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No. 25 Utah at Washington State
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 12/09/1999
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Dec. 9, 1999

PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State Cougars play their final home game of the 1990s when they host No. 25 Utah Saturday at 4:00 p.m. at Friel Court before a Fox Sports Net national audience.

COUGS ARE No. 2! -- HOME NON-LEAGUE STREAK AT 45: The second-longest non-conference home winning streak in the nation reached No. 45 Tuesday night versus Portland...it has been nearly a decade since WSU's last non-conference home loss. The Cougars have not lost at home to a non-conference foe since December 14, 1989, when Idaho escaped Friel Court with a 56-52 win. The streak began with a 112-81 win over BYU-Hawaii in the first game of the 1990-91 season...WSU's 45 wins include 40 at Friel and five at Bohler Gym (all during the 1990-91 season)...the streak also includes NIT victories in 1992 (Minnesota), 1995 (Texas Tech) and 1996 (Gonzaga). Just like WSU, streak leader Maryland faces a great threat to its streak on Saturday...the Terrapins host Kentucky...Penn State, just a game back of WSU, next hosts Bucknell on Dec. 19.

Active Non-Conference Home Court Winning Streaks
Men's Basketball, Division I

   School      No.   Last home N-C loss            Current streak began
1. Maryland 68 12/12/89 (Coppin St., 70-63) 12/30/89 (Alcorn State, 110-90)
2. WSU 45 12/14/89 (Idaho, 56-52) 11/28/90 (BYU-Hawaii, 112-81)
3. Penn State 44 3/18/92 (Pitt, 67-65 NIT) 12/5/92 (Mt. St. Mary's, 60-55)

CROSBY TO HIT 1,000 VERSUS UTAH: Senior forward Chris Crosby should become the 22nd member of WSU's 1,000-career point club Saturday versus Utah...he had 20 Tuesday versus Portland to bring his career total to 995 points...he needs just five points versus Utah to reach 1,000...the Littleton, Colo., native ranks second in the Pac-10 in both scoring and free throw shooting...Crosby's father, Larry, will be in attendance Saturday to watch his son reach the 1,000-point milestone.

THIS WEEK at Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum (12,058)

Radio: The Crimson & Gray Sports Network will broadcast all WSU regular season games on its 13-station network with Bud Nameck (7th season) calling the play-by-play. Broadcasts are also available via the Internet, www.wsucougars.com.

No. 25 Utah at WSU Saturday, December 11, 1999 4:00 p.m. PST

Television: Fox Sports Net will televise the Utah-Washington State game live nationally. Bill Macdonald and George Raveling are the announcers.

Rav Raves: Former WSU head coach George Raveling makes his annual pilgrimage to the Palouse as Fox Sports Net's analyst for Saturday's game. Raveling coached the Cougars from 1973-83 and compiled a 167-136 record. He is the third-winningest coach in WSU history and led the Cougars to NCAA tournament appearances in 1980 and 83.

Records: The Cougars are 4-2 on the season after defeating Grambling (83-55), Idaho (70-65), Southern (80-77) and Portland (59-56) and losing to No. 25 Gonzaga (73-63) and at Nevada (80-55). The Utes are also 4-2 and are coming off a 77-42 dismantling of Utah State Tuesday night.

Quick Stats: WSU is 4-0 when it out-rebounds its opponents and 0-2 when it does not.

On Deck: WSU takes a break for finals week before heading to the Rose City to play Portland State on Monday, December 20. That game will be played in the Rose Garden, home of the NBA's Portland Trailblazers, and will tip at 7:05 p.m.

