Jan. 17, 2006
WASHINGTON STATE (9-5, 2-3 Pac-10)
COUGARS HOME FOR DUCKS AND BEAVERS: The Washington State men's basketball team will play its first games at Friel Court in 2006 when it hosts Oregon (Jan. 19, 7 p.m.) and Oregon State (Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m.)...Cougars-Beavers game will be televised by FOX Sports Net.
THE HEAD COACHES: Dick Bennett is 34-37 at Washington State and in his third season on the Palouse...owns a 488-294 career record (.624) in 27 collegiate seasons...guided Wisconsin to 2000 Final Four...Ernie Kent is 158-102 and in his ninth season with Oregon...owns a 258-182 career mark and is in his 15th season...Jay John is 51-53 with Oregon State and is in his fourth season...career mark is the same...Bennett is 0-4 vs. Kent and 1-5 vs. Oregon (0-4 at WSU head coach)...Bennett is 1-3 vs. Jay John and Oregon State.
ABOUT OREGON: The Ducks are 9-8 overall, 3-2 in the Pacific-10...defeated Arizona State (67-53) and Arizona (73-68) last week in Eugene...Oregon is 0-5 on the road this season with losses coming at Vanderbilt, New Mexico, Portland, California and Stanford...Ducks lead the Pac-10 in 3-pointers made (6.59 per game)...Malik Hairston is seventh in the Pac-10 with 15.3 points per game tied for fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (46.2) and 13th in rebounding (4.9 per game)...Marty Leunen is third in rebounding with 7.5 per game and fourth in field goal percentage (52.9)...Aaron Brooks is third in assists (4.41 per game) and assist/turnover ratio (1.79), sixth in free throw percentage (84.2) and 17th in scoring (12.2 points per game)...Bryce Taylor is tied for third in free throw percentage at 84.9.
SERIES WITH THE DUCKS: Oregon leads 149-116 and has won eight straight...WSU leads 71-54 at home, including 1-0 in Spokane...last season, Oregon won 55-52 in Pullman and 69-66 in Eugene.
ABOUT OREGON STATE: The Beavers are 9-7 overall, 2-3 in the Pacific-10...plays at Washington, Thursday...defeated Arizona (75-65) and lost to Arizona State (65-63/OT) last week in Corvallis...three players are among the top 20 scorers in the Pac-10, Chris Stephens (11th-14.1 points per game), Sasa Cuic (18th-12.1) and Nick DeWitz (19th-11.8)...Marcel Jones is tied for fourth in rebounding at 7.3 per game and DeWitz is 16th (4.8 per game)...Stephens leads the conference in free throw percentage (91.7) and DeWitz is best in the Pac-10 with 2.13 blocked shots per game.
SERIES WITH THE BEAVERS: Oregon State leads 158-112...Cougars hold a 73-57 at home, including 1-0 in Spokane...WSU won 63-45 in Pullman and Oregon State won 58-51 in Corvallis last season...schools have split the last six meetings in Pullman...series is the ninth oldest continuous rivalry nationally, fourth oldest West of the Mississippi and oldest in the Pacific-10...series dates to the 1908-09 season when Oregon State defeated Washington State 30-16 in Corvallis and 16-14 in Pullman.
THESE DATES IN COUGAR HISTORY: Washington State posted wins over No. 17 Oregon (83-78, Jan. 19) and Oregon State (77-75, Jan. 21) in Pullman during the 1994-95 season...wins helped the Cougars to a record of 16-11, 10-8 Pac-10 (tied-fifth) during the regular season...WSU advanced to the NIT quarterfinals before losing 89-80 at Canisius to finish its season 18-12...in the win over the Ducks, Mark Hendrickson scored seven of his 24 points in the final 1:20 as the Cougars closed the game on an 8-2 spurt for the victory...Isaac Fontaine added 27 points for WSU which trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half...Hendrickson also led the way against the Beavers with a game-high 26 points which tied his career high...Cougars roared to a 21-6 lead in the first seven minutes and shot 63 percent in the first half to lead 42-37 at intermission.
COUGARS CONTINUE TO BREAK STREAKS: Washington State has accomplished several firsts and has broken many losing streaks under the tutelage of Dick Bennett.
COUGARS IN PACIFIC-10 RANKINGS: WSU leads the Pacific-10 in scoring defense (57.1 points per game), field goal percentage defense (38.4), 3-point field goal percentage defense (29.9) and 3-point field goal percentage (41.1)...injured sophomore Derrick Low is third in 3-point field goal percentage (47.7), seventh in assist/turnover ratio (1.56), eighth in assists (3.82 per game) and minutes played (33.18 per game), ninth in steals (1.364) and 10th in 3-pointers made (1.91 per game)...sophomore Josh Akognon is third in 3-pointers made (2.57 per game), tied for fourth in 3-point percentage (46.2) and 20th in scoring (11.4 points per game)...junior transfer Ivory Clark is fifth in blocked shots (1.21 per game)...sophomore Robbie Cowgill is tied for seventh in blocked shots (1.09 per game)...sophomore Kyle Weaver is fourth in assists (4.21 per game), tied for 10th in steals (1.36 per game) and 15th in rebounding (4.9 per game).
