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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
WSU Returns Home After Splitting Road Trip In Bay Area
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 02/03/2004
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Feb. 3, 2004

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What's Happening:

Thursday, Feb. 5
vs. USC
7 p.m.
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

Saturday, Feb. 7
vs. UCLA
2 p.m.
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

Up Next:

at Oregon
Thursday, Feb. 12
7 p.m.
Eugene, Ore.

What's Happening This Week: The Washington State women's basketball team (5-15, 1-10 Pac-10) returns home this week after three consecutive road games ...the Cougars host USC (11-8, 8-3 Pac-10), Thursday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m...two days later WSU faces UCLA (10-10, 5-6 Pac-10), Saturday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m...both games are at Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum...the Cougars play five of their final seven regular season games at home.

Tickets: Tickets for all Cougar home games are available through the WSU Ticket Office, North 225 Grand, Pullman, Wash. 99164-1910, or by calling 800-GO-COUGS.

This Week's Promotions: Thursday's USC game is Staff & Faculty Night...any WSU staff or faculty personnel will receive free admission to the game...employees must show their WSU ID card at the Beasley Coliseum ticket office to receive the free admission...Saturday's game is Residence Hall Day...residence hall students may pick up a coupon good for free admission to the UCLA game at their respective residence hall front desk.

Purchase Your Women's Basketball T-shirts And Help The Cougars On An Italian Expedition: As a fund raiser for their May 17-28 tour of Italy, the Cougars are selling a one-of-a kind T-shirt for $15 each. Shirts can be purchased before, during or after the game next to the marketing table on the concourse at Section 14.

About USC: The Women of Troy have won four of their last five games...Thursday's game will mark USC's first road game since Jan. 17...Ebony Hoffman leads the team in points (15.3 ppg) and rebounds (8.1 rpg)...Hoffman ranks seventh and fourth in points and rebounds, respectively in the conference...Romentra Craig (11.5 ppg) is also scoring in double figures.

Series With USC: USC leads the all-time series with WSU 25-11...the Women of Troy have captured the last six games...earlier this season USC defeated WSU 82-52 at Los Angeles...Hoffman scored a game-high 16 points in the win...Kate Benz and Adriane Ferguson led WSU with 13 points each...the Cougars' last win in the series was Jan. 4, 2001 when they defeated USC 79-78 at Pullman.

About UCLA: The Bruins have won two of their last three games...Nikki Blue leads three Bruins who are averaging double digits in points with a 14.8 per game average...Lisa Willis (13.6 ppg) and Noelle Quinn (13.4 ppg) complete the trio.

Series With UCLA: The Bruins leads the series with WSU 29-6...UCLA has won the last six games...in the team's first meeting this season, UCLA posted a 78-58 win at Los Angeles, Jan. 9...Lisa Willis (20 points) and Noelle Quinn (20 points) led UCLA...Stephanie Singer led WSU with 11 points...WSU's last win over the Bruins was Jan. 6, 2001, a 74-52 triumph at Pullman.

WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell On This Week's Games: "They are going to be two very competitive games. These are two teams that we have struggled with over the two years that I've been here. Having all three parts of the game taken care of - offense, defense and taking care of the ball - over the last two games will give us confidence coming in at home."

Cougars Capture Pac-10 Road Win: WSU came from behind to defeat the California Golden Bears 64-59 in Pacific-10 Conference play, Jan. 29 at Haas Pavilion.

"Any win right now is good for the Washington State Cougars but to comeback, fight and battle back like we did...character was shown there," WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said.

"These kids fought hard," Murrell added. "They did not give up. A lot of teams would have thrown in the towel. I am proud of them."

Bianca McCall led WSU with 16 points to record her ninth game in double figures this season and the 30th of her career. McCall also led both teams with eight rebounds. Charmaine Jones (10 points) and Lindsey Egeland (10 points) also hit double figures in points for WSU.

"Bianca put together two parts of the game tonight on defense and offense," Murrell said. "That's what we needed from her and she did it."

WSU jumped out to a 9-5 lead as Egeland and Candace Fields accounted for the Cougars' entire point total in the run. WSU made five of its first eight shots in the game's opening five minutes.

With WSU up 11-7, consecutive buckets by Leigh Gregory sparked a 7-0 Cal run. LaTasha O'Keith's trey at the 11:36 mark capped the run and gave the Bears a 14-11 lead.

