6-1 Cougars Head To No. 14 Minnesota

Dec. 8, 2005

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What's Happening:

Saturday, Dec. 10
at No. 14 Minnesota
5 p.m. Pacific
Minneapolis, Minn.

Next Up:

Pacific-10 Conference Opener
Tuesday, Dec. 20
vs. No. 11 Stanford
7 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

Thursday, Dec. 22
vs. California
6 p.m. Pacific
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
Pullman, Wash.

What's Happening This Week: Off to its best start in over a decade, the Washington State women's basketball team (6-1) travels to face national power No. 14 (AP) Minnesota (5-1), Saturday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. Pacific time...after playing one ranked team the Cougars have over a week off before opening Pacific-10 Conference play at home against No. 11 Stanford, Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m.

Cougs On The Radio: All Cougar women's basketball games will air live on KRPL AM 1400, Moscow, Idaho during the 2005-06 season with Jon Jensen calling the action...broadcasts can also be heard live on the net at wsucougars.com with a subscription to the 'Cougar Sports Pass.' ...subscribers will have unprecedented access to live audio and video webcasting of Washington State athletic events as well as up-close access to Cougar student-athletes and coaches...Washington State fans can subscribe to the 'Cougar Sports Pass' either monthly or annually...monthly fees are $6.95 per month or fans can subscribe annually at $49.95 for the entire year.

Best Start Since 1994-95: With a 6-1 record, WSU has already equaled its win total from the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons...WSU is off to its best start since beginning the 1994-95 season with a 7-1 mark.

About Minnesota: The Gophers have been one of the nation's premier programs as of late, reaching the Sweet 16 three consecutive years and the Final Four in 2004...among the Gophers' five wins was an 84-77 victory over Stanford, Nov. 20...Jamie Broback leads the team with a 15.0 points a game average.

Series With Minnesota: Saturday's game will mark the third meeting between the two programs and the first since 1988...the Gophers hold a 2-0 advantage in the series.

Overtime Thriller: The Cougars head to Minnesota coming off an 80-76 overtime win over Boise State...the freshmen duo of Katie Appleton and Amanda DuRocher combined for 39 points... Appleton scored 20 points - including nine in overtime - while DuRocher contributed 19 points, a point total that was primarily accounted for by five 3-pointers...it was the program's first overtime win since Dec. 22, 1996 (coincidentally, defeated Boise State 79-78 at Boise).

On The Rebound: Led by Kate Benz's conference-leading 12.9 rebounds a game, the Cougars lead the conference in rebounding margin (+10.0), defensive rebounds (30.57/game) and are second in offensive rebounds (17.86/game)...Benz also leads the conference in defensive rebounds (9.0/game) and offensive rebounds (3.86/game).

Benz Nationally Ranked: Kate Benz's 12.9 rebound average is third-best in the nation...as a team, the Cougars are 16th in field goal percentage defense (33.6 percent), 21st in rebound margin (10.0) and tied for 22nd in won-loss percentage.

Appleton Cup: Freshman Katie Appleton averaged 15 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals in wins over Cal State Northridge and Boise State last week...Appleton leads the team in scoring (11.4 points/game) and steals (2.4/game)...she has scored in double-digits in five of seven games.

Ferguson, DuRocher Out: The Cougars are without the services of junior guard Adriane Ferguson, who broke her right fifth (pinky) finger during the win against Idaho State, Nov. 26...Ferguson is expected to be out 6-8 weeks...freshman guard Amanda DuRocher fractured her right wrist during the win over Boise State, Dec. 4...DuRocher is out indefinitely.

Hawaii 21-B: Kate Benz pulled down a total of 50 rebounds (for a 16.7 per game average) en route to earning an all-tournament team selection at the 27th Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, Nov. 25-27...the junior from Portland, Ore., pulled down a career-best 21 rebounds -- just one shy of the school record -- in the Cougars' 74-51 win over Idaho State, Nov. 26...the WSU single-game school rebounding record is 22 - set by Jennifer Grey twice in 1975 and matched by Amy Saneholtz 20 years later...although Benz just missed the school's rebound mark, she did establish a WSU defensive rebound single-game standard with 17 (shattering the previous mark of 13 set by three players, including Benz) and the Wahine Classic record for rebounds in a game (previously 19)...Benz is just the third player to record 20 or more rebounds in a game in WSU history...along with Saneholtz's 1995 performance, Grey hit the 20-rebound barrier four times in 1975...Benz, whose previous career-high was 19 rebounds against San Diego State in 2003, had secured her 10th rebound just over 11 minutes in to the first half...Benz ended the first 20 minutes with 15 rebounds...with 12 points, Benz posted her 13th career double-double and her second of the season...sandwiched around the 21-rebound performance was a 15-rebound effort in a 68-63 loss to Hawaii, Nov. 25 and a 14-rebound game in a 65-64 win over Cal-State Northridge, Nov. 27.

Double-Digit Jones: Senior Charmaine Jones was as warm as the Hawaii weather at the Wahine Classic...Jones scored in double figures in all three games, averaging 14.7 points a contest.

Trifecta: The 66-57 win over Pepperdine was the third consecutive season-opening victory for the Cougars...the last time the program strung together three straight season-opening wins was from the 1990-91 season through the 1992-93 campaign.

Cold Shooting: In their season-opening two-game homestand, the Cougars held their opposition (Pepperdine and St. Mary's) to a combined 37-of-124 (29.8 percent) shooting from the field...WSU is second in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage defense (.336).

