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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Travel To Play Beavers And Ducks
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 01/13/2004
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Jan. 13, 2004

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THIS WEEK:
Thursday, January 15, 2004 - at Oregon State (7-6, 1-2 Pac-10) - 8 p.m. (FSNw)
Saturday, January 17, 2004 - at Oregon (6-4, 1-2) - 5:15 p.m. - (Oregon Sports Network)

WASHINGTON STATE (8-6, 2-2 Pac-10)

WSU HEAD COACH Dick Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Dick Bennett is in his first season at WSU...coached at Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976-85), Wisconsin-Green Bay (1985-95) and Wisconsin (1995-2000)...owns a .637 career winning percentage (462-263)...career highlights include a 1984 NAIA national runner-up finish at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a 2000 Final Four appearance at Wisconsin...he is 8-6 this season...with 62-55 win vs. Idaho, Dec. 20, Bennett moved into 77th place on the NCAA career wins list.

BENNETT RECORDS QUICK START: WSU won six of its first eight games, marking its best start since 1996-97 when the Cougars opened 7-1...with two wins to open the 2003-04 season, WSU Head Coach Dick Bennett became the first mentor to begin his Cougar career 2-0 since Len Stevens in 1983-84.

OREGON STATE PREVIEW: The Beavers are 7-6, 1-2 in the Pac-10...three players average double-figure scoring led by 15.8 points per game from Chris Stephens...he is ranked fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring...in conference play, Stephens is averaging 17.3 points per game...David Lucas is averaging 15.5 points per game (16.3 in Pac-10 games) and ranks ninth in scoring.

SERIES WITH THE BEAVERS: Oregon State leads 155-111...Beavers have won seven of the last nine meetings...Oregon State has won five straight at home...last Cougar win in Corvallis came 69-53, Jan. 15, 1998...last season the Beavers won 63-48 in Corvallis and lost 75-71 in Pullman...Philip Ricci (17 pts/15 rebs) and Brian Jackson (11 pts/10 rebs) both had doubl-doubles for OSU in its wins...Randy Green scored a career-high 22 points in WSU's win.

OREGON PREVIEW: The Ducks are 6-4, 1-2 in the Pac-10...Luke Jackson averages 22.8 points per game to ranks second in the Pac-10 and 10th nationally...Jackson also leads the Ducks with 7.8 rebounds per game (fifth in the Pac-10)...in his last outing, Jackson recorded career highs with 39 points and 16 rebounds during Oregon's 90-81 loss at Oregon State...Ducks are second in the Pac-10 and 22nd nationally averaging 81.4 points.

SERIES WITH THE DUCKS: Oregon leads 145-116...Ducks have won four straight and 12 of 13...Cougars have dropped eight consecutive games in Eugene...last WSU win at Oregon was 76-59, Feb. 18, 1995 when the Ducks were ranked 19th nationally...that game marked the second highest ranked opponent WSU has defeated on the road in school history...Luke Ridnour scored 28 to lead Oregon to a 76-66 win in Eugene and Jackson tallied 24 in 89-70 win at WSU last season...WSU'S Marcus Moore missed both games last season, but poured in 35 (Pullman) and 34 (Eugene) against the Ducks during his sophomore season.

STREAK BREAKERS: WSU has snapped several losing streaks this season...the 57-51 win at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22 broke a 27-game road losing streak...Cougars 55-50 win at California, Jan. 4 erased a 22-game Pac-10 road losing streak...win also was first in seven games against the Golden Bears and first in last nine trips to Berkeley...WSU's 76-61 victory over USC, Jan. 10 broke a nine-game skid against the Trojans.

FROM WORST TO FIRST: Last season, WSU yielded 78.8 points per game and was last in the Pac-10 in scoring defense...this season the Cougars are best in the conference, allowing just 56.64 points per outing...WSU is tied for 10th nationally in scoring defense.

