WSU women: 3 rookies get national praise

JAZMINE PERKINS

WASHINGTON STATE'S women's basketball team attracted national attention last week when ESPN's Graham Hays came out with his list of the top 10 freshman in the nation so far this season. Actually, it turned out to be a top 13 list because, he said of Washington State's three most prominent rookies, "I don't know which one to pick, so I'm giving them a collective nod."

"The Cougars are ... likely in for a long season in the Pac-10, but the future is bright," Hays said in a blog entry on ESPN.com.

Indeed, Jazmine Perkins, April Cook and Rosie Tarnowski are giving the Cougar women a flavor of the 2004-05 WSU men's team which featured three freshmen named Weaver, Low and Cowgill.

ROSIE TARNOWSKI

Perkins is averaging 14.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game and leads the team in steals and assists. Cook is averaging 13.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game and Tarnowski is averaging 9.7 points and a team-leading 6.1 rebounds per game.

Perkins and Cook rank among the Pac-10 top ten scorers.

ESPN's Hays also praised Katie Appleton. And while June Daugherty no doubt would love for the team captain to be a freshman, Hays is a bit off in his math -- Appleton is a senior, not a freshman.

Four other Cougar freshmen to keep an eye on, though, are Danielle Lenoir, Lexie Pettersen, Jessica Oestreicher and Katie Grad. Lenoir is contributing solid minutes to the Cougars this season – an average of 15 per game – and Pettersen, the Pride of Spokane, has seen time in every game so far. The 6-8 Oestreicher is now back in action after missing the first 11 games following knee surgery. Grad is redshirting this year with a foot injury.

APRIL COOK

Oestricher, by the way, isn't the only Cougar who is back in uniform these days. So is sophomore guard Jasmine Williams. A starter a year ago, the Seattle Prep graduate didn't play at all in the non-conference portion of the schedule because of an unspecified violation of team rules.

NOTEABLE NOTES:
• The CouGals are 7-7 this season. That's already two more wins than they had all of last season.

• The marketing folks at WSU have come up with a list of the top 10 reasons to attend Cougar women's games at Friel Court this season. One of them is most unique in college basketball: The lights are off and there's a drum line for player introductions.

• The Cougs are back home this week after three consecutive road games to start the Pac-10 season. They'll take on Oregon State at 7pm tonight (Thursday) and Oregon at 2 pm on Saturday. "We're excited," Coach Daugherty told reporters of the return to Friel. "We need our sixth man out there. We're really excited to come out and play in front of our home fans."

• The Cougars' Feb. 20 contest against USC and March 6 game vs. Washington will be televised on FSN. Both games tip off at 7 pm at Friel Court.

• A new booster organization -- The Cougar Pawz Club -- has beenlaunched at WSU to support the women's basketball team. There are three levels of membership, ranging from $100 to $500. Some of the perks include opportunities to visit with players, chalk talks with Coach Daugherty and her staff, an official t-shirt and more. The money will help support the team in a variety of ways, including summer foreign tours and academic assistance. To join, call 509-335-0276.

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