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Cougars Travel to Cheney to Face Eastern Washington
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 06/21/1999
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December 4, 1998

PULLMAN, Wash. - An injury-depleted Washington State squad looks for its first two-game winning streak of the year when the Cougars visit Cheney for a meeting with the Eastern Washington Eagles Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.

Tentative Cougar Starters
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. 1998-99 Statistics
5 Mike Bush F 6-5 186 FR 5.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg
13 Kojo Mensah-Bonsu F 6-5 1/4 217 SR 12.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg
54 Leif Nelson C 6-10 1/2 272 SR 2.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg
3 Blake Pengelly PG 5-10 163 JR 7.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 4.7 apg
4 Jan-Michael Thomas G 5-10 1/2 169 JR 12.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg
34 Chris Crosby F 6-7 215 JR 15.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg
44 Eddie Miller F 6-6 216 SO 11.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg
12 Kab Kazadi G 6-0 184 SR 4.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
42 Will Hutchens G 6-3 1/2 201 SR 2.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg
10 Cedric Clark G 5-11 1/2 175 SO DNP
41 Steve Slotemaker F 6-9 221 SR 5.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg - INJ
40 Brian Stewart C 6-10 1/4 223 SO 1.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg - INJ

INJURIES ARE THE STORY: In a span of six days (November 27-December 2), Washington State lost three front court players to sprained left ankles. Sophomore forward Eddie Miller suffered a sprained ankle during the last 15 minutes of practice the day before the Gonzaga game and has missed the last two contests.

After playing brilliantly versus Gonzaga and positioning himself for his first career start, sophomore center Brian Stewart sprained his ankle during Monday's practice, and did not dress for the Portland State game.

Then, in the first half of Wednesday's win against Portland State, senior forward Steve Slotemaker suffered a sprained ankle when he fell on a Portland State player following a three-point shot attempt. Slotemaker's injury left WSU with just nine players in uniform to finish the PSU game.

As for the immediate future, Miller is expected to dress for the Eastern Washington game. Stewart is very doubtful for EWU and Slotemaker is out.

Miller is WSU's second-leading rebounder (5.8 rpg) and No. 4 scorer (11.3 ppg) and was emerging as the Cougars' top inside presence. After a rough game versus Central Washington in his Cougar debut (two points, 4 rebounds, six turnovers, five fouls), he played the most consistent basketball of any WSU player at the November 19-22 Top of the World Classic. He was the only player to reach double figure points in all three games and earned a start in the tourney finale versus Virginia. Miller had 12 points versus Alaska-Fairbanks, 14 against Nebraska and a career-high 17 versus the Cavs. Miller also averaged 6.3 boards per game and shot 66.7 percent (14-21) from the field.

Game Facts

Saturday, December 5, 1998
7:05 p.m. PST
Reese Court (6,000)

Radio: The Crimson & Gray Sports Network will broadcast all WSU games on its 16-station network with Bud Nameck (6th season) calling the play-by-play. Broadcasts are also available via the Internet,

Records: Washington State is 2-4 on the season after stopping Portland State 74-71 Wednesday night in Pullman. Eastern Washington is 1-3 on the year following an 81-59 loss to Gonzaga on Monday. The Eagles are the second straight Big Sky Conference opponent for the Cougars, Portland State being the first.

Series History: WSU leads 48-11 in a series that dates back to 1923. But last season, Eastern Washington shocked the Cougars 83-82 in overtime in a game played in Kennewick. The win stopped a 45-year Cougar winning streak that spanned 17 games. WSU and EWU last played in Cheney during the 1996-97 season when the Cougars forged an easy 80-46 victory. WSU has won the last seven games played in Cheney dating back to the 1951-52 season. The Eagles' last victory over the Cougars at home was a 53-34 decision on December 30, 1950.

On Deck: An exciting double-header on Tuesday, December 8 at Friel Court finds the WSU women hosting border rival Idaho at 6:00 p.m., before the two Cougars -- WSU and BYU -- lock claws in the men's game at 8:00 p.m.

EASTMAN NEARS 200 VICTORIES: Kevin Eastman is in his fifth season as head coach at WSU. He has a 61-63 (.492) five-year record. Among Cougar coaches with at least a four-year tenure, Eastman's winning percentage ranks fifth, just behind Kelvin Sampson's .500 (103-103/1988-94). The New Brunswick, N.J., native's winning percentage also trails three WSU coaching legends, Jack Friel's .568 (495-377/1929-58), Fred Bohler's .561 (226-177/1909-26) and George Raveling's .551 (167-136/1973-83).

Overall in 11 years as a head coach, Eastman holds a 185-138 (.567) record. Included in that are a 65-22 mark at Belmont Abbey and a 59-53 mark at UNC-Wilmington.

Eastman is 3-1 all-time versus Eastern Washington. In fact, Eastman's first win as head coach at Washington State came against the Eagles, 87-59 on November 29, 1994.

WSU WINS 200th AT FRIEL COURT: Washington State's 74-71 victory Wednesday night 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 (.651). WSU has a 200-107 all-time record at 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
HOME NON-LEAGUE STREAK AT 40: The Portland State win was also WSU's 40th consecutive non-conference victory in Pullman. 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 40 wins include 35 at Friel and five at Bohler Gym (all during the 1990-91 season).

