Cougar Cagers Open Pac-10 Play in City of Angels

Dec. 26, 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...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.

WSU IN PAC-10 OPENERS: The Cougars are 10-18 all-time in Pacific-10 openers (beginning in 1978-79 season)...WSU is 1-12 when opening on the road (won at Washington in 1987-88) and 2-3 when beginning with UCLA.

TOP-RANKED UCLA: The Bruins are 11-0 and ranked No. 1 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls...received all 31 first place votes from the coaches and 71 of 72 from the writers...used same starting lineup for all 11 games...four starters average double-figure scoring led by Arron Afflalo's 16.0 points per game...Bruins have wins over Kentucky, Georgia Tech and Texas A&M, all ranked when the games were played.

SERIES WITH THE BRUINS: UCLA leads 89-13 and has won four the last three years, four of the Bruins wins have come by three points or less including 80-77 in double overtime at home and 58-56 in overtime at Pullman during the 2004-05 season...Cougars missed last second shots that would have forced overtime in 48-45 loss at Spokane (2003-04) and 63-61 loss at UCLA (2005-06)...Bruins are 61-3 against WSU when ranked.

UCLA REVIEW: The Bruins won 63-61 in Los Angeles and 50-30 in Pullman last season...WSU's Josh Akognon scored a game-high 25 points at UCLA while three Bruins scored in double figures led by Arron Afflalo's 18 points...UCLA led 32-17 at halftime and 54-37 with 7:31 remaining in the game...Akognon scored 16 points during a 24-9 run that pulled the Cougars within 63-61...WSU could have forced overtime, but Kyle Weaver missed a layup with one second Pullman, Jordan Farmar led a dominating UCLA victory with 20 points...Aron Baynes led WSU with 10 points and eight rebounds.

THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY (Dec. 28): Washington State defeated UC San Diego 103-78, Dec. 28, 1990...Cougars were led by Neil Derrick's game-high 27 points...Terrence Lewis added 21 points and Bennie Seltzer chipped in 16 for the WSU...Ken Critton pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for the winners...WSU shot 58 percent from the field in the game, including 46 percent from 3-point range (13-for-28)...Cougars led 43-27 at was a track meet in the second half with Washington State outscoring UC San Diego 60-51.

WSU AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: The Cougars had lost 48 straight games to ranked opponents before winning 70-63 at No. 11 Arizona, Jan. 29, 2005...including that game, WSU is 4-5 in it last nine outings versus a ranked foe...Cougars knocked off No. 18 Gonzaga 77-67, Dec. 5.

COUGARS AGAINST TOP-RANKED TEAM: Washington State is 0-24 all-time against the nation's No. 1 team, including 0-16 against UCLA...last time playing No. 1 was March 4, 2004 (Stanford)...last road game against No. 1 was Feb. 22, 2001 at Stanford.

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