WSU COACH PAUL GRAHAM: Paul Graham is in his first season as a head coach...he has a 4-2 record overall and at Washington State...Graham was an assistant coach for seven seasons under Eddie Sutton at Oklahoma State prior to accepting the head position at WSU...he is the 13th former Sutton assistant to land a Division I head coaching job...Graham is the 14th head coach in the 99-year history of Cougar basketball...against Grambling State, Graham became the 11th WSU head coach to win his home debut. Though Graham lost his first game (Nevada) as WSU's head coach, it may not be a bad thing...the last Cougar head coach to lose his first game on the Cougar sideline was George Raveling in 1972, who would later become the only man in WSU history to lead the Cougars to two NCAA Tournament appearances (1980, 1983). OH WHAT A FREILING: Washington State's 74-71 victory December 2, 1998, against Portland State was the Cougars' 200th all-time win at Friel Court...beginning with an 80-78 WSU victory against Louisiana State on December 1, 1973, the Cougars have won nearly two-thirds of the games they have played there (.650)...WSU has a 208-112 all-time record in Beasley...milestone wins at Friel:

No. 1 WSU 80, LSU 78, 12/1/73
No. 3 WSU 71, USC 56, 1/5/74 (first league win)
No. 25 WSU 77, Cal 63, 1/8/77
No. 50 WSU 77, USC 57, 1/24/80
No. 100 WSU 75, Oregon 71, 2/14/86
No. 150 WSU 95, Oregon 79, 1/21/93
No. 200 WSU 74, Portland State 71, 12/2/98

CROSBY CASHES IN AT CHARITY STRIPE: Proving last season's .843 clip (fourth best ever at WSU) from the free throw line was no fluke, senior forward Chris Crosby is tearing it up at the charity stripe this season to the tune of a 91.7 percent average (33-36)...he tied a 35 year-old school record by hitting 11-of-11 attempts versus Southern...Crosby had a streak of 25 consecutive free throws made snapped with a miss late in the Portland game.

BUSH BIG ON BOARDS: Sophomore guard Mike Bush has been WSU's leading rebounder in each game this season...he tied last season's high with eight in both the season opener at Nevada and the home opener versus Grambling State...then he broke his career mark with 10 boards in WSU's win over Idaho and followed that with nine versus Gonzaga, Southern and Portland...he also had 15 points versus the Vandals which gave the 6-6 Bush his first career double-double...the Riverside, Calif., native is averaging 8.8 rebounds per game this season, compared to 3.1 his rookie campaign...he set his career high in points, 16, last Saturday versus Southern.

SCOUTING UTAH: A perennial top 25 team under coach Rick Majerus, the Utes are 4-2 so far on the season, winning four home games, but falling twice on the road...Utah's wins have come against Arkansas State (76-43), Stony Brook (74-45), Augusta State (69-56) and Utah State (77-42)...the Utes' losses have come at Kentucky (56-48) and Weber State (84-72)...senior forward Alex Jensen has stepped up to replace Hanno Mottola, who is out with a knee injury until later this month...Jensen leads Utah in scoring (14.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.0 rpg)...senior guard Jeremy Killion is the only other Ute in double figure scoring (11.3 ppg)...the game is a homecoming of sorts for Chelan, Wash., native Phil Cullen...the 6-9 sophomore forward is averaging 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game...like most Majerus-coached Utah teams, the 1999-2000 version shoots the ball well (47.9 percent) and out-rebounds its opponents (34.8-29.8)...the Utes also take care of the ball and are averaging just 13.8 turnover per game.

WSU-UTAH SERIES: Utah leads 10-1. The WSU-Utah series dates back to 1939, but the two teams have only met 11 times over the years...this is Utah's first trip to Pullman since the series' opener, Dec. 17, 1938...Utah won that game 45-44 played in Bohler Gym...the Cougs won the second meeting 33-32 at Salt Lake City...since then, the Utes have won nine straight...this is the first meeting between the two teams in nearly 30 years...Utah claimed a 74-60 win during the 1971-72 season -- the last meeting between Utah and WSU...WSU is 10-24 all-time versus members of the newly formed Mountain West Conference...the Cougs have won their last three games versus members of the MWC (San Diego State once, Brigham Young twice).

