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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Travel To Missoula
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 12/09/2003
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Dec. 9, 2003

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THIS WEEK: Saturday, Dec. 13, 2003 -- WSU at Montana-7:35 p.m. MST/6:35 p.m. PST
LAST WEEK: WON vs. TCU, 73-52
NEXT WEEK: Saturday, Dec. 20, 2003 -- WSU vs. Idaho-2 p.m.

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 .639 career winning percentage (458-259) highlights include a 1984 NAIA national runner-up finish at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a 2000 Final Four appearance at Wisconsin...he is 4-2 this season.

BENNETT RECORDS QUICK START: 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.

WSU SNAPS ROAD LOSING STREAK: With the 57-51 at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22, WSU broke a 27- game road losing streak...previous win was 58-57 at Arizona State, Feb. 8, 2001.

SEEKING A SECOND ROAD WIN: After snapping a 27-game road losing streak at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22, WSU is looking for a second victory in hostile territory for the first time in three seasons...the last time the Cougars won two nonconference road games was 1998-99 when they defeated Eastern Washington and Idaho.

MONTANA PREVIEW: Grizzlies enter the week 3-3 (play at Auburn Wednesday)...lost two straight...won three of four in Missoula...Kamarr Davis is Grizzlies' leading scorer with 14.2 points per game...Grizzlies averaging 73.0 points per game.

SERIES WITH THE GRIZZLIES: WSU leads 77-28...Cougars hold 30-21 advantage in Missoula...Cougars won 13 of 18 meetings while WSU and Montana were members of the Pacific Coast Conference North Division from 1923-24 through 1928-29 and 1937-38 season...Cougars lead 16-6 since Grizzlies became charter member of Big Sky Conference in 1963-64....last year, WSU won 73-61 in Pullman behind 17 points and eight rebounds from Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia)...Ryan Pederson had 11 points off the bench for the Grizzlies...Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.) and Ezenwa Ukeagu (Coral Springs, Fla.) each had 13 points in the victory...Montana knocked off WSU 75-71 the last time Cougars were in Missoula, Nov. 28, 2001...Pullman native Brent Cummings led Grizzlies with 17 points...Mike Bush tallied 24 off the bench for WSU...senior Marcus Moore (Inglewood, Calif.) has averaged 13.7 points, five rebounds and 3.7 steals in three games against Montana.

COUGARS AGAINST THE BIG SKY: WSU is 91-31 against Big Sky opponents...Cougars are 121-38 all-time against current members of the Big Sky Conference...WSU has played at least one Big Sky opponent each of the 41 seasons the conference has existed...Cougars won 16 straight against Big Sky foes from 1973-74 to 1980-81.

GILL IS A GLASS CLEANER: Junior Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) has pulled down 43 rebounds in six games (7.2 per game) this season...grabbed 10 at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22 and at Southern Utah, Nov. 28...he ranks ninth in the Pac-10.

COUGARS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: In addition to Shami Gill (ninth in rebounding), senior Marcus Moore (Inglewood, Calif.) is sixth in steals (1.83 per game), eighth in assists (3.73 per game) and tied for 17th in scoring (13.3 points per game)...junior Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) is four in three-pointers made (3.00 per game) and tied for ninth in steals (1.67 per game).

WSU RECORDS RUNNER-UP FINISH IN ALASKA: Washington State lost 64-49 to Rice in the BP Top of the World Classic championship game and finished as the tournament runner-up...Cougars defeated VMI 66-46 and host Alaska Fairbanks 57-51 to reach the tournament final.

MOORE AND GILL NAMED ALL-TOURANMENT: Senior guard Marcus Moore (Inglewood, Calif.) and junior forward Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) were named to the BP Top of the World Classic All-Tournament Team...Moore averaged 16.7 points, including a game-high 20 in 57-51 win over Alaska Fairbanks...20th career game with 20 or more points...notched 11 assists and six steals in tournament...Gill averaged 6.3 points and eight rebounds during TOWC...pulled down 10 boards against Alaska Fairbanks.

DEFENSIVE HIGHLIGHTS FROM ALASKA: WSU held VMI to 36 percent shooting from the floor in second half of opener...gave up 46 points, lowest total by Cougar opponent since 80-46 win at Eastern Washington, Dec. 7, 1996...held Alaska Fairbanks to 26 percent shooting in second half and just three field goals in final 10:59...gave up 97 combined points in first two games marking best two-game stretch since 89, Dec. 3-9, 1988.

COUGARS REGISTER EARLY SEASON VICTORIES: WSU has won 13 of its last 15 season openers including a 10-game win streak from 1989-90 through 1998-99...Cougars have won 16 consecutive Pullman openers.

STARTING LINEUPS: The Cougars have used four different starting lineups in their six games this season...senior Marcus Moore (Inglewood, Calif.), juniors Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla), Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) and Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.) each started all six games... invited walk-on freshman T.J. Paterick (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) has three starts...sophomores Anthony Grant (Seattle), Randy Green (Renton) and senior Justin Bellegarde (Ukiah, Calif.) each started one game. MOORE POINTS: Senior guard Marcus Moore (Inglewood, Calif.) has 1,146 career points and needs two more to pass Steve Harriel (1979, 81-83) for 16th place on the Cougar career scoring list.

WSU A TRAVELING TEAM: The Cougars traveled nearly 4,000 miles round trip, including bus and air, to play three games in Fairbanks, Alaska at the BP Top of the World Classic, Nov. 20-23...after less than 48 hours in Pullman, WSU embarked on a 2,500 plus mile road trip for its game at Southern Utah, Nov. 29...the Cougars will add approximately 550 miles via bus for the game at Montana.

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.

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.

KELATI LEADER OF THE PAC: Junior guard Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) led the Pacific-10 Conference in three-point percentage (.456) during the 2002-03 season...he averaged 2.30 treys per game.

MOORE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Cougar senior point guard Marcus Moore (Inglewood, Calif.) became 24th player in WSU history to record 1,000 career points at Arizona, Jan. 9, of three players in WSU history with 1,000 points, 300 assists and 125 steals...joined Keith Morrison (1983-86) and Bennie Seltzer (1990-93).

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