Women's Basketball Searches For Back-to-Back Wins

Feb. 20, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOOKS TO KEEP MOMENTUM, BEAVERS HEAD TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOR SHOWDOWNS WITH USC AND UCLA

Friday February 23, 2001
OSU at USC - 7 p.m., Los Angeles, CA
(Sports Arena)

Sunday February 25, 2001
OSU at UCLA - 2 p.m., Corvallis, OR
(Pauley Pavilion)

PROBABLE STARTERS
OREGON STATE BEAVERS (12-11 overall, 4-9 Pac-10)
G #23 Syesha Thomas, 5-6, Sr., (6.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.1 apg.)
G #34 Felicia Ragland, 5-9, Jr., (19.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.0 apg.)
F #31 Nicole Funn, 6-0 So., (12.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.7 apg.)
or G #10 Leilani Estavan, 5-7 Fr., (4.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 4.4 apg.)
F #22 Ericka Cook, 6-3, Jr., (12.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.7 apg.)
F #42 Brina Chaney, 6-5, Fr., (4.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.7 apg.)


G #3 Tiffany Elmore, 5-10, Jr., (9.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.5 apg.)
G #24 Ryane Alexander, 5-7, Fr. (1.4 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 0.8 apg.)
F #14 Carmen Krause, 6-1, Jr., (4.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.6 apg.)
F #22 Tashara Carter, 6-0, Sr., (8.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.4 apg.)
C #32 Ebony Hoffman, 6-2, Fr., (12.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.8 apg.)

UCLA BRUINS (3-20 overall, 2-10 Pac-10)
G #1 Natalie Nakase, 5-2, So., (4.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 4.1 apg.)
G #20 Michelle Greco, 5-9, Jr., (19.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.9 apg.)
F #4 Kristee Porter, 6-0, So., (10.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 0.6 apg.)
F #10 Whitney Jones, 5-10, Fr., (6.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.2 apg.)
C #32 Malika Leatham, 6-2, Jr., (6.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.5 apg.)

A GLANCE AT THE WOMEN OF TROY: USC has lost four of its last five games since beating Oregon State in overtime, 69-67 in Corvallis. The Women of Troy dropped a pair of games last week at the Arizona schools (67-65, ASU and 77-61, UA). Freshman post Ebony Hoffman leads the squad with 12.1 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per contest. Aisha Hollans, a freshman, is the only other Southern California player to average double figures in scoring with 11.4 points per outing. The Women of Troy have knocked down just 24-percent (56-of-232) 3-point field goals this season. USC averages 65.3 points per game while its opponents are scoring 67.5. Southern California has a 2-3 record at home this season in Pac-10 Conference games.

THE SERIES WITH USC: The Women of Troy lead the all-time series with Oregon State 23-10. The Beavers are just 1-4 under Judy Spoelstra when playing against Southern California on the road, with OSU's lone victory (57-53) coming last season. In her tenure as head coach at OSU, Spoelstra has a record of 5-6 against Southern Cal.

WOMEN OF TROY AND BEAVERS THIS SEASON: Junior guard Felicia Ragland scored 21 first half points and finished with a then career-high 29 points and career-high 13 rebounds but it wasn't enough, as USC escaped with a 69-67 overtime victory on Jan. 27. Both teams shot a combined 54 free throws in the foul-plagued contest. Oregon State led by as many as 11 points in the first half but the Women of Troy rallied to cut the OSU lead to 35-34 at halftime. The game see-sawed back-and-forth with neither team taking larger than a four-point lead for the remainder of the contest. Trailing by a basket with time running out, Oregon State freshman Leilani Estavan hit an arching 4-footer that knotted the score 53-53 and sent the game into overtime. Ebony Hoffman's lay-up with 26 seconds remaining in OT gave the Women of Troy the lead for good (66-64) and three USC free throws in the final six seconds sealed the victory. Junior post Ericka Cook finished with 16 points to reach double figures in scoring for the 12th consecutive game while Estavan scored a career-high 10 points and dished out four assists.