RANKED NON-CONFERENCE NOTES: No. 25 Utah will be the first ranked non-conference team to visit Pullman since No. 17 Ohio State came calling during the 1968-69 season (a 75-74 Buckeye win)...WSU's last win over a ranked non-conference opponent was Dec. 26, 1970, an 83-80 upset of No. 11 Indiana in the Far West Classic at Portland, Ore.

WSU VS. RANKED TEAMS: WSU currently has eight games scheduled against top 25...the next comes Dec. 11 versus No. 25 Utah...the last time WSU defeated a ranked opponent was February 22, 1997, when the Cougs beat No. 25 Cal 89-87...WSU also played eight games versus ranked opponents during the 1996-97 season.

PORTLAND RECAP: The Cougars forged their second consecutive come-from-behind victory by defeating Portland 59-56 Saturday at Friel Court...Chris Crosby had 20 points and Jan-Michael Thomas keyed a 17-0 second half WSU run by hitting three consecutive three-point baskets...Thomas finished with 17...freshman David Adams added 12, while fellow frosh Bryan Whitehead came off the bench to grab a career-high nine rebounds...Mike Bush tied Whitehead for game-high rebound honors with nine...Bush has led WSU in rebounding in all six games this season...the Cougs shot 50 percent from three-point land (9-18), including five from Thomas and two apiece from Crosby and Adams.

COUGS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: A glance at this week's Pac-10 stats released Monday finds several Cougars ranked in the conference in assorted categories...Chris Crosby is second in both scoring (16.6 ppg) and free throw shooting (96.2 pct.)...Mike Bush is third in rebounding (8.8 rpg) and sixth in steals (2.4 spg)...Jan-Michael Thomas is 10th in scoring (15.0 ppg) and sixth in free throw shooting (88.2 pct)...Milton Riley is 10th in blocked shots (1.25 bpg)

WOW - WHAT A SCHEDULE: For the first time since 1994-95, odds are that WSU will play home games against five different ranked teams...the first came Nov. 29 versus No. 25 Gonzaga (Spokane)...four more opponents are currently ranked in the national polls: No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 Stanford, No. 11 UCLA and No. 25 Utah...and Oregon and California were listed among the teams that also received votes this week...in 1994-95, all five teams were from the Pac-10: No. 17 California, No. 23 Stanford, No. 17 Oregon, No. 12 Arizona and No. 15 Arizona State (WSU was 4-1 versus those schools at home)...if one more Pac-10 team finds its way into the top 25, WSU will have home games against six ranked teams for the first time ever.

YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS: Washington State opened the season with five freshmen on its roster (David Adams, Nick Graham, Mike Malloy, Milton Riley and Bryan Whitehead) for the first time in 14 years...the last time WSU had at least five rookies on its opening day roster was the 1985-86 season...that year, the Cougs actually had six -- Neil Evans, David Hairston, John Hodges, Anthony Kidd, David Sanders and Brian Wright...five of those six names should be very familiar to the Cougar faithful, Evans (who redshirted the 1985-86 season), Hodges, Kidd, Sanders and Wright all went on to become four-year letter winners for WSU...the 1985-86 Cougars went 15-16 overall and 8-10 in the conference for Coach Len Stevens...this year's crop of freshmen would certainly like to have at least one thing in common with the 1985-86 rookies -- they were the last WSU team to defeat Arizona.

THREE-POINT PLAYERS: Seniors Chris Crosby and Jan-Michael Thomas both rank in WSU's top 10 in career three-point baskets...by season's end, Thomas should join Crosby in the top five. Crosby leads the pair with 149 threes (fourth) and looks to close in on the 200 barrier by season's end...Thomas, in just his second season wearing the Crimson and Gray, is now in the 10 spot with 106 after passing David Sanders (1986, 88-90)...he's just 13 treys shy of jumping all the way to No. 7...next up is No. 9 Brian Wright (1986-89) with 111.

