Cougars Cruise To 82-53 Win Over Idaho

Feb. 27, 2003

PULLMAN, Wash. - - Washington State's Jessica Perry scored a game-high 20 points and Bianca McCall recorded her eighth double-double of the season as the Cougars' cruised to an 82-53 win over the Idaho Vandals in women's basketball action, Thursday at Friel Court.

WSU led wire-to-wire en route to recording its second win of the season before a season-high crowd of 725. McCall scored 16 points and 10 rebounds to post her first double-double since Jan. 25 (UCLA). Candace Fields also recorded a double-double - her second of the season - with 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.

'They were in sync,' said WSU Coach Sherri Murrell of her team's play. 'They came out ready and focused. They knew they could win this game and they really wanted to end their season here at Pullman with a win and it showed.'

The Cougars took control early, scoring the game's first six points. After Idaho narrowed the Cougars' lead to 8-7 at the 15:50 mark, WSU went on a 15-1 run to open a 23-8 advantage with 12:34 left. WSU built its lead to 47-24 to end the first half.

The Cougars' bench celebrates in the final minutes of the win over Idaho.

In the first half, WSU shot a blistering 21-of-36 (58.3 percent) while Idaho struggled converting 8-of-28 shots (28.6 percent). McCall and Perry each posted 13 points while Fields had nine in the opening 20 minutes.

'Our shooting percentage was great,' said Murrell. 'That was part of our game plan, which was to put the ball inside and try to attack them on the inside. They were sagging off on our shooters and finally we hit some outside shots as well. Our two goals for the game were rebounding and to put the ball inside to the post.'

Idaho pulled to within 53-37 at the 12:54 mark of the second half but that was as close as the Vandals would get. Up 61-43 with 8:30 remaining, the Cougars scored eight consecutive points to take a 69-43 lead. WSU would not trail by fewer than 24 points the rest of the way.

WSU controlled the boards throughout, out-rebounding Idaho by a 55-30 margin including 25-10 on the offensive end.

'Pac-10 basketball is really physical and we have been shoved around all year long.' said Murrell. 'We felt like we could be physical and dominate Idaho and that is exactly what happened.'

In addition to the heroics of Perry, McCall and Fields; WSU senior Jessica Ottmar, who had not played all year due to injury, saw her first action of the season in the final home game for WSU. Ottmar played two minutes and scored her first points of the season with 15 seconds left in the game.

'That was the best feeling ever,' Ottmar said of her bucket. 'It was so fun to end on such a great win. There was a great crowd who gave us a lot of support. It just feels good. This will stick in my heart for a long time.'
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