Women's Basketball Looks For Sweep

Jan. 26, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL KNOCKS OFF UCLA, BEAVERS GO FOR SWEEP SATURDAY AGAINST SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Saturday January 27, 2001
USC at OSU - 2 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum)

PROBABLE STARTERS
OREGON STATE BEAVERS (11-5 overall, 3-3 Pac-10)
G #23 Syesha Thomas, 5-6, Sr., (6.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.1 apg.)
G #34 Felicia Ragland, 5-9, Jr., (17.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.1 apg.)
F #31 Nicole Funn, 6-0 So., (14.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.8 apg.)
F #42 Brina Chaney, 6-5, Fr. (5.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 0.6 apg.)
C #22 Ericka Cook, 6-3, Jr. (12.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.2 apg.)

USC WOMEN OF TROY (7-9 overall, 2-4 Pac-10)
G #10 Jessica Cheeks, 5-9, Fr., (8.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.9 apg.)
G #23 Aisha Hollans, 5-10, Fr. (12.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.4 apg.)
F #22 Tashara Carter, 6-0, Sr., (8.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.6 apg.)
F #32 Ebony Hoffman, 6-2, Fr., (12.0 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.9 apg.)
C #13 Denise Woods, 6-3, Sr., (9.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 0.8 apg.)

A GLANCE AT THE WOMEN OF TROY: USC brings a 7-9 overall record and 2-4 Pac-10 mark into Saturday's game against the Beavers. The Women of Troy are coming off a 55-53 victory against No. 20 University of Oregon on Thursday night. USC knocked off No. 19 Arizona, 81-67, on Jan. 18, to break a six-game losing streak but dropped their Jan. 20 contest against Arizona State, 66-59. In an interesting note, Southern Cal's scoring, rebounding and steal leaders are all first-year players. Aisha Hollans leads the squad in scoring with 12.1 points per game while Ebony Hoffman is the only other player to average double figures in scoring with 12.0 points per contest and leads the squad in rebounding with 7.9 boards per game. Fellow rookie, Jessica Cheeks, is averaging 2.0 steals per game while senior Tashara Carter leads the team in assists with 2.6 per contest. Against Oregon, Hoffman finished with a double-double after scoring 19 points and ripping down a whopping 17 rebounds. Hoffman canned 8-of-15 shots from the field in 30 minutes of action.

THE SERIES WITH USC: The Women of Troy lead the all-time series with Oregon State 22-10. The Beavers have won three straight and five of the last six meetings in Corvallis. In her tenure as head coach at OSU, Judy Spoelstra has a record of 5-5 against Southern Cal.

TROJANS AND BEAVERS LAST SEASON: In last season's Gill Coliseum meeting between Oregon State and USC, the Beavers led from start to finish as they recorded the 73-66 victory. Nicole Funn had a big night for OSU, scoring a career-high 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field.

LOOKING BACK AT UCLA: Oregon State dominated from the start, running to a 71-58 victory against UCLA Thursday night. OSU scored the first 13 points of the game and held the Bruins scoreless until the 12:25 mark. Junior guard Felicia Ragland recorded her second consecutive double-double with 23 points and a career-high tying 12 rebounds. The Beavers held Pac-10 Conference leading scorer Michelle Greco to just three points in the first half on 1-of-11 shooting. Greco finished the night with a game-high 25 points. Ragland buried 10-of-15 shots from the floor and 2-of-3 from 3-point range on her way to garnering team-high scoring honors. Junior post Ericka Cook reached double figures in scoring for the 11th consecutive game with 13 points while freshman Hollye Holbrook buried 5-of-7 shots to match her career-high with 12 points. Freshman point guard Leilani Estavan came off the bench to match her career-high in scoring with eight points, dish out seven assists and pull down a career-high seven boards.

LOOKING BACK AT WASHINGTON STATE: Oregon State never trailed and pulled away in the second half to cruise to a 64-46 victory against Washington State on Jan. 18. Junior Felicia Ragland scored eight straight points including back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Beavers in front 50-30 with just over 12-minutes remaining and the Cougars would get no closer than 16 points for the rest of the night. Nicole Funn led all players with 17 points and eight rebounds while Ragland added 16 points, seven boards and three steals. Junior Ericka Cook reached double figures in scoring for the ninth consecutive game with 12 points and a team-high three assists. Freshman posts, Brina Chaney and Hollye Holbrook each played well for the Beavers. Chaney finished with eight points and six rebounds while Holbrook grabbed a career-high six boards.

LOOKING BACK AT WASHINGTON: Senior Megan Franza's off-balance 15-foot jumper with 4.5 seconds left on the clock lifted Washington past Oregon State, 69-67, last Saturday. UW led by as many as 14 points in the opening half but the Beavers sliced the lead to 35-30 heading into the locker room. OSU scored seven straight points to start the second frame and led by as many as 10 points. The Huskies slowly chipped away at the lead behind Franza's torrid shooting and Loree Payne's lay-up knotted the score 67-67 with 46 seconds remaining. OSU freshman Hollye Holbrook was called for a questionable player control foul on the ensuing possession which set-up Franza's game-winner. Four Beavers reached double figures in scoring on the night. Holbrook matched her career-high with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting while teammates Nicole Funn and Felicia Ragland also added 12 points apiece. Ragland recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 10 rebounds while Funn grabbed nine boards. Junior Ericka Cook added 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field. Franza finished with 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor including 4-of-6 from 3-point land.

