WSU Faces Utah At Seattle's KeyArena
Dec. 20, 2005
COUGARS PLAY UTES IN KEYARENA: The WashingtonState men's basketball team plays 'host' to Utah at KeyArena inSeattle, Thursday, Dec. 22...game time is 7:30 p.m...WSU is 6-2and Utah is 6-3.
ABOUT THE HEAD COACHES: Dick Bennett is 31-34 atWashington State and in his third season on the Palouse...owns a485-291 career record (.625) in 27 collegiate seasons...guidedWisconsin to 2000 Final Four...Utah's Ray Giacoletti is 35-9 and inhis second season with the Utes...overall record is 152-92 in nineseasons...Utah advanced to a regional semifinal during the 2005NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.
SERIES WITH THE UTES: Utah leads 12-1...Utes have wonnine of 10 meetings at home and both games in Pullman...Utahcaptured only neutral site match-up 85-78 at the Far West Classic inPortland, Ore., during 1967-68 season...game at KeyArena isconsidered neutral site.
ABOUT THE UTES: Utah is 6-3 after a 4-0 start...Utes are 1-2 onthe road...lost to Pacific-10 member Arizona, 73-43, in Salt LakeCity, Dec. 17...Utah averages 66.7 points per game and shoots 47.2percent from the field...plus 6.6 in rebounds per game...BryantMarkson leads the Utes with 16.3 points and 5.9 rebounds perouting.
WSU COMPLETES MOUNTAIN WEST SCHEDULE: TheCougars' game against Utah Thursday will mark the fourth timeWSU has faced a Mountain West Conference opponent thisseason...Cougars are 2-1 against the MWC in 2005-06...lost toBYU 76-68, Nov. 22 at Spokane Arena...defeated Wyoming 63-47,Nov. 30 in Pullman...won 60-49 at San Diego State, Dec.10...WSU is 14-33 all-time against current members of theMWC...WSU is 3-2 under Dick Bennett against the MWC.
THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY: This is the third straight year under Dick Bennett Washington Statewill play a game Dec. 22...lost 46-29 at Fresno State in 2003 and 49-47 at Wyoming in 2004...Cougarsdefeated Arizona 59-57 in Tucson, Dec. 22, 1979 to even their Pac-10 record at 1-1...Bryan Rison led fourWSU players in double figures with 18 points...Don Collins added 11 points and nine rebounds...Cougars wenton to finish 22-6, 14-4 Pac-10 under George Raveling...advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first timesince 1941 when WSU finished national runner-up to Wisconsin...Collins led the Pac-10 in scoring average andset a WSU record that still stands with 23.1 points per game...named conference player of the year, the onlyCougar in school history to receive the accolade.
TICKETS IN SEATTLE: Tickets for the WSU-Utah game at KeyArena (Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m.) are available atwww.ticketmaster.com...for more information about the event, visit www.cougarsinseattle.com...Cougarstudents with a valid WSU sports pass will be receive free admission.
COUGARS IN PACIFIC-10 RANKINGS: WSU leads the Pacific-10 in scoring defense (54.2 points pergame), field goal percentage defense (35.4) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (25.4)...Cougars aresecond to USC (5.00 per game) in blocked shots (4.88 per game)...sophomore Derrick Low is third inassist/turnover ratio (2.25), fourth in assists (4.50 per game), eighth in minutes played (33.00 per game), ninthin 3-point field goal percentage (42.4) and tied for 10th in 3-pointers made (1.75 per game)...sophomore KyleWeaver is fifth in assists (4.25 per game), tied for eighth in steals (1.88 per game) and 14th in rebounding (5.3per game)...junior transfer Ivory Clark is sixth in blocked shots (1.63 per game) and ninth in free throwpercentage (81.5)...sophomore Josh Akognon is tied for 10th in 3-pointers made (with Low) at 1.75 pergame...freshman Aron Baynes is tied for 10th in blocked shots (1.00 per game).
WSU IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: The Cougars are third in scoring defense (54.3 points pergame)...Richmond (50.5) and Air Force (54.2) rank 1-2 nationally...WSU is fourth in field goal percentagedefense (35.42)...nation's top three are North Carolina State (34.6), Xavier (35.2) and Kansas (35.36).
