April Cook proves an athletic point

FOR MONTHS, June Daugherty has said her first Cougar recruiting class would supercharge the athleticism of the WSU women's basketball team. Sunday, in the coming out party for her rookies, freshman April Cook pulled off a move that made Daugherty sound like the master of the understatement.

No matter that this was an exhibition game. No matter that the opponent, a youngish team from Australia, was hopelessly outmanned.

April Cook, a 5-8 guard from Long Beach, Calif., had a moment of brilliance in the 101-64 victory the likes of which has never, ever been seen before on the Palouse. Jeanne Eggart never did anything like it. Neither did Jenni Ruff. Or Kate Benz.

APRIL COOK

Cook, a right hander, went left on a high pick and roll and then pulled up to knock down a three-pointer. You had to see it to understand the high-octane athleticism of the move. The speed of it all, coupled with the flawless square up and follow through, was truly special.

This was something Kyle Weaver or Derrick Low might do.

But not a girl. Certainly not a girl at a school that hasn't had a winning season since 1996. Eureka!

There's a new game in town, folks.

"That's the kind of stuff you see the guys do," said Daugherty a day after the fact, but still clearly stoked by what she witnessed.

Cook ended the night with 12 points and four assists. She was one of three freshmen who started. The others were forward Rosie Tarnowski, who scored 14 points, and guard Jazmine Perkins. And two other rookies, Katie Grad (11 points, 5 assists) and Danielle Lenoir (five assists) looked solid.

The highlight of the game, though, came in the last few minutes when the crowd began chanting "We want tacos, we want tacos." Taco Del Mar has said it will dish up free tacos to everyone attending a women's game in which the Cougs hit 100 points.

When Salena Dickerson nabbed a pass from Kezia Kelly in the waning moments and converted it for two, the crowd went nuts as the Cougs eclipsed the century mark.

NOTABLE NOTES:

KI-SHAWNA MOORE

• A photo we ran with a story on Oct. 26 misidentified a high school recruit. The picture was supposed to be of standout San Francisco prep senior Ki-Shawna Moore, who has verbally committed to WSU. The photo came from the AP and was mislabeled there, so we have no idea whose picture it was we published. But now we have the real Ki-shawna, right over there on the right side of this paragraph.

• The Cougs will hold another exhibition in Pullman this Sunday against Concordia (Ore.) College. The season-opener at Texas Tech is Nov. 16.

• A new booster organization -- The Cougar Pawz Club -- is being launched to support the women's basketball team in variety of ways. There are three levels of membership, starting at $100. To join, call 509-335-0276.

CLICK HERE to view the Cougars' complete 2008-09 roster.


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