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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Seeded Sixth At Pacific-10 Tournament
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 03/07/2005
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March 7, 2005

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WSU HEAD COACH Dick Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Dick Bennett is currently in his second season on the Palouse...he is 12-15 this season and 25-31 in his WSU career...coached at Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976-85), Wisconsin-Green Bay (1985-95) and Wisconsin (1995-2000)...owns a .625 career winning percentage (479-288)...career highlights include a 1984 NAIA national runner-up finish at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a 2000 Final Four appearance at Wisconsin.

COUGARS FACE CARDINAL AGAIN: For the second straight season, Washington State will open the Pacific-10 Tournament against Stanford...second-ranked Cardinal defeated Cougars 68-47 in 2004 Tournament.

SERIES WITH THE CARDINAL: Stanford leads 59-54...WSU broke 17-game losing streak against Cardinal with 60-51 win in Spokane, Dec. 31...Cougars won 59-48 at Stanford, March 3...first win on The Farm since Feb. 22, 1996...first regular season sweep since 1992-93...WSU held Stanford to 12 points in the first half, fewest given up by Cougars in a half since Jan. 14, 1988 (10-first) at California...fifth time WSU and Stanford have met three times in a season...Stanford swept three games in 1963-64 and last season...Cardinal took two of three in 1965-66...Cougars won two of three in 1970-71.

THREE-GAME SWEEP IS RARE: In the inaugural season of the Pacific-8 Conference (1968-69), WSU defeated Oregon State three times, winning at the Far West Classic in Portland as well as conference games in Corvallis and Pullman...Cougars have faced a conference opponent three times in a season 16 other occasions from 1969-present and have never posted another season sweep.

STANFORD PREVIEW: The Cardinal is seeded third in the Pacific Life Pacific-10 Tournament...Stanford is 17-11, 11-7...finished tied for third in Pac-10 with UCLA...earned third seed by virtue of season sweep of Bruins...Dan Grunfeld is out for the season, but continues to lead Cardinal with 17.9 points per game...Chris Hernandez averages 15.1 points per game to rank eighth in conference...fourth in Pac-10 with 1.67 steals per game, sixth in assists with 4.04 per game and 10th in 3-point shooting at 39.7 percent...Matt Haryasz is second in Pac-10 with 9.0 rebounds per outing and fourth with 1.29 blocks per game...Rob Little is ninth in rebounding with 6.1 per game.

HOT AGAINST CARDINAL: Jeff Varem is averaging 13 points, 13 rebounds and five assists against Stanford this season...recorded a double-with 18 points and 12 rebounds against Cardinal in Spokane, Dec. 31...dished out career-high seven assists at Stanford, March 3...Thomas Kelati is 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and 8-for-8 at the charity stripe against Stanford...Derrick Low is 6-for-11 from the floor and 7-for-7 at the line against the Cardinal.

PAC-10 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE: Washington State (12-15, 7-11) and Stanford (17-11, 11-7) will play the fourth and final game of the first round at the Pac-10 Tournament, Thursday...game is scheduled for 8:45 p.m...tournament opens with top-seeded Arizona (25-5, 15-3) facing eighth-seeded California (13-15, 6-12) at 12:20 p.m...day session concludes with fourth-seeded UCLA (18-9, 11-7) against fifth-seeded Oregon State (16-13, 8-10) at 2:50 p.m...evening session begins at 6:15 with second-seeded Washington (24-5, 14-4) squaring off against seventh-seeded Arizona State (18-12, 7-11)...winners in day session meet Friday at 6:15 p.m. with the winners of Thursday's evening session playing in the nightcap at 8:45.

WSU PAC-10 TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Washington State is 2-5 all-time in the Pacific-10 Tournament and 0-1 against Stanford...Cougars took part in each tournament from 1987-1990 when all 10 teams advanced...WSU is making its second appearance since the Pacific-10 reinstated the conference tournament with an eight-team format in 2002.

PACIFIC-10 TOURNAMENT TICKETS ON SALE: Cougar fans wishing to purchase tickets to the Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament can do so through the WSU Athletic Ticket Office...tournament will be at Staples Center in Los Angeles, March 10-12...call 1-800-GOCOUGS and select option 3...order forms are also available at the WSU Athletic Ticket Office and at all home games...cost is $195 plus a $6 handling fee per all-session ticket.

COUGARS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: Thomas Kelati ranks in minutes played (second-36.15 per game), 3-point field goals made (second-2.78 per game), steals (tied for seventh-1.52 per game), 3-point percentage (seventh-40.8) and scoring (10th-14.1 points per game)...Jeff Varem is fourth in rebounding (7.9 per game)...Robbie Cowgill ranks sixth in blocked shots (0.96 per game)...Derrick Low is ninth in minutes played (31.91 per game).