Cougars Sweep Exhibition Slate: Propelled by a pair of 13-0 runs, the Cougars defeated Baden Sports 73-58 in an exhibition game Oct. 31 at Friel Court...junior Adriane Ferguson (Spokane, Wash.) led a quartet of Cougars who scored in double figures with 19 points...freshman Katie Appleton (14 points), junior Kate Benz (13 points) and senior Charmaine Jones (11 points) also reached double-digits in points...WSU made it two in a row with a 65-57 win over Lewis-Clark State Nov. 11 at Bohler Gym... Keisha Moore recorded a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds while Adriane Ferguson added 14 points for WSU...Ferguson completed the exhibition season averaging 16.5 points a game.

Kate's Chronicles: During the season, junior Kate Benz will chronicle her experiences with the WSU basketball team on the Cougars' athletic website wsucougars.com...click the link entitled 'Kate's Chronicles' on the WSU women's basketball home page to read Kate's thoughts throughout the 2005-06 season.

A Look at the Cougs 2005-06:

No. 5 Nikki Stratton: Redshirt sophomore from Colorado Springs, Colo. is back for 2005-06 after redshirting last season for medical reasons...career-high is 11 points against Washington Feb. 24, 2004...has made three appearances for the Cougs so far this season...scored eight points in nine minutes including two 3-pointers against Cal State Northridge at home Dec. 2...averaging five points a contest.

No. 11 Crystal Blue: Is one of three seniors on the team...transfer from Odessa College...missed final 14 games last season due to injury...starter in last three games for WSU...had career-highs of 18 points and six rebounds Nov. 27 against Cal State Northridge at Wahine Classic...scored eight points in Northridge rematch at home Dec. 2...scored seven points against St. Mary's at home Nov. 20...averaging 7.7 points and 2.7 rebounds for the Cougars.

No. 12 Brynn Bemis: Walked on the team in November 2004...goalkeeper for the Cougar soccer team...played in four games for WSU last season...saw action against Idaho State and had one assist in the Cougar victory Dec. 6...four-year letter winner in basketball and soccer at Lake City High School in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

No. 13 Katie Appleton: One of five freshmen on the team...from Big Bear Lake, Calif...averaged 14 points and seven rebounds as a senior at Apple Valley High...started all seven games this season for WSU...leads team in scoring (11.4 points per game) and steals (2.4/game)...shot 60 percent from the field and poured in 20 points, including nine in overtime, and six rebounds in win against Boise State, Dec. 4...had 10 points and seven rebounds in home victory against Cal State Northridge, Dec. 2.

No. 14 Amanda DuRocher: Is one of five freshmen on the team...from Spanaway, Wash...led Bethel High in scoring each of her three years on varsity...fractured right wrist during the win over Boise State, Dec. 4 and is out indefinitely...scored 19 points including five 3-pointers against Boise State, Dec. 4...had nine points and four rebounds in 15 minutes against Cal State Northridge in the home victory, Dec. 2...averaging 5.3 points a game.

No. 22 Dani Montgomery: Sophomore from Central Point, Ore...played in 24 games for WSU as a freshman, starting three...scored four points against Cal State Northridge at home, Dec. 2 ...beat previous career high of eight points (against Portland in 2004) when she poured in 12 points and had three assists in a win over Idaho State, Nov. 26...averaging 4.1 points a game.

No. 23 Charmaine Jones: One of three seniors on the team...has started all seven games...scored 19 points against Pepperdine Nov. 18 when she hit 9-of-9 free throws and dished out three assists... had six assists Nov. 20 against St. Mary's...16 points against Hawaii Nov. 25...is averaging 10.6 points per game...career-high 26 points against USC Feb. 3, 2005 and shot 11-of-11 from the free throw line

No. 24 Adriane Ferguson: Team co-captain with fellow junior Kate Benz...broke fifth (pinky) finger on right hand during Hawaii tournament in November, expected to be out 6-8 weeks...made four starts in four appearances for the Cougs...team-high 12-point and nine-rebound performance against St. Mary's Nov. 20...averaging 8.3 points and five rebounds a game.

No. 31 Heather Molzen: One of five Cougar freshmen...from Lakeside, Calif...four-year letter winner and starter at El Capitan High, where she averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds as a senior...has seen action in six games this season...two blocks against St. Mary's Nov. 20...seven rebounds against Hawaii Nov. 25...averaging 2.8 rebounds a contest.

No. 32 Kate Benz: Co-captain of team with junior Adriane Ferguson...led the Pac-10 in rebounding in 2004-05, becoming the first player in WSU women's basketball history to do so...leads the Pac-10 once again in 2005-06 campaign, averaging 12.9 a contest... became third player in school history to record a 20-rebound game with 21 rebounds versus Idaho State, Nov. 27...total was just one off the school record...has been a starter in every game this year...career-high 23 points against Boise State Nov. 19, 2004...11 points, 12 rebounds and three steals against St. Mary's, Nov. 20....15 rebounds against Hawaii, Nov. 25...along with 21 rebounds tallied 12 points against Idaho State to earn another double-double...averaging a team-high 32.7 minutes per game.

No. 34 Ebonee Coates: One of five Cougar freshmen...from Tacoma, Wash., where she played at Curtis High...has seven appearances including two starts this season...recorded eight rebounds and four blocks against Pepperdine in Nov. 18 season-opening home victory...had 12 rebounds against St. Mary's, Nov. 20.

No. 41 Keisha Moore: Joins Crystal Blue and Charmaine Jones as one of three seniors on the team...scored career-high 17 points against Oregon State, Feb. 12, 2005...pulled down 11 rebounds against UCLA, Feb. 6, 2005...has started five times in five appearances in 2005-06...scored 12 points against Idaho State Nov. 26...averaging 9.6 points and 6.4 rebounds a contest.

No. 55 Sabrina Shired One of five freshmen on the team (redshirt)...from Petaluma, Calif...has six appearances so far this season...contributed big against Boise State with nine points and five rebounds...averaging 3.5 points and 2.3 rebounds a contest.

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