Cougars At Idaho Saturday; Host San Diego State Monday

Dec. 16, 2003

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What's Happening:

Saturday, Dec. 20
at Idaho
7 p.m. Pacific
Moscow, Idaho

Monday, Dec. 22
vs. San Diego State
7 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

On The Horizon:

Pacific-10 Conference Opener
Saturday, Dec. 27
at Arizona State
5:30 p.m. Pacific
Tempe, Ariz.

Tickets: Tickets for all Cougar home games are available through the WSU Ticket Office, North 225 Grand, Pullman, Wash. 99164-1910, or by calling 800-GO-COUGS.

Internet: WSU women's basketball releases, statistics, and notes are loaded weekly on the WSU Athletics Home Page. The address is:

What's Happening This Week: The Washington State women's basketball team (4-3) concludes its non-conference schedule this week...the Cougars are at Idaho (6-0) Saturday, Dec. 20 before hosting San Diego State (4-3) Monday, Dec. 22 at Friel Court...both games tip-off at 7 p.m...prior to its game at WSU, SDSU hosts Oral Roberts, Dec. 20...WSU opens Pacific-10 Conference play, Saturday, Dec. 27 at Arizona State.

Dec. 22 Is Family Night At Beasley: A family of four may attend the San Diego State game for only $15...included in the price are four general admission tickets, four hot dogs and four drinks.

About Idaho: The Vandals bring a perfect 6-0 record to Saturday's game against WSU...Emily Faurholt leads Idaho averaging 25 points a game...Faurholt also leads the team in rebounding at 6.8 boards a game...Leilani Mitchell (19.7 points/game) and Taylor Benson (12 points/game) are also averaging double figures in points...WSU leads the series 24-12 including a 82-53 win, Feb. 27, 2003 at Pullman.

About San Diego State: Michelle Elliott leads the Aztecs with a 14.1 points a game average...Ashlee Dunlap (12.3 points/game) and Courtney Fritz (11.7 points/game) are also scoring in double figures...after a three-game winning streak, the Aztecs have dropped their last three...Monday's game marks the second meeting between the two teams and the first in 22 years...SDSU captured a 59-58 win at San Diego, Nov. 23, 1981.

Perry's Performance: Junior Jessica Perry has scored in double figures in three straight games and four of her last five...Perry has averaged 14 points in her last three games and is averaging 9.1 points/game this season... in the win over Utah Valley State, Dec. 6 Perry just missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds...Perry is tied for fourth in the conference in steals per game (2.43).

Equaling the Past Two Seasons: With a 4-3 record, the Cougars have matched their combined win total over the past two seasons. (2001-02: 2-27; 2002-03: 2-26).

Defensive Display: The Cougars have held their opponents to under 60 points four times in seven 28 games last season, the Cougars held their opponents to under 60 points three times...WSU is holding its opposition to 58.4 points a game... through seven games last year the Cougars allowed an average of 66.9 points a game...the 49 points allowed by the Cougars against Utah Valley State were the fewest allowed by the team since a 55-49 win over Portland State, Nov. 26, 2001...WSU has held two opponents (Fresno State, .291; Utah Valley State, .288) to under 30 percent field goal percentage...the last time WSU held two opponents under 30 percent field goal percentage in the same season was in 2000-01...WSU held American (.263) and Vermont (.269) to under 30 percent that season...the Cougars' defensive presence is reflected in the conference statistics as WSU is fourth in scoring defense and blocked shots (3.86/game).

For Three!: WSU was 14-of-31 (45.2 percent) from 3-point territory in its Dec. 4-6 homestand against Nebraska and Utah Valley State...the eight treys by the Cougars against Nebraska were the most by the team since WSU made eight in an 86-65 loss to Arizona last season in Pullman...Lindsey Egeland's perfect 4-of-4 performance from 3-point range in the win over Utah Valley State, Dec. 6 marked the first time a Cougar was perfect from behind the arc with a minimum of four attempts since Tricia Lamb (4-of-4) Feb. 13, 1999 against Oregon State at Pullman.

Taking Better Care of the Ball: Through seven games, WSU is averaging 18.3 turnovers a game and are forcing its opponents into 19.7 turnovers per this point last year the Cougars averaged 25.6 turnovers a game while their opponents committed an average of 17.8 turnovers/game...last year, WSU had four games with fewer than 20 turnovers...the team has already equaled that total this season.

McCall Back In Action: Senior Bianca McCall returned to the court against Utah after missing the previous two games recovering from a concussion sustained in the second half of the Nov. 29 loss at Baylor...McCall leads the team in points (10.0/game) and rebounds (5.8/game)...McCall scored 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting in the 59-50 win at Wyoming, Nov. 24...she followed that up with 13 points (all in the second half) in the 59-58 win at Eastern Washington, Nov. 26...the last two points of the 13 were the most dramatic as McCall's put back off of a Charmaine Jones miss with 3.9 seconds left propelled the Cougars to victory.