RPI SHOWS LOVE FOR THE PAC-10: The Pacific-10 Conference is currently the second best conference in the nation in the Ratings Power Index...Pac-10's RPI of 70.3 falls behind only the Atlantic Coast Conference's 63.3...Washington has the best RPI in the Pac-10 at six, followed by Arizona at eight...UCLA (29), Stanford (39), Arizona State (67), Oregon (83), Washington State (91), Oregon State (118), USC (129) and California (133) round out the conference.

GENE CONLEY JOINS HALL OF HONOR: Former Cougar baseball and basketball player Gene Conley will be inducted into the Pacific-10 Men's Basketball Hall of Honor, Wednesday, March 9...joins Craig Ehlo (2002), Jack Friel (2003) and George Raveling (2004) as Cougar inductees...Conley played one season for Jack Friel and was a member of the Cougars' 1950 Pacific-10 North Division Champion basketball team...pitched on the WSU baseball team that finished runner-up in the 1950 College World Series...played in the National Basketball Association with the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks...played Major League Baseball with the Braves in Boston and Milwaukee, the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox...retired from professional sports in 1964...member of Milwaukee Braves team that defeated New York Yankees in 1957 World Series...played on Celtrics' NBA title teams in 1959, 1960 and 1961...inducted into the Washington State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979...resides in Clermont, Fla...only man known to play for championship teams in two major professional sports.

STREAKS BROKEN IN BENNETT ERA: In two seasons under Dick Bennett, the Cougars have accomplished several firsts and broken many losing streaks...here is a look at the achievements.

· Won 57-51 at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22, 2003 to break 27-game road losing streak.
· Won 55-50 at California, Jan. 4, 2004 to break 31-game losing streak in California, 22-game Pac-10 road losing streak, six-game skid to Golden Bears and eight-game slide at California.
· Won 76-61 over USC in Spokane, Jan. 10, 2004 to halt nine-game losing streak to USC.
· Won 55-48 at UCLA, Feb. 5, 2004 for first win at UCLA in 47 games, including 39 at Pauley Pavilion...broke 22-game losing streak to UCLA.
· Won 60-51 at USC, Feb. 7, 2004 to snap seven-game losing streak at USC...first season sweep of USC since 1985-86...completed first road sweep of Los Angeles schools in WSU history.
· Won 60-51 vs. Stanford in Spokane, Dec, 31, 2004 to break 17-game losing streak against Cardinal.
· Won 70-63 at No. 11 Arizona, Jan. 29, 2005 to break 38-game losing streak against Arizona...stopped 20-game losing streak at Arizona...first win in 35 tries against a ranked Arizona team...halted a 26-game road losing streak against ranked opponents and a 48-game skid overall against top 25 teams...highest ranked opponent defeated on the road in school history.
· Won 59-48 at Stanford, March 3, 2005 to break eight-game losing streak at Stanford...first regular season sweep of Stanford since 1992-93.

WSU PLAYING CLOSE GAMES: Prior to the season, Washington State Head Coach Dick Bennett said the Cougars would have to win a lot of close games to be successful...Cougars are 12-15, including 4-7 in games decided by three points or less...Bethune-Cookman, Fairfield, Fresno State, UNC-Wilmington, and Southern have all played 10 games decided by three points or less...WSU is 0-4 in overtime this season.

· Jeff Varem's dunk with two seconds left gave Cougars 37-36 win at Idaho.
· Josh Akognon's 3-pointer at the buzzer fell short in 54-52 loss to No. 25 Gonzaga.
· Cougars made 5-of-6 free throw attempts in final 39 seconds of 49-46 win over BYU.
· Robbie Cowgill scored WSU's last four points in final 1:20 of 55-54 win at Portland.
· WSU lost 49-47 at Wyoming despite outscoring Cowboys 12-4 in final 3:53.
· Cougars lost 80-77 in double overtime at UCLA.
· Oregon tallied last five points of the game in final 41 seconds to defeat WSU 55-52 at Friel Court.
· WSU was 9-for-21 at the foul line in 68-62 loss at Arizona State.
· Thomas Kelati scored five points during 7-0 Cougar run in final 1:13 of 70-63 win at No. 11 Arizona.
· UCLA Dijon Thompson nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation and hit game-winning shot with 41 seconds left in overtime as Bruins defeated Cougars 58-56 in Pullman.
· Oregon scored last four points in final 1:01 of 69-66 win over WSU in Eugene.
· Cougars lost 57-56 in overtime against Arizona.
· Chris Schlatter scored a 3-pointer with nine seconds left in 57-55 win over Arizona State, Feb. 26.
· Thomas Kelati's 3-pointer with seven second left forced overtime at California, March 5...Cougars lost 63-57.