A GLANCE AT THE BRUINS: UCLA heads into its Thursday night contest against University of Oregon on a seven-game losing streak. The skid started on Jan. 25 with a 71-58 loss against Oregon State in Corvallis. Junior guard Michelle Greco leads the Pac-10 Conference in scoring with 19.7 points per game and her .882 (60-for-68) free throw percentage also ranks first. Volleyball standout Kristee Porter ranks second on the squad with 10.8 points per game and leads the team with an average of 7.3 rebounds per outing and 26 blocked shots in just 16 games. The athletic Bruins lead the conference in steals (11.35 spg) and turnover margin (+3.65). UCLA has not won a road game this season but is 2-3 in Pac-10 games played at Pauley Pavilion.

THE SERIES WITH UCLA: The Bruins lead the all-time series with Oregon State 22-12. The squads split last season with UCLA picking up a 23-point win (83-60) in Pauley while the Beavers won by 20 (72-52) in Gill. OSU won this season's meeting in Corvallis, 71-58. In her tenure as head coach at OSU, Judy Spoelstra has a record of just 3-8 against UCLA.

BRUINS AND BEAVERS THIS SEASON: Oregon State dominated from the start, running to a 71-58 victory against UCLA on Jan. 25. 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 then, 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 with 13 points while freshman Hollye Holbrook buried 5-of-7 shots to match her then career-high with 12 points. Freshman point guard Leilani Estavan came off the bench to match her then career-high in scoring with eight points, dish out seven assists and pull down a career-high seven boards.

LOOKING BACK AT WASHINGTON: Oregon State let a five-point halftime lead slip away and managed just 7-of-30 shooting in the second half as Washington rallied for a 77-70 victory last Thursday. The Beavers started the game strong, hitting 59-percent of their first half field goals and out-rebounding the Huskies 20-9. It was all Washington in the second half and the Huskies out-scored OSU 38-26. Junior guard Felicia Ragland led all scorers with 23 points and post Ericka Cook recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Despite combining for 40 points on the night, Ragland and Cook managed to hit just two field goals in the second half. Sophomore Nicole Funn also reached double figures in scoring with 14 points.

LOOKING BACK AT WASHINGTON STATE: Five players reached double figures in scoring as Oregon State broke a six-game losing streak with a decisive 94-60 pounding of Washington State last Saturday. The Beavers trailed for a total of just two minutes in the contest and senior Syesha Thomas' 3-point basket gave OSU the lead for good (6-4) at the 16:45 mark. Oregon State held WSU to a season-low seven first half field goals (7-for-24) and went into the locker room with a 40-19 lead at the break. In the second half the Beavers continued to pull away, leading by as many as 37 points with just over two minutes remaining. Sophomore Nicole Funn came off the bench to lead all players with 20 points while knocking down 10-of-13 free throws. Felicia Ragland added 15 points for OSU while Thomas finished with 13 points and five assists. Freshman post Hollye Holbrook finished with a career-high 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds. Junior Ericka Cook also reached double figures in scoring with 10 points while freshman Leilani Estavan dished out a career-high nine assists.

BEAVERS LIVE ON TELEVISION: Oregon State's game against Arizona State on Saturday, Mar. 3, has been selected as the Fox Sports Net wild card game. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net at 1 p.m. The Beaver-Sun Devil contest was previously scheduled to tip-off at 7:05 p.m.

BEAVERS REMAIN OUT OF POLL: Oregon State has not appeared in the Associated Press Top-25 women's basketball poll for the past five weeks after garnering one vote in the Jan. 15 poll. 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.

BACK ON TRACK: Oregon State won its first Pac-10 Conference game on a Saturday last week against Washington State. The Beavers have failed to win back-to-back conference games this season but have a chance to break the streak if they pick up a victory at USC this Friday. OSU has a 2-1 record when playing on Friday night.

ROAD WOES: Oregon State returns to the road after picking up a split last week in Corvallis. The Beavers are 4-6 away from Gill Coliseum this season and just 1-5 in Pac-10 Conference play on the road.

FAST FACT: Sunday's game between Oregon State and UCLA will pit the two top scorers in the Pacific-10 Conference. Bruin guard Michelle Greco is leading the league in scoring with a 19.7 point per game average while the Beavers' Felicia Ragland ranks second with 19.4 points per game. Ragland leads the conference in scoring for Pac-10 games this season with 21.7 points per game while Greco ranks second with 20.7 points per game.

