Jan. 14, 2008
FIRST GLANCE The Washington State women's basketball team (3-13 overall, 0-5 Pacific-10 Conference) hits the road this week to face off against Oregon (Jan. 17) and Oregon State (Jan. 19). The Cougars' match-up with the Ducks (8-8 overall, 2-3 Pac-10) is scheduled for 7 p.m. at McArthur Court. WSU will tip-off against the Beavers (8-8, 1-4) at 7 p.m. at Gill Coliseum.
THE COUGARS Led by junior guard Katie Appleton and sophomore guard Alexa Price, WSU is one of the most prolific 3-point shooting teams in the Pacific-10 Conference. Appleton ranks tied for fourth in the league at 40.0-percent and Price ranks seventh at 38.3-percent. As a team WSU ranks third in 3-point shooting (33.4-percent). The Cougars' 6.06 3-point field goals per game rank second in the conference. At 12.4 points per game, Appleton is the Cougars' leading scorer and ranks tied for 11th in the conference. She is also among the Pac-10 leaders in steals (T-5th, 2.00 per game) and minutes (seventh, 33.12). Junior forward Heather Molzen leads WSU with 4.7 rebounds per game, ranking 19th in the Pac-10.
LAST TIME OUT WSU fell to both USC (62-58) UCLA (76-56) in Pacific-10 Conference action last week at Friel Court. After leading for a majority of the first stanza, WSU built a 13-point lead in the opening minutes of the second half over USC, but the Trojans climbed back into the game with a 9-0 run, cutting the lead to three at 44-41 at 12:29. USC then went on a 12-6 run to tie the game at 56-56 with 1:19 remaining. The Trojans regained the lead at 59-56 with 43 seconds left and held on for a 62-58 win. Freshman guard Jasmine Williams was one of four Cougars in double figures (11 points) and pulled down a career-high eight rebounds. Freshman forward Katie Calderwood led WSU with 13 points, sophomore guard Colleen Betteridge scored 12 points and junior guard Katie Appleton added 11 points.
Despite a strong second half in which WSU outscored UCLA by 13, the Cougars were unable to come back from a first-half deficit against the Bruins. The Bruins shot 65.5-percent from the field in the first half (19-of-29), including 6-of-9 from the 3-point line (66.7-percent), to take a 56-23 lead into halftime. The Cougar defense held the Bruins to 24.1-percent from the field in the second half, however, and the Cougar offense outscored UCLA 33-20 in the second stanza. Williams tied her career high with 11 points, leading WSU in scoring for the first time in her career. She and junior forward Heather Molzen pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
SCOUTING OREGON The Ducks are coming off of consecutive losses to No. 9 California (61-52) and seventh-ranked Stanford (83-49). Oregon is led by sophomore guard Taylor Lilley, who averages 12.4 points per game, tied for 11th-most in the Pac-10. Senior guard Kaela Chapdelaine leads the team with 5.5 rebounds per game and 3.94 assists per game.
SCOUTING OREGON STATE The Beavers are coming off consecutive losses to three ranked teams: then-No. 24 Arizona State (69-60), No. 7 Stanford (81-45) and No. 9 California (61-45). Oregon State senior guard Ashley Allen leads the Pac-10 in scoring at 19.7 points per game. Junior guard Brittney Davis also averages double digits, scoring 12.7 points per game. Junior center Tiffany Ducker is pulling down a team-high 7.2 rebounds per game, tied for fourth-most in the conference. Ducker also ranks third in the league in blocks (1.25 per game).
THE SERIES WSU trails Oregon in the all-time series 10-50, and has lost each of the last two meetings. The Cougars' last victory over the Ducks came Feb. 18, 2006, at Friel Court (68-53). WSU's last victory over Oregon on the road was Feb. 15, 2001 (77-76).
The Cougars trail Oregon State in the all-time series 22-41, and lost the last game played between the two teams 66-61. However, the last time the two teams squared off at Gill Coliseum WSU left with a 58-41 victory (Dec. 21, 2006). The victory was also the Cougars' last win in the Pacific-10 Conference.
NEXT UP The Cougars return to Friel Court for a pair of conference games next week. Arizona (Jan. 24) and Arizona State (Jan. 26) are each in town to square off against WSU. The game with the Wildcats will tip-off at 7 p.m., while the game with the Sun Devils is scheduled for 2 p.m.