Thomas Kelati NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL-PAC-10: Senior guard Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) was named to the 2005 All-Pacific-10 First Team...first Cougar since Carlos Daniel in 1998 to earn honor and 13th player in WSU history...leads team in points (381), scoring average (14.1), assists (76), 3-point field goals (75), and 3-point field goal percentage (40.8)...earned Pacific-10 Honorable Mention in 2004...Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas) and Derrick Low (Honolulu, Hawai'i) earned Pac-10 All-Freshman Honorable Mention.

COUGARS START FRESHMEN: Prior to this season, WSU had never started three true freshmen in a game...Cougars have done it seven times this season...Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas), Derrick Low (Honolulu) and Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.) started in WSU's 49-46 win over BYU, Dec. 11...Cowgill, Low and Kyle Weaver (Beloit, Wis.) started in the Cougars' 49-47 loss at Wyoming, Dec. 22 and in each of the four games from Jan. 8-23...Low, Weaver, and Daven Harmeling (Grand Junction, Colo.) started in the Cougars' 69-66 loss at Oregon, Feb. 12...first time in school history that five WSU true freshmen have made at least one start in a season...true freshmen have combined for 51 starts this season, most in WSU history.

FRESHMEN CONTRIBUTION: Washington State's roster features eight freshmen, including a pair of walk-ons...combined, Cougar freshmen account for 41.8 percent of WSU's scoring this season...Robbie Cowgill leads the newcomers in points with 169...Cowgill leads WSU with 26 blocks, second most all-time by a Cougar freshman in a season...Austin, Texas native became fourth freshman in WSU history to have a perfect day from the field (minimum five attempts) when he was 5-for-5 vs. USC, Feb. 5...Derrick Low leads Cougar freshmen in scoring average with 6.9 points per game...his 63 assists are the sixth most by a Cougar freshman in a season...his four steals at Arizona State, Jan. 27 and eight assists vs. USC, Feb. 5 were the most in a game by a WSU freshman since the 2000-01 season.

TEAMS DO NOT EXCEED FIFTY-FIVE: Dick Bennett has been the Washington State men's basketball coach for 56 games...in 27 of those, the Cougar opponent has scored 55 points or less...from 1993-94 through 2002-03, WSU held a total of 26 opponents to 55 points or less.

WASHINGTON STATE DEFENSE: Washington State held Montana State to 42 points in the season opener, the fewest given up by the Cougars in an opener since a 66-34 win over Whitworth in 1948-49...WSU followed up by yielding just 42 points in its next game against Georgia Southern...the 84 points over a two-game span were the least given up by the Cougars since Dec. 27/29, 1972...WSU yielded 140 points (Nov. 24-30), its best three-game span since Dec. 12-17, 1981...the 182 points the Cougars gave up in their first four games this season marks their best four-game stretch since Dec. 11-15, 1951...WSU currently ranks seventh nationally in scoring defense at 56.8 points per game.

STATISTICAL TRENDS: WSU is 15-2 under Dick Bennett when holding the opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field, including 8-2 this season...Bennett's Cougars are 16-0, including 7-0 this season, when outrebounding their opponent.

WSU EXTENDS 3-POINT STREAK: The Cougars made three 3-pointers last Thursday at Stanford and seven last Saturday at California to extend their consecutive game streak with at least one trey to 280...dozen 3-pointers at Arizona most since 12 at UCLA, March 6, 2003...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.

COUGAR TRIO OUT FOR THE SEASON: Senior forwards Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) and Isaiah Simmons (Tacoma) and freshman center Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.) are out for the season...Gill's injured back ended his season after nine appearances, including seven starts...averaged 2.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game...Gill is a 73.4 percent career free throw shooter, best among current Cougars who have averaged one free throw made per game played in their WSU careers...Simmons suffered a fractured skull in practice, Feb. 18 when he collided with Daven Harmeling...Simmons appeared in 12 games, including two starts...averaged 1.3 points and 2.2 rebounds...Henry had surgery to remove his appendix, Feb. 24...Henry appeared in 14 games, including one start...averaged 1.5 points per game.

ATTENDANCE NUMBERS UP: The 8,151 fans who attended the WSU-Gonzaga game, Dec. 7 marked the largest crowd at Friel Court for a nonconference game since 9,925 watched the Cougars defeat Idaho 66-54, Dec. 16, 1995...WSU drew 8,633 for Washington game, Feb. 19, most since Oregon State game at Friel Court in 1996...Cougars averaged 4,907 per game in Pullman this season...most by WSU since 1996-97 season.

