Feb. 25, 2008
FIRST GLANCE The Washington State women's basketball team (5-22 overall, 2-14 Pacific-10 Conference) enters the final week of the regular season, playing host to top 10 teams California (No. 8) and Stanford (No. 7). The Cougars and Golden bears square off at 7 p.m. Friday. WSU then tips off at noon against the Cardinal, Sunday.
ON THE RADIO Each of the Cougars' games this week can be heard on 104.3 FM. Steve Grubbs will have the call live from Friel Court.
THE COUGARS WSU is led by junior guard Katie Appleton, who ranks 13th in the Pacific-10 Conference with 12.0 points per game. Appleton also ranks among the conference best in 3-point field goal percentage (T-3rd - 40.0 percent), 3-point field goals made (8th - 1.54 per game), free throw percentage (9th - 72.6 percent), minutes (9th - 32.35) and steals (T-10th-1.65 per game).
Junior forward Heather Molzen is second on the team in scoring at 6.9 ppg, while junior center Ebonee Coates leads the team in rebounding (6.4 boards per game). Freshman guard Kezia Kelly leads the team in assists with 2.5 per game.
LAST TIME OUT The Cougars are coming off their first win over Arizona in Tucson in more than a decade. WSU knocked off the Wildcats 67-54 this past week, notching its first conference road win in more than a year, with the last win a 58-41 victory over Oregon State, Dec. 21, 2006. The Cougars also fell to Arizona State (59-30) last week. WSU has won a game in back-to-back weeks for the first time since 2001 when it defeated Arizona (93-86) and Oregon (77-76) in consecutive games.
The Cougars were lights out from beyond the arc against Arizona, hitting a season-high 10 3-pointers in the first half. WSU finished the game with 13 threes, one off the school record of 14. The Cougars were 13-of-29 (44.8 percent) from the 3-point line on the game.
Sophomore guard Alexa Price hit each of her first four 3-point attempts and matched her career high with 14 points in the opening half. Price finished the game with a career-best 16 points, and was one of four Cougars to score in double figures. Junior guard Katie Appleton, freshman guard Kezia Kelly and junior forward Heather Molzen each scored 12 points. Junior center Ebonee Coates pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds, her fourth double-digit rebounding game of the season.
SCOUTING CALIFORNIA California (23-4 overall, 14-2 Pac-10), the eighth-ranked team in the country, is coming off of a narrow loss to Stanford last week (60-58). Juniors Devanei Hampton and Ashley Walker each posted double-doubles against the Cardinal, with Hampton scoring a game-high 19 points and pulling down 10 rebounds, and Walker tallying 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Walker leads the team in scoring this season with 16.0 points per game, and Hampton is second on the squad with 13.8 ppg. Junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson gives the Golden Bears a trio of double-digit scorers, as she is averaging 11.7 ppg this season. Walker and Hampton are also the team's top rebounders, pulling down 9.6 and 8.0 boards per game, respectively. Natasha Vital leads the team in assists with 4.0 per game.
SCOUTING STANFORD Stanford (25-3 overall, 14-2 Pac-10), the nation's seventh-ranked team, is coming off a 60-58 win over California this past week. Jayne Appel and JJ Hones each scored 16 points to lead Stanford, and Candice Wiggins (13 points) and Kayla Pedersen (10 points) also registered double-figures in scoring. Pedersen and Appel each pulled down 10 rebounds to give the Cardinal two players with double-doubles.
Wiggins leads the Stanford scoring attack with 19.1 ppg, and entering this week needs 37 points to break Lisa Leslie's Pac-10 career scoring record of 2,414 points. Appel (14.7 ppg) and Pedersen (12.8 ppg) are also scoring in double figures for the Cardinal this season. Appel leads the team in rebounding at 9.0 boards per game, while Wiggins leads the team in assists at 3.0 per game.
THE SERIES The Cougars fell to both Stanford (105-47) and California (99-44) earlier this season in the opening week of conference play.
California won the first meeting between the two schools this season 99-44 in Berkeley, and is riding a six-game winning streak. WSU is looking for its first victory over the Golden Bears since Jan. 27, 2005, a 79-69 win at Friel Court.
Stanford won the previous meeting between the two schools earlier this season (105-47). The Cougars are looking for their first win over the Cardinal, as Stanford has won each of the 45 previous meetings.
NEXT UP After concluding its regular season against the Bay Area schools this week, the WSU women's basketball team heads to San Jose, Calif., for the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Basketball Tournament. The tournament will be held March 7-10 at HP Pavilion.