WSU Women Embark On Oregon Trail

Feb. 12, 2001

What's Happening This Week:
Thursday, February 15
at Oregon (12-9, 5-6 Pac-10) 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 17
at Oregon State (11-10, 3-8 Pac-10) 7:05 p.m.
Televised on a tape delay basis by Fox Sports Northwest
Will air Sunday, Feb. 18 at 11 a.m.

WSU Stats At A Glance:
FG % - .415 (528-1273)
3-Pt % - .335 (87-260)
FT % - .667 (266-399)
Avg. Rebounds/Game - 36.8 (733)
Avg. Points/Game - 67.1
Opp. Avg Points/Game - 70.9

Washington State Cougars:
At Home: 5-6
(6-4 Friel Court, 0-2 Spokane Arena)
Away: 1-5
Neutral: 2-1
When Leading At The Half: 6-2
When Trailing At The Half: 3-10
When Out-Rebounded by Opponent: 2-11
When Out-Rebounding Opponent: 7-1
When Committing More Turnovers Than Opponents: 4-8
When Committing Less Turnovers Than Opponents: 5-4
When Committing Less Than 20 Turnovers: 4-8
When Committing 20-24 Turnovers 2-3
When Committing More Than 25 Turnovers: 3-1
When Shooting Over .400: 8-6
When Shooting Below .400: 1-6
In Games Decided By Five Points Or Less: 2-2

On The Road To Oregon: Fresh off a stirring 93-86 win over Arizona on live TV, the Washington State women's basketball team will look to continue the momentum at the state of Oregon this week. The Cougars (9-12, 4-7 Pac-10) face Oregon (12-9, 5-6 Pac-10) Thursday Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. Two days later, WSU travels to Corvallis to take on Oregon State (11-10, 3-8 Pac-10) Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7:05 p.m. Fox Sports Northwest will broadcast the Oregon State contest on a tape delay basis. The game is set to air Sunday, Feb. 18 at 11 a.m.

Double Ranked Triumph: The win over Arizona marked the first time since the 1994-95 season that WSU has captured two wins over ranked opponents in the same season. That year, the Cougars defeated three ranked opponents. Earlier this season, the Cougars upset then No. 18 Oregon 67-64 at Pullman Jan. 20. WSU nearly defeated a third ranked adversary just falling short to Arizona State 74-72 Feb. 8.

Radio: All Washington State Pac-10 road contests will be broadcast on KRPL AM 1400. Troy Hirsch will be calling the action for this week's contests with the pre-game airing at 6:45 p.m. Netcasts will be carried at and can be linked from

Time Change: The game time for the Feb. 24 game against California has been moved an hour earlier to 6 p.m. That game will be broadcast live by Fox Sports Net. It will be the third game this season (Washington Feb. 3, Arizona Feb. 10) that the Cougars will be featured on live TV.

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 13-36 with the Cougars and 146-135 overall. Prior to coming to the Palouse, Przekwas spent eight years at Saint Francis (Penn.) whereshe 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.

Earlier This Season:
Oregon (Jan. 20): Joanna Smith, who didn't see any action in the first half, came off the bench in the second half to hit three critical treys as the Washington State Cougars edged then No. 18 Oregon 67-64.

Smith gave WSU its first lead of the game with a three-pointer with just over nine minutes to play, 51-50, then canned her third long range shot with 17 seconds to play, putting the Cougars on top 65-64. Victoria Harrod then iced the game for WSU with a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds left on the clock.

Kelly Berglund led all WSU scorers with 14 points, including 12 in the final half, while Jessica Ottmar added 12. Harrod, who scored eight points, pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.

Brianne Meharry led Oregon with a game-high 17 points before fouling out late in the game. She also had a team-high eight rebounds. Ndidi Unaka added 15 and Jamie Craighead 13.

The Cougars stayed with the favored Ducks with solid shooting, 44 percent for the game, better rebounding, 38-32 in favor of WSU, and a perfect night at the free throw line where they made all 15 shots.