SCOUTING EASTERN WASHINGTON: If there is one team that WSU can relate to, it's Eastern Washington. The Eagles have been hurt by injuries arguably as bad as the Cougars. Most recently, it was starting center Jason Humbert who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Monday night's loss to Gonzaga. He is the fifth EWU player to be lost this season.

The Eagles, 1-3 overall, are led by senior forward/guard Shannon Taylor's 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Junior guard Deon Williams is the only other EWU player in double figures at 12.0 points per game.

Tentative Eagle Starters
No. Name Pos. Ht. Cl. 1998-99 Statistics
22 Shannon Taylor F 6-3 SR 13.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg
32 Dennis Fitzgerald F 6-8 JR 6.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.0 bpg
3 Will Levy F 6-8 JR 6.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg
5 Dion Williams G 6-2 JR 12.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 5.5 apg
10 Tony McGee G 6-2 SO 8.8 ppg, 0.8 rpg

LAST GAME: The Cougars snapped their four- game losing streak by defeating Portland State 74-71 Wednesday night at Friel Court. Kojo Mensah-Bonsu recorded his second career double-double with 17 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Mensah-Bonsu also tallied a career high with four blocked shots in 38 minutes.

COUGS HOPE PSU WIN START OF TURNAROUND: Washington State is trying to claw its way back to the .500 mark. The first step was Wednesday's win against Portland State. The Cougars are trying to avoid going 2-5 for the first time in 25 years; the 1973-74 team coached by George Raveling opened at 2-6. The last time WSU opened a season 2-4 was 1987-88 in Len Stevens' final season.

CROSBY EARNS ALL-TOURNEY NOD: Junior forward Chris Crosby earned all-tournament recognition for his play at the Top of the World Classic, November 19-22, in Fairbanks, Alaska. It was the first career all-tournament selection for the Littleton, Colo., native. Crosby was among the tournament's top scorers and rebounders, averaging 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest for the three-game event.

Included in that were career-highs in points (25), rebounds (13) and free throws (12) versus Alaska-Fairbanks.

MANAGER COHN HONORED: Perhaps the surprise of the Top of the World Classic came during the awards ceremony when WSU student manager Jeff Cohn was honored with the Order of Nanook Award. The Fairbanks Princess Hotel presents the award to the top manager, "for meritorious demonstration of courtesy, cooperation and competence." Cohn, a senior from Foster City, Calif., majoring in communications, was honored with two different plaques and a giant collectable polar bear (stuffed, of course).

ABOUT THE SCHEDULE: Washington State is again playing a challenging schedule. The Cougars have eight games against teams ranked in the preseason polls (Stanford, UCLA, Washington and Arizona - twice) and 14 games versus teams that played in the 1998 postseason (NCAA: Stanford, UCLA, Washington and Arizona - twice; Detroit and Nebraska - once; NIT: Arizona State - twice - and Gonzaga; NAIA: Central Washington).

THE PENGELLY IS MIGHTIER THAN...: Junior guard Blake Pengelly is climbing WSU career lists in assists and three-point shooting. He currently ranks ninth in assists with 230 (25 behind No. 8 Anthony Kidd), second in three-point field goal percentage at .440 (behind No. 1 Isaac Fontaine, .457), eighth in three pointers made with 99 (12 behind No. 7 Brian Wright) and 10th in three-pointers attempted with 225.

Junior Chris Crosby needs just two three-pointers to pass David Sanders for ninth. Here's a look at where Pengelly and Crosby rank:

1. Bennie Seltzer (1990-93) 473
2. Keith Morrison (1983-86) 456
3. Donminic Ellison (1994-96) 441
4. Marty Giovacchini (1974-77) 371
5. Dan Steward (1970-72) 277
6. Isaac Fontaine (1994-97) 269
7. Brad Johnson (1972-74) 263
8. Anthony Kidd (1986-89) 255
9. Blake Pengelly (1997- ) 230
Three-Point Field Goals
1. Eddie Hill (1991-94) 233
2. Bennie Seltzer (1990-93) 230
3. Isaac Fontaine (1994-97) 208
4. Terrance Lewis (1991-92) 137
5. Donminic Ellison (1994-96) 128
6. Shamon Antrum (1995-96) 113
7. Brian Wright (1986-89) 111
8. Blake Pengelly (1997- ) 99
9. David Sanders (1986, 88-90) 93
10. Chris Crosby (1997- ) 92
Three-Point Field Goal Attempts
1. Bennie Seltzer (1990-93) 585
2. Eddie Hill (1991-94) 561
3. Isaac Fontaine (1994-97) 455
4. Terrance Lewis (1991-92) 343
5. Donminic Ellison (1994-96) 322
6. Brian Wright (1986-89) 302
7. Shamon Antrum (1995-96) 294
8. David Sanders (1986, 88-90) 251
9. Chris Crosby (1997- ) 244
10. Blake Pengelly (1997- ) 225

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