LESS CAN BE MORE: Oregon State had five players reach double figures in scoring against Washington State last Saturday. Balanced scoring has been a rarity in recent Beaver contests, as one or two players have been shouldering most of the load. Five players reaching double figures are the most for OSU in any Pac-10 game this season.

BIG NUMBERS: Oregon State's 34-point victory (94-60) against Washington State last Saturday was the second largest margin of victory for the Beavers this season. OSU knocked off Princeton by 36-points (69-33) in the second game of the season. Oregon State matched its season high assists total with 21 against the Cougs and finished the game with a season-high 16 steals.

1,000 POINT CLUB: Junior guard Felicia Ragland has moved into a select company of players - the 1,000 point club. Ragland's 23 points against Washington last Thursday moved her past Sissel Pierce (1997-00) into 11th place in the OSU record book for points scored. The 5-9 junior added 15 points against Washington State last Saturday to bring her career total to 1,040 points. Ragland has scored 447 points this season and needs just 21 points to pass Sonijhia Fleming (1990-93) and move into the Top-10.

500 REBOUND CLUB: Junior Felicia Ragland edges closer to 500 rebounds in her career. Ragland has tallied 163 boards this season and has a career total of 475 rebounds. The 5-9 guard needs just 23 more caroms to surpass Anette Mollerstrom's (1992-96) total of 497 and move into 11th place in the OSU record book for career rebounds.

RECORD BOOK: Guard Felicia Ragland tied Anette Mollerstrom's OSU record for 3-point field goals made in a game with six against California on Feb. 8. Ragland buried 5-of-6 long balls in the first half before finishing with a 6-for-12 clip. In the Beavers' game against Stanford on Feb. 10, Ragland again buried six treys. The 5-9 junior sank 6-of-8 shots from long range. Mollerstrom knocked down her six treys against Alabama during the 1994 season. Ragland's season total of 50 3-pointers made is the most ever for any Beaver player. The All-America candidate surpassed Mollerstrom's single season (1994) total of 43 long balls to move into first place in the OSU record books.

MORE RECORDS: Junior Ericka Cook has moved into 10th place in the Oregon State record book for career blocked shots. The 6-3 post's 58 swats surpassed head coach Judy Spoelstra's total of 47 to move into the Top-10. Cook needs just three more stuffs to move past Tina Lelas' (1994-97) total of 60 and climb into ninth place. Kristina Walsh (1995-98) is next on the ladder with a career total 62 blocks.

THE STREAK: Felicia Ragland has buried 15 consecutive free throws over a span of four games. The streak started with a charity toss at California in the final minute of the game. Ragland then buried all six of her attempts at Stanford and against Washington, followed by a pair against Washington State last Saturday. Oregon State's record for consecutive free throws made is 19 straight, set over a nine game stretch by Jennifer Busen during the 1996-97 season.

REBOUNDING WATCH: Oregon State continued its dominance on the boards against Washington and Washington State last week. The Beavers pulled down 39 boards compared to the Huskies' 30 last Thursday and maintained a 16-9 edge on the offensive glass. OSU garnered a 34-27 rebounding advantage against Washington State last Saturday. Oregon State's +4.1 rebounding margin ranks third in the Pac-10 Conference. Overall the Beavers continue to maintain an edge against their opponents on the offensive glass, earning a 349-295 advantage.

RUKSTELYTE OUT FOR SEASON: Sophomore post Kristina Rukstelyte has missed the last 12 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 in her right knee over the summer. Rukstelyte had surgery on Feb. 15 to repair the tear and will miss the remainder of the season.

RAGLAND NUMBERS: Junior guard Felicia Ragland finished last Thursday's game against Washington with 23 points on just 7-of-21 shooting and a 3-of-11 clip from beyond the arc. The Tulare, CA native got back on track shooting with 15 points on a 6-of-12 mark from the floor against Washington State last Saturday. Ragland has recorded six double-doubles this season and 11 in her career. In OSU's 13 conference games, Ragland has recorded four double-doubles and scored 20-plus points on nine occasions. Ragland ranks second in the Pac-10 Conference with an average of 19.4 points per game. The junior guard ranks first in the Pac-10 in 3-point field goal percentage (.455), second in 3-point field goals made per game (2.17), third in steals (2.74) as well as ranking fifth in rebounding (7.1).

