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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Open Pac-10 Play At Arizona Schools
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 12/23/2003
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Dec. 23, 2003

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What's Happening:

Saturday, Dec. 27
at Arizona State
5:30 p.m. Pacific
Tempe, Ariz.

Monday, Dec. 29
at Arizona
6 p.m. Pacific
Tucson, Ariz.

Up Next:

Friday, Jan. 2
vs. Stanford
7 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

What's Happening This Week: The Washington State women's basketball team (4-5) opens Pacific-10 Conference play at the Arizona schools this week...the Cougars are at Arizona State (6-3) Saturday, Dec. 27 for a 5:30 p.m. Pacific tip-off...after ASU, the Cougars travel south to Tucson for a Dec. 29 date against Arizona (8-2) at 6 p.m. Pacific.

Radio: The Arizona State and Arizona games will be carried live on KRPL-AM radio (1400) from Moscow, Idaho...Alex Webster returns as the play-by-play announcer for the Cougar women's basketball team...all Cougar Pac-10 road games are aired live with the pre-game show beginning 15 minutes prior to tip-off...broadcasts can also be heard live on the net...to access the audio link go to www.wsucougars.com...yahoo.com is charging a broadcasting fee this year.

About Arizona State: The Sun Devils have won four of their last five games...the only loss in that stretch was an 81-55 defeat at No. 1 Connecticut, Dec. 18...Betsy Boardman is the only Sun Devil averaging double figures in points at 11.4 per game...ASU leads the all-time series with WSU 21-13...the Sun Devils have won 12 consecutive games in the series...the Cougars last win was March 1, 1997, an 84-70 victory at Pullman...the last time WSU won at Tempe was Jan. 30, 1997 (86-78).

About Arizona: After beginning the season 1-2, the Wildcats have won seven in a row...three Wildcats are averaging double figures in points led by Shawntinice Polk (16.6 points/game)...Dee-Dee Wheeler (15.1 points/game) and Aimee Grzyb (10.5 points/game) complete the trio...the all-time series between WSU and Arizona is deadlocked at 17...the Wildcats have won the last four in the series...the Cougars' last win was a 93-86 victory, Feb. 10, 2001 at Pullman...WSU's last win at Tucson was Jan. 8, 1998 when the Cougars upset No. 10 Arizona 64-61.

WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell on This Week's Games: "Arizona State is very physical so we are going to have to take care of the ball and attack. We are really going to have to be strong with it. Arizona is physical as well so we just have to handle it."

Benz Makes a Mark In Record Book: Freshman Kate Benz pulled down 19 rebounds against San Diego State, Dec. 22, tying her for sixth on the school's all-time list for rebounds in a game...Benz tallied nine offensive and 10 defensive boards before fouling out with 3:15 left...the WSU record for rebounds in a game is 22, set on three occasions....last year Bianca McCall also grabbed 19 rebounds in a game as she hit the number against Wyoming....Benz leads the team averaging 6.7 boards a game.

Equaling the Past Two Seasons: With four wins already this season, the Cougars have matched their combined win total over the past two seasons. (2001-02: 2-27; 2002-03: 2-26).

Defensive Display: The Cougars have held their opponents to under 60 points four times...in 28 games last season, the Cougars held their opponents to under 60 points three times...WSU is holding its opposition to 60.4 points a game... through nine games last year the Cougars allowed an average of 77.2 points a game...the 49 points allowed by the Cougars against Utah Valley State were the fewest allowed by the team since a 55-49 win over Portland State, Nov. 26, 2001...WSU has held two opponents (Fresno State, .291; Utah Valley State, .288) to under 30 percent field goal percentage...the last time WSU held two opponents under 30 percent field goal percentage in the same season was in 2000-01...WSU held American (.263) and Vermont (.269) to under 30 percent that season.

Taking Better Care of the Ball: Through nine games, WSU is averaging 19.3 turnovers a game...at this point last year the Cougars averaged 24.7 turnovers a game...last year, WSU had four games with fewer than 20 turnovers...the team has tallied five games with under 20 turnovers already this season.

McCall Back In Action: Senior Bianca McCall returned to the court against Utah, Dec. 13 after missing the previous two games recovering from a concussion sustained in the second half of the Nov. 29 loss at Baylor...McCall leads the team in points (10.4/game) ...McCall scored 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting in the 59-50 win at Wyoming, Nov. 24...she followed that up with 13 points (all in the second half) in the 59-58 win at Eastern Washington, Nov. 26...the last two points of the 13 were the most dramatic as McCall's put back off of a Charmaine Jones miss with 3.9 seconds left propelled the Cougars to victory.

For Three!: The eight treys by the Cougars against Nebraska, Dec. 4 were the most by the team since WSU made eight in an 86-65 loss to Arizona last season in Pullman...Lindsey Egeland's perfect 4-of-4 performance from 3-point range in the win over Utah Valley State, Dec. 6 marked the first time a Cougar was perfect from behind the arc with a minimum of four attempts since Tricia Lamb (4-of-4) Feb. 13, 1999 against Oregon State at Pullman.

