L. A. Road Trip Concludes 2000-01 Campaign For Cougars

March 5, 2001

Washington State Cougars (11-15, 6-10 Pac-10, T-8th)
Current Streak: Lost One

What's Happening This Week:

Thursday, March 8
at UCLA (4-23, 3-13 Pac-10 10th) 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 10
at USC (11-15, 6-10 Pac-10 T-8th) 1 p.m.

WSU Stats At A Glance:
FG % - .411 (662-1612)
3-Pt % - .342 (122-357)
FT % - .669 (316-472)
Avg. Rebounds/Game - 36.8 (958)
Avg. Points/Game - 67.8
Opp. Avg. Points/Game - 72.5

Washington State Cougars:
At Home: 7-7
(7-5 Friel Court, 0-2 Spokane Arena)
Away: 2-7
Neutral: 2-1
When Leading At The Half: 7-2
When Trailing At The Half: 4-13
When Out-Rebounded by Opponent: 3-14
When Out-Rebounding Opponent: 8-1
When Committing More Turnovers Than Opponents: 4-9
When Committing Fewer Turnovers Than Opponents: 7-6
When Committing Fewer Than 20 Turnovers: 5-10
When Committing 20-24 Turnovers 3-4
When Committing More Than 25 Turnovers: 3-1
When Shooting At Or Over .400: 10-8
When Shooting Below .400: 1-7
In Games Decided By Five Points Or Less: 3-2

Last Trip Of The Year: The Washington State women's basketball squad will conclude its 2000-01 campaign on the road at the Los Angeles schools this week. The Cougars (11-15, 6-10 Pac-10) begin the trip facing UCLA (4-23, 3-13 Pac-10) Thursday, March 8 at 7 p.m. Two days later, WSU ends the season with a date at USC (11-15, 6-10 Pac-10 T-8th) Saturday, March 10 at 1 p.m. WSU will look to finish the conference season in the same fashion as it began, with a sweep over the Los Angeles schools. The wins over USC and UCLA back in January marked the first time since the 1991-92 season that the Cougars opened the conference season with two wins. The Jan. 4 USC victory marked the first time WSU opened up the Pac-10 season with a win since 1994. In addition, the weekend sweep over USC and UCLA was the first time the Cougars swept the Los Angeles schools since 1995. The last time WSU took a season sweep over USC was the 1998-99 season. It has been a little longer since the Cougars have swept UCLA in a season. In fact, it has never happened.

Radio: All Washington State Pac-10 road contests will be broadcast on KRPL AM 1400. Troy Hirsch will be calling the action for the next broadcast dates, March 8 at UCLA and March 10 at USC. Pre-game airs at 6:45 p.m. for the UCLA contest and 12:45 p.m. for the USC game. Netcasts will be carried at broadcast.yahoo.com and can be linked from wsucougars.com.

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 15-39 with the Cougars and 148-138 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.

About UCLA: After a trip to the NCAA Tournament last year, the Bruins have struggled this year, winning only four games. Despite the team's struggles, Michelle Greco has shined for the Bruins, averaging 19.7 points a game, which is second in the conference.

About USC: The Trojans share the same record as the Cougars, but while WSU is coming off a loss as it heads into L.A., USC is riding a two-game win streak. Ebony Hoffman and Aisha Hollans lead USC averaging 12.4 and 11.8 points a game, respectively.

The Series: WSU is 6-23 all time versus the Bruins and has never won in 14 tries at UCLA. The Jan. 6 win over the Bruins snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Cougars in the series. The Cougars have fared a little better against USC recording an 11-19 overall record in the 30-game series against the Trojans. WSU is 4-11 all-time versus USC at Los Angeles. The last road triumph was a 65-58 victory Jan. 28, 1999.

Earlier This Season:
USC (Jan. 4): Perseverance does pay off.

Brittney Hawks' lay-in as time expired capped a come from behind effort for the Cougars as WSU edged the USC Trojans 79-78 to open Pac-10 conference play.

The win marked the first Pac-10 season opening victory for WSU since January 6, 1994, an 88-82 win over California at Pullman.

'To start the Pac-10 season off with a win is great for the program,' said WSU coach Jenny Przekwas. 'This is my biggest win as a Cougar.'

After relinquishing a 5-4 lead at the 17:20 mark of the first half, the Cougars would fall behind by as much as 10 points before heading into halftime facing a 40-33 deficit.For much of the second half it seemed the Cougars were climbing a hill as high as those outside the Pullman campus.

On four separate occasions, WSU would cut the Trojans' lead to one only to be turned back. Finally, with the Cougars' down 72-69 with 3:04 left, Katie Nyseth converted a three-point play to tie the game at 72.