TAKING CARE OF THE BASKETBALL: WSU turns the ball over at a rate of 13.07 per game...Cougars rank 29th nationally in fewest turnovers per outing.

RARE PAC-10 ROAD WIN: With the 55-50 win at California, Jan. 4, WSU broke a 22-game conference losing streak on the road...last win prior to victory over Golden Bears was 58-57, Feb. 8, 2001 at Arizona State...only second Pac-10 road win in last 54 outings dating back to 1997-98.

WSU ROAD SUCCESS: The Cougars have three road wins in a season for the first time since 1997-98...last time WSU won four road games in a season was 1995-96 (7-7)...with the 57-51 win at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22, WSU broke a 27-game road losing streak...previous win was 58-57 at Arizona State, Feb. 8, 2001...Cougars won second road game 64-50 at Montana, Dec. 13...first win in Missoula since Dec. 11, 1984 after losing last two trips...WSU 3-46 combined last four years on the road prior to this season...

WSU SURPASSES LAST SEASON'S WIN TOTAL: With its 76-61 win over USC last Saturday, WSU has eight wins this season...Cougars won seven games during 2002-03...in 2001-02, WSU tallied six wins.

BEST CONFERENCE START IN SEVEN YEARS: WSU enters this week 2-2 in Pac-10 play...last time Cougars were at .500 after four games was 1996-97...in 1994-95, WSU was 2-2 and swept home games against Oregon and Oregon State on its way to a 10-8 Pac-10 record and an appearance in the NIT quarterfinals.

WSU WIN STREAK: The Cougars had a four-game winning streak snapped with their 46-29 loss at Fresno State, Dec. 22...it was WSU's first four-game winning streak since Dec. 2-20, 1998.

DOUBLE FIGURE WINS: WSU won three straight games by double figures Dec. 1-13...last time Cougars accomplished the feat was Dec. 5-20, 1998.

WINNING IN DECEMBER: Washington State won its first four December games for the first time since 1998-99.

HAPPY NEW YEAR: The Cougars have won two games in January for the first time since 2000-01...that year, one of the two wins was at home against Texas-Pan American...last time WSU had three wins in January was 1998-99 when it defeated Washington, Oregon State and USC...Cougars have not won four January games since posting a 6-2 mark in 1994-95.

PROTECTING THE HOUSE: WSU's 62-55 win over Idaho, Dec. 20, the Cougars closed our their 2003-04 nonconference home schedule at 3-0...WSU is 63-2 since 1990-91 in nonconference games played in Pullman...the mark includes a 5-0 record in Bohler Gym during the 1990-91 campaign...losses are 78-66 to Utah, Dec. 11, 1999 and 110-104 to Gonzaga in overtime, Dec. 7, 2002.

FORTY PERCENT EQUALS PASSING GRADE: WSU is 8-1 this season when shooting 40 percent or better from the field...exception is 73-51 loss at No. 5 Stanford, Jan. 2 when WSU shot 44 percent...Cougars shot season-high 58 percent in 76-61 win over USC, Jan. 10...Cougars 5-0 when holding opponent under 40 percent from the floor.

SLAMMING THE DOOR SHUT: The Cougars are 5-0 this season when leading at halftime and 1-0 when tied at intermission...last season, WSU was 6-6 after outscoring its opponent in the first stanza.