Road Warriors: The Nov. 24 Wyoming game began a stretch of three road games over the course of six days...along with the trip to Laramie, Wyo., WSU traveled to Cheney, Wash. for a game at Eastern Washington before going south to Waco, Texas for a game at Baylor...the road trek encompassed 4,628 air miles, 780 bus miles, six motels and four states.

First Time Since...

*The win against Fresno State marked the first season-opening triumph for WSU since three years ago to the day. The Cougars captured a 59-52 win at American University, Nov. 21, 2000 to open the 2000-01 campaign.

* The win at Wyoming improved the Cougars' record to 2-0 marking the first time since the 1998-99 campaign that WSU began a season with consecutive victories. The Cougars opened up that season with five straight wins.

* The Wyoming victory also marked the first road win for WSU since a 77-76 win at Oregon, Feb. 15, 2001, a span of 28 games.

* The win at Eastern Washington, which followed up the road triumph at Wyoming, marked the second road win for WSU in the span of three days. The last time WSU won two consecutive road games was in 1997 when the Cougars followed up a win at, coincidentally, Wyoming, Nov. 23 with a victory at Gonzaga, Nov. 28.

Cougar Notes: Three players (Jessica Perry, Lindsey Egeland, Kate Benz) have started all nine games...nine players have started at least on game for WSU...five players have scored in double figures in at least one game...the Cougars have out-rebounded their opponents in two straight games, both losses...WSU has shot a combined 30-of-114 from the field (26.3 percent) in the past two games...the 21.2 percent (11-of-52) shooting performance against San Diego State, Dec. 22 was the worst percentage from the Cougars since the team went 12-of-69 (17.4 percent) from the field in a 57-33 loss at Oregon State, Dec. 28, 2001.

Pac-10 RPI: Through games as of Dec. 22, 2003, the WBCA/Summerville RPI ranks the top five conferences (RPI) as follows: 1. Big Ten, 2. Big 12, 3. Pac-10, 4. SEC, 5. Big East.

Double Doubleheaders: The Cougars have been part of four men's/women's basketball doubleheaders this season...WSU was part of the opening act at Eastern Washington and was in the finale at Baylor, vs. Utah Valley State and at Utah...the Cougars were 2-2 in the doubleheader games scoring wins over Eastern Washington and Utah Valley State.

Murrell Member of National Committee: In addition to her WSU head coaching duties, Sherri Murrell is a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/Kodak All-American Team Selection Committee...Murrell serves as the representative for District 8, which encompasses the western part of the nation...the Kodak/WBCA All-America Teams honor the 10 best collegiate women's basketball players in the nation...Murrell, along with the representatives from the other seven districts, select the Kodak/WBCA All-America Team from a list of finalists determined by WBCA member coaches....for more information on the All-American Team go to wbca.org.

Moore Transfers: Keisha Moore, a 6-foot-2 center from J.W. North High School (Riverside, Calif.), has elected to transfer to the Washington State women's basketball program from the University of Idaho, WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell announced, Dec. 22...because of NCAA Division I transfer rules; Moore is not eligible to play for the Cougars until the day after the conclusion of the 2004 fall semester...she is allowed to practice with the team however....Moore is not the only player to join the Cougars as Crystal Blue - a 5-foot-10 guard from Seattle Wash., who signed with the team last spring - has been declared academically eligible and can practice with the team as well... Blue will be eligible to compete in the 2004-05 season.

Cougars Ink Shired: Sabrina Shired, a 6-foot-4 center from Casa Grande High School (Petaluma, Calif.), signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Washington State women's basketball team next fall, head coach Sherri Murrell announced Nov. 12...as a junior at Casa Grande, Shired averaged seven points, eight rebounds and three blocks in leading her team to the playoffs...that followed up a sophomore season in which she averaged 12 points and nine rebounds a contest...Shired earned Sonoma County League Freshman of the Year honors and was selected as the California Intercollegiate Federation Woman of the Year in 2001. She participated in the adidas All-Star Camp and the Triple Threat Basketball Club last summer.

Westside Clinic A Success: The fall coaching clinic that Murrell conducted with her coaching staff and team proved to be a success as it drew approximately 150 coaches and student-athletes to Redmond High School, Nov. 1...the clinic featured on court demonstrations in a live practice setting with the team...coaches were able to ask questions as the drills were being conducted...this was the second consecutive year that Murrell has conducted a fall clinic...last year's clinic was in downtown Seattle with special guest speaker Lin Dunn, the former head coach and general manager of the WNBA's Seattle Storm.

Tickets: Tickets for all Cougar home games are available through the WSU Ticket Office, North 225 Grand, Pullman, Wash. 99164-1910, or by calling 800-GO-COUGS.

Internet: WSU women's basketball releases, statistics, and notes are loaded weekly on the WSU Athletics Home Page. The address is: http://www.wsucougars.com.

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