WSU Men's Basketball Faces Aztecs In Seattle

Dec. 19, 2006

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COUGAR HEAD COACH Tony Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Tony Bennett is in his first season at the helm of the Cougar program...fourth year with WSU...assistant coach in 2003-04...associate head coach in 2004-05 and 2005-06...assistant coach at Wisconsin from 2000-03.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Tony Bennett became the first head coach at a current Pacific-10 institution to start 7-0 in his inaugural campaign at the school since Stanford's Robert W. Burnett was 9-0 in 1951-52...Bennett's accomplishment is tied for the third best start in a debut season at Pac-10 school in the post-World War II era.

THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY (Dec. 21): The Cougars own a 16-12 record when competing Dec. 21...Washington State Head Coach Marv Harshman led his team to a come-from-behind victory, 60-59, at San Jose State, Dec. 21, 1970...Cougars scored the first five points of the game before becoming the victim of a 27-10 Spartan run to end the half...WSU slowly chipped away at a 12-point deficit behind senior Jim Meredith...a 15-foot jumper by Jim Smiley at the 1:15 mark gave the Cougars the lead for good at 56-55, their first advantage since 5-0...Meredith led all scorers with 28 points, 22 of which came in the second half...Meredith finished the season with 467 points, currently the 10th most by a senior.

ABOUT THE AZTECS: San Diego State enters Thursday's game with a 10-2 mark...won first eight games of the season, including an 86-79 win over California...drop two straight, including 69-48 setback at the hands of Arizona...has won last two...four players average double-figure scoring led by Brandon Heath at 19.8 points per game...became the Aztecs' all-time leading scorer with 25-point effort against Loyola Marymount, Dec. 16...San Diego State won the Mountain West Conference regular season and tournament titles last season to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

SAN DIEGO STATE COACH STEVE FISHER: Aztecs' Head Coach Steve Fisher owns 299 career victories, including a 115-108 record at San Diego State...has made 12 postseason appearances, including nine NCAA Tournaments in his 15 seasons prior to 2006-07....guided Aztecs to NCAA Tournament in 2002 (first trip for school since 1985) and 2006.

WSU AGAINST THE MOUNTAIN WEST: The Cougars are 15-34 all-time against current members of the Mountain West Conference...lost 69-55 at Utah earlier this season...was 3-1 versus the MWC last season.

SERIES WITH THE AZTECS: Washington State is 4-0 all-time against San Diego State...won 60-49 at San Diego State in San Diego Slam last season...Robbie Cowgill scored team-high 12 points and added seven rebounds while Derrick Low contributed 11 points.

WSU AT KEYARENA: Last season, Washington State played the inaugural Cougar Hardwood Classic at Seattle's KeyArena...Cougars led 39-14 at halftime and cruised to a 69-42 victory over Utah...Randy Green led three WSU players in double-figure scoring with a game-high 15 points...Robbie Cowgill and Derrick Low chipped in 14 and 10 points, respectively.

COUGARS IN THE POLLS: For the second straight week, Washington State received points in both the Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today top 25 polls...Cougars received eight points this week in each poll to rank 38th and tied for 33rd, respectively...last time Washington State was nationally ranked came in February of 1983...Cougars were No.18 Feb. 3 before consecutive losses at UCLA and USC dropped them out of the rankings.

HARMELING RECEIVES WEEKLY HONOR: Washington State redshirt sophomore forward Daven Harmeling was named U.S. Bank Pacific-10 Player of the Week for Dec. 4-10...Grand Junction, Colo., native recorded a career-high 20 points behind 6-for-12 shooting from the field in the Cougars victory over then-No.18 Gonzaga...followed that performance by putting up 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting and grabbing career-high seven rebounds at Idaho...first weekly honor for the 14th Cougar to receive the accolade.

FILLING FRIEL: Many of the 10,755 fans that attended the Dec. 5 match-up against Gonzaga rushed the floor after the Cougars' 77-67 victory...crowd was the largest recorded at Friel Court since Feb. 11, 1995 when the Cougars took on No. 6 UCLA in front of 11,463.

COUGARS CLIMBING CHARTS: Washington State senior Ivory Clark and juniors Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver continue to move up in the WSU career record lists...Clark who recorded 31 blocks in his debut season has added 13 this season to move him into 15th place with 44...Low, who has knocked down 26 treys this season, sits 16th in 3-point field goals made with 79 and in the 12th spot for 3-point field goal percentage (37.4)...Weaver has dished out 42 assists this season to place him 15th with 199...has also swatted 15 shots to place him one spot behind teammate Clark with 43 career blocks (16th).

QUALITY SHOOTING: Washington State is shooting 47.9 percent in 2006-07...John Thompson Foundation Challenge (Nov. 10-12) in Milwaukee marked the first time since the 1995-96 season that the Cougars shot 50 percent or better in three consecutive games...Cougars fired a 50.0 field goal percentage over UAB...60.4 field goal percentage over Wisconsin-Milwaukee...60.0 field goal percentage over Radford.

SECOND HALF STARTS: The Cougars are outscoring their opponents 82-44 in the first four minutes of the second half this season.

WSU WINS IN DIFFERENT WAYS: The Cougars led by at least 24 points in each of their first four games this season...led by double figures at halftime in all four games...first time WSU has posted four consecutive double-digit victories since Nov. 26-Dec. 7, 1996...Cougars led for all but 13:26 in the four games...never tied or behind in the second half...never trailed by more than six points...wins over Idaho State and Boise State came by six points or less...rallied from a 10-point deficit, including seven in the second half to defeat No. 18 Gonzaga, Dec. 5...WSU has eight wins this season by double figures.

COUGARS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: Washington State leads the Pacific-10 in scoring defense (58.0 points per game), 3-point field goal percentage (40.7 percent), and assist/turnover ratio (1.22).

WASHINGTON STATE IN NCAA RANKINGS: The Cougars are ranked nationally in won-loss percentage (tied-11th, 90.9 percent), turnovers per game (15th, 12.1 per game), scoring defense (tied-28th, 58.0 per game), and 3-point field goal percentage (33rd, 40.7).

COUGARS ACROSS THE COUNTRY: The Washington State men's basketball team currently holds the most diverse roster in the Pacific-10 Conference with seven states, the District of Columbia, and three foreign countries represented...ties Arizona to lead the conference with 11 different representations...Pacific-10 conference is the most internationally diverse conference in NCAA Division I...has a total of 24 student-athletes represented by 16 different countries.

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