OSU, Oregon Visit The Palouse To Battle Cougars

Jan. 16, 2001

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Thursday, January 18
vs. Oregon State (9-4, 1-2 Pac-10), 7 p.m. Pacific.
Game will be broadcast by Fox Sports Northwest
on a tape delay basis Friday, January 19 at 2 p.m.

Saturday, January 20
vs. Oregon (10-3, 3-0 Pac-10), 6 p.m. Pacific.
Game will be broadcast by the Oregon Sports Network.

What's Up This Week:
While the weather in the Palouselast week was what one might expect in January the Washington Statewomen's basketball team experienced much better climate at Arizona.However, the weather was about the only thing that was favorable tothe team as, much like the city of Pullman, the Cougars were snowedunder by Arizona and Arizona State. WSU will look to get back on trackthis week at home against Oregon State (9-4, 1-2 Pac-10) Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. Two days later, WSU faces No. 18 Oregon (10-3, 3-0 Pac-10) Saturday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. After missing the past seven games due to a stress fracture of the left foot, Yvonne Volkman has begun practicing with the team but she is questionable for this weekend's games. Teammate Jessica Collins has missed the past nine games with the same injury and is out.

The Coach:
Jenny Przekwas is in her second season at the helm of the Cougars and her tenth as a head coach overall. Przekwas is 11-31 with the Cougars and 144-130 overall. Prior to coming to the Palouse, Przekwas spent eight years at Saint Francis (Penn.) where she left as the winningest coach in school history compiling a 133-99 overall record. During her tenure, Przekwas guided Saint Francis to four Northeast Conference titles and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

All Washington State Pac-10 road contests will be broadcast on KRPL AM 1400. Alex Webster calls the action for the next broadcast contests: Jan. 25 at California and Jan. 27 at Stanford with the pre-game airing at 6:45 p.m. Netcasts will be carried at broadcast.yahoo.com and can be linked from wsucougars.com.

This Week's Opponents:

Oregon State (9-4, 1-2)
The Beavers arrive in Pullman coming off a split to the Bay Area schools. The one win garnered last week was a big one, however as OSU defeated then No. 24 Stanford 81-65. The win over the Cardinal was the Beavers' first in five seasons and 11 meetings. OSU crashed to earth two days later with a 79-72 defeat against California. The Beavers committed 20 turnovers in the contest and let a 10-0 lead to open the game slip away. OSU is led by junior Felicia Ragland who is second in the Pac-10 averaging 18.1 points a contest. OSU boasts two other players in the conference's top-11 in scoring, Nicole Funn (14.6 ppg, 4th) and Ericka Cook (12.8 ppg, 11th). OSU received one vote in this week's AP poll.

No. 18 Oregon (10-3, 3-0)
The Ducks enter this week's Washington road trip riding a six-game winning streak. The Ducks rank first in the Pac-10 in five categories (free throw percentage - .722, field goal percentage - .487, three-point field goal percentage - .369, three-point field goal percentage defense - .279, and rebounding defense - 33.4). Oregon has won 12 of their last 13 conference games, including six straight with their last loss a 69-61 setback to USC, Feb. 26, 2000. Oregon is led by Angelina Wolvert's 13.5 points a game.

Series History:

Oregon State
The Beavers and Cougars will hook up for the 48th time when they meet this Thursday. The Cougars trail in the series 27-20 and have dropped the last two meetings with the Beavers. Wazzu's last victory in the series was Feb. 13, 1999, a 70-52 win at Pullman. The Cougars are 13-9 all-time in the series at Pullman.

The Cougars' game with the Ducks will be the 47th meeting between the two teams. The series has been one that has been dominated by Oregon as the Cougars have only taken seven games from the Ducks. Oregon has taken the last 10 meetings against WSU. The Cougars last win in the series was Jan. 11, 1996, a 72-59 win at Pullman. WSU is 4-18 all-time at Pullman.

Last Week Wrap-Up:

Arizona (Jan. 11)
LaKeisha Taylor scored 18 points leading a contingent of six Arizona players who scored in double figures as the 22nd ranked Wildcats defeated the Washington State Cougars 97-58 at McKale Center.

WSU never led in the game as it could never generate any momentum in the game. Down 7-4 at the 16:38 mark of the first half, Arizona scored six straight points to open up a 13-4 with 15:22 remaining.

The Wildcat runs would only continue as the Cougars did not put together a string of consecutive buckets until the 11:01 mark of the second half.

