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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Begin Pac-10 Second Half In Los Angeles
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 02/03/2004
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Feb. 3, 2004

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THIS WEEK: Thursday, February 5, 2004 - WSU at UCLA-7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 7, 2004 - WSU at USC-8 p.m. (FOX Sports Net Northwest/West)

WASHINGTON STATE (9-10, 3-6 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 .634 career winning percentage (463-267) highlights include a 1984 NAIA national runner-up finish at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a 2000 Final Four appearance at Wisconsin...he is 9-10 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.

COACH BENNETT FEELING BETTER: Washington State Head Coach Dick Bennett missed last Saturday's game against No. 9 Arizona due to illness...his son, WSU Assistant Coach Tony Bennett, was the acting head coach against the Wildcats...the elder Bennett spent the night in the hospital and was released Sunday...diagnosis was a combination of an inner ear infection and the flu.

UCLA PREVIEW: The Bruins are 9-8, 5-4 in the Pac-10...UCLA is tied for third with Oregon and California, one game back of Arizona and four behind Pac-10 leader Stanford...Bruins began 5-0 in Pac-10 games, but have dropped four straight in conference, and five consecutive overall...UCLA lost 71-55 at St. John's in its last outing...three players average double-figure scoring led by Dijon Thompson's 14.1 points per game...Trevor Ariza leads UCLA with 6.4 rebounds per game.

SERIES WITH THE BRUINS: UCLA leads 85-12...Bruins have won 22 straight, including 48-45, Jan. 8 at the Spokane Arena...Thomas Kelati missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have forced overtime...Cougars are 0-38 all-time at Pauley Pavilion and 0-46 all-time against UCLA in Los Angeles.

USC PREVIEW: The Trojans are 9-9, 4-5 in Pac-10...USC is tied with Washington for sixth place in the conference, one game ahead of WSU....Desmon Farmer is third in the Pac-10 scoring, averaging 20.0 per game...Jeff McMillan is fourth in the conference with 8.3 boards per game.

SERIES WITH THE TROJANS: USC leads 62-33...WSU won 76-61 at the Spokane Arena, Jan. 10 to break a nine-game losing streak...Jeff Varem led four WSU players in double-figure scoring with 22 points...added seven rebounds.

COUGARS BEGIN SECOND HALF OF PAC-10: WSU is 9-10, 3-6 in Pac-10 as the second half of conference games...last time Cougars were 3-6 at midway point of Pac-10 play was 1998-99...WSU lost eight of its final nine that season.

LOOKING AHEAD: If the season ended today, WSU would qualify for the Pac-10 Tournament...Cougars currently in eighth place, the final spot to earn a bid in the conference tournament...Arizona State and Oregon State are one game behind the Cougars...WSU trails USC and Washington by one game...Cougars may have to improve on recent history to hold their spot...WSU is just 14-53 over the last seven seasons in February and March combined.

ATTENDANCE NUMBERS UP: The Cougars drew 10,878 fans for their two games last week against Arizona State and Arizona...largest weekend for WSU basketball since 13,682 came to see USC and UCLA at the end of the 1996-97 season...Cougars have drawn 17,287 over the last three games, best since Feb. 22-March 8, 1997 (21,017)...the 6,409 attending the Washington game, Jan. 24 was the most since 6,493 watched No. 1 Stanford, Jan. 27, 2001 and the most for a non-ranked opponent since 8,373 attended Washington, Jan. 18, 1997.

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 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.

MORE STREAKS NEARLY FELL: Washington State came up just short in a 61-57 loss to No. 9 Arizona last Saturday despite 29 points from Marcus Moore...loss was 37th consecutive for the Cougars against the Wildcats and dropped WSU to 0-33 all-time against a ranked Arizona team...setback was 42nd straight to a ranked opponent and 28th consecutive to a top 10 team.

TAKING CARE OF THE BASKETBALL: WSU turns the ball over at a rate of 12.4 per game...Cougars are tied for 13th nationally in fewest turnovers per outing.

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 57.7 points per outing...WSU is tied for 10th nationally in scoring defense.

COUGARS SHUT DOWN NATION'S TOP OFFENSE: Arizona entered last week with the No. 1 scoring offense in the country averaging 88.8 points per game...WSU held the Wildcats to 61 points.

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: The Cougars have won nine games this season, two better than their 2002-03 total...WSU has tallied three Pac-10 wins which equals the last two seasons combined.

WSU WIN STREAK: The Cougars had a four-game winning streak snapped with their 46-29 loss at Fresno State, Dec. 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.