RAGLAND IN CONFERENCE GAMES: After 13 Pacific-10 Conference games, Felicia Ragland leads the league in scoring with an average of 21.7 points per game. Ragland's 34 3-point baskets rank second and her average of 8.0 rebounds per outing is third.

MORE ON RAGLAND: Junior Felicia Ragland has reached double figures in scoring in 21 of 23 games this season. The 5-9 guard has started 79 consecutive games for the Beavers and has led the squad in either scoring or rebounding in 16 contests this season. Ragland ranks third in Oregon State's record book for 3-point baskets made in her career. The Tulare, CA native, has made 50-of-110 (.455) long balls this season and has a career total of 96 treys. Ragland is currently tied with A.J. Dionne (1993-96) for second place in OSU's career record book for 3-pointers made. Anette Mollerstrom (1993-96) holds the all-time record with 113 3-point baskets.

TOP NOTCH: Freshman point guard Leilani Estavan has made two straight appearances in Oregon State's starting lineup. The 5-7 guard is one of the up-and-coming players in the Pac-10 Conference. Estavan has dished out a total of 29 assists in the last four games. She finished last Thursday's game against Washington with seven assists, all in the first half and tallied a career-high nine dishes against Washington State last Saturday. Estavan leads the Beavers in assists with 101, for an average of 4.41 per game and the Palisades High School grad ranks second in the Pac-10 Conference with a 2.10 assist-turnover ratio.

FUNN RETURNS: Sophomore Nicole Funn has returned to her early season form, coming off the bench in the last two games. Funn knocked down 5-of-9 shots from the field and 4-of-5 free throws against Washington last Thursday for 14 points. The 6-0 forward led all players with 20 points against WSU last Saturday on 5-of-8 shooting and a 10-for-13 clip from the charity stripe. The Palisades High grad is second on the team in scoring with 12.4 points per game and her 5.7 rebounds rank third.

SENIOR SUCCESS: Senior Syesha Thomas pulled down a career-high five rebounds last Thursday against Washington and then buried 4-of-6 shots from the field and scored the first eight points of the game against Washington State last Saturday. The point guard finished the game with 13 points, five assists and a game-high five steals. Thomas is having the best season of her career, ranking fourth on the squad with an average of 6.7 points per game while her 72 assists (3.1 apg) ranks second.

HOLBROOK POSTS BIG NUMBERS: Freshman post Hollye Holbrook scored a career-high 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field last Saturday against Washington State. Holbrook also grabbed a career-high seven rebounds against the Cougars and recorded two steals in 21 minutes of action. The Oregon City High School grad showed her shooting range, burying her second 3-pointer of the season against WSU. Holbrook and fellow freshman post, Brina Chaney, have both scored 110 points (4.8 ppg) on the season to rank fifth on the squad in scoring.

COOK CONTINUES TO SHINE: Junior Ericka Cook continued her recent shooting and rebounding dominance against Washington last Thursday. Cook buried 8-of-11 field goals for 17 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. In last Saturday's game against Washington State Cook reached double figures in scoring for the third consecutive game with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting. The former North Medford High star, currently ranks 13th in the Pac-10 Conference with an average of 12.4 points per game while her 6.6 rebounds per game rank seventh. Cook ranks second on the Beavers' squad in rebounding (152) and third in scoring (285).

IN THE ACTION: Walk-on players Carey Jo Stephens and Marissa Nehl both saw their most playing time of the season last Saturday against Washington State. Stephens scored the first points of her career, hitting 3-of-4 free throws. The former Bend High grad also pulled down a rebound and assist in 10 minutes of action. Nehl dished out the first assist of her career in two minutes of action.

HOME STREAK: The Beavers have won 55 of their last 86 (.640) games played at Gill Coliseum. Over the last eight seasons OSU is 72-36 in the friendly confines of Gill. Oregon State is just 3-4 in Pac-10 Conference games played at home this season.

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 73-88 while in her sixth season at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 171-155 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. Thursday's game against USC and Saturday's game against UCLA will be broadcast on the Beaver Sports Radio Network, through satellite affiliates.

BEAVERS ON TELEVISION: OSU will play seven 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 and Live against Arizona State on Mar. 3 at 1 p.m.

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