In the first half, the Cougars struggled from the field, shooting at a 32.3 percent clip (10-of-31). Conversely, Arizona was 19-of-31 from the floor (61.3 percent). For the game WSU shot 21-of-68 (30.9 percent), its worst shooting performance this season.

'I thought the way they shot the ball in the first half really caused us some problems,' said coach Jenny Przekwas. 'Within the half court we just could not find the basket.'

Sarah Barrett led WSU with 11 points and Brittney Hawks recorded her third straight game in double figures with 10 points.

Arizona State (Jan. 13)
Arizona State's Amanda Levens scored 23 points to offset a career-high 20-point performance from Katie Nyseth as the Sun Devils defeated the Washington State Cougars 83-70 at Ned Wulk Court.

After falling behind by a 49-30 margin at the half, the Cougars would make a run at ASU in the second half but ran out of steam at the end.

Down 65-48 with 10:34 left in the game WSU blitzed the Sun Devils with a 12-2 run over the next 5:23 to cut ASU's lead to 67-60 at the 5:11 mark of the second half.

However, the Cougars would get no closer as ASU scored six consecutive points to return their advantage to double digits.

WSU would come within 78-70 with 1:10 left but ASU, as it had done all night, ended the game with a 5-0 run to post the final 13-point margin of victory.

Each team traded runs at the beginning of the game. Arizona State bolted out quickly, scoring the first six points of the contest, as WSU did not make a field goal in the first 4:07 of the game.

However, the Cougars rebounded with a 9-2 run of their own to take a 9-8 lead at the 14:29 mark of the half. In that run, WSU made four field goals in a 1:24 span.

But after falling behind for the first time in the game, the Sun Devils caught fire, outscoring the Cougars 41-21 for the rest of the half to take a 19-point halftime advantage.

Levens' 23 points came by a 6-of-9 performance from the field including 4-of-6 from three-point territory. She headed a list of four ASU players that reached double figures in points.

Nyseth's career high effort was possible due to a 7-of-10 shooting performance from the field including a 3-of-5 effort from three-point territory. In addition, Nyseth recorded seven rebounds and six assists.

For the game, the Sun Devils shot 27-of-53 (58.6 percent) from the field including 6-of-11 from three-point territory. WSU was 25-of-55 (45.5 percent) from the field.

For the fourth straight game, the Cougars committed over 20 turnovers with 22 against ASU including 13 in the first half. ASU would commit 13 turnovers for the game.

Rebound Loss:
Despite out-rebounding Arizona State 34-31, the 83-70 defeat to the Sun Devils was the Cougars' first loss this season when they have out-rebounded an opponent. The Cougars are 5-1 when out-rebounding their opponents and 2-6 when being out-rebounded.

Smith Watch:
With four treys this past week, senior Joanna Smith increased her career three-point field goal total to 130. Smith needs just four more treys to surpass Heather Norman (133, 1989-92) for first on the school's all-time list. With a .386 (130-337) career three-point percentage, Smith ranks third on the school's all-time list.

Diverse Scoring:
Brittney Hawks is the only Cougar to average double figures in points with a 10 per game average but WSU does have eight players averaging five or more points a game. All 15 players on the squad have made a mark on the scoreboard and have seen action in at least four games.

No Second-Half Blues Lately:
In four of their first seven games, the Cougars had been outscored in the second half. In those seven contests, WSU was outscored by an average score of 37.3-33.6. However, the final half has been a friendlier time for the Cougars as WSU had outscored its opposition in five of the last seven contests. In those seven games, WSU had outscored its opposition by an average score of 39-33.6 in the second half. For the season, WSU has outscored its opposition 508-496 in the second half.

But The First Half....:
WSU has been outscored in the first half in four of its past five games. In those five games, the Cougars have been outscored by an average margin of 40.2-30.2. The first half was a different story for the Cougars' in their first nine games as they outscored the opposition by an average margin of 30.9-28.9. For the season, WSU has been outscored 461-429 in the first half.

Pac-10 Turnover Struggles:
After beginning the season with 29 and 26 turnovers in their first two games the Cougars did not eclipse the 20-turnover mark in their next eight games. However, WSU has recorded over 20 turnovers in its first four Pac-10 contests. Despite the higher rate, the Cougars are 2-2 in those games. WSU has averaged 21.1 turnovers for the season while its opponents have turned the rock over an average of 19.1 times a contest. WSU is 4-0 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponents and 3-7 when committing more.