That tie began a sequence that saw five lead changes and three ties in the final 3:04.After a bucket by the Trojans' Tiffany Elmore put USC back up 74-72, the Cougars' Victoria Harrod converted a three-point play of her own to put WSU up 75-74 with 2:21 remaining. It was the Cougars' first lead since 5-4 at the 17:20 mark of the first half.

Both teams traded leads during the next minute and then with WSU up 77-76, the Trojans' Ebony Hoffman's lay-up with one minute remaining gave USC a 78-77 advantage.

On the Cougars' ensuing possession, a steal by USC's Aisha Hollans gave the Trojans the ball back but Elmore missed a jumper and Whitney Martindale came down with the rebound for the Cougars and called timeout with four seconds left. Coming out of the time out, Hawks took the inbound pass from Harrod and proceeded to make the lay-in to give the Cougars the win.

'USC is a very good team and to come up with the win after being down and to make a lot of runs at them before finally finishing it is a great feeling.' said Przekwas. 'I thought USC really dominated the boards and their pressure defense was stifling in the first half. But we stayed with it. I give a lot of credit to the players who didn't quit.'

UCLA (Jan. 6): Riding the wave of a 14-0 run over the course of the first and second halves, the Washington State women's basketball team defeated the UCLA Bruins 74-52 to improve to 2-0 in Pac-10 play.

In recording only their sixth win in the 29-game history with the Bruins, the Cougars registered their largest margin of victory over UCLA.

Kelley Berglund scored a game-high 17 points and Brittney Hawks added 13 for the Cougars. Berglund and Hawks led a contingent of 11 WSU players that made a dent on the scoreboard. Three players - Sarah Barrett, Katie Nyseth and Jessica Ottmar - scored nine points a piece.UCLA was without the services of leading scorer Michelle Greco who sat out with the flu. The Bruins were led by Natalie Nakase and Jalina Bradley who scored 11 points a piece.

Although the final margin of victory was large, the first half featured a total of eight ties and six lead changes. Neither team had any larger than a four-point lead in the first 17:12 of the game. However, with the Bruins up 27-23 at the 2:48 mark of the half, the Cougars blitzed UCLA with an 11-point run that gave them a 34-27 halftime advantage.

Nyseth stretched the run to 14 consecutive points with a three-pointer to open up the second half. That extended the Cougars' advantage to 37-27 with 19:48 remaining. UCLA would never get closer than eight points the rest of the way.

Nyseth & Harrod Honored: Washington State University women's basketball players Katie Nyseth and Victoria Harrod were chosen for the 2001 Verizon Academic All-District VIII Women's Basketball first team it was announced Thursday, Feb. 22.

The pair joins Megan Franza (Washington), Annie Garrison (Santa Clara) and Millie Kimpton (Pacific) as first team selections. A total of 47 eligible student-athletes were nominated by 23 different schools on the District VIII ballot. CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) members in the states of California, Hawaii, Alaska, British Columbia, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and Utah were responsible for voting.

Nyseth's list of honors this season includes a Socrates Award finalist selection, Successful Farming Magazine's All American Women's Basketball Farm Team second team selection and a 2000 Rutgers University Coca-Cola Classic Scholar Athlete Award recipient. She has also been an All-Tournament selection at the Rutgers Coca-Cola Classic and the Lady Griz Holiday Classic.

Harrod, who carries a 3.97 GPA in Human Development, has set or tied career highs in eight different categories this season. Through 26 games this season, Harrod is averaging 6.7 points a game on 69-of-130 (.531) shooting from the field, which leads the team. She is a career .811 (146-180) free throw shooter, which is the best in school history.

The five first team members will now be on the national Verizon Academic Women's Basketball All-America ballot. First, second and third team national winners will be announced Thursday, March 15, 2001.

Last Week's Wrap:
Washington (March 3): LeAnn Sheets recorded 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead a contingent of three Washington players that scored in double figures as the Washington Huskies defeated the Washington State Cougars 80-64 in Pac-10 women's basketball action at Bank of America Arena.

Despite the loss, the Cougars' Joanna Smith scored a game-high 19 points and Kelley Berglund recorded her team-leading fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and career-high tying 14 rebounds. It was the 13th game that Berglund has reached double-digits this season. In addition, Victoria Harrod added 10 points for the Cougars.

Along with Sheets' 16 points, Megan Franza scored 14 and Giuliana Mendiola added 10 points for the Huskies.

With the game tied early at four apiece, the Huskies used a 6-0 run to grab a 10-4 lead at the 16:05 mark of the first half. The Huskies would go the next 4:10 without a point, but the Cougars could only manage a pair of buckets during that time to cut Washington's advantage to 10-8 with 12:57 remaining.