COUGAR PLAYER NOTES #1 Marcus Moore (Inglewood, Calif.) - Ranks on WSU all-time list in assists (fourth-378), steals (fourth-153) and scoring (12th-1,260 points)...coming off eight assist, two turnover performance in WSU's 76-61 win over USC, Jan. 10...one of three players in WSU history with 1,000 points, 300 assists and 125 steals...Keith Morrison (1983-86) and Bennie Seltzer (1990-93) are the others...named to the BP Top of the World Classic all-tournament team after averaging 16.7 points and 3.7 assists in three games...Pac-10 rankings entering the week: Tied for second in steals (2.00 per game), tied for sixth in assists (4.50 per game), and 13th in scoring (13.9 points per game)...scored 20 points at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22 and 22 points vs. Idaho, Dec. 20. #2 Terry Ayers (Pearl City, Hawaii) - Walk-on has appeared in three games...played three minutes off the bench in first half at Montana, Dec. 13. #3 Lance Den Boer (Sunnyside) - Scored season-high 11 points off the bench at Montana, Dec. 13 while celebrating his 19th birthday. #5 Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.) - Has started 13 games...three times this season has tied his career-high with seven rebounds...scored nine points at No. 15 Gonzaga and added six boards...tallied eight points at No. 5 Stanford, Jan. 2...scored season-high 11 points against UCLA, Jan. 8...played career-high 39 minutes against USC, Jan. 10. #11 Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) - Has scored in double figures seven times this season...season-high 18 points vs. IPFW, Dec. 1...tallied team-high 15 points at No. 15 Gonzaga, Dec. 28...Pac-10 rankings entering the week: Eighth in three-pointers per game (2.14), ninth in three-point percentage (.390)...led Pac-10 with .456 three-point shooting in 2002-03. #12 Randy Green (Renton) - Has made four starts in 2003-04...averaged 16.7 points per game during three-game stretch Dec. 6-20...Pac-10 ranking entering the week: Fifth in three-point percentage (.436). #21 Anthony Grant (Seattle) - Has appeared 12 games, including three starts...struggled from the floor this season (4-for-32). #22 Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) - Leads WSU with 5.8 rebounds per game...grabbed 10 boards at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22 and at Southern Utah, Nov. 28...named all-tournament at BP Top of the World Classic...played career-high 36 minutes at California and dished out career-high three assists against the Golden Bears, Jan. 4...tied his career high with 17 points against USC, Jan. 10...Pac-10 ranking entering the week: 14th in rebounding. #25 Isaiah Simmons (Tacoma) - Walk-on has made two appearances...scored two points, grabbed one rebounds and registered one assist at No. 15 Gonzaga, Dec. 28. #32 Ezenwa Ukeagu (Coral Springs, Fla.) - Made only start at Fresno State, Dec. 22...tied career-high with 15 points vs. Idaho, Dec. 20...added eight rebounds against the Vandals...averaged six points and three rebounds off the bench in last week's games against UCLA and USC...averaged 8.3 points and 5.0 rebounds during three games at BP Top of the World Classic. #44 Justin Garcia (Mira Loma, Calif.) - Has played in three games...scored lone bucket vs. IPFW, Dec. 1...recorded a pair of rebounds against the Mastadons and at Fresno State, Dec. 22. #45 Jeff Varem (Benue, Nigeria) - Made first appearance at Fresno State, Dec. 22...tallied team-high five rebounds...added four points and two assists...recorded 15 points at California, Jan. 4...added five boards against Golden Bears...registered season/career highs with 22 points and seven rebounds in Cougars' 76-61 victory over USC, Jan. 10...sat out WSU's first eight games due to impermissible benefits received prior to attending WSU. #55 Justin Bellegarde (Ukiah, Calif.) - Scored season-high six points vs. IPFW, Dec. 1...pulled down season-high five rebounds in opener vs. VMI, Nov. 20...started vs. Rice, Nov. 23 and at No. 5 Stanford, Jan. 2.

GETTING A FRESH START: WSU has used five different starting lineups this season, with 10 players making at least one start...a breakdown of the lineups.

SCORING LIMIT IS FIFTY-FIVE: The Cougars have held 10 of 14 opponents this season to 55 points or less...WSU held 12 opponents to 55 points or less over the last six seasons combined prior to 2003-04...last time Cougars limited 10 opponents in a season to 55 points or less was 1981-82 (12 opponents)...WSU held six straight opponents to 55 points or less (Nov. 28-Dec. 22) for the first time since Dec. 21-Jan. 5 (seven games) during the 1950-51 season.