Oregon, meanwhile, shot well from the field, 43.8 percent, but struggled at the charity stripe, making five of 12 shots. They also converted three three-point shots in 14 tries.

Oregon State (Jan. 18): Jessica Ottmar scored 11 points and Victoria Harrod 10 to lead Washington State, but in the end it was Oregon State's defense that made the difference in a 64-46 OSU win.

The Beavers, ranked second in the Pacific-10 Conference in scoring defense at 59.1 points, didn't do anything to hurt their ranking, allowing the Cougars a meager 29 percent shooting from the field and a season-low 46 points. OSU also controlled the boards, outrebounding WSU 45-34.

The Beavers were led by Nicole Funn's 17 points and 16 from Felicia Ragland. Ericka Cook added 12 for the Beavers, while Funn also led all players with eight rebounds. Four OSU players had six or more rebounds.

With OSU leading by 12 points in the second half, 42-30, Ragland took over and buried the dagger in the Cougars' heart, scoring 10 quick points in just over two minutes. The 12-2 OSU outburst boosted the visitor's lead to 22 points with 11 minutes left in the game.

First Ragland dropped a short jumper, then followed up with two treys against WSU's zone defense. After Michelle Estell added a layup for the Beavers, Ragland scored again, this time on a drive to the hoop.

OSU maintained its lead of 22 points four minutes later and never allowed WSU closer than 16 points.

While WSU never led, the Cougars were even with Oregon State 10-10 seven minutes into the contest. Nursing a four point advantage, 16-12, with just over eight minutes left in the first half, the Beavers went on a 12-3 run to open up a 13 point lead during the next six minutes. Ragland had five and Cook three in the run.

Holding to a nine-point advantage at halftime, the Beavers increased their lead over the first two minutes of the second half by outscoring WSU 9-4. Chaney had six of the Beaver's nine points.

About Oregon (12-9, 5-6): After starting the season 11-3, the Ducks have lost six of their last seven contests. Ironically, the dry spell began with the defeat by WSU Jan. 20. With a 7-1 record at home, Oregon returns to Eugene this week after four straight road games. The Ducks are led in scoring by Angelina Wolvert's 12.6 points and Jamie Craighead's 10.7 points a game. Oregon has five players that are averaging over seven points a contest. The Ducks lead the conference in field goal percentage defense (.389) and are second in scoring defense (60.9).

About Oregon State (11-10, 3-8): Like their in-state counterparts, the Beavers have also struggled lately, losing four of their last five outings. And also like the Ducks, Oregon State returns home after four consecutive road games. OSU is led by Felicia Ragland's 19.5 points a game, which ranks second in the conference. Ericka Cook (12.2 points a game) and Nicole Funn (12.0 ppg) also average double digits in points for OSU.

The Series: WSU is 8-39 all-time versus Oregon and 3-19 at Eugene. The win over the Ducks Jan. 20 snapped a 10-game losing streak to Oregon. The Cougars' last road win in the series was a 66-54 triumph Jan. 21, 1993. The Cougars are 21-27 in the all-time series versus Oregon State and have lost the last three games to the Beavers. WSU is 7-17 all-time versus Oregon State at Corvallis with its last win coming Feb. 14, 1998, a 75-67 victory.

Last Week Wrap-Up:
Arizona State (Feb. 8): Melody Johnson's lay-in with 5.7 seconds remaining gave the No. 23 Arizona State Sun Devils a 74-72 victory over Washington State at Friel Court.

Down 72-71 and behind for the last four minutes, Johnson's bucket gave the Sun Devils a 73-72 advantage. After a WSU turnover, Betsy Boardman was fouled and made good on a free throw to provide the final margin of victory. A Katie Nyseth three-point try caught iron at the buzzer and Arizona State escaped with the win.

Johnson ended the game with 19 points, heading a list of three Sun Devils that scored in double figures. Boardman and Amanda Levens each added 18 points for ASU.

