Cougars Travel To California For UCLA, USC

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Jan. 6, 2004

What's Happening:

Friday, Jan. 9
7 p.m.
Los Angeles, Calif.

Sunday, Jan. 11
at USC
2 p.m.
Los Angeles, Calif.

Up Next:

Thursday, Jan. 15
vs. Oregon State
7 p.m.
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

What's Happening This Week: The Washington State women's basketball team (4-9, 0-4) hits the road for games against the Los Angeles schools this week...the Cougars face UCLA (6-6, 1-2) Friday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m....two days later WSU is at USC (5-6, 2-1), Sunday, Jan. 11 for a 2 p.m. tip-off.

Radio: The UCLA and USC games will be carried live on KRPL-AM radio (1400) from Moscow, Idaho...Alex Webster returns as the play-by-play announcer for the Cougar women's basketball team...all Cougar Pac-10 road games are aired live with the pre-game show beginning 15 minutes prior to tip-off...broadcasts can also be heard live on the access the audio link go to is charging a broadcasting fee this year.

About UCLA: Nikki Blue leads the Bruins averaging 15.3 points a game...that figure is eighth best in the Pac-10...Lisa Willis and Noelle Quinn are also averaging double digits in points at 10.7/game...UCLA leads the series 28-6 with all the Cougar wins coming in Pullman...the Bruins have captured the last five games between the two teams...the Cougars' last win was Jan. 6, 2001, a 74-52 triumph at Pullman.

About USC: Ebony Hoffman leads the Women of Troy averaging 16.3 points a game, seventh in the Pac-10...Hoffman is second in the conference in rebounding (9.5/game)...Rometra Craig is the team's second-leading scorer with a 10.9 points per game average...USC leads the series 24-11 and have captured the last five games...the Cougars' last win occurred Jan. 4, 2001 at Pullman (79-78)...WSU last won at USC, Jan. 28, 1999 (65-58)...the Cougars lost to USC 53-46 at the Pac-10 Tournament last year.

WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell on This Week's Games: 'I reminded our kids that the last time we played USC was one of our better games of the season last year. Our kids know what needs to be done and they are ready to get back at it. We have to take care of the ball down there. Both teams put a lot of pressure on you. We have to get back to basics. We've ran away from it and that's what we need to do; get back to what made us a good team early in the season.'

Last Week's Recap: The Cougars dropped a pair of games to the Bay Area schools last week...WSU fell to No. 9 Stanford, 90-69, Jan. 4 and lost to California, 84-71 two days later...Jessica Perry scored a season-high 18 points in the loss to the Cardinal...Bianca McCall scored 16 points in each of the two games...WSU shot a combined 56-of-115 (48.7 percent) in the two games while Stanford and Cal shot a combined 64-of-110 (58.2 percent) from the field over the weekend.

Shooting High and Lows: The 58 percent shooting percentage (29-of-50) against California, Jan. 4 marked the highest shooting percentage from WSU since Jan. 13, 1997 when the Cougars were 37-of-58 (63.8 percent) from the field in a 109-79 win over Southern Utah...conversely, the team's 21.2 percent (11-of-52) shooting performance against San Diego State, Dec. 22 was the worst percentage from the Cougars since the team went 12-of-69 (17.4 percent) from the field in a 57-33 loss at Oregon State, Dec. 28, 2001.

Benz Makes a Mark In Record Book: Freshman Kate Benz pulled down 19 rebounds against San Diego State, Dec. 22, tying her for sixth on the school's all-time list for rebounds in a game...Benz tallied nine offensive and 10 defensive boards before fouling out with 3:15 left...the WSU record for rebounds in a game is 22, set on three occasions....last year Bianca McCall also grabbed 19 rebounds in a game as she hit the number against Wyoming....Benz is second on the team (McCall, 6.2/game) averaging 6.1 boards a game, which is 14th in the Pac-10.

McCall 20/20: Bianca McCall recorded her first 20-point game of the season with 20 points at Arizona State, Dec. 27...that marked her seventh career 20-point game...McCall leads the Cougars in scoring (11.5 points/game)...her 16-point performances against Stanford and Cal last week marked the 27th and 28th career double-digit point efforts for the senior...she returned to the court against Utah, Dec. 13 after missing the previous two games recovering from a concussion sustained in the second half of the Nov. 29 loss at Baylor... McCall scored 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....McCall is fifth in the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (2.64/game), seventh in blocks (.82/game) and 11th in points and total rebounds (6.2/game).

Defensive Display: The Cougars have held their opponents to under 60 points four 28 games last season, the Cougars held their opponents to under 60 points three times...WSU is holding its opposition to 66.5 points a game... through 13 games last year the Cougars allowed an average of 79.4 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.

Cougar Notes: Candace Fields' four blocks against California, Jan. 4 was a career-high...Fields is sixth in the Pac-10 in blocks (1.00/game)...three players (Jessica Perry, Lindsey Egeland, Kate Benz) have started all 13 games...nine players have started at least one game for players have scored in double figures in at least one game...the Cougars have out-rebounded their opponents in five of the last six games, all losses... after four consecutive games with under 20 turnovers, WSU has committed at least 27 turnovers in four of the past five games...the Cougars are second in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (171-of-236, 72.5 percent)...Perry is 26-of-33 (.788) from the charity stripe, which is fourth in the conference...the 31 free throws against San Diego State, Dec. 22 is a Pac-10 high this season for all games.

For Three!: The eight treys by the Cougars against Nebraska, Dec. 4 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.

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.

Equaling the Past Two Seasons: With four wins this season, the Cougars have matched their combined win total over the past two seasons. (2001-02: 2-27; 2002-03: 2-26).

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.

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.

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

Moore Transfers: Keisha Moore, a 6-foot-2 center from J.W. North High School (Riverside, Calif.), has elected to transfer to the Washington State women's basketball program from the University of Idaho, WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell announced, Dec. 22...because of NCAA Division I transfer rules; Moore is not eligible to play for the Cougars until the day after the conclusion of the 2004 fall semester...she is allowed to practice with the team however....Moore is not the only player to join the Cougars as Crystal Blue - a 5-foot-10 guard from Seattle Wash., who signed with the team last spring - has been declared academically eligible and can practice with the team as well... Blue will be eligible to compete in the 2004-05 season.

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.

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:
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