The Cougars endured a 10-minute stretch (15:07 mark through the 5:07 mark) without a field goal in the first half. During that period, Cal outscored WSU 14-4 to take a 21-15 advantage. The Bears held their six-point lead at 34-28 going into the halftime break.

Cal began the second half with an 8-2 run to extend its lead to 42-30 with 15:10 remaining. WSU responded, however, and used a 14-2 run of its own to force a tie at 44 with 10:05 left.

The Bears regained the lead at 51-44 with another 7-0 run but WSU once again met the challenge and blitzed Cal with a 15-0 run to take a 59-51 lead. Cal would get no closer than four the rest of the way.

Milestones From The Cal Win: The come from behind win at Cal marked the Cougars' first Pac-10 road win since Feb. 15, 2001, when WSU defeated Oregon 77-76, a span of 27 Pac-10 road games...in addition, the 12-point deficit the Cougars overcame tied for the seventh greatest comeback in school history...WSU was down 42-30 with 15:10 remaining in the game...coincidentally, one of the previous 12-point comebacks was at California, Feb. 22, 1997...the Cougars rallied to capture an 83-70 win that day.

McCall Tallies Career-High At Stanford: Bianca McCall came off the bench to average 22.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in two games last week at Cal and Stanford... posted her ninth and 10th games this season scoring in double figures increasing her WSU career total to 31... scored a team-high 16 points and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds vs. Cal, Jan. 29....also added three blocks, two assists and a steal in the 64-59 win over the Bears...11 points, six rebounds and two blocks came in the second half sparking the Cougars' rally from a 12-point second-half deficit (tied for the seventh greatest comeback in school history)...poured in a career-high 29 points (previous high was 24 points at Cal, Jan. 18, 2003) against the eighth ranked team in the nation...made a career-high 11 field goals en route to posting the game-high point total... the 29-point effort was the highest point total by a Cougar since Feb. 24, 2000 when Alke Dietel scored 30 points at, coincidentally, Stanford...it was McCall's eighth career 20-point game and second this season... recorded her first 20-point game of the season with 20 points at Arizona State, Dec. 27... leads the Cougars in scoring (11.2 points/game) and is second in rebounds (5.6/game)...returned to the court against Utah, Dec. 13 after missing the previous two games recovering from a concussion sustained in the second half of the Nov. 29 loss at Baylor... scored 13 points (all in the second half) in the 59-58 win at Eastern Washington, Nov. 26...the last two points of the 13 were the most dramatic as McCall's put back off of a Charmaine Jones miss with 3.9 seconds left propelled the Cougars to victory....is sixth in the Pac-10 in blocks (.72/game), seventh in offensive rebounds (2.50/game), 14th in total rebounds and 15th in points.

Murrell On McCall's Play At The Bay Area: "It's what we have been expecting all year long and it finally came together. Bianca realized that she makes a big impact on our success. It was great. She helped us tremendously in both games and I expect the same thing to happen this weekend."

Benz Making Her Mark: Freshman Kate Benz has recorded double-doubles in two of the last three games...scored 14 point and pulled down 11 rebounds at Stanford, Jan. 31...turned in her first double-double (and the team's first) this season with 15 points and 10 rebounds against UW, Jan. 24... has reached double-digits in scoring six times this season including four of the last six games...leads the teams in rebounds and is sixth in the Pac-10 averaging 6.4 boards a game...her 2.40 offensive rebounds is eighth in the conference as are her 3.95 defense rebounds a game... is tied for eighth in the Pac-10 with .60 blocks/game...pulled down 19 rebounds against San Diego State, Dec. 22, tying her for sixth on the school's all-time list for rebounds in a game...tallied nine offensive and 10 defensive boards before fouling out with 3:15 left...the WSU record for rebounds in a game is 22, set on three occasions....last year Bianca McCall also grabbed 19 rebounds in a game as she hit the number against Wyoming.

Fabulous Frosh: The freshmen quartet of Kate Benz, Adriane Ferguson, Stephanie Singer and Nikki Stratton have played in a combined 75 games this season...the trio of Benz, Ferguson and Singer have played in all 20 games while Stratton has seen action in 15...Benz has started every game while Ferguson has started 17...Singer has been part of the starting five in the last six contests...Along with Benz's six games in double figures, Ferguson and Singer have reached double-digits in points four times this season...Stratton just missed her first double-digit point game with nine points against Oregon, Jan. 17.