Washington State also had three players score in double figures. Nyseth led the Cougars with 19 points while Sarah Barrett chipped in 17 and Brittney Hawks added 10.

The game was a battle of runs throughout. ASU opened the game by blitzing the Cougars with an 11-2 run in the opening 3:47 of the contest. WSU gradually eroded the Sun Devils' advantage with a 14-5 run and eventually tied the contest at 26 at the 4:56 mark of the first half.

The teams exchanged two more ties and with the game tied at 29 with 1:28 to play in the first half, WSU outscored ASU 7-3 the rest of the half to take a 36-32 halftime lead.

The Sun Devils came out of the intermission with a 7-0 run to recapture a 39-36 lead with 16:56 remaining. The Sun Devils would hold that lead throughout much of the half but could never shake off WSU. Eventually, the Cougars took a 63-62 lead on a Nyseth basket with 4:10 to play, and kept the advantage until Levens' bucket.

Both teams shot well from behind the three-point arc. WSU hit 7-of-14, and ASU connected on 8-of-18 from three-point range.

However, ASU held the advantage at the charity stripe going to the line 31 times, hitting 19 free throws. Conversely, the Cougars had eight free-throw attempts, making six.

Arizona (Feb. 10): Yvonne Volkman scored a career-high 22 points and Katie Nyseth tied a career-high with 20 points to lead the Washington State women's basketball team to a 93-86 win over the No. 19 Arizona Wildcats at Friel Court.

In addition to her career-high point total, Volkman also grabbed 11 rebounds to tally her first double-double of the season. But more importantly, it was her prowess from three-point territory that proved to be the difference in the contest.

With the scored tied at 82 with 3:47 remaining in the game, Volkman's trey gave the Cougars a lead they would never relinquish at 87-84. For the game, Volkman was 6-of-12 from the field including 3-of-5 from three-point territory.

Volkman's trey finally broke open what had been a tight affair as there had been five ties over a two and a half minute span prior to her bucket. It began an 11-4 Cougar run that closed out the game.

In addition to her 20 points, Nyseth added eight assists and five steals. Hawks added 16 points and Kelley Berglund contributed 14 points for WSU. LaKeisha Taylor recorded a game-high 23 points to head a list of five Wildcat players that scored in double figures.

WSU was 32-of-75 (.427) from the field including 8-of-22 from three-point territory. It was the third straight game that the Cougars have made eight treys in a game, a season high. Arizona was 31-of-59 (.525) but made four less treys than the Cougars (4-of-12).

NCAA Women's West Regional Not Just A Spokane Thing: For the first time, 'March Madness' for women's intercollegiate basketball will be in Washington State's own backyard when WSU plays host to the 2001 NCAA Women's Basketball West Regional, Saturday, March 24, and Monday, March 26, at the Spokane Arena.

Four of the nation's top 'Sweet 16' women's Division I basketball teams will compete for the right to go to the Final Four in St. Louis, March 30 and April 1.

WSU was in the national spotlight just over three years ago with the Cougars' Rose Bowl appearance and hosting the sold-out NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four, also at the Spokane Arena. In March, WSU will once again be a national focus when it presents one of the four regionals of the NCAA women's basketball tournament. The other regional sites are Denver, Colo., Pittsburgh, Pa., and Birmingham, Ala.

The sale of single game tickets is not allowed by the NCAA until the first day of the regional. Tickets for the three-game West Regional basketball package - two games on March 24 and the championship on March 26 -- are $39, $29 and $19 and may be purchased at the Spokane Arena Box Office, open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at all G&B Select-A-Seat locations, at, or charged by phone at 800-325-SEAT (7328) or 509-325-SEAT (7328).

'This is a great opportunity for area residents to enjoy superb basketball in a wonderful facility,' said Karen DePauw, WSU Graduate School dean and chair of a local organizing committee for the event. 'One of the committee's focus is youth. We hope that through community support, any girl or boy who are interested will be able to attend.'

