Murrell Adds Pair To Program

April 16, 2003

PULLMAN, Wash. - - Katelyn Benz, a 6-foot-2 forward from Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore., and Stephanie Singer, a 5-foot-7 point guard from Marist High School in Eugene, Ore., have signed national letters of intent to play for the Washington State women's basketball team next fall, head coach Sherri Murrell announced, Wednesday.

Benz and Singer join early period signees Adriane Ferguson (Spokane, Wash.) and Nikki Stratton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) as part of the Cougars' 2003-04 freshmen class.

'These two, along with Adriane Ferguson and Nikki Stratton, are part of the first core group of recruits that will help establish Cougar Basketball as a viable top program,' Murrell said. 'It's an exciting time here at WSU and all of us are looking forward to seeing these young ladies take the floor at Beasley Coliseum.'

Playing for coach Sandy Dickerson at Central Catholic, Benz averaged 15.9 points and 12.7 rebounds a contest during her senior season. A 2002 Wendy's Heisman Award nominee and a 2003 McDonald's All-American nominee, Benz garnered Mt. Hood Conference Player of the Year honors as a senior. Additionally, Benz received first-team All-State accolades as a senior and was twice a first team All-Mt. Hood Conference selection.

Benz, whose team posted a 23-5 record and finished fourth in state in 2003, was also selected to the Oregon State All-Tournament first team. In addition, Benz participated in the Northwest Shootout, an annual game featuring Oregon and Washington all-stars, where she played against Ferguson.

'Kate had a lot of different opportunities and we're thrilled she's going to be a part of our program,' Murrell said. 'She brings a lot of versatility to the floor along with being very sound on the block. In addition, she has exceptional perimeter passing skills and shooting range.

'Kate has had outstanding coaching throughout her high school career and I'm excited about having the opportunity to coach her as she moves on to the college level,' Murrell added.

Under Marist coach Terry Lande's tutelage, Singer averaged 15 points, seven assists, four steals and three rebounds a game for a team that finished third in state and compiled a 24-4 record in 2003. From Singer's sophomore through senior seasons, Marist posted a 74-10 record including a 46-0 mark in the Sky-Em League.

Selected as the Sky-Em League's Player of the Year in 2003, Singer was named first team All-State and all-league in her senior campaign. In addition, she was first team all-tournament at the Oregon 3A Tournament and set a single-game tournament record with 12 assists against Tillamook in the third place game. She was also selected first team 3A All-State by The Oregonian.

'Stephanie comes from a tremendously successful program at Marist and knows the work ethic it will take to succeed in the Pac-10,' Murrell said. 'Stephanie has a natural point guard mentality that's so hard to find or teach. She creates opportunities for her teammates and makes those around her better.

'People are going to enjoy seeing Stephanie's ball handling and passing skills and they'll see that she can knock down the open shot,' Murrell added.
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