Women's Basketball Opens Season At Portland State

Nov. 15, 2000

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FINISHES EXHIBITION SCHEDULE WITH 2-0 MARK, OPENS REGULAR SEASON AT PORTLAND STATE FRIDAY

Friday November 17, 2000
OSU at Portland State - 7 p.m. , Portland, OR (Stott Center)

PROBABLE STARTERS
OREGON STATE BEAVERS (0-0)

G #23 Syesha Thomas, 5-6, Sr., (4.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 1.8 apg.)
G #34 Felicia Ragland, 5-9, Jr., (12.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.9 apg.)
F #31 Nicole Funn, 6-0 So., (4.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.8 apg.)
F #45 Hollye Holbrook, 6-2, Fr. (n/a)
C #22 Ericka Cook, 6-3, Jr. (5.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.8 apg.)

PORTLAND STATE VIKINGS (0-0)
G #10 Michelle Tuma, 5-6, Jr. (0.6 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 1.3 apg.)
G #24 Nikki Petticrew, 5-10, So., (1.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.1 apg.)
F #22 Shannon Thorne, 5-11, Sr., (2.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.4 apg.)
F #3 Hiedi Hatcher, 6-1, Sr., (10.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.3 apg.)
C #40 Carrie Spencer, 6-3, Fr., (n/a)

ABOUT PORTLAND STATE: The Vikings open their season against OSU on Friday after finishing the 1999-2000 campaign with a 9-18 overall record and a 7-9 mark in the Big Sky Conference. PSU lost four players off of last season's squad to graduation but added seven new faces for 2000-01, three transfers and four freshmen. Returning to lead the squad is senior forward Hiedi Hatcher. Hatcher averaged 10.9 points per game last season and added an 8.0 rebounding clip. As a team the Vikings averaged 55.8 points per game last season while giving up 60.3points. Portland State struggled on the boards, being out-rebounded by its opponents 40.7 to 34.5 boards per game.

THE SERIES: Oregon State leads the all-time series with Portland State 18-6 dating back to 1977. The Beavers have won the last three meetings with the Vikings, including a 65-47 victory in last year's season opener. PSU's last victory was an 83-74 win in Portland during the 1990 campaign.

OPENING THE SEASON: Oregon State has won its last two season openers and has a 4-1 mark with Judy Spoelstra at the helm in opening day contests.

LOOKING BACK AT RTU CLONDICA: The Beavers opened exhibition action on Nov. 4, with a 99-56 victory against RTU Clondica, a traveling team from Latvia. Pressure defense and hot shooting helped Oregon State cruise to a 59-22 halftime advantage and eventual victory. Four Beavers reached double figures in scoring led by sophomore Nicole Funn's 21 points. Junior Felicia Ragland added 18 points while freshman Brina Chaney contributed 17 points and a team-high eight rebounds in her OSU debut. Fellow freshman Hollye Holbrook finished the night with 12 points.

LOOKING BACK AT THE NWBL: Oregon State cruised to victory in its exhibition game against the NWBL USA Elite squad on Nov. 14. The Beavers never trailed during the game and built a 16-1 lead out of the gates, en route to an 80-40 win. All-America candidate Felicia Ragland led all scorers with 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including a 3-for-4 performance from 3-point land. Junior post Ericka Cook proved to be a spark for the Beavers with a game-high 11 rebounds, eight points and four blocked shots. Senior point guard Syesha Thomas reached double figures in scoring with 13 points and dished out seven assists. As a team, OSU shot 56-percent (9-16) from the 3-point line while the NWBL was 0-for-11 from long range.

FAST FACT: Oregon State has trailed its opponents for a total of 23 seconds in this season's two exhibition contests. RTU Clondica held a 3-2 lead against the Beavers in the opening minutes of the Nov. 4 exhibition game.

IT'S IN THE PAST: Oregon State returns to the court after last season's 14-16 record and 10-8 mark in the Pacific-10 Conference. The Beavers were in position to finish first in the conference with three games remaining but dropped all three contests and had to settle for a fifth place finish.

