March 31, 2005
WALNUT CREEK, Calif - Washington State's Kate Benz was selected to the 2005 Pacific-10 Conference Women's Basketball All-Academic First Team conference commissioner Tom Hansen announced, Wednesday (March 30).
Benz's selection marks the sixth consecutive year that a Cougar has had a representative on the first team. Katie Nyseth and Victoria Harrod each earned a spot in 2000 and 2001, Jessica Collins was a selection in 2002 and Lindsey Egeland garnered a spot on the team in 2003 and 2004.
With her first team selection, Benz, who was the only sophomore selected to the first team, adds to the list of accolades that the Portland, Ore., native has compiled this season. Earlier this year, she was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII University Division Women's Basketball Team and also earned an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection. Benz, whose major is undeclared, carries a 3.95 GPA.
The 6-foot-2 forward averaged a Pac-10 best 9.1 rebounds a game to end the regular season with a .6 advantage over Oregon's Cathrine Kraayeveld for the Pac-10 lead. She became the first Cougar to lead the conference in rebounding and turned in the fifth best single-season rebounding performance in school history. With her 254 rebounds, Benz ended the season fifth on the school's single-season rebounding list as well.
Joneby's second team selection marked the third consecutive year the outgoing senior earned a spot on the academic team. The 6-foot-2 forward was an honorable mention pick in 2003 and 2004.
Joneby, who carries a 3.58 GPA in communication, averaged 6.5 points and 5.0 rebounds a game in 2004-05. She tallied five double-doubles in points and rebounds in addition to nine double-digit scoring games during the season. Joneby entered her senior year with a career total of four double-digit scoring games.
Benz was not the only Cougar sophomore to garner a spot on the team as Ferguson earned an honorable mention selection. The 6-foot guard out of Spokane's (Wash.) Mead High School averaged 9.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 2004-05. Ferguson carries a 3.62 GPA in sport management.
Earlier this season, Ferguson scored a career-high 26 points at Nebraska, Nov. 22 with 19 of those points coming in the first half. Ferguson's first half point total exceeded her previous career-high (15 vs. Arizona State, Feb. 28, 2004). She converted a career-high six 3-pointers against the Huskers tying her for sixth on the school's all-time list in single-game 3-point field goals with seven other players.
A few days later, Ferguson earned an all-tournament team selection in leading the Cougars to a second place finish at the Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic hosted by St. Mary's (Calif.) College, Nov. 26-27. In the first game against St. Mary's, Nov. 26, Ferguson scored a game-tying high 18 points and added eight rebounds to lead the Cougars to a 70-58 win over the Gaels.
To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant contributor.