#1 Marcus Moore (Inglewood, Calif.) - Ranks on WSU all-time list in assists (fourth-388), steals (fourth-159), three-point field goals (seventh-135) and scoring (ninth-1,324 points)...needs 10 points to move past Chris Crosby (1997-2000) for eighth place on WSU's scoring list...scored 29 points against No. 9 Arizona, Jan. 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: Sixth in steals (1.79 per game), and 13th in scoring (13.6 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) - Has played in 12 games...scored season-high 11 points off the bench at Montana, Dec. 13 while celebrating his 19th birthday.

#5 Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.) - Has started 17 games...four 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...held in each of the last two games.

#11 Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) - Has scored in double figures eight times this season...scored 13 points against Washington, Jan. 24, including 11 in the first half...did not start for only third time in last 48 games at Oregon, Jan. 17...other two non-starts were senior days in 2002 and 2003...had worst shooting game of his career with 0-for-9 effort at Oregon State, Jan. 15...season-high 18 points vs. IPFW, Dec. 1...tallied team-high 15 points at No. 15 Gonzaga, Dec. 28...has 118 career treys and needs one more to tie Blake Pengelly (1997-2000) for 10th on WSU's all-time list...Pac-10 ranking entering the week: Tied for seventh in three-pointers per game (2.00)...led Pac-10 with .456 three-point shooting in 2002-03

#12 Randy Green (Renton) - Has made five starts in 2003-04...averaged 16.7 points per game during three-game stretch Dec. 6-20...Pac-10 ranking entering the week: Sixth in three-point percentage (.412).

#21 Anthony Grant (Seattle) - Has appeared in 17 games, including four starts...struggled from the floor this season (7-for-44).

#22 Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) - Has started all 19 games...leads WSU with 5.9 rebounds per game...matched his career-high with 13 rebounds, including seven offensive, at Oregon, Jan. 17...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: 13th in rebounding.

#25 Isaiah Simmons (Tacoma) - Walk-on has made six appearances...made first career start vs. No. 9 Arizona, Jan. 31...played season/career-high 29 minutes against the Wildcats...recorded seven points and two assists against Arizona...tallied five points, three assists, two rebounds and one block against Washington.

#32 Ezenwa Ukeagu (Coral Springs, Fla.) - Sat out last two weeks stemming from curfew violation during Oregon road trip...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.

#33 Cody Boyd (Bellingham) - Walk-on joined the team Jan. 20...saw two minutes of action against Washington, Jan. 24...played two minutes against No. 9 Arizona, Jan. 31 and recorded a block...tight end on WSU football team...caught 18 passes for 230 yards and one touchdown during 2003 football season...also blocked three kicks...named honorable mention freshman All-American by

#40 Julius McMillion (Seattle) - Walk-on who has not appeared in a game this season.

#44 Justin Garcia (Mira Loma, Calif.) - Has played in six games...scored buckets vs. IPFW, Dec. 1 and at Oregon State, Jan. 15...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...recorded team-high 14 points against Washington, Jan. 24 while making his fourth start of the season...scored game-high 17 points against Arizona State, Jan. 29...sat out WSU's first eight games due to impermissible benefits received prior to attending WSU.

#55 Justin Bellegarde (Ukiah, Calif.) - Tied his career-high with eight points against Arizona State, Jan. 29...pulled down season-high five rebounds in opener vs. VMI, Nov. 20...has made two starts.

GETTING A FRESH START: WSU has used eight different starting lineups this season, with 11 players making at least one start...a breakdown of the lineups.

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

HAPPY NEW YEAR: The Cougars won three games (California, USC, Arizona State) in January for the first time since 1998-99.

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.

SLAMMING THE DOOR SHUT: The Cougars are 5-1 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.

FORTY PERCENT EQUALS PASSING GRADE: WSU is 9-3 this season when shooting 40 percent or better from the field...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...when the Cougars shoot under 40 percent, they are 0-7...WSU is 4-10 when its opponent connects on 40 percent or more shots from the field.

DEFENSIVE STAT OF THE WEEK: WSU gave up 61 points to Arizona last Saturday marking the fewest given up by the Cougars to a Wildcat team since a 51-49 in Tucson, Jan. 14, 1984.

FROM ZERO TO SIXTY: Washington State is 7-1 this season when scoring 60 or more points...exception is 75-62 loss to Washington, Jan. 24...Cougars are 2-9 when being held under 60 points.

SCORING LIMIT IS FIFTY-FIVE: The Cougars have held 11 of 19 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 11 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.

WSU A TRAVELING TEAM: The Cougars have played 13 of their 19 games away from Pullman...WSU traveled nearly 11,000 miles by plane and almost 1,700 miles by bus entering this week...this week, the Cougars will bus to Spokane and fly to Los Angeles via Portland...after games at UCLA and USC, WSU will fly back to Spokane via Seattle and bus home.

Washington State Cougars Cougar Athletic Fund