Feb. 22, 2008
FIRST GLANCE The Washington State women's basketball team plays its final road game of the regular season against Arizona, Saturday. The Cougars take on the Wildcats at 1 p.m. (PT), at McKale Center in Tucson.
THE COUGARS WSU is led by junior guard Katie Appleton, who ranks 13th in the conference in scoring (12.0 ppg). Appleton is the Pacific-10 Conference leader in 3-point field goal percentage (.418), and ranks among the conference best in 3-point field goals made (ninth-1.54 per game). Junior center Ebonee Coates leads the Cougars in rebounding with 6.1 boards per game, and ranks second on the team in scoring at 6.8 ppg. Freshman guard Kezia Kelly leads the team in assists with 2.4 per game.
LAST TIME OUT The Washington State women's basketball team put up a great defensive effort against Arizona State for the second time this season, but struggled to get its offense going, falling 59-30 at Wells Fargo Arena, Thursday. The Cougars held Arizona State to under 60 points for the second time this season and the fourth time in the all-time series, and forced 19 turnovers on the game. In the previous meeting this season between the two teams, the Cougars forced 21 Sun Devil turnovers.
The Cougars and Sun Devils opened the game trading baskets, but with the game knotted at 6-6, Arizona State put together a 13-2 run to take a 19-8 lead. The Cougars went into the break down 33-15.
WSU held the Sun Devils without a basket for the first 3 minutes, 50 seconds of the second half, and to only two points in the stanza's first 6:43. The Cougar offense was only able to put up three points in that same span, however, and Arizona State cruised for the win.
SCOUTING ARIZONA The Wildcats, currently sitting eighth in the Pacific-10 Conference, have lost four straight. Washington's Sami Whitcomb and Katelan Redmon each scored 11 points and the Huskies hung on despite nearly blowing a 15-point second half lead for a 60-58 victory over Arizona on Thursday.
Arizona's Ashley Whisonant, who scored a game-high 23 points, missed a desperation shot with two seconds left to give the Huskies their seventh straight victory over the Wildcats.
Arizona closed to within 60-58 with 19 seconds left on a Neabors three-pointer. Washington had gone up when Plouffe used a baseline move for a lay-in to go ahead 59-54.
Arizona has three players scoring in double figures: senior guard Ashley Whisonant (15.8 ppg), junior forward Amina Njonkou (13.0 ppg) and freshman forward Ify Ibekwe (10.1 ppg). Whisonant also leads the team in assists with 4.6 per game, while Ibekwe (7.9 boards per game) and Njonkou (7.1 boards per game) are the squad's top rebounders.
THE SERIES WSU had its first Pacific-10 Conference win in sight earlier this season against Arizona, but a late charge by the Wildcats gave them 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.