Getting to Spokane and attending the NCAA Women' Basketball West Regional tournament, March 24 and 26, can't be much easier, thanks to Peg Motley, Wheatland Express owner and a member of the regional's local organizing committee.

Wheatland Express offers a 'package,' providing tickets to all three games - two on Saturday, March 24, and the championship on Monday, March 26 - and round-trip bus trips to Spokane and back on both days. Buses are tentatively scheduled to travel from Pullman, Colfax, and Clarkston as well as Moscow, Genesee and Lewiston, Idaho. Packages are $59 per person. That's for a $19 three-game ticket and $40 for two bus trips.

In addition to buying packages for themselves, community members who would like to help youth attend the regional, may buy packages through Wheatland Express and donate them.To purchase packages, make a donation or for additional information, call Wheatland Express, 334-2200, or visit its web site,

Injury Update: Jessica Collins has missed the last 17 games due to a left foot stress fracture and remains out. Lindsey Egeland is out for the remainder of the season with a third degree sprain of the left ankle.

Pac-10 Leaders: Katie Nyseth ranks second in the Pac-10 in assists averaging 5.1 a game. Nyseth is first in the conference in assist to turnover ratio (2.43). As a team, the Cougars are third in the conference in assists (16.05/game).

Berglund's Buckets: Kelley Berglund's 14 points in the win over Arizona marked the fifth time in the past six games that she has recorded a double-digit point effort. Berglund has averaged 11.7 points in her last six games. She has recorded a total of 10 double-figure point games this season, which leads the team.

A Considerable Draw: The 1,231 who witnessed the UW-WSU Feb. 3 game was the largest to see a Cougar game this season. In addition, it was the largest audience to witness a Cougar game since 1,350 observed the Cougars and the Huskies play Jan. 20, 1996.

Smith Ties Record: With her three treys against Oregon Jan. 20, senior Joanna Smith increased her career three-point field goal total to 133. That ties her with Heather Norman (133, 1989-92) for first on the school's all-time three-point field goal list. With a .383 (133-347) career three-point percentage, Smith ranks third on the school's all-time three-point percentage list.

Volkman Returns: After missing seven games from Dec. 17 to Jan. 13 due to a left foot stress fracture, Yvonne Volkman has made her presence felt to the opposition. In the seven games since her return, Volkman has averaged 11.6 points a contest. Additionally, she leads the team with a 10.3 points a game average. Volkman recorded her first double-double of the season with a career high 22 points and a career high tying 11 rebounds in the win over Arizona Feb. 10. With 14 more points, Volkman will reach the 750 plateau for her career.

Three-Point Land A Friendly Place: After making a total of two treys in games at California, at Stanford and the first half against Washington, WSU has made a total of 23 treys combined in the second half versus Washington and the Arizona State, Arizona games.

First Half Blues Broken: Prior to last weekend, WSU had been outscored in the first half in seven consecutive games by an average score of 40.7-27.1. That string was broken when the Cougars outscored Arizona State 36-32 and Arizona 50-43 during the first half last week. For the season, WSU has been outscored 724-649 in the first half including 427-343 in Pac-10 games.

Turnovers Tell The Story...Or Does It?: The first half of the Pac-10 season saw WSU record over 20 turnovers in six of its first seven games. However, the team has committed 20 or fewer turnovers in its last four contests. Ironically, in the four conference games that WSU has committed less than 20 turnovers, all have resulted in losses. The Cougars committed 19 turnovers in the 64-46 loss to Oregon State Jan. 18 and a season low 13 turnovers in the 84-67 loss at Stanford Jan. 27. In addition, WSU turned the ball over 17 times in the 91-71 loss to Washington and tied its season low with 13 turnovers against Arizona State. WSU has averaged 20 turnovers for the season while its opponents have turned the rock over an average of 19.7 times a contest. The Cougars are 5-4 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponents and 4-8 when committing more. In addition, WSU is 4-8 when committing less than 20 turnovers, 2-3 when committing 20-24 and 3-1 when committing more than 25.