BEAVERS FALL OUT OF POLL: Despite knocking off Washington State by 18 points and then losing on a last second shot at Washington, Oregon State dropped out of the Associated Press Top-25 women's basketball poll after garnering one vote last week. The Beavers received a season-high 25 votes in the Dec. 25 AP poll. Prior to this season Oregon State had not received votes in a national poll since the 1995-96 season, when OSU was ranked No. 22 in the final AP poll.

FAST FACT: Oregon State has not picked up 11 wins prior to the month of February since the 1995-96 season and head coach Judy Spoelstra's inaugural campaign. Spoelstra's squad took a 12-4 record into the second month of the year, en route to earning the Beavers' most recent birth in the NCAA Tournament.

RECORD BOOK: Junior Ericka Cook has moved into 10th place in the Oregon State record book for career blocked shots. The 6-3 post's 56 swats surpassed head coach Judy Spoelstra's total of 47 to move into the Top-10.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Oregon State is a perfect 9-0 when the Beavers lead going into the locker room at halftime.

REBOUNDING WATCH: Oregon State won the battle of the boards Thursday night against UCLA, 47-42. The Bruins however, cleaned-up on the offensive glass, grabbing 19 rebounds compared to the Beavers' 12. On the season, OSU is out-rebounding its opponents 39.8-34.6 boards per game, ranking first in the Pac-10 Conference with a +5.1 rebounding margin. The Beavers continue to maintain an edge against their opponents on the offensive glass, earning a 244-210 advantage.

INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore post Kristina Rukstelyte has missed the last five games after re-injuring her right knee in practice following the Pac-10 season opener against Oregon. Results of an MRI show that the Kaunas, Lithuania native, tore a piece of the meniscus as well as the anterior cruciate ligament that was repaired over the summer. Rukstelyte will be sidelined for an undetermined amount of time and her return to the Beaver lineup this season is questionable. Walk-on Marissa Nehl's returned to action Thursday against UCLA after missing four games.

RAGLAND IS ALL-EVERYTHING: Junior guard Felicia Ragland recorded her fifth double-double of the season and 10th of her career, with 23 points and a career-high tying 12 rebounds against UCLA Thursday. In OSU's six conference games, Ragland has recorded three double-doubles and scored 20-plus points on four occasions. Ragland ranks second in the Pac-10 Conference with an average of 17.9 points per game. The Tulare, CA native, leads the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.469), ranks second in steals (3.00) and fifth in rebounding (6.8).

MORE ON RAGLAND: Perennial All-America candidate, Felicia Ragland has reached double figures in scoring in nine consecutive games and 15 of 16 games this season. The 5-9 guard has started 72 consecutive games for the Beavers and has led the squad in either scoring or rebounding in 10 contests this season. Ragland ranks third in Oregon State's record book for 3-point baskets made. The Tulare, CA native, has made 30-of-64 (.469) long balls this season and has a career total of 76 treys.

NO FUNN: Sophomore Nicole Funn was stifled during Oregon State's 71-58 victory against UCLA Thursday. Funn, the Beavers' leading rebounder, was held without a board during the 13-point win. The 6-0 guard continues to lead the squad with an average of 6.9 boards per game which also ranks fourth in the Pac-10. Funn finished with just five points on 1-of-6 shooting from the field against the Bruins. Her 14.0 points per game rank second on the team and fifth in the conference.

ESTAVAN DOES IT ALL: Freshman point guard Leilani Estavan had her best game of the season Thursday night against UCLA. Estavan matched her career-high with eight points, dished out a game-high seven assists and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds. The Palisades High School grad leads the Beavers in assists with 59, for an average of 3.69 per game. The 5-7 freshman ranks second in the Pac-10 Conference with a 1.79 assist-turnover ratio. Estavan was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line against the Bruins and leads OSU with a 90-percent clip from the charity stripe (27-30).

FRESH FACES: Freshman posts Brina Chaney and Hollye Holbrook just completed their best weekend thus far in a Beaver uniform. Chaney knocked down 4-of-7 field goals for eight points and pulled down six rebounds against Washington State on Jan. 18. Chaney also matched her career-high with three blocked shots against WSU and set a career mark with three steals in OSU's 18-point victory. Chaney matched her career mark with three swats against UCLA Thursday. Meanwhile, Holbrook recorded a career-high six rebounds against Washington State and had her first career blocked shot against the Cougars. Holbrook followed her top notch performance against Wazzu with a career-high 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting against Washington last Saturday. The Oregon City grad continued her hot shooting, matching her career-high in scoring with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting against UCLA.

C IS FOR COOK AND CONSISTENCY: Junior Ericka Cook has reached double figures in scoring during 11 consecutive games, the longest streak of any Beaver this season. The 6-3 post buried 4-of-7 shots from the field and finished with 13 points against UCLA Thursday, including seven consecutive points in the final two minutes of the first half. The former North Medford High star, currently ranks 12th in the Pac-10 Conference with an average of 12.7 points per game.

HOME STREAK: The Beavers have won 54 of their last 83 (.651) games played at Gill Coliseum. Over the last eight seasons OSU is 71-34 in the friendly confines of Gill.

NON-CONFERENCE RECORD: Oregon State has an all-time non-conference record of 227-113 dating back to the 1976-77 season for a .668 percentage.

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 has a record of 72-82 while in her sixth season at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 170-149 overall record while in her 12th season 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: Join the voice of Beaver women's basketball, Jon Warren, as he calls the play-by-play for all of Oregon State's 2000-01 games. Every OSU women's game will be broadcast on the Internet on the Oregon State athletics home page - www.osubeavers.com. Saturday's game against Washington can also be heard 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, Jan. 20 at Washington and Feb. 17 vs. Washington State and Mar. 1 vs. Arizona. The Beavers can be seen Live on Jan. 13 against California.

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