The Huskies woke up from their brief slumber to blitz WSU with a 13-2 run over the next 5:24 to stretch their advantage to double-digits at 23-12 at the 6:45 mark of the first half.

The Cougars would cut the Huskies' lead to 32-26 with 1:03 remaining but UW would outscore WSU 5-2 the rest of the half to take a 37-28 advantage into halftime. The final two points in that first half for the Huskies' came by the way of a Sarah Duncan bucket as time expired.

Washington would ride the momentum of Duncan's bucket by scoring the first eight points of the second half. That run stretched the Huskies' advantage to 45-28 with 17:32 remaining. Washington's lead would never dip below 13 points the rest of the way.

Captain Comeback: In the 77-76 win over Oregon Feb. 15, WSU rallied from a 16-point first half deficit, marking the second largest comeback in the history of the program. The largest comeback by the Cougars occurred Jan. 9, 1993 when WSU rallied from 18 points down to defeat Washington 75-72 in overtime at Seattle. The win at Oregon marked the fourth win this season when the Cougars have rallied from a double-digit point deficit to capture a win. Oregon has been the victim of Cougar rallies twice this season. At Pullman, Jan. 20, the Cougars were down by 10 to the Ducks in the second half before coming back for a 67-64 win. WSU has also rallied from double-digit deficits for wins against USC and Idaho. 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.

Nyseth Lends A Hand: With three more assists, Katie Nyseth will become only the second Cougar in the history of the women's basketball program to reach the 400 career assists mark. Darla Williamson (448 assists, 1989-92) is the only Cougar to rank ahead of Nyseth. With 139 assists this season, Nyseth has achieved the fifth best single-season mark in school history. She is only two assists shy of fourth place in that category.

Diverse Scoring: Seven Cougars have scored over 125 points this season and five are averaging over 7.5 points a game. Yvonne Volkman leads the team averaging 10.2 points a game followed closely behind by Katie Nyseth's 10 points a contest.

Pac-10 Leaders: Katie Nyseth ranks second in the Pac-10 in assists averaging 5.35 a game and assist/turnover ratio (1.99). As a team, the Cougars are third in the conference in assists (16.31/game) and three-point field goals (4.69/game).

Volkman Hits The Century Figure: The Feb. 24 win over California marked Yvonne Volkman's 100th career game as a Cougar, and her 55th as a starter. In her 100th contest, Volkman recorded her 40th career game in double figures in points with 11. With 785 career points, Volkman is only nine points shy of cracking the school's Top-20 list in that category.

Berglund's Buckets: Kelley Berglund recorded her team-leading fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and career-high tying 14 rebounds against the Huskies March 3. Berglund's double figure point total against Washington marked the 13th game in which she has reached double-digits this season, which also leads the team.

Season sweep: The season sweep over Oregon was the first time WSU swept a Pac-10 opponent since the 1997-98 season when the Cougars swept California. The win over Oregon Feb. 15 was the first road win over the Ducks since 1992-93.

Twice As Good: The win over Arizona Feb. 10 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.

Turnovers Tell The Story...Or Do They?: In the seven conference games that WSU has committed less than 20 turnovers, all but one have resulted in a loss. The Cougars committed 19 turnovers in the 64-46 loss to Oregon State Jan. 18 and 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 committed 13 turnovers against Arizona State Feb. 8. WSU turned the ball over a season low 11 times versus Stanford Feb. 22 but still came away with the 87-78 loss. The Cougars suffered their sixth conference loss when committing fewer than 20 turnovers with 14 turnovers at Washington March 3. The lone win was Feb. 15 at Oregon when the Cougars committed 15 turnovers. The Cougars are 7-6 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponents and 4-9 when committing more. In addition, WSU is 5-10 when committing less than 20 turnovers, 3-4 when committing 20-24 and 3-1 when committing more than 25 turnovers.

Double-Double Run: The Cougars have accomplished the double-double feat in seven 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. Berglund recorded her third double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds against California Feb. 24 and her team-leading fourth with 16 points and 14 rebounds at Washington March 3.

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 4-7 against those opponents so far this season.

Cougar Notes: The 1,231 who witnessed the UW-WSU Feb. 3 game was the largest crowd to witness 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. ... Eleven 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 the Feb. 11, 1999 14-of-14 effort also against Oregon...Despite out-rebounding Arizona State 34-31, the 83-70 defeat by the Sun Devils Jan. 13 is the team's only loss when it has out-rebounded an opponent...The Cougars are 8-1 when out-rebounding their opponents and 3-14 when being out-rebounded... WSU has been outscored 908-788 in the first half including 611-482 in Pac-10 games.

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