Women's Basketball Returns Home to Play UC Santa Barbara

Dec. 19, 2000

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Oregon (No. 23 Associated Press/No. 21 ESPN/USA Today) seeks to snap a three-game losing skid as it battles UC Santa Barbara (4-3) on Friday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. at McArthur Court. The Ducks will play at home for the first time since a Nov. 24 win against Portland.

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 heard on the Internet at www.goducks.com.

In the series' only meeting last season, UC Santa Barbara defeated the Ducks 74-61 on Dec. 13 at the Thunderdome. Shaquala Williams had 18 points for Oregon while Lindsey Dion added 15. Kayte Christensen had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Gauchos. The Ducks' Jenny Mowe swatted a career-best eight shots.

Jody Runge is in her eighth season at the helm of the Ducks. She has compiled an impressive 147-64 (.697) 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.

Brianne Meharry severely sprained her right ankle last Saturday against Utah. She is tentatively set to return for the Dec. 30 game against San Francisco. Freshman forward Cathrine Kraayeveld likely will be replacing her in the starting lineup. Meanwhile, Lindsey Dion bumped her head on the hardwood during the Utah game. She is day-to-day.

If the season ended today, Jenny Mowe's .683 mark from the field would break the Oregon single-season record of .614 set by Debbie Adams in 1980-81. The Pac-10 record is held by former Duck great Stefanie Kasperski (.606). The Pac-10 began to sponsor women's basketball in the 1986-87 season.

Oregon's 82-58 loss to Texas marked the second-worst nonconference defeat under eighth-year coach Jody Runge since it lost 82-54 to Vanderbilt in 1994. It was only the fifth time under Runge the Ducks have lost by more than 20 points. In addition, Oregon's usually disciplined defense gave up the most points since surrendering 82 to Stanford on March 4, 1999.

UCSB sophomore guard Jess Hansen played at girls basketball powerhouse Oregon City High with Brianne Meharry.

Oregon dropped from No. 14 in the Associated Press poll to No. 23. The Ducks also are No. 21 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. Six current top-25 teams are on Oregon's schedule this season.

The Ducks are ranked No. 5 in this week's RPI, tops in the Pac-10. Arizona is at No. 6. Oregon also has the No. 1 Strength of Schedule, followed by Penn State and Georgia.

Jamie Craighead is first among all Pac-10 players with a 48 percent mark (20 of 42) from 3-point range as well as 3-pointers per game (2.9). Last season, she shot 31 percent (30 of 98) from long range. In addition, Craighead has scored in double-figures for four straight games.

Oregon ranks first in the Pac-10 with its .466 field goal percentage and second with a .692 free throw percentage.

Angelina Wolvert is four games shy of playing in 100 career games. Jenny Mowe, meanwhile, played in her 100th career game Dec. 9 at Texas.

Angelina Wolvert, Brianne Meharry and Jenny Mowe each have been mired in foul trouble in several games this year. Meharry has fouled out four times (three in 1999-00), Mowe twice (three in 1999-00) and Wolvert once (once in 1999-00) so far.

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.

Senior Brianne Meharry made her first 3-pointer Dec. 9 against Texas since her freshman year. Also, senior Jenny Mowe attempted her first collegiate 3-pointer, resulting in a miss.

Ducks vs. Utah, Dec. 16
Oregoncouldn't get its offense on track in a 63-48 loss to Utah at the Huntsman Center. The Ducks shot a season-low 35 percent from the floor and Utah held Oregon leading scorer Angelina Wolvert to no points or rebounds. Oregon trailed the entire game, but cut an eight-point halftime defecit to 34-32 after a Jamie Craighead 3-pointer. The Utes then went on an 8-0 run to go up by 10, but Oregon again fought back on two Ndidi Unaka free throws to make it 50-44 with 4:57 left. The Ducks, however, could only muster one field goal the rest of the way. Utah's Lindsay Herbert scored 12 of her game-high 19 points in the second half. The Utes had a lot of uncontested shots under the basket on back-door plays and finished with 22 assists. The game began poorly for the Ducks, as Utah opened with an 18-2 run in the first nine minutes as Oregon hit 1 of 8 from the floor. Craighead was the only double-figure scorer for the Ducks with 13, hitting 3 of 5 from 3-point range. Utah shut down Oregon's inside game, as seniors Wolvert, Jenny Mowe and Brianne Meharry combined for seven points and eight rebounds. Wolvert, who had five turnovers, played just eight minutes in the game.

Oregon coach Jody Runge has a 17-29 record, including 11-8 at McArthur Court, against nationally-ranked opponents in her eight years at Oregon. Last year, she was 5-2.

Angelina Wolvert's two free throws with 17:27 left in the Texas game gave her 1,000 career points. She became the 14th player in Oregon history and first since Renae Fegent passed the barrier in the 1996-97 season.

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.

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). Oregon's 5,002 fans in its home-opener is the 23rd-best single-game mark in the nation this year and ranks the Ducks 11th overall.

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.

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

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