WASHINGTON STATE NEWCOMERS CONTRIBUTING: The Cougars have eight new faces thisseason, including a pair of walk-ons...WSU newcomers have accounted for 34 percent of the minutes playedand are contributing 37 percent of the scoring...junior transfer forward Ivory Clark leads the team with 13blocks and ranks sixth in the Pac-10...newcomers have recorded 34 percent of the rebounds grabbed byindividuals...first-year Cougars are shooting 53 percent from the field led by freshman Aron Baynes's 57.5percent.
COUGAR SCORING UP: Washington State is averaging 64.0 points per game this season...Cougarsaveraged 56.9 points per game during Dick Bennett's first two seasons.
Washington State is averaging 24.9 points per game this season off the bench...AronBaynes scored 19 points off the bench in the Cougars' 81-55 season-opening victory over UC Riverside, Nov.19...against Idaho, Nov. 26, Cougar bench players tallied 31 points in 63-37 victory...bench players scored 28of the team's 60 points in win at San Diego State, Dec. 10...in 61-46 win over Portland, Dec. 17, Cougar benchplayers tallied 46 points led by Ivory Clark's team-high 12.
BALANCED SCORING: The Cougars are averaging 64.0 points per game, led by sophomore Derrick Low's10.1 per outing...Low is the only WSU player averaging double-figure scoring...five others average at least 7.0points per game...seven different WSU players have scored in double figures in a game this season, led byLow's five such games...in Cougars' 63-37 win over Idaho, Nov. 26, 11 different WSU players scored, mostsince 11 had points in a 98-76 win over Washington, March 1, 2003.
WSU NOTCHES WIN IN CLOSE GAME: The Cougars defeated Kansas State 58-57 in Pullman, Dec.3...first game decided by less than eight points this season...in 2004-05, WSU was 4-8 in games decided bythree points or less...dozen games decided by three points or less tied Fresno State for most nationally.
COUGARS POST COME-FROM-BEHIND VICTORY: Washington State overcame a 27-21 halftimedeficit to win at San Diego State, Dec. 10...just the seventh time in 32 games under Dick Bennett the Cougarshave trailed at intermission and emerged victorious.
TEAMS DO NOT EXCEED FIFTY-FIVE: Dick Bennett has been the Washington State men's basketballcoach for 65 games...in 32 of those, including four this season, the Cougar opponent has scored 55 points orless...from 1991-92 through 2002-03, WSU held a total of 34 opponents to 55 points or less.
WSU EXTENDS 3-POINT STREAK: The Cougars have made at least one 3-pointer in 289 consecutivegames...last time Cougars did not make a shot from beyond the arc was Feb. 18, 1995 at Oregon...since 3-pointline was adopted in 1986-87, WSU has failed to make a 3-pointer three times...other two occasions were Jan. 5,1987 at Idaho and Dec. 9, 1988 at home against Portland.
STATISTICAL TRENDS: WSU is 21-2 under Dick Bennett when holding the opponent to under 40 percentshooting from the field, including 6-0 in 2005-06...Bennett's Cougars are 19-1, including 3-1 in 2005-06, whenoutrebounding their opponent...WSU is 17-3 in the Bennett era, including 2-0 this season, when getting to thefoul line more often than its opponent.
STREAKS BROKEN IN BENNETT ERA: In two seasons under Dick Bennett, the Cougars haveaccomplished several firsts and broken many losing streaks...here is a look at the achievements.
COUGAR PLAYER NOTES
#1 Josh Akognon (Petaluma, Calif.)
#2 Derrick Low (Honolulu, Hawaii)
#3 Steve Campbell (Kenmore)
#5 Chris Matthews (Washington, D.C.)
#11 Aron Baynes (Cairns, Australia)
#12 Randy Green (Renton)
#22 John Rasmussen (Yakima)
#23 Antonio Chavers (Fort Worth, Texas)
#25 Kyle Weaver (Beloit, Wis.)
#33 Ivory Clark (New Orleans, La.)
#34 Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas)
#42 Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.)
#44 Rodney Edgerson (Peoria, Ill.)
#52 Caleb Forrest (Pagosa Springs, Colo.)