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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Fresno State Visits Pullman As WSU Opens Season
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 11/18/2003
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Nov. 18, 2003

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What's Happening:

Friday, Nov. 21
vs. Fresno State
7 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

Monday, Nov. 24
at Wyoming
6 p.m. Pacific
Laramie, Wyo.

Wednesday, Nov. 26
at Eastern Washington
5:30 p.m. Pacific
Cheney, Wash.

Saturday, Nov. 29
at Baylor
6 p.m. Pacific
Waco, Texas

What's Happening This Week: The Washington State women's basketball team opens the 2003-04 season hosting Fresno State, Friday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m...the Fresno State contest begins a stretch of four games in nine days for WSU...after the Bulldogs, the Cougars play three road games over the course of six days...the Cougars are at Wyoming, Monday, Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. PST, at Eastern Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 5:30 p.m. and at Baylor, Saturday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. PST... all three opponents posted winning seasons last year...the road trek encompasses 4,628 air miles, 780 bus miles and four states.

Bring a Can of Food, Receive $1 Off Admission: Fans attending the Fresno State game will receive $1 off admission when they bring a canned food item...the promotion is part of a Thanksgiving Can Food Drive...items will be given to the Pullman Food Bank.

About Fresno State: Fresno State leads the series with WSU 5-1...the teams last met, Dec. 6, 1996, a 69-68 WSU victory...the Bulldogs reached the quarterfinals of the WNIT last year, finishing 2002-03 with a 21-13 record...that marked Fresno State's first winning season since the 1996-97 campaign...the Bulldogs lost six players from last year's team, including five seniors...Aritta Lane is the Bulldog's leading returning scorer with a 7.5 points per game average.

WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell on Fresno State: "It's a school that is coming off a great season so the ending of last year will help to propel them to this year. We really need to come out of the gates and respond. That's the biggest thing with us. We need to make sure our highs are highs and our lows during the game are very minimal."

About Wyoming: The Cowgirls defeated WSU 82-51 in Cougars' 2002-03 season opener at Pullman...WSU still leads the series 4-1...Wyoming posted a 18-12 record last year, reaching the second round of the WNIT...first year head coach Joe Legerski has seven returning letterwinners, including two starters to work with in 2003-04...the Cowgirls captured both of their exhibition games...prior to its game against WSU, Wyoming faces Denver, Nov. 22.

About Eastern Washington: The Eagles posted a 17-12 record last year...EWU took a 77-63 win over WSU last year at Pullman...the Cougars lead the all-time series 23-8...Kathleen Nygaard, an All-Big Sky first team selection last year is the only senior on the Eagle squad...she averaged 16.0 points and 7.5 rebounds last year...the Eagles split their exhibition slate, defeating Northwest Sports and falling to Central Washington.

About Baylor: The Bears were WNIT runner-ups last year, falling to Auburn 64-63 in the championship game...the Bears finished 2002-03 with a 24-11 record...Baylor opens the season against Mississippi State (Nov. 21) and Nicholls State (Nov. 22)...the Bears were picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 Conference by the media...sophomore Sophia Young, the conference's leading rebounder last season (10.0/game), was named to the preseason All-Big 12 Team.

Murrell on the Road Trip: "Laramie is always a tough place to travel to, let alone play, so that is going to be a true test. Coming back to Eastern, the kids will be a little road weary but they are very much in the mode of let's pay back Eastern for what they did last year. Baylor is another place that is tough to travel to but let's see how our kids respond. If we take care of things on the road I think that will begin to give the kids confidence."

Exhibition Wrap: The Cougars split their two-game exhibition slate...WSU fell to Northwest Sports 76-66, Nov. 8 despite 18 points from Candace Fields and 16 points from Jessica Perry... WNBA player Erin Thorn, who saw action in 23 games for the New York Liberty last season, scored a game-high 31 points on 10-of-25 shooting...the Cougars rebounded with a 73-68 victory over Strakonice/Czech Republic, Nov. 11...Adriane Ferguson led a contingent of 10 Cougars that made a dent on the scoreboard with 13 points...Fields pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.

Murrell on the Exhibitions: "The thing that you need out of exhibition games is a measure of where you're at because you have been practicing against yourself. Coming off the first game against a good, competitive Northwest Sports team gave us things to work on immediately at practice the day after. I would have liked us to win it, obviously, but if you are going to have a loss have a good loss. The kids responded real well to the changes that were made. We came out and played Strakonice and the changes and adjustments that were made were put into action. We could have won that game by much more if we hit our free throws but overall we won the game and did some really good things."

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.

