Undefeated Women's Basketball Squad Heads To Lone Star State
Dec. 5, 2000
It's not getting any easier for Oregon (No. 10 Associated Press/No. 12 ESPN/USA Today) as it takes on Texas (No. 25 AP) in the second game of the 'Secret Four in the Fall' doubleheader at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin at 3 p.m. PST. The Longhorns (7-1) cracked the polls Monday for the first time this season. Texas Tech and North Carolina State square off in the first game at 12:30 p.m. The Ducks are making their first trip to Austin and haven't played in the state since a tournament in Arlington in December 1993.
ABOUT THE THIRD ANNUAL `FOUR IN THE FALL'
Texas Tech played host to the 1999 Secret Four in the Fall, with UCLA defeating North Carolina (69-65) and Texas Tech defeating LSU (56-49) in front of more than 15,000 fans. In 1998, the event was held in San Jose, with Duke, Stanford, Connecticut and Arkansas as the featured teams. The 2000 Secret Four in the Fall is again hosted and organized with Host Communications, Inc., and partner Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).
Fox Sports Net will be televising the Oregon-Texas game live to most FSN affiliates around the nation, including Fox Sports Northwest and Fox Sports West. Bill Land will handle play-by-play duties complemented by analyst Debbie Antonelli. 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. Radio broadcasts also can be accessed on the Internet at www.goducks.com.
SERIES VS. TEXAS
The Longhorns lead the series 3-0. The teams haven't played each other since a 65-59 Texas win Dec. 21, 1982, in Portland, Ore.
COACH JODY RUNGE
Jody Runge is in her eighth season at the helm of the Ducks. She has compiled an impressive 147-61 (.707) record in her Oregon tenure, which includes a 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 enters 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.
With 989 points, Angelina Wolvert is just 11 points shy of scoring 1,000 in her four-year career. She would become the 14th player in Oregon history and first since Renae Fegent passed the barrier in the 1996-97 season.
IN THE RANKINGS
Oregon's No. 10 ranking in the AP Poll is its best since it was No. 10 last season, along with a No. 9 spot in the ESPN/USA Today Poll, before splitting two games at a Southwest Missouri State tournament almost exactly one year ago. The Ducks were ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll for four different weeks in 1981-82, the best mark in school history.
Oregon travels to Austin this Friday, to Lubbock next Monday and on to Salt Lake City next Thursday. The Ducks won't return to Eugene from their 10-day trip until Sunday, Dec. 17.
Oregon's 4-0 start is its third best mark under Jody Runge. Oregon won seven in a row to begin the 1996-97 season and won its first six games last year. The 1978-79 squad holds the school record with 21 consecutive victories.
The Ducks have won six straight road games and eight in a row away from McArthur Court. Oregon's last loss away from Eugene was a 74-73 setback to USC on Jan. 27, 2000.
Oregon's starting inside players are shooting stars so far this year. Angelina Wolvert (.581), Jenny Mowe (.704) and Brianne Meharry (.579) are a combined 55 of 89 from the field (.618). The trio also has accounted for 51 percent of the Ducks' scoring.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
Oregon ranks first in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage defense at .349 (and offense at .488, too!). In addition, it has held opponents to 40 percent second-half shooting or less in three games this year.
OREGON NO. 2 IN RPI
The Ducks are ranked No. 2 in this week's RPI, behind only Connecticut. Arizona is at No. 4 and Stanford comes in at No. 8.
Jamie Craighead ranks third in the Pac-10 with a 46 percent mark (10 of 22) from 3-point range. Last season, she shot 31 percent (30 of 98) from long range.
Senior Jenny Mowe will play in her 100th career game Saturday at Texas.
Junior post player Alyssa Fredrick is making her presence felt underneath, ranking third on the team with 4.0 rebounds per game in a reserve role. Her seven rebounds against North Carolina State Nov. 19 was her highest total in an Oregon uniform.
RUNGE VS. NATIONALLY-RANKED OPPONENTS
Oregon coach Jody Runge has a 17-27 record, including 11-8 at McArthur Court, against nationally-ranked opponents. Last year, she was 5-2. In addition, the Ducks have defeated five straight nationally-ranked teams.
Junior forward Ndidi Unaka did it all for the Ducks on Nov. 24 against Portland. She had career-highs of 12 points, five steals, three assists and three blocks to go with four rebounds in just 21 minutes of play.
Ducks vs. Santa Clara, Dec. 2
Angelina Wolvert scored 18 points and Jenny Mowe had all 16 of her points in the second half as No. 12 Oregon used two key scoring runs to struggle past Santa Clara 62-54 Saturday. The Ducks went on an 11-2 run in the last 3 1/2 minutes of the first half to tie the game, then had a 14-1 burst early in the second half to take control. Oregon was flustered by Santa Clara's collapsing zone defense, managing just five points in the first 10 1/2 minutes. But after falling behind 19-10, the Ducks began hitting outside shots to loosen up the middle and were tied at 21 at halftime. Oregon came out with more energy to start the second half, and the guards got Mowe involved. She took only one shot in the first half, but had five inside baskets and a jumper in the first eight minutes of the second. She also grabbed 11 rebounds, one off her career-high.
Since Jody Runge's first year in 1993, the Ducks are 78-17 (.821) 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's back-to-back wins over top-25 teams Nov. 18-19 marked the first time in the program's history it has accomplished the feat.
DUCKS IN DROVES
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).With 5,002 fans attending Oregon's home-opener Nov. 24, it appears the Ducks picked up where they left off.
WILLIAMS TO MISS SEASON
Last year's Pac-10 Player of the Year Shaquala Williams is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee she injured in September.
CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT HOSTS
Oregon will play host to the first Pac-10 women's basketball postseason tournament, beginning in March 2002.
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