WSU IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: The Cougars are ranked nationally in scoring defense (ninth, 57.1 points per game), 3-point field goal percentage (11th, 41.1), field goal percentage defense (16th, 38.4) and free throw percentage (27th, 74.2).
BENCH SCORING: Washington State is averaging 23.9 points per game this season off the bench...Aron Baynes scored 19 points off the bench in the Cougars' 81-55 season-opening victory over UC Riverside, Nov. 19...against Idaho, Nov. 26, Cougar bench players tallied 31 points in 63-37 victory...bench players scored 28 of the team's 60 points in win at San Diego State, Dec. 10...in 61-46 win over Portland, Dec. 17, Cougar bench players tallied 46 points led by Ivory Clark's team-high 12...Josh Akognon recorded a career-high 27 points in a 78-71 upset win at No. 10 Washington, Jan. 7...bench played combined for 45 points in the win over the Huskies.
CLUTCH FOUL SHOOTING: Washington State is the second best foul shooting team in the Pacific-10 at 74.2 percent...in the last five minutes of games, the Cougars are 84.3 percent (43-for-51).
COUGAR SCORING UP: Washington State is averaging 64.4 points per game this season...Cougars averaged 56.9 points per game during Dick Bennett's first two seasons.
WHO IS STARTING?: Washington State has used 11 different starting line-ups in its 14 games this season...sophomore Derrick Low started the first 11 games before breaking his right foot in practice, Jan. 4...Robbie Cowgill has started all 11 games in which he has played after missing the first three due to a fractured right clavicle.
COUGARS WIN IN VARIETY OF WAYS: The Cougars posted a 58-57 win over Kansas State, Dec. 3 and are 1-1 this season in games decided by three points or less...last season, WSU was 4-8...Cougars came-from-behind to win on the road against San Diego State, Dec. 10 and No. 10 Washington, Jan. 7...WSU trailed 27-21 at intermission against the Aztecs and by as many as 13 points in the first half against the Huskies...Cougars can control games as well as evident by their five victories of 15 or more points, including three of 25-plus points.
TEAMS DO NOT EXCEED FIFTY-FIVE: Dick Bennett has been the Washington State men's basketball coach for 71 games...in 34 of those, including six this season, the Cougar opponent has scored 55 points or less...from 1991-92 through 2002-03, WSU held a total of 34 opponents to 55 points or less.
WSU EXTENDS 3-POINT STREAK: The Cougars have made at least one 3-pointer in 295 consecutive games...last time Cougars did not make a shot from beyond the arc was Feb. 18, 1995 at Oregon...since 3-point line was adopted in 1986-87, WSU has failed to make a 3-pointer three times...other two occasions were Jan. 5, 1987 at Idaho and Dec. 9, 1988 at home against Portland.
STATISTICAL TRENDS: WSU is 23-2 under Dick Bennett when holding the opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field, including 8-0 in 2005-06...Bennett's Cougars are 22-2...losses came to BYU and USC this season.
WSU COMPLETES MOUNTAIN WEST SCHEDULE: The Cougars' 69-42 win over Utah, Dec. 22 was the fourth game WSU played against a Mountain West Conference opponent this season...Cougars won three of four meetings...lost to BYU 76-68, Nov. 22 at Spokane Arena...defeated Wyoming 63-47, Nov. 30 in Pullman...won 60-49 at San Diego State, Dec. 10.
Josh Akognon NAMED PACIFIC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Washington State sophomore Josh Akognon was named U.S. Bank Pacific-10 Player of the Week for Jan. 2-8...Petaluma, Calif., native led the Cougars to 78-71 win at then-No. 10 Washington, Saturday, Jan. 7...tallied a career-high 27 points, shooting 9-for-16 from the field, including 6-for-10 from 3-point range...scored 17 points in the second half to help WSU overcome a 33-31 halftime deficit...rebounded his own missed shot, then received the ball back from fellow sophomore Robbie Cowgill before hitting game-winning 3-pointer with under 20 seconds remaining to snap 71-71 tie...Akognon is 13th WSU player to win the award...marks 16th time Cougar has won the honor.
AKOGNON FOR THREE: Sophomore Josh Akognon is 20-for-35 (57.1 percent) from 3-point range in five conference games this season...rest of the team is 12-for-34 (35.3 percent)...Akognon is 16-for-26 (61.5) from 3-point range over his last three games...averaging 23.7 points during the span...was 6-for-6 in the second half and scored all 25 of team-high points at UCLA after intermission.