Exceeding the Past Two Seasons: With five wins this season, the Cougars have exceeded their combined win total over the past two seasons (4)...WSU won two games each in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 campaigns.

Back to Defense: The Cougars held their opponents to under 60 points five times this season with the most recent occurrence coming at Cal, Jan. 29...WSU is 5-0 when holding the opposition to under 60 points and 0-15 when allowing at or above 60 points...the Cougars held the opposition to under 60 points in four of the season's first six games...in 28 games last season, the Cougars held their opponents to under 60 points three times...the 49 points allowed by the Cougars against Utah Valley State were the fewest allowed by the team since a 55-49 win over Portland State, Nov. 26, 2001...WSU held two opponents (Fresno State, .291; Utah Valley State, .288) to under 30 percent field goal percentage...the last time WSU held two opponents under 30 percent field goal percentage in the same season was in 2000-01...WSU held American (.263) and Vermont (.269) to under 30 percent that season.

Making Good From The Charity Stripe: The Cougars are second in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (270-of-369, 73.2 percent)...Charmaine Jones is 49-of-63 (.778) from the charity stripe, which is eighth in the conference...Jones did nothing to hurt her standing at Cal as she was a perfect 6-of-6 from the line in the win over the Bears...it was the second time that Jones was 6-of-6 from the charity stripe this season (at UCLA, Jan. 9)...the 31 free throws against San Diego State, Dec. 22 is a Pac-10 high this season for all games.

Shooting High and Lows: The 58 percent shooting percentage (29-of-50) against California, Jan. 4 marked the highest shooting percentage from WSU since Jan. 13, 1997 when the Cougars were 37-of-58 (63.8 percent) from the field in a 109-79 win over Southern Utah...conversely, the team's 21.2 percent (11-of-52) shooting performance against San Diego State, Dec. 22 was the worst percentage from the Cougars since the team went 12-of-69 (17.4 percent) from the field in a 57-33 loss at Oregon State, Dec. 28, 2001.

Cougar Notes: With 225 career assists, Jessica Perry is just one assist shy of breaking into the school's all-time top 10 list in that category...Kelli Kronberger (1993-96) is 10th on the list with 226 assists...with 52 career blocks, Candace Fields is fifth on the school's all-time list in that category...Fields' four blocks against California, Jan. 4 was a career-high...Fields is seventh in the Pac-10 in blocks (.67/game)...Fields' 16 points at UCLA, Jan. 9 was a season-high...two players (Lindsey Egeland, Kate Benz) have started all 20 games...10 players have started at least one game for WSU...nine players have scored in double figures in at least one game...the Cougars have out-rebounded their opponents in 10 games...last year, WSU out-rebounded its opponents in four games.

For Three!: The eight treys by the Cougars against Nebraska, Dec. 4 were the most by the team since WSU made eight in an 86-65 loss to Arizona last season in Pullman...Lindsey Egeland's perfect 4-of-4 performance from 3-point range in the win over Utah Valley State, Dec. 6 marked the first time a Cougar was perfect from behind the arc with a minimum of four attempts since Tricia Lamb (4-of-4) Feb. 13, 1999 against Oregon State at Pullman.

Road Warriors: The Nov. 24 Wyoming game began a stretch of three road games over the course of six days...along with the trip to Laramie, Wyo., WSU traveled to Cheney, Wash. for a game at Eastern Washington before going south to Waco, Texas for a game at Baylor...the road trek encompassed 4,628 air miles, 780 bus miles, six motels and four states.

First Time Since...

*The win against Fresno State, Nov. 21 marked the first season-opening triumph for WSU since three years ago to the day. The Cougars captured a 59-52 win at American University, Nov. 21, 2000 to open the 2000-01 campaign.

* The win at Wyoming, Nov. 24 improved the Cougars' record to 2-0 marking the first time since the 1998-99 campaign that WSU began a season with consecutive victories. The Cougars opened up that season with five straight wins.

* The Wyoming victory also marked the first road win for WSU since a 77-76 win at Oregon, Feb. 15, 2001, a span of 28 games.

