Cougars Return Home To Face Eastern Washington

Dec. 3, 2002

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What's Happening This Week:

Wednesday, Dec. 4
vs. Eastern Washington (2-2)
7 p.m Pacific
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

On Tap:
Wednesday, Dec. 11
At Gonzaga
7 p.m Pacific
Spokane, Wash.

Saturday, Dec. 14
At Montana
6:35 p.m Pacific
Missoula, Mont.

What's Happening: A busy stretch for the Washington State women's basketball team (0-4) concludes when it hosts Eastern Washington (2-2) Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Friel Court...Wednesday's game will mark the fifth game in a 13-day span for the Cougars...after the EWU game, the Cougars can enjoy a week off before they play at Gonzaga, Dec. 11.

About EWU: The Eagles have posted wins over Long Beach State and Nevada...losses have come to Wyoming and Dayton...Kathleen Nygaard leads the Eagles in scoring with a 15.5 points per game average...Nygaard is one of three players averaging double figures in points...Stephanie Ulmer (13.3 ppg) and Michelle Demetruk (10.3 ppg) complete the trio.

The Series Versus EWU: The Cougars lead the all-time series with the Eagles, 23-7...the last meeting between the two teams occurred, Dec. 4, 1999, a 61-60 win by WSU...the Cougars have won the last eight in the series.

Cougars In Sunshine State Last Weekend: The Cougars dropped a pair of games at the Florida International/Herald Thanksgiving Classic at Miami, Fla...WSU opened the tournament with an 87-50 loss to No. 3 Louisiana State, Nov. 29... LSU was hot from the floor all game, shooting 60.3 percent (41-of-68)...after a hot start of their own, the Cougars cooled off to shoot 20-of-45 (44.4 percent)...LSU built a 22-14 advantage during the game's opening nine minutes as the Lady Tigers began the contest making 11 of their first 17 shots...WSU converted seven of its first 12 attempts to stay within striking distance...when the Cougars went on an 8-0 run, which was capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Lindsey Egeland and Sarah Barrett, they tied matters up at 22 with 8:22 remaining...after an exchange of baskets, LSU re-established its lead to 33-29 and then took control of the game by closing the half on a 10-0 run to end the opening 20 minutes with a 43-29 advantage...the loss to LSU was followed by a 72-50 defeat by Virginia Tech in the consolation game...down 8-6 at the 15:26 mark of the first half, Virginia Tech went on an 11-2 run over a 4:04 span to take a 17-10 lead...two consecutive baskets by the Cougars cut the Hokies' advantage to 17-14 with 9:56 remaining; however, WSU hit a scoring drought going the next 6:04 without making a dent in the scoreboard...during that time Virginia Tech scored nine points (the last six on free throws) to take a 26-14 lead en route to ending the opening half with a 39-21 the first half, Virginia Tech converted 13-of-19 free throws. Conversely, WSU went to the line twice in the first 20 minutes making one of the attempts...Jessica Perry and Ravon Justice saw their first action of the season at Miami...Perry missed the first two games of the season with mononucleosis and Justice sat out with a torn right quadricep.

Fields Earns All-Tournament Honors At FIU Classic: Junior Candace Fields earned an all-tournament team selection at the FIU/Herald Thanksgiving two games, Fields averaged 11.5 points and 9.5 rebounds...Fields recorded her second career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds against No. 3 LSU...Fields followed that with a team-high 11 points and seven rebounds against Virginia Tech...her other double-double was a 12-point, 12-rebound performance against Montana last year.

WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell On Eastern: 'I'm excited about it because even though we lost those two games in Miami, our confidence was built from it. We played with passion and I thought we played hard. We just have to make sure we have good runs and no scoring droughts. Right now, our problem is that we go through a six-minute or eight minute scoring drought. Eastern is a team that will never quit. They will be pestering us all game long so we have to make sure we build and maintain momentum. It will be nice to play back home and see what we can do against an in-state rival.'

Murrell On The FIU Tournament: 'I felt like we took positive steps forward. The challenge was playing such great teams. We didn't turn the ball over as much against Virginia Tech and that is our focus right now. The one thing we had a problem with was the players that came back didn't have any practices under their belts. Once we get all that together I think we will do well. We definitely took two steps forward.'