McCall Begins Senior Campaign: Senior Bianca McCall begins the 2003-04 season after coming off a junior campaign in which she was named an All-Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball honorable mention selection... McCall led the Cougars in points (13.1/game) and rebounds (8.1/game) and scored in double-digits in 21 of 28 games in 2002-03...McCall's nine double-doubles was third in the Pac-10... at one point - from Jan. 11 to Jan. 25, - McCall ran together a string of five consecutive double-doubles...additionally, her six 20-point games finished tied for eighth in the conference...she concluded the season ranked in the top 10 in the conference in five categories...she was second in offensive rebounds (3.71/game) and blocks (1.46/game), fourth in total rebounds (8.0 rpg), sixth in defensive rebounds (4.39/game) and 10th in scoring (13.1 ppg)...in her first game as a Cougar, McCall made an impression in the school record books against Wyoming, Nov. 22...McCall grabbed 19 rebounds against the Cowgirls to tie her for the sixth-best single-game rebounding performance in WSU history.

Senior Quartet: Along with McCall the Cougars bring back three other seniors to the team: Lindsey Egeland, Candace Fields and Kim Dugan... Egeland walked-on the team as a freshman in 2000 and has worked her way into a starting position...she started 27 of 28 games last year and was fourth on the team in scoring averaging 6.8 points a contest...despite missing eight games during the middle of the season with a left foot stress fracture, Fields was second on the team in rebounding (6.0/game) and third in scoring (7.7 points/game) last year...Dugan missed the season's final 19 games with a left wrist fracture. Prior to her injury, Dugan averaged 6.8 points in nine games.

Other Returnees: The Cougars junior contingent is made up of forward Jami Clevenger, Emma Joneby and Jessica Perry...running the point, Perry started 25 of 26 games, missing the season's first two games with mononucleosis...Perry recorded three games of 20 points or more including a career-high 25 points at Stanford, Jan. 16. She finished the season ninth in the conference in assists (3.27) and steals (1.92/game)...both Clevenger and Joneby saw extensive action throughout the season as Clevenger started 17 of the 27 games played while Joneby saw action in all 28 games starting 10...rounding out the returning group is sophomore Charmaine Jones...Jones, a 5-foot-6 guard, played a vast amount as a freshman seeing action in 20 games including the final 19 of the season.

Newcomer Class: The Cougars' newcomer class includes five newcomers, including two from the state of Washington...the class is made up of a sophomore (Kolleen Horton), and four freshmen (Kate Benz, Adriane Ferguson, Stephanie Singer and Nikki Stratton)...Ferguson, a 6-foot guard out of Spokane, Wash., who was a first team All-State selection while averaging 15.8 points a game her senior season, and Kate Benz, a 6-foot-2 forward from Portland, Ore, who was a first team All-State honoree as well with averages of 15.9 points and 12.7 rebounds a contest...the class continues with Nikki Stratton of Colorado Springs, Colo., a 5-foot-10 guard who garnered first team All-State recognition posting a 16 points per game average while leading the state of Colorado with an assist average of 6.1 per outing, and Stephanie Singer, a 5-foot-7 point guard out of Eugene, Ore., who received first team All-State honors while putting up 15 points per game and dishing out seven assists...Horton, a 6-foot-4 center out of Blanchet High School in Seattle, was originally recruited by Murrell at Pacific and comes to the Cougars after a year at Umpqua Community College where she averaged 11.7 points and eight rebounds in 2002-03.

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.

Coaching Staff: Sherri Murrell, who coached the University of the Pacific to four consecutive winning seasons, is in her second season as head coach of the Cougars...while at Pacific, Murrell coached the Tigers to a 68-46 record including a 40-20 mark in Big West Conference play...the Tigers' 19 wins in 2002 were the most wins by the program since 1995...Murrell has a mark of 122-105 in her eight-year coaching career...assistant Mark Lewis brings 18 years of coaching experience to the program... Lewis, who is in his second season at WSU, spent five years (1996-2001) as an assistant at Arizona State...assistants Lisa Fisher and Christopher Holland also return for their second season as Cougars...both served as assistants on Murrell's staff at the University of the Pacific during the 2001-02 season...prior to coming to Pacific, Fisher coached at Northeastern in Boston, Mass., where she was an assistant during the 2000-01 season...preceding her coaching at Northeastern, Fisher was at Portland State from 1996-2000, where she also worked with Murrell from 1996 to 1998... before his year at Pacific, Holland was at Arizona State, where he was a women's basketball team manager for five years...Sarah Allen joins the Cougar staff as director of basketball operations...Allen played two season for the Dayton Flyers after transferring from Arizona State...while at ASU, Allen was selected to the All-Pac-10 Freshmen Team after the 2000 campaign.

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 Cougar Athletic Fund
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