WSU Captures 68-53 Victory Over Oregon

Feb. 18, 2006

PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State's Kate Benz tallied her second consecutive double-double (and the 17th of her career) with 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Cougars to a 68-53 win over the Oregon Ducks in Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball action, Saturday at Beasley Coliseum.

In capturing their first win over Oregon since the 2001 season, WSU out-rebounded the Ducks 49-20 including 26-10 in the first half.

Benz nearly grabbed more rebounds than the entire Duck team during the opening 20 minutes as the Portland, Ore. native ended the first half with eight rebounds to go along with her 13 points.

Playing the final home game of their collegiate career, seniors Crystal Blue and Keisha Moore went out in style as each scored in double figures. Blue matched Benz's game-high point total of 17 points while Moore added 12, and in the process secured her fourth consecutive double-digit scoring game and her seventh in the last eight games.

'We were the aggressors from the very beginning and we kept that aggressiveness,' WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said. 'I never felt like Oregon was the aggressor at any point and that helped us play a solid game.

'We didn't feel like we had a good effort against Oregon State,' Murrell added, referring to Thursday's 59-50 loss to the Beavers. 'Today, we did a great job (rebounding). That was second effort.'

WSU never trailed en route to posting its eighth win of the season. The Cougars (8-17, 2-14 Pac-10) led 18-16 at the 11:13 mark of the first half and proceeded to hold the Ducks (14-12, 5-11) scoreless over the ensuing eight and a half minutes. During this stretch, WSU scored 10 straight points to open a 28-16 lead and the Cougars maintained their 12-point advantage into the halftime break.

WSU extended its lead to as much as 20 in the second half. Oregon rallied to pull within nine on two occasions, the last being at 54-45 with 5:20 left, but that was as close as the Ducks would get.

Oregon was led by 11 points from Carolyn Ganes as the Ducks was held to 16-of-45 shooting (35.6 percent) from the field. Conversely, WSU was 22-of-55 (40 percent) from the field.

The 15-point margin was the largest margin of victory for the Cougars in a Pac-10 game since Feb. 24, 2001. That day, WSU defeated California 74-59 in what was also the final home game of the season for the team.

WSU concludes the regular season with a trip to the Bay Area to take on California (Feb. 23) and Stanford (Feb. 25).
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