Utah Recap: Jessica Perry scored 16 points and Kate Benz added 10 for the Cougars in Washington State's 61-51 loss to No. 21 Utah, Dec. 13 at Salt Lake City...Kim Smith had 17 points and Shona Thorburn added 16 for Utah...Utah led almost all the way but the Utes were never able to gain a comfortable edge...with Utah up 36-29, Thorburn had eight points in a 10-2 run...the Cougars stayed close and used a 6-0 spurt capped by Bianca McCall's free throws with 2:30 to play to close to 57-49...WSU then forced Utah into consecutive shot-clock violations, but couldn't convert either into points...WSU led 10-6 before Smith became the focus of the Utah offense as she scored nine quick points to give the Utes a 15-12 lead, and Utah never trailed again...after the Cougars climbed back within a point on a jumper by Perry, Thorburn made two baskets to cap an 11-2 surge before the end of the first half...Utah led 31-23 at the break.

In the Game: In their five wins prior to facing WSU, Utah had won by an average margin of 21.2 points...the Utes defeated the Cougars by 10 marking their closest win of the season...the Cougars also held Utah to almost 10 points below its scoring average, holding the Utes to 61 points.

WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell on the Utah Game: 'I felt that we beat ourselves at the end. Utah is a good team, you can't make mistakes against them. We're hungrier and we learned how to win. Last year we would have been blown out by 30 (against Utah). I'm pleased. Utah had beaten its opponents by an average of over 20 points. To be in the game until the very end was good.'

Road Warriors: The Nov. 24 Wyoming game began a stretch of three road games over the course of six days...along with the trip to Laramie, Wyo., WSU traveled to Cheney, Wash. for a game at Eastern Washington before going south to Waco, Texas for a game at Baylor...the road trek encompassed 4,628 air miles, 780 bus miles, six motels and four states.

First Time Since...

*The win against Fresno State marked the first season-opening triumph for WSU since three years ago to the day. The Cougars captured a 59-52 win at American University, Nov. 21, 2000 to open the 2000-01 campaign.

* The win at Wyoming improved the Cougars' record to 2-0 marking the first time since the 1998-99 campaign that WSU began a season with consecutive victories. The Cougars opened up that season with five straight wins.

* The Wyoming victory also marked the first road win for WSU since a 77-76 win at Oregon, Feb. 15, 2001, a span of 28 games.

* The win at Eastern Washington, which followed up the road triumph at Wyoming, marked the second road win for WSU in the span of three days. The last time WSU won two consecutive road games was in 1997 when the Cougars followed up a win at, coincidentally, Wyoming, Nov. 23 with a victory at Gonzaga, Nov. 28.

Pac-10 RPI: Through games as of Dec. 7, 2003, the WBCA/Summerville RPI ranks the top five conferences (RPI) as follows: 1. Big Ten, 2. Big 12, 3. Pac-10, 4. SEC, 5. ACC.

Double Doubleheaders: The Cougars have been part of four men's/women's basketball doubleheaders this season...WSU was part of the opening act at Eastern Washington and was in the finale at Baylor, vs. Utah Valley State and at Utah...the Cougars were 2-2 in the doubleheader games scoring wins over Eastern Washington and Utah Valley State.

Exhibition Wrap: The Cougars split their two-game exhibition slate...WSU fell to Northwest Sports 76-66, Nov. 8 despite 18 points from Candace Fields and 16 points from Jessica Perry... WNBA player Erin Thorn, who saw action in 23 games for the New York Liberty last season, scored a game-high 31 points on 10-of-25 shooting...the Cougars rebounded with a 73-68 victory over Strakonice/Czech Republic, Nov. 11...Adriane Ferguson led a contingent of 10 Cougars that made a dent on the scoreboard with 13 points...Fields pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.

Murrell Member of National Committee: In addition to her WSU head coaching duties, Sherri Murrell is a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/Kodak All-American Team Selection Committee...Murrell serves as the representative for District 8, which encompasses the western part of the nation...the Kodak/WBCA All-America Teams honor the 10 best collegiate women's basketball players in the nation...Murrell, along with the representatives from the other seven districts, select the Kodak/WBCA All-America Team from a list of finalists determined by WBCA member coaches....for more information on the All-American Team go to

Cougars Ink Shired: Sabrina Shired, a 6-foot-4 center from Casa Grande High School (Petaluma, Calif.), signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Washington State women's basketball team next fall, head coach Sherri Murrell announced Nov. a junior at Casa Grande, Shired averaged seven points, eight rebounds and three blocks in leading her team to the playoffs...that followed up a sophomore season in which she averaged 12 points and nine rebounds a contest...Shired earned Sonoma County League Freshman of the Year honors and was selected as the California Intercollegiate Federation Woman of the Year in 2001. She participated in the adidas All-Star Camp and the Triple Threat Basketball Club last summer.

Westside Clinic A Success: The fall coaching clinic that Murrell conducted with her coaching staff and team proved to be a success as it drew approximately 150 coaches and student-athletes to Redmond High School, Nov. 1...the clinic featured on court demonstrations in a live practice setting with the team...coaches were able to ask questions as the drills were being conducted...this was the second consecutive year that Murrell has conducted a fall clinic...last year's clinic was in downtown Seattle with special guest speaker Lin Dunn, the former head coach and general manager of the WNBA's Seattle Storm.
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