Women's Basketball Opens Regular Season at North Carolina State Tournament

Nov. 14, 2000

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Oregon, ranked No. 23 in the preseason Associated Press poll, plays its final exhibition game Wednesday against NWBL Elite, a semi-pro team which lost to Utah, 81-41, last Saturday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. at McArthur Court. The Ducks then hit the road to open the 2000-01 season, taking on No. 18/23 Wisconsin on Saturday at the GlaxoWellcome Invitational in Raleigh, N.C., hosted by No. 19/18 North Carolina State. The Ducks and Badgers tip-off at noon PST at Reynolds Coliseum. The Oregon-Wisconsin winner will play the N.C. State-Elon winner at 10 a.m. PST, while the consolation game will be at noon.

All Oregon women's basketball games are broadcast by KSCR (1320 AM) in Eugene and KUIK (1360 AM) in Portland, with Ray Martin providing the play-by-play for the sixth consecutive year. Games that don't conflict with Oregon men's basketball broadcasts will be carried by KUGN (590 AM) in Eugene, KXL (750 AM) in Portland and KTBR (950) in Roseburg. However, the exhibition game Wednesday will not be broadcast.

The NWBL (National Women's Basketball League) is the United States' largest organized women's basketball league with 600-plus adult players nationwide. Each fall, the NWBL's top 16 teams, made up of former Division I, II and III players, compete against NCAA-member schools. On Jan. 19, 2001, the NWBL's first five professional franchises tip off its inaugural 20-game season.

1999-00 IN BRIEF
Oregon won its second straight Pac-10 title last season with 23-8 overall and 14-4 conference records. Wisconsin went 21-12 last season en route to the WNIT championship. The Badgers tied for fifth in the Big Ten. North Carolina State earned an NCAA Tournament berth last season after its 20-9 record and third-place ACC finish. Elon College posted a 14-15 record and ended up fifth in the Big SouthConference.

Oregon has an outstanding 22-5 record in season-opening games in the program's 27-year history. The Ducks are 6-2 under Jody Runge, which includes victories in each of the last four years.

The teams' only meeting occurred in the First Round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament at Knoxville, Tenn., a game won by Wisconsin 74-60.

This will be the first time the Ducks have played either school.

Jody Runge is in her eighth season leading the Ducks. She has compiled an impressive 143-61 (.701) record in her Oregon tenure, which includes an 90-36 (.714) mark in conference play. Her resume includes seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances along with claiming back-to-back Pac-10 Conference championships in 1999 and 2000 for the first time in school history. She earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1999 and in 1994. In addition, the Women's Basketball News Service selected Runge as its Coach of the Year in 1998.

Fred Litzenberger, who is entering his sixth season in the Ducks' program. A native of Longmont, Colo., Litzenberger's 34 years in coaching includes six seasons as a men's collegiate head coach and 15 appearances for his teams in the NCAA Tournament. Second-year coach Dan Muscatell, the recruiting coordinator, and third-year coach Kirsten McKnight, a four-year Oregon basketball letterwinner, complete the coaching staff.

Ducks vs. RTU Clondica, Nov. 3
Oregon opened the preseason with a 85-56 exhibition victory over RTU Clondica (Riga, Latvia) before 3,551 fans at McArthur Court. Senior forward Angelina Wolvert led all players with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting. She also grabbed five rebounds and had a perfect night (6 of 6) at the free-throw line. Anete Brice led RTU Clondica with 16 points. Turnovers plagued the Ducks, particularly in the first half, but Oregon's depth on the bench helped iron out the wrinkles in the second half. Freshman Cathrine Kraayeveld made an immediate impact in her first game as a Duck with seven points and three rebounds. Also contributing to Oregon's win was Ndidi Unaka, Jamie Craighead and Kourtney Shreve with seven points apiece. Also in double-digits for Oregon were seniors Brianne Meharry (13) and Jenny Mowe (10). The Ducks' Alyssa Frederick and Meharry led in rebounding, eight and seven apiece, respectively. Craighead led the Ducks in assists with nine, while also contributing seven points.

Lindsey Dion began practicing with the team early last week after tearing the lateral meniscus cartilage in her right knee on Oct. 5. She tore the opposite one last season against Southwest Missouri State. Also, last year's Pac-10 Player of the Year Shaquala Williams is out for the entire season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee suffered in September.

Oregon's ranking of No. 23 in the Associated Press poll marked the second time under Jody Runge the Ducks have been ranked to begin the season. Oregon was ranked No. 16 in the AP and No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls at the beginning of last year. Oregon boasts a 20-10 record in games it has been nationally ranked during Runge's tenure. The Ducks also received 103 votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll to come in at No. 29.

Oregon coach Jody Runge has a 15-27 record, including 11-8 at McArthur Court, against nationally-ranked opponents. Last year, she was 5-2.

Last season, Oregon captured back-to-back Pac-10 titles for the first time in school history. In 1998-99, it shared the championship with UCLA.

With Lindsey Dion in the starting lineup last season, the Ducks were 19-4. Without her, they went 4-4.

Oregon secured its future with the signing of five high school standouts to letters of intent Nov. 8 during the early signing period. The Ducks inked center Andrea Bills (Moreno Valley High/Moreno Valley, Calif.), guard Brandi Davis (Sonorah High/La Habra, Calif.), guard/forward Kedzie Gunderson (Bellevue High/Bellevue, Wash.), forward Amy Parrish (Hanford High/Hanford, Calif.) and guard Amy Taylor (Shorewood High/Shoreline, Wash.).

The Ducks clinched their first back-to-back 20-win season under Jody Runge last year. An Oregon team hadn't accomplished this feat since the 1985-86 (21-7) and 1986-87 (23-7) seasons.

Since Jody Runge's first year in 1993, the Ducks are 77-17 (.819) at home. Oregon hasn't lost two in a row at McArthur Court since February 1993 -- before Runge became coach. The Ducks also haven't lost more than three games in a season at 'The Pit' since Runge's first year.

Oregon finished first in the Pac-10 in attendance last season, averaging 5,852 fans in 14 games -- the second-best mark in Pac-10 history (UCLA ranked second with a 3,713 average). The Ducks easily surpassed last year's school- record average of 5,042. Oregon's attendance has increased each of the past six seasons. Further, 10 of Oregon's top 25 all-time crowds occurred in 1999-00.

Oregon will play host to the first Pac-10 women's basketball postseason tournament, beginning in March 2002.

The latest modification to the 74-year-old on-campus facility -- the oldest in NCAA Division I -- began in summer 1999 and concluded in summer 2000 with the cleaning and replacing of the stucco on the facade of the building. The project, costing about $750,000, replaced windows and removed dead ivy. Some additional improvements to the basement of the building are also under consideration. Three years ago, the most extensive remodeling was completed to the venerable facility. Floor-level seating with theater-style seats for donors and new bleachers for students were installed, reducing the capacity to 9,087. A new main scoreboard plus auxiliary scoreboards and an improved sound system all were added at a cost of more than $600,000. Built in 1926 with the first game played in January 1927, McArthur Court has undergone some $5 million remodeling during the past five years.

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