Cougar Women Set to Take On UCLA, USC

Feb. 4, 2008

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FIRST GLANCEThe Washington State women's basketball team concludes its three-game road trip this week with a series against the Los Angeles schools. The Cougars square off against the Bruins of UCLA Friday (Feb. 8) at 7 p.m., at Pauley Pavilion, before taking on the USC Trojans Sunday (Feb. 10) at 12:30 p.m., at the Galen Center.

ON THE RADIOFriday's game against UCLA will be broadcast live on 104.3 FM. Steve Grubbs has the call live from Los Angeles.

THE COUGARSWSU is led by junior guard Katie Appleton, the Cougars' lone double-digit scorer at 12.6 points per game. Appleton ranks 10th in the Pacific-10 Conference in free throw percentage (.722), seventh in steals (1.86 per game) and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (.397). Junior center Ebonee Coates leads the team in rebounding at 4.6 boards per game.

LAST TIME OUTWashington State junior guard Katie Appleton hit her 100th career 3-pointer Feb. 3, but the Cougars fell to Washington 84-40 at Bank of America Arena. Appleton, who scored a team-high 14 points, became just the seventh Cougar in school history to post 100 career 3-point field goals. The Huskies led wire-to-wire after opening the game with a 9-0 run.

SCOUTING UCLAThe Bruins are led by senior forward Lindsey Pluimer, who ranks sixth in the Pacific-10 Conference with 14.4 points per game. Pluimer also ranks fifth in the conference in rebounding at 6.8 per game. Freshman forward Nina Earl (9.5 ppg) and freshman guard Darxia Morris (9.4 ppg) also nearly average double figures in scoring. UCLA lost both games last week, falling 67-53 at California and 75-62 at Stanford.

SCOUTING USCThe Trojans are coming off of consecutive losses to Stanford (77-51) and California (60-55), though USC took the 10th-ranked Golden Bears to overtime. The Women of Troy boast a couple of players scoring in double figures in junior center Nadia Parker (11.1 ppg) and junior guard Camille LeNoir (10.9 ppg). Parker ranks eighth in the Pac-10 in rebounding at 6.5 rpg.

THE SERIESThe Cougars dropped the first meeting between both USC and UCLA earlier this season in Pullman.

In the first meeting the Bruins shot 65.5 percent from the field in the first half (19-of-29), including 6-of-9 from the 3-point line (66.7 percent), to take a 56-23 lead into halftime. The Cougar defense held the Bruins to 24.1 percent from the field in the second half, however, and the Cougar offense outscored UCLA 33-20 in the second stanza. Despite the strong second half, the Cougars fell 76-56. The Cougars have lost each of the last 15 meetings between the two schools, with the last Cougar victory coming Jan. 6, 2001 in Pullman (74-52). WSU trails 6-38 in the all-time series, and is looking for its first win against the Bruins on the road.

In the first meeting with USC, the Cougars led for a majority of the first half, and entered the break with an 11-point lead. WSU built its lead to 13 points in the opening minutes of the second half, but USC climbed back into the game with a couple of scoring runs, tying the game at 56-56 with 1:19 remaining. The Trojans regained the lead at 59-56 with 43 seconds left and held on for a 62-58 win. The Cougars trail in the all-time series with the Trojans 11-33, and have lost each of the last 14 meetings. WSU's last victory over the Women of Troy came Jan. 4, 2001 (79-78) in Pullman. The Cougars' last victory over USC on the road came Jan. 28, 1999 (65-58).

NEXT UPWSU returns to Friel Court next week after being on the road for each of its last three games. The Cougars' match-up with Oregon State (Friday, Feb. 15) will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Northwest, and is the inaugural Pink Out game to support the fight against breast cancer. The Cougars close out their home series with Oregon Sunday, Feb. 17.

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