Nyseth Notes: Against Arizona State and Arizona last week, Nyseth turned in two of the best performances of her career. In two games, Nyseth averaged 19.5 points on 15-of-30 shooting. In addition, she averaged seven assists and 3.5 steals. Of the 39 points that Nyseth scored last week, 23 (12-ASU, 11-Arizona) came in the second half.

Against Arizona State, Nyseth scored 19 points, setting career highs in field goals and field goal attempts with a 9-of-18 shooting performance. In addition, she recorded six assists, four rebounds and two steals. In the win over nationally ranked Arizona, Nyseth tied a career high set earlier this season with 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field. Furthermore, she contributed a season-high eight assists along with five steals. Down by an early 6-0 deficit to the Wildcats, Nyseth opened up the Cougars' scoring with the first of her three treys that sparked a 9-0 WSU run that propelled the Cougars to the upset win.

Nyseth has played 40 minutes and scored in double figures in her last three games. Her 14 assists last week increased her career total to 364, which ties her for fourth on the school's all-time list in that category. She leads the team in total points (204) and assists (107). Nyseth is 38 points away from the 500 career point mark.

Last week was just another notch in what has been a stellar season for Nyseth. Although she did not win the award, senior Katie Nyseth earned national recognition when she was selected 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 winner was Ben Hamilton, center for the Minnesota football squad.

The finalists, along with Nyseth and Hamilton were Brees, Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke from Florida State, Bethany Bogart (UCLA, soccer), Andre Carter (California, football), Kimball Christianson (Utah, football), and Kyle Vanden Bosch (Nebraska, football).

The Socrates Award finalist selection 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. In addition, Nyseth earned an all-tournament selection at the Lady Griz Holiday Classic at Missoula, Mont.

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.

Double-Double Run: The Cougars have accomplished the double-double feat in six games this season. 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. Berglund scored her second double-double of the season with her 12-point, 14-rebound performance against Washington Feb. 3. Yvonne Volkman recorded her first double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds versus Arizona Feb. 10.

NCAA Flavor: It is fitting that WSU will host the 2001 NCAA West Regional, March 24 & 26 at the Spokane Arena with the large 2000 NCAA Tournament presence on its schedule. WSU has played eight teams (George Washington, Vermont, BYU, Montana, Oregon, UCLA, Arizona, Stanford) that reached the 2000 NCAA Tournament during the 2000-01 schedule. The Cougars are 4-5 against those opponents so far this season.

Other Notes: Nine Cougars have scored in double figures in a game this season. Along with Berglund's team-leading 10 games, Brittney Hawks and Katie Nyseth have hit double-digits in eight games and Yvonne Volkman has reached the mark in seven contests...With nine points against Arizona, Victoria Harrod eclipsed the 500 career point barrier. Harrod has scored 506 career points...WSU boasts eight players that have scored over 100 points led by Katie Nyseth's 204...Ten different players have been a member of the WSU starting line-up so far this season. Katie Nyseth is the only player on the team who has started every game ...The 15-of-15 performance from the free throw line against Oregon Jan. 20 was the first perfect effort by the Cougars from the charity stripe since Feb. 11, 1999 a 14-of-14 effort also against Oregon. The win over Oregon was WSU's third win (Idaho, USC) this season in which it came back from a double-digit deficit and the Cougars' third win when they were trailing at the half. The 68-52 win over Idaho Dec. 2 tied for the fourth greatest comeback in WSU history. The Cougars were down by 13 to the Vandals early in the second half before rallying for the 16-point win...Despite out-rebounding Arizona State 34-31, the 83-70 defeat by the Sun Devils Jan. 13 was the team's first loss when it has out-rebounded an opponent...The Cougars are 7-1 when out-rebounding their opponents and 2-11 when being out-rebounded.
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