference's automatic bid to the 2003 NCAA Tournament. The tournament seeds and Conference Champion will be determined by the 18-game regular-season Pac-10 schedule. Tickets for the 2003 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament are available now at www.pac-10.org, www.real-sports.com or by calling (800) 650-0122 or (408) 924-7434.

Fri., March 7
Game 1: No. 7 Seed vs. No. 10 Seed, TBA
Game 2: No. 8 Seed vs. No. 9 Seed, TBA
Sat., March 8
Game 3: No. 2 Seed vs. Winner 7/10, 11 a.m.
Game 4: No. 3 Seed vs. No. 6 Seed, 1:15 p.m.
Game 5: No. 1 Seed vs. Winner 8/9, 5 p.m.
Game 6: No. 4 Seed vs. No. 5 Seed, 7:15 p.m.
Sun., March 9
Game 7: Game 3 win vs. 3/6 win, 12:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)
Game 8: Game 5 win vs. 4/5 win, 3 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)
Mon., March 10
Game 9: Championship Game, 7:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)

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