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WSU Continues Homestand Against Pac-10 Leaders
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 02/06/2001
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Feb. 6, 2001

Washington State Cougars (8-11, 3-6 Pac-10, T-8th)
Current Streak: Lost Three

What's Happening This Week:
Thursday, February 8
vs. No. 23 Arizona State (15-6, 7-2 Pac-10) 7 p.m. Friel Court

Saturday, February 10
vs. No. 22/19 Arizona (16-5, 6-3 Pac-10) 1:06 p.m. Friel Court
Televised live by Fox Sports Net.

WSU Stats At A Glance:
FG % - .413 (467-1130)
3-Pt % - .323 (71-220)
FT % - .668 (239-358)
Avg. Rebounds/Game - 36.5 (693)
Avg. Points/Game - 65.5
Opp. Avg Points/Game - 69.9

Washington State Cougars:
At Home: 5-5
(5-3 Friel Court, 0-2 Spokane Arena)
Away: 1-5
Neutral: 2-1
When Leading At The Half: 5-1
When Trailing At The Half: 3-10
When Out-Rebounded by Opponent: 2-10
When Out-Rebounding Opponent: 6-1
When Committing More Turnovers Than Opponents: 4-8
When Committing Less Turnovers Than Opponents: 4-3
When Committing Less Than 20 Turnovers: 4-7
When Committing More Than 25 Turnovers: 3-1
When Shooting Over .400: 7-5
When Shooting Below .400: 1-6
In Games Decided By Five Points Or Less: 2-1

Second Half Of Conference Season Begins: The good news for the Washington State women's basketball squad is that it has two home games this week. The bad news is that two of the Pac-10's top teams are the guests. The second half of the Pac-10 season begins for the Cougars when they host conference leaders No. 23 (AP) Arizona State Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. Two days later, second place and No. 22 (AP)/19 (ESPN/USA Today) Arizona visits the Palouse Saturday, Feb.10 at 1: 06 p.m. Fox Sports Net will televise the Arizona contest live.

Earlier This Season: WSU was 2-0 in the conference when it visited Tucson Jan. 11 to play the then No. 22 Wildcats but 3-0 proved to be an elusive target for WSU. LaKeisha Taylor scored 18 points leading a contingent of six Arizona players that scored in double figures as the Wildcats defeated WSU 97-58.

WSU never led in the game as it could never generate any momentum in the contest. Down 7-4 at the 16:38 mark of the first half, Arizona scored six straight points to open up a 13-4 with 15:22 remaining.

The Wildcat runs would only continue as the Cougars did not put together a string of consecutive buckets until the 11:01 mark of the second half.

In the first half, the Cougars struggled from the field, shooting at a 32.3 percent clip (10-of-31). Conversely, Arizona was 19-of-31 from the floor (61.3 percent). For the game WSU shot 21-of-68 (30.9 percent), its worst shooting performance this season.

Sarah Barrett led WSU with 11 points and Brittney Hawks added 10 points for WSU.

Two days later at Arizona State the Cougars' fell to the Sun Devils 83-70. ASU's Amanda Levens scored 23 points to offset a career-high 20-point performance from Katie Nyseth.

After falling behind by a 49-30 margin at the half, the Cougars would make a run at ASU in the second half but would run out of steam at the end.

Down 65-48 with 10:34 left in the game WSU blitzed the Sun Devils with a 12-2 run over the next 5:23 to cut ASU's lead to 67-60 at the 5:11 mark of the second half.

However, the Cougars would get no closer as ASU scored six consecutive points to return their advantage to double digits.

WSU would come within 78-70 with 1:10 left but ASU, as it had done all night, ended the game with a 5-0 run to post the final 13-point margin of victory.

About Arizona State: The Sun Devils head into Pullman riding a six-game winning streak which ironically began with the Jan. 13 win over WSU. The No. 23 Sun Devils earned their first national ranking since 1992 after surpassing last year's win total with a 73-63 win over then No. 22 Oregon Saturday. ASU also tallied the most victories since the 1992-93 Sun Devils went 17-10. The team has not won seven consecutive games since they opened the 1991-92 season with nine straight wins. Three Sun Devil players are averaging double figures in points led by Amanda Levens 14.5 points a game. Melody Johnson (14.2) and Betsy Boardman (10.9) round out the trio. ASU leads the Pac-10 in three categories: scoring defense (59.0), rebounding defense (33.1), and turnover margin (+3.90).

