Cougars Return Home To Face Utah

Dec. 17, 2002

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What's Happening:
Saturday, Dec. 21
vs. Utah
1 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court, Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

On Tap:
Saturday, Dec. 28
vs. Washington
1 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court, Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.
Televised Live By
Fox Sports Northwest

What's Happening: The Washington State women's basketball team (0-7) returns home to face Utah (6-1), Saturday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m...this will be the first home game for WSU since Dec. 4...although the Cougars open Pac-10 play at home against Washington, Dec. 28 this will not be the final non-conference game for WSU this season...the Cougars host Idaho, Feb. 27...the Dec. 28 Washington game will air live on Fox Sports Northwest at 1 p.m.

About Utah: Kim Smith leads a group of three Utah players averaging double figures in points with an 18.3 points/game average...Shona Thorburn (14.9 points/game) and Carley Marshall (10.0 points/game) complete the trio...after dropping a 54-51 decision to TCU in the season opening game, Nov. 22, Utah has won six in a row.

The Series Versus Utah: The Cougars trail in the all-time series with Utah 7-1...the lone WSU win happened to be the initial meeting of the series, a 65-57 triumph, Dec. 8, 1978...the last meeting was Nov. 20, 1999, a 65-49 Utah win at Salt Lake City.

Harris To Make Her Debut: Holly Harris will make her Cougar basketball debut against Utah...Harris joins the team after a stellar run with the volleyball team this season...Harris was a member of a Cougar team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament...the Cougars were eliminated by Florida on the Gators' home floor in four games, Dec. 14...Harris earned a Pac-10 honorable mention selection in volleyball...she finished in the top seven on the school's career list in block assists (fifth - 333); total blocks (sixth - 384); and block solos (seventh - 53)...coincidentally, Harris is a Utah native and attended Skyline High School in Sandy, Utah.

WSU Coach Sherri Murrell On Utah: 'Our goal is to win these last two non-conference games because the Pac-10 is so tough. We're going to go against a good team in Utah. I'm happy to have Holly Harris join us and we'll see how she can contribute. The thing that we can take away from our last game is confidence and believing that we actually can do it. We have to make sure our confidence never takes a back seat. It's a big game for us.'

Montana Wrap: Bianca McCall recorded her fifth consecutive game of scoring double-digits in points with 15 in the Cougars' 57-53 loss to Montana, Dec. 14 at Dahlberg Arena.Kim Dugan added 10 points for the Cougars. Hollie Tyler led Montana with a game-high 19 points.Down 30-26 at the end of the first half, Montana opened the second half by blitzing the Cougars with a 7-0 run to take a 33-30 advantage at the 17:05 mark.

The Cougars responded with four straight points of their own to retake the lead 34-33 with 14:45 remaining. A Tyler trey gave the Lady Griz the lead right back at 36-34.It would be a lead Montana would not relinquish the remainder of the game although the Cougars tried their best to take it back.

Twice the Cougars would tie matters up (the last being at 39) and on five occasions would pull to within two points, the final time at 55-53 with 1:50 remaining.

WSU jumped out to a 5-2 lead as the Lady Griz missed their first four shots. Montana recovered from the slow start; however, scoring 10 consecutive points to take a 12-5 lead at the 14:15 mark.

Montana extended its advantage to17-7 but the Cougars rallied, going on a 13-2 run to pull ahead 20-19 with 5:54 remaining. The Cougars would extend their advantage to four at the conclusion of the first half.

After making five of its first 10 attempts, Montana shot 6-of-29 during the remainder of the first half (20.7 percent). Conversely, WSU, which had started the game 2-of-9 from the field, made 11 of its last 20 attempts in the opening half.

Murrell On The Montana Game: 'I was real pleased with how well we played and how well we played on the road. It was probably the best I have seen our team play. It was definitely a step forward but whatever we did that night negates itself if we don't put it together against Utah at home. I think the biggest step forward was seeing our kids battle from being behind. They battled not just to catch up, but also to put themselves up in the game. A couple missed shots here and there and missed free throws were the keys to the game.'