NEW OPPONENTS: WSU faces two opponents for the first time ever this season -- Southern and Texas-Pan American...Utah will visit Pullman for the first time since 1939, it will also be the first game between the two schools overall since 1972...the Cougars also renew dormant rivalries with Nevada (last meeting 1972), Colorado State (1978) and Portland (1990).

OLD OPPONENTS: WSU's oldest rivalry, Oregon State, will reach game No. 260 this season...Washington State and Idaho met for the 255th time this season...the second Oregon game will be No. 254 in the series...WSU and Washington inch toward the 250 mark with games 247 and 248 this season...it was just the second meeting with Grambling State.

I WANT MY COUGTV: Washington State will be on the Fox network nine times this season, with the possibility of a tenth game (UCLA - March 9) if that contest has a bearing on the conference title race...three games will be shown nationally (Fox Sports Northwest locally) -- Dec. 11 Utah, Jan. 22 Oregon and Feb. 5 Washington...Fox Sports Northwest will broadcast an additional four games -- Nov. 29 Gonzaga, Jan. 13 Arizona, Feb. 12 Arizona and Feb. 26 California -- to a regional audience...two other road games will be shown in their local market -- Jan. 29 Stanford (Fox Sports Bay Area) and March 11 USC (Fox West 2).

STARTING LINE-UPS: Here's a breakdown of WSU's starting five in 1999-2000:

G1-2 Evans, Crosby, Pengelly, Thomas, Bush
G3-4 Riley, Crosby, Pengelly, Thomas, Bush
G5 Bush, Crosby, Pengelly, Thomas, Adams
G6 Riley, Crosby, Thomas, Bush, Adams

MORE ON CROSBY: Pop quiz -- how do you transform a 6-8 shooting guard into a pretty well-rounded inside player? Answer -- Paul Graham...for the first three years of his career, Chris Crosby was a shooting guard inside a forward's body...nearly half of his career field goal attempts (365 of 739) came from beyond the arc...but this season, Crosby has attempted 62 field goals with only 21 coming from downtown. And to those who thought he was just a gunner, check out the box from the Grambling State game, his 29 points were the second-highest of his career, but only one of his 12 FGs was a three...he also had six boards and a pair of steals...Crosby is shooting a career-best 50 percent from the field through six games (31-62)...and make no mistake, his three-point shooting is just as good as ever, if not better, he's 8-21 (38.1 percent) from three-point land this season and the inside-out dual threat makes his threes all the more devastating. One dramatic area of improvement is very easy to overlook -- assists...he's only got 10 on the season for an average of less than two per game...but consider his previous season high is 35 set as a sophomore and compare that to the fact that he's on pace for nearly 50 assists this year and it's evident that Crosby has certainly become a better passer in his final season in the Crimson and Gray. Crosby is also grabbing 4.7 rebounds per game and setting screens in the offensive set that eventually lead to a lot of open looks at the basket...he could still work on his turnovers, as his season average is 2.0 per game.... so if Crosby makes it to the next level, he can thank one man with a reputation for developing big men -- Paul Graham.

PENGELLY LEAVES TEAM: Senior guard Blake Pengelly has left the Washington State men's basketball team for personal reasons, head coach Paul Graham announced Tuesday prior to WSU's game versus Portland. "Blake has made a decision to leave the basketball program for personal reasons and we honor and respect his decision," said Graham. "Blake is a great student and a wonderful person who has been an important part of this team for the last three and a half years. I know this was a tough decision for him to make and we respect his decision just like we would for anybody else." Pengelly, a native of Eugene, Ore., was averaging 4.0 points and 6.8 assists per game through five contests this season...he played in 93 career games with 56 starts...he ranks fifth in WSU career assists with 324 and is seventh in career three-point field goals with 119...as a freshman, Pengelly established a school single-season record for three-point field goal shooting by hitting 48.6 percent (36-74) from the field.

-GO COUGS-

Washington State Cougars Athletics
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