FIFTY POINT BARRIER: The Cougars have held four opponents to under 50 points this season...prior to this season, the last time WSU held a team under 50 points was an 80-46 win at Eastern Washington, Dec. 7, 1996...Cougars had not held multiple opponents under 50 points since 1989-90 season...last time WSU held four opponents under 50 points was 1987-88 season when the Cougars accomplished the feat five times in Kelvin Sampson's first season on the Palouse...WSU also limited Montana and California to 50 points each while posting road wins.

NO SECOND CHANCES: The Cougars have allowed just 33 points on second chance opportunities during their eight wins this season...five of those came in the first half of the season opener against VMI...conversely, the Cougars have given up 76 second chance points in their six losses...on the offensive end, WSU is averaging 8.3 second chance points per game (116 in 14 games).

The Cougars have held 10 of 14 opponents this season to 55 points or less.


EIGHT BALLS FROM BEYOND THE ARC: WSU is 4-0 this season when it makes eight or more three-pointers...Cougars made season-high nine treys in 66-46 win over IPFW, Dec. 1...sophomore Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla), who led the Pacific-10 last season in three-point percentage (.456), leads the Cougars with 27 treys in 2003-04...junior Randy Green (Renton) is shooting a team-best .436 (17-for-39) from beyond the arc.

DEFENSIVE STAT OF THE WEEK: WSU's defense is clamping down on Pac-10 opponents this season...Cougars gave up 109 points to UCLA and USC combined last weekend marking the fewest the WSU has given up in a Pac-10 weekend since 107 Feb, 8/10, 1996 against Oregon State and Oregon...Cougars gave up 98 combined points in consecutive games against California and UCLA, the fewest given up by WSU in back-to-back Pac-10 games since Feb. 13/20, 1982 when it gave up 88 against California and Oregon State...WSU has given up 159 points in its last three conference games to post its best performance since 142 Feb. 12-20, 1982 (Stanford, California, Oregon State)...the 232 points yielded by the Cougars over a four-game conference stretch is the best since 229 Feb. 17-26, 1983 (Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, California).

WSU A TRAVELING TEAM: The Cougars have played 11 of their 14 games away from Pullman...WSU has played four of its last six games on the road with the other two played at the Spokane Arena...WSU traveled over 10,000 miles by plane and over 1,600 miles by bus entering this week.

COUGARS AWAY FROM HOME: After defeating Idaho at Friel Court, Dec. 20, the Cougars played four straight road games...WSU's first two "home" Pac-10 games were at the Spokane Arena...Cougars are in Oregon this week before returning to Pullman to host Washington, Jan. 24.

GET TO KNOW THE WSU ASSISTANT COACHES: Tony Bennett is the son of WSU Head Coach Dick Bennett...played for his father at Wisconsin-Green Bay...finished collegiate career as Mid-Continent Conference's all-time leader in points (2,285) and assists (601)...ranks as NCAA's all-time leader in three-point percentage (.497)...three seasons with NBA's Charlotte Hornets...selected 35th by Hornets in 1995 NBA Draft...Mike Burns helped Eastern Washington earn NIT bid last season...coordinated Eagles' defense that ranked top three in Big Sky Conference scoring defense during each of his three seasons at EWU...Mike Heideman served as an assistant to Dick Bennett at Wisconsin-Green Bay for all 10 seasons the latter was the mentor of the Phoenix...succeeded Bennett as head coach at UWGB...led Phoenix to 110-95 mark during seven seasons...named 1996 Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year.

COUGARS PICKED NINTH IN PRESEASON PAC-10 POLL: Arizona is the preseason selection to win the 2003-04 Pacific-10 men's basketball title according to poll of 35 media members who cover the conference...Wildcats garnered 26 first place votes...Arizona is followed by Stanford (seven first place votes), California (one first place vote), Oregon, USC (one first place vote), UCLA, Arizona State, Washington, Washington State and Oregon State.

Washington State Cougars Cougar Athletic Fund
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