About Arizona: If the Wildcats are going to be taken, get them away from Tucson. Arizona is 11-0 at home and 4-4 on the road this season. After beginning the conference season with four straight wins, the Wildcats have lost three of their past five games although they come into the Palouse on the heels of sweeping the Oregon schools last week. Arizona is led by a quartet of players that are scoring double figures in points led by Resha Bristol's 16.6 points a game. Bristol leads the conference in assists averaging 6.71 a contest. Elizabeth Pickney (14.4 points a game), LaKeisha Taylor (13.2) and Veranda James (10.0) round out the double digit point foursome.

The Series: WSU is 11-18 all-time against Arizona State and have lost the last seven games in the series. The Cougars are 8-6 against the Sun Devils at Pullman with the last win coming March 1, 1997, by a 84-70 decision. The Cougars sport a 16-13 advantage in the all-time series versus Arizona. However, WSU has lost the past four games to the Wildcats. WSU is 8-6 all-time versus Arizona at Pullman with its last win coming Jan. 7, 1999, an 87-77 victory.

The Coach: Jenny Przekwas is in her second season at the helm of the Cougars and her tenth as a head coach overall. Przekwas is 12-35 with the Cougars and 145-134 overall. Prior to coming to the Palouse, Przekwas spent eight years at Saint Francis (Penn.) where she left as the winningest coach in school history compiling a 133-99 overall record. During her tenure, Przekwas guided Saint Francis to four Northeast Conference titles and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Radio: All Washington State Pac-10 road contests will be broadcast on KRPL AM 1400. The next broadcast dates are Thursday, Feb. 15 at Oregon and Saturday, Feb. 17 at Oregon State with the pre-game airing at 6:45 p.m. Netcasts will be carried at broadcast.yahoo.com and can be linked from wsucougars.com.

Last Week Wrap-Up:
Washington (Feb. 3): Megan Franza scored 15 points to lead a contingent of four Washington players that scored in double figures as the Huskies defeated the Washington State Cougars 91-71 at Friel Court.

Sarah Barrett scored a game-high 17 points to also lead a group of four Cougar players that scored in double figures. However, poor first half shooting plagued WSU and set a deficit that the Cougars could not overcome.

WSU converted 8-of-35 shots (22.9 percent) from the field in the first half compared to a 16-of-32 effort from the floor for Washington. The Cougars rebounded in the second half but ended the game shooting 26-of-70 (.371) from the field compared to the Huskies' 50 percent effort for the game (33-of-66). In addition, poor three-point shooting hurt the Cougars as the team was 1-of-9 from three-point land in the first half.

"I think the problem in the first half was not about scoring," said WSU coach Jenny Przekwas. "It was about not moving and not working together. If you don't work together and don't move you're not going to score."

The Huskies, who never trailed in the contest, jumped out to 9-3 lead in the opening four minutes of the game. WSU went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 9-8 at the 14:48 mark of the half but then went ice-cold while the Huskies heated up.

WSU would score 15 points for the rest of the half as the Cougars made five field goals in that stretch. Two of those field goals came in the final 9:33 of the half. The Huskies took advantage of the Cougars' cold spell, scoring 39 points in that 14:48 period to take a 25-point halftime lead.

Along with Franza's 15, Loree Payne and Andrea Lalum added 14 points while Giuliana Mendiola chipped in 13 for Washington.

In addition to Barrett's season-high tying 17-point effort, Katie Nyseth scored 16 points to record her sixth game in double figures this season. Victoria Harrod added 13 and Kelley Berglund notched her second double-double of the season with 12 points and a career high 14 rebounds.

NCAA Women's West Regional Not Just A Spokane Thing
For the first time, "March Madness" for women's intercollegiate basketball will be in Washington State's own backyard when WSU plays host to the 2001 NCAA Women's Basketball West Regional, Saturday, March 24, and Monday, March 26, at the Spokane Arena.

Four of the nation's top "Sweet 16" women's Division I basketball teams will compete for the right to go to the Final Four in St. Louis, March 30 and April 1.

WSU was in the national spotlight just over three years ago with the Cougars' Rose Bowl appearance and hosting the sold-out NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four, also at the Spokane Arena. In March, WSU will once again be a national focus when it presents one of the four regionals of the NCAA women's basketball tournament. The other regional sites are Denver, Colo., Pittsburgh, Pa., and Birmingham, Ala.

