Feb. 18, 2008
FIRST GLANCE The Washington State women's basketball team hits the road for the final time this conference regular season, taking on Arizona and Arizona State. The Cougars take on the Sun Devils Thursday at 5:30 p.m., at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. WSU then squares off with the Wildcats Saturday at 2 p.m., at the McKale Center in Tucson. Both times are Pacific.
THE COUGARS WSU is led by junior guard Katie Appleton, who ranks 11th in the conference in scoring (12.3 ppg). Appleton is the Pacific-10 Conference leader in 3-point field goal percentage (.416), and ranks among the conference best in 3-point field goals made (1.54 per game). Junior center Ebonee Coates leads the Cougars in rebounding with 6.2 boards per game, and ranks second on the team in scoring at 7.3 ppg. Freshman guard Kezia Kelly leads the team in assists with 2.4 per game.
LAST TIME OUT The Cougars notched their first Pacific-10 Conference win in more than a year this past week with a 56-52 victory over Oregon State Friday. Juniors Ebonee Coates and Heather Molzen each recorded double-doubles, the first of their careers, giving WSU a pair of players scoring and rebounding in double figures for the first time since Jan. 28, 2006 against Arizona. Coates scored a career-high 18 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds, her second double-digit rebounding game of the season. Molzen added 10 points, a career-high 10 rebounds, and a career-high seven assists.
WSU then fell just short of a win over Oregon Sunday. With 3 minutes, 15 seconds left in the game the Cougars found themselves down by 13 points. However, an 11-0 WSU run, keyed by two 3-pointers from junior guard Katie Appleton, got the game back to within one at 68-67. The Cougars fouled Tamika Nurse, who hit both free throws to put the Ducks back up three with 20 seconds left on the clock. Appleton was able to get another 3-point attempt off that would have sent the game into overtime, but the shot didn't fall and the Ducks escaped with the victory. Freshman Jasmine Williams led the Cougars with a career-high 19 points on 8-of-9 (88.9 percent) shooting. Coates pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds, and nearly had her second consecutive double-double by adding nine points.
SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE The Sun Devils, ranked third in the Pacific-10 Conference standings, dropped each of their games last week against No. 9 California (70-60) and No. 6 Stanford (79-57). ASU's only four conference losses this season have come at the hands of the Cardinal and the Golden Bears.
Arizona State boasts two players scoring in double figures: junior forward/center Lauren Lacey at 12.4 ppg and junior guard Briann January at 11.4 ppg. January also leads the team in assists with 4.8 per game. Junior center Sybil Dosty leads the team in rebounding (6.5 per game) and blocks (1.3 per game).
SCOUTING ARIZONA The Wildcats, currently sitting eighth in the Pacific-10 Conference, have lost three straight, including both games last week: 69-46 to No. 6 Stanford and 66-45 to No. 9 California.
Arizona has three players scoring in double figures: senior guard Ashley Whisonant (15.5 ppg), junior forward Amina Njonkou (13.4 ppg) and freshman forward Ify Ibekwe (10.1 ppg). Whisonant also leads the team in assists with 4.6 per game, while Ibekwe (7.8 boards per game) and Njonkou (7.3 boards per game) are the squad's top rebounders.
THE SERIES WSU dropped both games earlier this season to Arizona State (59-40) and Arizona (73-63).
The Washington State women's basketball team put together a solid defensive effort against Arizona State Saturday at Friel Court, but ultimately fell to the Sun Devils 59-40. The Cougars and Sun Devils were knotted at six-all at the 16 minute, 47 second mark before Arizona State went on a 7-0 run. The Sun Devils built their first half lead to as many as 11 points, but the Cougars put together a run of their own, reeling off eight straight points to get back to within three at 23-20. Arizona State outscored the Cougars 10-1 in the final 4:47 of the opening stanza however, entering halftime with a 30-24 lead. Despite immense defensive pressure from the Cougars in the second half - WSU forced 14 Sun Devil turnovers in the second half - Arizona State was able to build its lead to as many as 21, clinching the win. Junior guard Katie Appleton led the Cougars with 14 points
The Cougars trail 12-31 in the all-time series with the Sun Devils, with their last victory coming Feb. 28, 2004 in Pullman (75-72). WSU is 3-19 all-time at Tempe, with the last road win coming Jan. 30, 1997 (86-78).
WSU had its first Pacific-10 Conference win in sight, but a late charge by the Wildcats gave Arizona a 73-63 victory Jan. 24 at Friel Court. WSU would lead by as many as 10 points in the first half, and held the lead at the break for the sixth time this season (39-31). Arizona got its offense going in the second half however, connecting on 51.7-percent of its second half shots including 6-of-9 from the 3-point line. The Wildcats regained the lead with 7:32 left in the second stanza (54-53), and went on a 19-10 run from there on out to claim the victory. Junior guard led WSU with 23 points.
The Cougars are 18-25 all-time against the Wildcats, and 8-13 all-time at Tucson. WSU's last win over Arizona was Jan. 28, 2006 in Pullman (84-77). The Cougars' last win on the road against Arizona was Jan. 8, 1998 (64-61).
NEXT UP The Cougars close out their regular season next week at home with California (Feb. 29) and Stanford (March 2). The Cougars square off against the Golden Bears at 7 p.m. Tip-off against the Cardinal, also Senior Night, is slated for noon.