WSU Defeats California 79-69

Jan. 27, 2005

PULLMAN, Wash. - Kate Benz recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds to lead Washington State to a 79-69 win over the California Golden Bears in Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball action, Thursday at Friel Court.

'We've come so close in this building,' WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said. 'We've come close, so to be rewarded -- that true encouragement to have a 'W' in the left side of the column -- is truly rewarding.

'Our key to the win tonight was penetration,' Murrell continued. 'We wanted to attack and the guards did a great job.'

Benz headed a quartet of Cougars, who improved to 5-14 overall and 1-9 in conference play, who scored in double-figures. Adriane Ferguson and Charmaine Jones scored 16 points each and Dani Montgomery came off the bench to add 11 for WSU. California was led by 11 points from Leigh Gregory and Kristin Iwanaga.

Down 42-39 at the half, the Cougars outscored the Bears 21-2 over the first eight minutes of the second half to open a 60-44 lead. The Cougars, who shot 17-of-31 (54.8 percent) during the opening 20 minutes, began the second half missing four of their first five shots. However, WSU made six of its next nine attempts while Cal went 0-of-6 from the field and committed six turnovers during the Cougars' run.

Cal pulled to as close as six twice with the latter being at 68-62 with 4:22 remaining. The Cougars thwarted any hopes of a Cal comeback with a 7-0 run that extended their lead back to double-digits at 75-62 with 1:37 left. WSU would maintain its double-digit advantage the remainder of the game.

Jessica Perry tallied seven assists to increase her career total in that category to 303. She is the eighth player in school history to eclipse the 300 career assist total.

WSU continues its homestand when it hosts No. 4 Stanford, Saturday, Jan. 29 for a 2 p.m. tip-off at Friel Court.
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