The sale of single game tickets is not allowed by the NCAA until the first day of the regional. Tickets for the three-game West Regional basketball package - two games on March 24 and the championship on March 26 -- are $39, $29 and $19 and may be purchased at the Spokane Arena Box Office, open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at all G&B Select-A-Seat locations, at www.ticketswest.com, or charged by phone at 800-325-SEAT (7328) or 509-325-SEAT (7328).

"This is a great opportunity for area residents to enjoy superb basketball in a wonderful facility," said Karen DePauw, WSU Graduate School dean and chair of a local organizing committee for the event. "One of the committee's focus is youth. We hope that through community support, any girl or boy who are interested will be able to attend."

Getting to Spokane and attending the NCAA Women' Basketball West Regional tournament, March 24 and 26, can't be much easier, thanks to Peg Motley, Wheatland Express owner and a member of the regional's local organizing committee.

Wheatland Express offers a "package," providing tickets to all three games - two on Saturday, March 24, and the championship on Monday, March 26 - and round-trip bus trips to Spokane and back on both days. Buses are tentatively scheduled to travel from Pullman, Colfax, and Clarkston as well as Moscow, Genesee and Lewiston, Idaho. Packages are $59 per person. That's for a $19 three-game ticket and $40 for two bus trips.

In addition to buying packages for themselves, community members who would like to help youth attend the regional, may buy packages through Wheatland Express and donate them.

To purchase packages, make a donation or for additional information, call Wheatland Express, 334-2200, or visit its web site, www.wheatlandexpress.com.

Injury Update: Jessica Collins, who has missed the last 14 games due to a left foot stress fracture remains out. Joanna Smith, who missed the Washington game with a broken nose and Lindsey Egeland, who sat out the Husky game with a sprained left ankle, are questionable for Arizona State.

Berglund On A Tear: The 14 rebounds by Kelley Berglund were a career-high for the 6-foot-3 sophomore. Berglund has scored in double figures in four consecutive games and nine this season.

A Considerable Draw: The 1,231 that witnessed Saturday's UW-WSU game was the largest to see a Cougar game this season. In addition, it was the largest audience to witness a Cougar game since 1,350 observed the Cougars and the Huskies play Jan. 20, 1996.

Smith Ties Record: With her three treys against Oregon Jan. 20, senior Joanna Smith increased her career three-point field goal total to 133. That ties her with Heather Norman (133, 1989-92) for first on the school's all-time three-point field goal list. With a .383 (133-347) career three-point percentage, Smith ranks third on the school's all-time three-point percentage list.

Diverse Scoring: The Cougars do not have a player averaging double figures in points but the squad does boast four players (Kelley Berglund 9.6, Yvonne Volkman 9.5, Katie Nyseth 8.7, Brittney Hawks 8.1) averaging over eight points a game.

Three-Point Highs And Lows: The eight three-point field goals against Washington were the most by the team in a game this season. The Cougars were 7-of-11 from three-point land in the second half against UW. However, prior to the second half of the Washington game, WSU was 2-of-34 from three-point territory combined in the games at California and Stanford and the first half of the Washington game.

First Half Blues: WSU has been outscored in the first half in seven consecutive games by an average score of 40.7-27.1. The first half was a different story for the Cougars in their first nine games as they outscored the opposition by an average margin of 30.9-28.9. For the season, WSU has been outscored 649-563 in the first half including 352-257 in Pac-10 games. WSU has outscored its opponents 681-680 in the second half this season.

Pac-10 Turnover Struggles: After beginning the season with 29 and 26 turnovers in their first two games the Cougars did not eclipse the 20-turnover mark in their next eight games. However, WSU recorded over 20 turnovers in six of its first nine Pac-10 games. Ironically, in the three conference games that WSU has committed less than 20 turnovers, all have resulted in losses. The Cougars committed 19 turnovers in the 64-46 loss to Oregon State Jan. 18 and a season low 13 turnovers in the 84-67 loss at Stanford Jan. 27. In addition, WSU turned the ball over 17 times in the 91-71 loss to Washington. WSU has averaged 20.4 turnovers for the season while its opponents have turned the rock over an average of 19.4 times a contest. The Cougars are 4-3 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponents and 4-8 when committing more.

Nyseth Honors: Although she did not win the award, senior Katie Nyseth earned national recognition when she was selected as one of eight finalists for the second annual One-On-One Sports Socrates Award Dec. 19.