A Loooong Holiday Weekend: Thanksgiving weekend turned out to be a little longer than WSU anticipated...the Cougars already had a long day of traveling in store for them, Sunday as it was returning to Pullman from Miami, Fla...that day was made longer when the plane bound for Pullman, which was scheduled to arrive in Pullman at 6 p.m. was unable to land in the city due to fog...the plane turned around and returned to Seattle, landing at 7:30 p.m...the airline arranged a bus for the Palouse-bound passengers, which departed Sea-Tac airport at 10:30 p.m...five hours later, at 3:30 a.m., the bus arrived at the Pullman-Moscow all, the Cougars' return trip from Miami lasted a total of 25 hours from its 5:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) departure from the Miami hotel to the arrival at the Pullman airport.

McCall Threatens Rebounding Record Against Wyoming: Bianca McCall grabbed 19 rebounds to tie her for the sixth-best single-game rebounding performance in WSU history in the Cougars' 82-51 loss to the University of Wyoming, Nov. 22 at Friel Court...McCall's effort tied the junior from Santa Rosa, Calif., with three other Cougars (Janet Kusler, 1976; Gail Houser, 1977; Brittney Hawks, 2001) who hit the 19-rebound mark...Jennifer Grey holds the school record with 22 rebounds in a game, having done it twice in 1975...McCall's contribution wasn't limited to the boards as she scored 18 points tying her with Lindsey Egeland for the team high point total.

Exhibition Round-Up: The Cougars recorded two wins on their exhibition slate...the first victory was an 82-57 victory over P & P Lady Express, Nov. 9...the Cougars made it two in a row with a 76-53 win over Denmark, Nov. 16...four Cougars scored in double figures in the win over Lady Express and three had double-doubles in points and rebounds...Candace Fields (16 points, 10 rebounds), Lindsey Egeland (12 points, 13 rebounds) and Bianca McCall (11 points, 12 rebounds) recorded double-doubles...Sarah Barrett added 13 points to complete the double-digit scoring the win over Denmark, WSU came back from a 20-11 deficit in the game's opening 7:35... the Cougars rallied with an 11-0 run, which was capped by a trey from Egeland, to take a 22-20 lead at the 7:51 mark of the first half...both Egeland and McCall accounted for all the points in the run...Egeland led the Cougars with 20 points, including 13 in the second half...McCall recorded her second consecutive double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds... Egeland (16.0 points, 10.5 rebounds) and McCall (15 points, 13 rebounds) averaged a double-double during the two-game exhibition season.

Cougar Net Notes: Bianca McCall leads the Cougars in points (11.8/game) and rebounds (9.3/game)...she has scored in double figures in three of four games this season...six Cougars have hit double-digits in points in at least one game...the opposition has shot no worse than 44.6 percent in the Cougars' first four games...WSU has over 20 turnovers in each of its first four games...the crowd of 574 that attended the Lady Express exhibition, Nov. 9 was larger than any crowd that attended a Cougar home game last season.

Coaching Staff: Sherri Murrell, who coached the University of the Pacific to four consecutive winning seasons, begins her first season as head coach of the Cougars...while at Pacific, Murrell coached the Tigers to a 68-46 record including a 40-20 mark in Big West Conference play...the Tigers' 19-11 record in 2002 was the most wins by the program since 1995...assistant Mark Lewis brings 17 years of coaching experience to the program... Lewis arrives at the Palouse after serving as an assistant at Western Kentucky last season...prior to his time at WKU, Lewis spent five years (1996-2001) as an assistant at Arizona State...assistants Lisa Fisher and Christopher Holland come to Pullman after serving as assistants on Murrell's staff at the University of the Pacific during the 2001-02 season...prior to coming to Pacific, Fisher coached at Northeastern in Boston, Mass., where she was an assistant during the 2000-01 season...preceding her coaching at Northeastern, Fisher was at Portland State from 1996-2000, where she also worked with Murrell from 1996 to 1998... before his year at Pacific, Holland was at Arizona State, where he was a team manager of the women's basketball team for five years.
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