COUGARS SWEEP CARDINAL: Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas) scored a season/career-high 15 points to lead Washington State to a 59-48 win at Stanford, March 5...first win at Stanford since 1996 and first regular season sweep of Cardinal since 1992-93...Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) and Derrick Low (Honolulu, Hawai'i) added 14 and 10 points, respectively.

SCHLATTER SHOT SINKS SUN DEVILS: Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.) nailed a 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining to give Washington State a 57-55 win over Arizona State at Friel Court, Feb. 26...senior forward finished with nine points.

HISTORIC WIN IN THE DESERT: The Cougars ended several losing streaks with a 70-63 upset win over No. 11 Arizona in Tucson, Saturday, Jan. 29...Washington State broke a 20-game losing streak at Arizona and a 38-game skid overall against the Wildcats...first win in 35 tries against a ranked Arizona team...Cougars halted a 26-game road losing streak against ranked opponents and a 48-game losing streak overall to top 25 opponents...WSU knocked off its highest ranked opponent since defeating No. 8 USC, March 8, 1992...highest ranked opponent defeated on the road in school history...senior Thomas Kelati tied his then career high with 27 points, including seven 3-pointers...he scored five straight points to break a 63-63 tie in the final 1:13.

COUGARS STREAKING AGAINST USC: Washington State's season sweep of USC marks the first time since the 1975-76 and 1976-77 seasons that the Cougars have swept the Trojans in two consecutive seasons...four-game winning streak against USC ties longest against Trojans in school history.

COUGARS BREAK LOSING STREAK AGAINST CARDINAL: Jeff Varem (Benue, Nigeria) notched his second career double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead Washington State past Stanford 60-51, Dec. 31...win broke a 17-game losing streak against the Cardinal dating back to Feb. 22, 1996...WSU won its Pac-10 opener for the first time since 1998-99.

WSU-IDAHO GAME LOW SCORING AFFAIR: Washington State defeated Idaho, 37-36, Nov. 30, marking the fewest points in a Cougar victory since a 36-28 triumph at Idaho, Jan. 11, 1947...fewest points in a win by a Pacific-10 team since the shot clock was instituted for the 1985-86 season...tied for third fewest in NCAA history in shot clock era...fewest points given up by WSU in a game since a 41-34 win at Montana State, Dec. 15, 1958...lowest scoring game in Cougar history since 37-36 loss at Washington, Jan. 24, 1970...lowest scoring WSU-Idaho game since 39-34 Cougar win at Idaho, March 3, 1950.

PROTECTING THE HOUSE: With home wins over Montana State and Georgia Southern and a loss to Gonzaga this season, the Cougars are 65-3 since 1990-91 in nonconference games played in Pullman...the mark includes a 5-0 record in Bohler Gym during the 1990-91 campaign...two of the three losses are to Gonzaga (2002, 2004).

RADIO: All Washington State men's basketball games will be broadcast over the Cougar Basketball Radio Network...Bud Nameck is in his 12th season calling all the action...games can be heard on KCLK 1430 AM (Clarkston), KCLX 1450 AM (Colfax), KCVL 1240 AM (Colville), KRKO 1380 AM (Everett), KBAM 1270 AM (Longview), KZFN 106.1 FM (Moscow, Idaho), KRPL 1400 AM (Moscow, Idaho), KBSN 1470 AM (Moses Lake), KZXR 1310 AM (Prosser), KPTK 1090 AM (Seattle), KXLY 920 AM (Spokane), KHHO 850 AM (Tacoma), KJOX 960 AM (Tri-Cities), KGDC 1320 AM (Walla Walla) and KJOX 980 AM (Yakima).

COUGAR PLAYER NOTES

#1 Josh Akognon (Petaluma, Calif.)
· Has appeared in 26 games off the bench.
· Registered eight points in seven minutes at Kansas State, Nov. 27.
· Scored 12 points vs. No. 25 Gonzaga, Dec. 7.
· Played season/career-high 34 minutes at UCLA, Jan. 6...best scoring game this season with 15 points on 6-for-14 shooting, including 3-for-9 from beyond the arc.
· Grabbed season/career-high six rebounds at Oregon State, Jan. 13.
· Scored nine points in 12 minutes at Oregon, Feb. 15.
· His 26 3-pointers tie for ninth on WSU all-time single season freshman list.