Montana Homecoming: Junior Lindsey Egeland turned in a solid performance in front of her hometown fans at Missoula, Mont...Egeland scored six points, pulled down a career-high six rebounds and dished out four assists against Montana, Dec. 14...Egeland, who was a four-year letterwinner at Missoula's Sentinel High School, leads the team in assists (2.7/game) and is the third leading scorer (8.1 points/game)...she is the only Cougar to have started all seven games this season.

Perry Posting: After sitting out the first two games because of mononucleosis, Jessica Perry has made her presence felt on the court...Perry is the team's second leading scorer (8.2 points/game)...she has averaged 10.3 points in the last three games including 14 against Eastern Washington, Dec. 4...Perry turned in a solid performance against Gonzaga, Dec. 11 recording nine points, nine assists and five steals against the Bulldogs...three days later at Montana, Perry pulled down a career-high nine rebounds.

Access Denied!: The eight blocks against EWU was the most since the team tallied eight rejections at California, Feb. 9, 1991...last year, WSU set a single season school record with 106 blocks...the Cougars have tallied 23 block (3.29/game) this season...through seven games last year WSU had 35.

Turnover Struggles: The 19 turnovers WSU committed against Montana were the fewest this season...the last time WSU committed fewer than 19 turnovers was at Stanford, Feb. 16, 2002 (18)...the Cougars are averaging 25.6 turnovers in their first seven games.

Rebound Round-Up: The Cougars have been out-rebounded in four of six games...the two games in which WSU did out-rebound its opponent were against No.3 LSU (29-24) and Montana (46-40)...last year the Cougars were out-rebounded in all but three games.

Double-Digit McCall: Bianca McCall has reached double figures in scoring in five consecutive games...she has also scored in double-digits in six of seven games this season...she leads the team with two double-doubles in points and rebounds (18 points, 19 rebounds vs. Wyoming, Nov. 22; 13 points, 10 rebounds vs. Eastern Washington, Dec. 4)...McCall leads the team in scoring (12.9 points/game) and rebounding (8.7/game)...she ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in rebounding...McCall also ranks second in the conference in offensive rebounds (4.86/game).

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.

Fields Earns All-Tournament Honors At FIU Classic: Candace Fields earned an all-tournament team selection at the FIU/Herald Thanksgiving Classic, Nov. 29-30 at Miami, 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.

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, Dec. 1 as they were 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.

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: WSU's strength of schedule ranking is currently eighth in the WBCA/Summerville RPI ratings...eight Cougars have hit double-digits in points in at least one game...nine players have started at least one game...before the Montana game, the opposition had shot no worse than 44.6 percent in the first six games...the Lady Griz shot 30.4 percent (21-of-69)... 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.

Cougars Add Three During Early Signing Period: WSU Coach Sherri Murrell signed three players - Vasha Adams, Adriane Ferguson and Nicole Stratton - to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period in November.

Ferguson, a 6-foot guard from Mead High School in Spokane, Wash., becomes the first player from the Greater Spokane League to choose WSU since 1985 (Lynda Clegg, Central Valley). Stratton is a 5-foot-11 guard from Coronado High School in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Adams is a 6-foot-1 forward from Clarendon College in Clarendon, Texas.

Ferguson enters her senior season coming off consecutive All-GSL First Team selections. Her first team nod as a sophomore marked only the sixth time that a sophomore earned a first team selection in GSL history. Her 15.2 points per game average was the third best in the GSL last year. She also started for the Spokane Stars AAU team this past summer averaging 8.1 points a squad that compiled a 33-6 record.

Stratton, whose sister, Jessika, is a guard at Baylor University, earned an All-State Honorable Mention selection last year and was an all-league second team pick the past two years. Last year, Stratton led Coronado in points (14 per game), assists (six per game) and steals (five per game). Additionally, Stratton served as a torch-bearer for the Winter Olympics flame's journey to Salt Lake City.

Adams will transfer to WSU from Clarendon College and will reunite with current WSU guard Ravon Justice as both were teammates at Clarendon last year.

Adams entered her sophomore season as the third ranked power forward in All-Star Girls Report's pre-season junior college player rankings. In addition, Adams was No. 34 in the publication's junior college overall player pre-season rankings.
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