* The win at Eastern Washington, Nov. 26, which followed up the road triumph at Wyoming, marked the second road win for WSU in the span of three days. The last time WSU won two consecutive road games was in 1997 when the Cougars followed up a win at, coincidentally, Wyoming, Nov. 23. with a victory at Gonzaga, Nov. 28.

Double Doubleheaders: The Cougars have been part of four men's/women's basketball doubleheaders this season...WSU was part of the opening act at Eastern Washington and was in the finale at Baylor, vs. Utah Valley State and at Utah...the Cougars were 2-2 in the doubleheader games scoring wins over Eastern Washington and Utah Valley State.

Murrell Member of National Committee: In addition to her WSU head coaching duties, Sherri Murrell is a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/Kodak All-American Team Selection Committee...Murrell serves as the representative for District 8, which encompasses the western part of the nation...the Kodak/WBCA All-America Teams honor the 10 best collegiate women's basketball players in the nation...Murrell, along with the representatives from the other seven districts, select the Kodak/WBCA All-America Team from a list of finalists determined by WBCA member coaches....for more information on the All-American Team go to wbca.org.

Moore Transfers: Keisha Moore, a 6-foot-2 center from J.W. North High School (Riverside, Calif.), has elected to transfer to the Washington State women's basketball program from the University of Idaho, WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell announced, Dec. 22...because of NCAA Division I transfer rules; Moore is not eligible to play for the Cougars until the day after the conclusion of the 2004 fall semester...she is allowed to practice with the team however....Moore is not the only player to join the Cougars as Crystal Blue - a 5-foot-10 guard from Seattle Wash., who signed with the team last spring - has been declared academically eligible and can practice with the team as well... Blue will be eligible to compete in the 2004-05 season.

Cougars Ink Shired: Sabrina Shired, a 6-foot-4 center from Casa Grande High School (Petaluma, Calif.), signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Washington State women's basketball team next fall, head coach Sherri Murrell announced Nov. 12...as a junior at Casa Grande, Shired averaged seven points, eight rebounds and three blocks in leading her team to the playoffs...that followed up a sophomore season in which she averaged 12 points and nine rebounds a contest...Shired earned Sonoma County League Freshman of the Year honors and was selected as the California Intercollegiate Federation Woman of the Year in 2001. She participated in the adidas All-Star Camp and the Triple Threat Basketball Club last summer.

Westside Clinic A Success: The fall coaching clinic that Murrell conducted with her coaching staff and team proved to be a success as it drew approximately 150 coaches and student-athletes to Redmond High School, Nov. 1...the clinic featured on court demonstrations in a live practice setting with the team...coaches were able to ask questions as the drills were being conducted...this was the second consecutive year that Murrell has conducted a fall clinic...last year's clinic was in downtown Seattle with special guest speaker Lin Dunn, the former head coach and general manager of the WNBA's Seattle Storm.

Coaching Staff: Sherri Murrell, who coached the University of the Pacific to four consecutive winning seasons, is in her second season as head coach of the Cougars...while at Pacific, Murrell coached the Tigers to a 68-46 record including a 40-20 mark in Big West Conference play...the Tigers' 19 wins in 2002 were the most wins by the program since 1995...Murrell has a mark of 122-105 in her eight-year coaching career...assistant Mark Lewis brings 18 years of coaching experience to the program... Lewis, who is in his second season at WSU, spent five years (1996-2001) as an assistant at Arizona State...assistants Lisa Fisher and Christopher Holland also return for their second season as Cougars...both served as assistants on Murrell's staff at the University of the Pacific during the 2001-02 season...prior to coming to Pacific, Fisher coached at Northeastern in Boston, Mass., where she was an assistant during the 2000-01 season...preceding her coaching at Northeastern, Fisher was at Portland State from 1996-2000, where she also worked with Murrell from 1996 to 1998... before his year at Pacific, Holland was at Arizona State, where he was a women's basketball team manager for five years...Sarah Allen joins the Cougar staff as director of basketball operations...Allen played two season for the Dayton Flyers after transferring from Arizona State...while at ASU, Allen was selected to the All-Pac-10 Freshman Team after the 2000 campaign.

Internet: WSU women's basketball releases, statistics, and notes are loaded weekly on the WSU Athletics Home Page. The address is: http://www.wsucougars.com.

--wsucougars.com--
Washington State Cougars Cougar Athletic Fund
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