Double-Double Run:
After going through the first eight games of the season without a double-double, the Cougars have accomplished the feat in four of the past six games. Whitney Martindale started the ball rolling with a 13-point, 10-rebound effort in the 76-49 win over Samford Dec. 29. Kelley Berglund recorded the second double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds versus Montana Dec. 30. Brittney Hawks extended it to three in a row with her 15 points and 12 rebounds in the win over USC Jan. 4. Hawks became the first Cougar to record two double-doubles this season with her 10 points and 10 rebounds at Arizona Jan. 11.

Honors Continue For Nyseth:
Katie Nyseth's all-tournament selection at the Lady Griz Classic Dec. 29-30 was just the latest in a string of honors that have rolled in for her this season. Maybe the most noteworthy of these honors has been her selection as one of eight finalists for the second annual One-On-One Sports Socrates Award Dec. 19.

The Socrates Award is presented annually to the college athlete who best exemplifies excellence in athletics, academics and the Socrates creed 'Strong Mind In A Strong Body.' This includes a student-athlete who has shown himself or herself to be a leader and quality contributor in their sport(s), an outstanding student academically and a quality citizen in his/her community. Last year's inaugural winner of the award was Purdue quarterback Drew Brees.

This year's finalists, along with Nyseth and Brees are Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke from Florida State, Bethany Bogart (UCLA, soccer), Andre Carter (California, football), Kimball Christianson (Utah, football), Ben Hamilton (Minnesota, football) and Kyle Vanden Bosch (Nebraska, football).

The award will be presented at the March of Dimes National Athletic Award event scheduled for Tuesday, March 6, 2001 at the Fox Theater in Detroit, Mich. CBS Sports' Greg Gumbel will serve as Master of Ceremonies and Fox Sports Net will televise the event. The winner of the award will be announced in January.

The Socrates Award is another of an ever-growing list of honors for Nyseth, a 5-3 senior guard from Cheshire, Ore., this season. Nyseth was honored with the 2000 Rutgers University Coca-Cola Classic Scholar Athlete Award, Nov. 24. An aspect of the award was a scholarship donation made to WSU in Nyseth's name. In addition, she was an All-Tournament Team selection at the Classic, Nov. 25-26. In two games versus George Washington and Vermont, Nyseth averaged 10 points, five rebounds, 4.5 assists and two steals.

Just a week later, Nyseth was named with a second team selection to the Successful Farming Magazine's All American Women's Basketball Farm Team, Dec. 2. The All American Farm Team is a scholastic program honoring outstanding college athletes who call a farm or ranch home. All athletes and their parents receive a plaque honoring their selection to the team.

Nyseth is a Biological Systems Engineering major and carries a 3.86 GPA. She was honored last year as the College of Agriculture and the Biological Systems Engineering Junior of the Year. In addition, she was a 2000 Pacific-10 All-Academic Team selection.

With 325 career assists, Nyseth ranks sixth on the Cougars' all-time list in that category. For the season, Nyseth is averaging 8.7 points and 3.5 rebounds a game. In addition, she leads the team in assists (4.8 a game) and steals (1.9 a game).

First Time In The Arena:
The Dec. 8 game versus Portland marked the first time the Cougars played at the Spokane Arena. The Dec. 8-9 Cougar Shootout was just a taste of the future for the Arena when it comes to women's basketball. WSU and the Arena will host the 2001 NCAA West Regional, March 24 & 26 with a trip to the Women's Final Four in St. Louis, March 30 & April 1, at stake.

NCAA Flavor:
It is fitting that WSU will host the 2001 NCAA West Regional with the large 2000 NCAA Tournament presence on its schedule. WSU has already played four teams (George Washington, Vermont, BYU, Montana) that reached the 2000 NCAA Tournament. The Cougars will play four more squads this season (Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA) that advanced to the field of 64 last year.

Other Notes:
Three-point territory at Friel Court was an inimical place for both USC and UCLA when the teams visited Pullman, Jan. 4 & 6. The teams shot a combined 4-of-27 (14.8 percent) from outside the arc...against USC and UCLA the Cougars shot 53-of-102 (52 percent) from the floor while the L.A. schools shot a combined 47-of-151 (31.1 percent)...the 24-of-44 (54.5 percent) shooting effort against UCLA was a season-best. ...the 20-of-24 (83.3 percent) free throw effort against USC was a season best.

Washington State will host the 2001 NCAA Women's Basketball West Regional March 24 & 26 at the Spokane Arena. For ticket information contact the following outlets:

Spokane Arena Box Office
1-800-325-SEAT, 1-509-325-SEAT
G&B Ticket Outlets

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