When Washington guard Jenna Moser toes the hardwood of Beasley Coliseum on Friday, she’ll have a sense of comfort amid the rivalrous frenzy.
Some of Moser’s fondest memories are on the Palouse, where she grew up 14 miles south of Pullman in don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it Colton, home to one of the best small-school girls basketball dynasties in the country.
The Huskies’ 7 p.m. meeting at rival Washington State will be the last time Moser plays in an organized basketball game in her family’s neck of the woods.
They’ll be in the stands – relatives, friends, former teachers and coaches – to watch Moser, the player from a high school of less than 100 students who carved out a starting spot on a Pac-12 women’s basketball team.
“It’s like having another Senior Night,” Moser said. “It’s fun to go back where you’ve grown up, in a (WSU) gym where I played in kid camps.
“My mom is definitely the most excited.”
Last year, the Colton girls basketball team, which has won nine of the last 10 State 1B championships, cheered on Moser, who scored 11 points in a 78-75 overtime loss at WSU.
She had 15 points and six rebounds in a 79-76 Huskies (8-16, 1-10 Pac-12) loss to the Cougars (8-16, 3-10) in Seattle earlier this season.
Moser, who averages 8.6 points and three assists, said she was rarely pursued by recruiters in high school, mostly because it was widely known she wanted to focus on school.
But the two-time 1B Player of the Year later opted to walk on at Washington as a practice player, and elevated herself as a starter the last two seasons.
Moser’s story is an inspirational one, but not one she’s often thought about.
“When you’re in the moment, it doesn’t feel like you’re inspiring people because you’re so focused on everything, both school and sports,” Moser said. “It’s hard to be reflective.”
Moser graduated last year with a degree in finance and expects to earn a master’s in sports administration in June.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re from a really small school, if you can play you can play,” Moser said.
“When you get to college, everyone is starting over.”
WSU’s Hristova finalist for Miller award
Washington State star Borislava Hristova was named one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Cheryl Miller Award, given to the top small forward in the country.
The junior from Bulgaria averages 21 points for the Cougars, the third-highest average in program history.
Hristova scored 38 points in a 79-76 win over Washington on Dec. 30.
Big Sky honors Idaho’s Ferenz again
For the second straight week, Idaho sharpshooter Mikayla Ferenz was named College Basketball Madness’ Big Sky Player of the Week.
Ferenz scored 23 points in a 76-68 win over Montana last Thursday, becoming the all-time leading scorer in Idaho women’s basketball history (2,180 points).
In a 90-65 win over Montana State on Saturday, Ferenz hit six of the Vandals’ program-best 19 3-pointers. She totaled 32 points in the rout.
First-place Idaho (13-8, 10-2 Big Sky), which is riding a six-game winning streak, travels to Northern Colorado (15-7, 10-3) on Saturday.
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