RAGLAND IS READY: Tabbed as one of the best players in the Pacific-10 Conference, guard Felicia Ragland returns to lead the Beavers in 2000-01. Ragland has started 56 consecutive games (didn't start first game of her career) and led Oregon State in scoring (388 points) and assists (86) during the 1999-00 campaign. The 5-9 junior also pulled down 186 rebounds for an average of 6.2 boards per game and finished the season with 63 steals on her way to being named first team All-Pac-10. Ragland has been selected by the media as a 2000-01 preseason Pac-10 All-Conference Team member. In this season's two exhibition games, Ragland has totaled 37 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

COACH SPOELSTRA ON RAGLAND: 'I think she will have an outstanding year. A lot of people will be keying on her, but I think they did last year as well. She is a phenomenal defender and just a great all-around basketball player and one of the best players in our conference.'

IT'S ALL FOR FUNN: Sophomore forward Nicole Funn scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed five rebounds against RTU Clondica on Nov. 4. Funn totaled nine points and three boards in the Beavers victory against the NWBL on Tuesday. The 6-0 Carson, CA, native was named to the Pacific-10 Conference All-Freshman honorable mention list last season. Funn averaged 4.2 points per game and 2.6 rebounds per contest in her opening season as a Beaver.

NEW FACES ON THE COURT: The Beavers have added three freshmen between the height of 6-2 and 6-5 to bolster the post and power forward positions for the 2000-01 season. Kristine Gleisberg (Ventura, CA), Brina Chaney (Bothell, WA) and Hollye Holbrook (Cottage Grove, OR) will be expected to contribute valuable minutes on the court for OSU.

CHANEY IS FOR REAL: Freshman post Brina Chaney made an immediate impact for the Beavers during the exhibition season. The 6-5 post scored 17 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds against RTU Clondica on Nov. 4. In Tuesday's exhibition game against the NWBL, Chaney was a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the free throw line for eight points. The Bothell, WA, native also pulled down seven rebounds in the NWBL contest.

ASSISTANT COACH NORMAN ON THE FRESHMEN: 'One if not two will probably start during the year. We're definitely going to rely heavily on their contributions.'

ALL OVER THE BOARDS: The Beavers dominated the boards last season, out-rebounding their opponents by 5.7 caroms a game to lead the Pac-10 throughout the year.

TOUGH ON DEFENSE: Oregon State led the Pacific-10 Conference last season in both scoring defense and field goal percentage defense. The Beavers held their opponents to just 61 points a game and a .389 field goal percentage. In this season's two exhibition contests the Beavers have held their opponents to an average of 48 points and a lowly .222 field goal percentage.

PUTTING POINTS ON THE BOARD: Last season the Beavers led the Pacific-10 Conference in scoring defense, allowing just 61 points per game but OSU was unable to put big numbers on the board, averaging just 60.9 points itself. The Beavers posted big numbers in their two exhibition games, scoring 99 and 80 points, respectively.

INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore post Kristina Rukstelyte has yet to be cleared to participate this season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament last May. Prognosis is good for Rukstelyte to gain clearance for competition by the end of November.

COACHING ADDITIONS: Oregon State has three new coaches on the sideline this season. Tony Newnan joins the Beavers after guiding the high-powered offense at the University of California-Santa Barbara and Stephanie Norman brings a wealth of experience to the staff after working as an assistant at Oregon from 1992-99. Jualeah Woods rounds out the staff, joining the Beavers after two seasons as an assistant at California, under her former coach, Marianne Stanley.

HEAD COACH JUDY SPOELSTRA: Judy Spoelstra enters her sixth season at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra is 61-77 in five seasons at OSU and has a 159-145 overall record in 11 seasons as a collegiate head coach, her first six being at Montana State. Spoelstra was named Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the 1999-2000 season.

BEAVERS ON THE RADIO: All of Oregon State's 2000-01 games will be broadcast on the radio. Select games will be broadcast only on the Internet on the Oregon State athletics home page - www.osubeavers.com - this Friday's game at Portland State will be broadcast solely over the Internet. Future games cam be heard on KLOO (1340 AM) in Corvallis or on the Beaver Sports Radio Network, through satellite affiliates.

BEAVERS ON TELEVISION: OSU will play six televised games this season on Fox Sports Northwest. The Beavers' Pacific-10 Conference season opener against Oregon on Jan. 5 will be broadcast on tape-delay, as well as the Jan. 18 game at Washington State, Feb. 17 vs. Washington State and Mar. 1 vs. Arizona. The Beavers can be seen Live on Jan. 13 against California and Jan. 21 at Washington.

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