#2 Derrick Low (Honolulu, Hawaii)
· Missed first five games of the season due to a fractured foot...has started last 21 games.
· Made season debut against No. 25 Gonzaga playing 10 minutes off the bench.
· Scored in double figures eight times...poured in season/career-high 19 points at Oregon, Feb. 12.
· Had four steals, most by a WSU freshman in four seasons, at Arizona State, Jan. 27.
· Was 4-for-4 from 3-point range and scored 13 points in 70-63 upset win at No. 11 Arizona, Jan. 29.
· His season/career-high eight assists at USC, Jan. 5 were the most by a Cougar freshmen since 2001.
· Went 6-for-6 from the line at Stanford, March 3.
· His 63 assists rank sixth on WSU's freshman single season list.

#5 Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.)
· Appeared in all 27 games, including 19 starts.
· Scored 10 points three times, vs. Georgia Southern, Nov. 24, vs. Stanford, Dec. 31 and vs. USC, Feb. 5.
· Season-high six rebounds at Kansas State, Nov. 27.
· Career-high four steals vs. Arizona, Feb. 24.
· Nailed game-winning 3-pointer with under 10 seconds to play in 57-55 win over Arizona State, Feb. 26.
· Tallied season-high 12 points at California, March 5.

#11 Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla)
· Started all 27 games.
· Currently has 226 3-point field goals, third all-time at WSU.
· Seventh at WSU with 131 career steals...had career-high five at Portland, Dec. 18 and added 17 points.
· His 271 career assists ranks eighth all-time at WSU.
· Has 13 games this season with 15 or more points, including then career-high tying 27 in 70-63 upset of No. 11 Arizona in Tucson...has scored in double figures 23 times, including last 14 games.
· Made 7-of-11 shots beyond the arc as part of career-high 29 points at California, March 5.
· Season-high nine rebounds at Arizona State, Jan. 27.

#12 Randy Green (Renton)
· Started three games.
· Scored team and season-high 12 points against Gonzaga, Dec.7.

#14 Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.)
· Missed first six games of the season due to an ankle injury.
· Tallied season/career-high six points against USC, Feb. 5.

#23 Alex Kirk (Prosser)
· Has appeared in four games.
· Notched an assist vs. Oregon State, Jan. 13.

#24 Kyle Weaver (Beloit, Wis.)
· Started 10 games.
· First true freshman to start at point guard for WSU in a season opener since Blake Pengelly in 1996-97.
· Scored eight points in 10 minutes off the bench vs. California, Jan. 2.
· Tallied 10 points and had seven rebounds at UCLA, Jan.6, and at USC, Jan. 8.
· Produced season/career-high 15 points and eight rebounds vs. No. 15 Washington, Feb. 19.

#25 Isaiah Simmons (Tacoma)
· Started first two games of the season.
· Notched career-high eight rebounds and four assists against Montana State, Nov. 19.
· Missed seven games (Jan. 13-Feb. 5) due to academic ineligibility.
· Suffered skull fracture in practice, Feb. 18 and will miss the remainder of the season.

#32 Daven Harmeling (Grand Junction, Colo.)
· Scored 10 points off the bench in just 13 minutes against Montana State, Nov. 19...most points by a true freshman in a Cougar opener since Mike Bush had 14 in 1998-99.
· Matched season/career-high 10 points and had season/career-high six rebounds at Oregon State, Feb. 10.
· Made first career start at Oregon, Feb. 12.

#34 Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas)
· Started 18 games.
· Made WSU's last four points in final 1:20 of 55-54 win at Portland, Dec. 18.
· Recorded season/career-high seven rebounds at No. 10 Washington, Jan. 23...equaled mark at Stanford, March 3...added season/career-high 15 points against Cardinal.
· Has four games with 10 or more points.
· Has 26 blocked shots, second most by a WSU freshman in a single season.
· His 95 rebounds rank seventh on Cougar freshman single-season list.

#44 Arlen Plaister (Orcas Island)
· Played in four games.
· Had rebound against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24.

#45 Jeff Varem (Benue, Nigeria)
· Started 26 games.
· Tallied 11 points, three assists, and 14 rebounds against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24.
· Second career double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds vs. Stanford, Dec. 31.
· Added 17 points and career-high 15 rebounds at UCLA, Jan. 6...most rebounds since Rodrigo de la Fuente tallied 16 against then No. 5 Stanford, Jan. 22, 1998.
· Recorded season-high 21 points at USC, Jan. 8...career-high five steals against USC, Feb. 5.
· Tallied 14 points, 13 rebounds and four steals vs. Oregon State, Jan. 13, marking his fourth career double-double.
· Registered career-high 24 points at Arizona State, Jan. 27.
· Six games with double-figure rebounds.

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