The Socrates Award is presented annually to the college athlete who best exemplifies excellence in athletics, academics and the Socrates creed "Strong Mind In A Strong Body." This includes a student-athlete who has shown himself or herself to be a leader and quality contributor in their sport(s), an outstanding student academically and a quality citizen in his/her community. Last year's inaugural winner of the award was Purdue quarterback Drew Brees. This year's winner was Ben Hamilton, center for the Minnesota football squad.

The finalists, along with Nyseth and Hamilton were Brees, Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke from Florida State, Bethany Bogart (UCLA, soccer), Andre Carter (California, football), Kimball Christianson (Utah, football), and Kyle Vanden Bosch (Nebraska, football).

The Socrates Award finalist selection is another of an ever-growing list of honors for Nyseth, a 5-3 senior guard from Cheshire, Ore., this season. Nyseth was honored with the 2000 Rutgers University Coca-Cola Classic Scholar Athlete Award, Nov. 24. An aspect of the award was a scholarship donation made to WSU in Nyseth's name. In addition, she was an All-Tournament Team selection at the Classic, Nov. 25-26. In two games versus George Washington and Vermont, Nyseth averaged 10 points, five rebounds, 4.5 assists and two steals.

Just a week later, Nyseth was named with a second team selection to the Successful Farming Magazine's All American Women's Basketball Farm Team, Dec. 2. The All American Farm Team is a scholastic program honoring outstanding college athletes who call a farm or ranch home. All athletes and their parents receive a plaque honoring their selection to the team. In addition, Nyseth earned an all-tournament selection at the Lady Griz Holiday Classic at Missoula, Mont.

Nyseth is a Biological Systems Engineering major and carries a 3.86 GPA. She was honored last year as the College of Agriculture and the Biological Systems Engineering Junior of the Year. In addition, she was a 2000 Pacific-10 All-Academic Team selection.

With 350 career assists, Nyseth is tied for fifth on the Cougars' all-time list in that category with Jennifer Kerns (350, 1996-2000). For the season, Nyseth is averaging 8.7 points and 3.3 rebounds a game. In addition, she leads the team in assists (4.9 a game) and steals (2.3 a game). She leads the Pac-10 in assist to turnover ratio with a 2.26 figure. She also ranks second in assists with a 4.89 average.

Double-Double Run: The Cougars have accomplished the double-double feat in five games this season. Whitney Martindale started the ball rolling with a 13-point, 10-rebound effort in the 76-49 win over Samford Dec. 29. Kelley Berglund recorded the second double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds versus Montana Dec. 30. Brittney Hawks extended it to three in a row with her 15 points and 12 rebounds in the win over USC Jan. 4. Hawks became the first Cougar to record two double-doubles this season with her 10 points and 10 rebounds at Arizona Jan. 11. Berglund scored her second double-double of the season with her 12-point, 14-rebound performance against Washington Feb. 3.

Highs and Lows: The Cougars' trip to the Bay Area Jan. 25 & 27 marked some season highs and lows for the Cougars. The 13 turnovers against Stanford was a season low for WSU. In addition, the 15 steals against the Cardinal was a season high. The 23 rebounds against California was a season low.

NCAA Flavor: It is fitting that WSU will host the 2001 NCAA West Regional, March 24 & 26 at the Spokane Arena with the large 2000 NCAA Tournament presence on its schedule. WSU has played eight teams (George Washington, Vermont, BYU, Montana, Oregon, UCLA, Arizona, Stanford) that reached the 2000 NCAA Tournament during the 2000-01 schedule. The Cougars are 3-5 against those opponents so far this season.

Other Notes: WSU boasts seven players that have scored over 100 points led by Kelley Berglund's 183...The Cougars have averaged 14 steals in their past two games...Ten different players have been a member of the WSU starting line-up so far this season. Katie Nyseth and Jessica Ottmar are the only two players on the team who have started every game ...The 15-of-15 performance from the free throw line against Oregon Jan. 20 was the first perfect effort by the Cougars from the charity stripe since Feb. 11, 1999 a 14-of-14 effort also against Oregon. The win over Oregon was WSU's third win (Idaho, USC) this season in which it came back from a double-digit deficit and the Cougars' third win when they were trailing at the half. The 68-52 win over Idaho Dec. 2 tied the for the fourth greatest comeback in WSU history. The Cougars were down by 13 to the Vandals early in the second half before rallying for the 16-point win...Despite out-rebounding Arizona State 34-31, the 83-70 defeat by the Sun Devils Jan. 13 was the team's first loss when it has out-rebounded an opponent...The Cougars are 6-1 when out-rebounding their opponents and 2-10 when being out-rebounded.

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