Women's Basketball Rides 3-Game Winning Streak

Feb. 27, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL BRINGS 3-GAME WINNING STREAK INTO LAST HOMESTAND, BEAVERS LOOK FOR REVENGE AGAINST ARIZONA SCHOOLS

Thursday March 1, 2001
Arizona at OSU - 7:05 p.m., Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum) (Fox Sports- Tape Delay)

Saturday March 3, 2001
Arizona State at OSU - 1 p.m., Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum) (Fox Sports - Live)

PROBABLE STARTERS
OREGON STATE BEAVERS (14-11 overall, 6-9 Pac-10)
G #10 Leilani Estavan, 5-7 Fr., (4.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 4.5 apg.)
G #23 Syesha Thomas, 5-6, Sr., (6.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.0 apg.)
G #34 Felicia Ragland, 5-9, Jr., (19.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.9 apg.)
F #22 Ericka Cook, 6-3, Jr., (12.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.8 apg.)
F #42 Brina Chaney, 6-5, Fr., (4.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.7 apg.)

ARIZONA WILDCATS (18-8 overall, 8-6 Pac-10)
G #10 Reshea Bristol, 5-10, Sr., (15.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 7.4 apg.)
G #13 Aimee Grzyb, 5-7, Fr. (8.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.3 apg.)
F #22 Veranda James, 6-3, Fr., (14.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.3 apg.)
F #35 Krista Warren, 6-2, So., (9.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.9 apg.)
C #45 Elizabeth Pickney, 6-4, Jr., (15.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.8 apg.)

No. 22 ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS (19-7 overall, 11-3 Pac-10)
G #4 Amanda Levens, 5-9, Jr., (15.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.8 apg.)
G #33 Natalie Tucker, 5-9, Sr. (5.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.7 apg.)
F #23 Betsy Boardman, 6-1, Fr., (11.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.1 apg.)
F #52 Cian Carvalho, 5-11, Jr., (6.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.7 apg.)
C #35 Melody Johnson, 6-2, Jr., (14.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 0.5 apg.)

A GLANCE AT THE WILDCATS: University of Arizona enters Thursday's game with Oregon State coming off a 70-67 overtime loss against rival Arizona State last Saturday. Freshman Veranda James led the squad with 22 points and 12 rebounds against the Sun Devils. James has played big for the Wildcats in the last three games after recovering from her second concussion of the season. Senior guard Reshea Bristol dished out 14 assists against ASU and leads the Pac-10 with a whopping 7.4 assists per game. Bristol also averages 15 points per outing and 4.7 rebounds. Junior post Elizabeth Pickney leads the squad with 15.5 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game. The balanced Wildcats have four players averaging double figures in scoring and seven that score at least eight points per game. As a team, Arizona leads the conference in scoring offense (80.3), scoring margin (+11.0) field goal percentage (.469) and assists (16.88).

THE SERIES WITH ARIZONA: Arizona leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 16-15. The Wildcats have won eight-straight against the Beavers, including an 83-73 victory earlier this season in Tucson marking head coach Joan Bonvicini's 500th career win. The most recent OSU victory was an 85-76 win in Gill Coliseum during January of the 1996-97 season. In her tenure as head coach at Oregon State, Judy Spoelstra has a record of just 2-9 against Arizona.

WILDCATS AND BEAVERS THIS SEASON: Felicia Ragland's 29 points weren't enough as the Beavers failed to pull out the victory against Arizona on Feb. 3. The Wildcats' 83-73 win was No. 500 for head coach Joan Bonvicini. OSU was hampered by early foul trouble which sent Ragland and senior Syesha Thomas to the bench but a trio of guards, Michelle Estell, Nicole Funn and Leilani Estavan picked up the slack, helping Oregon State take the lead 18-14. The Beavers were out-scored 14-2 over the last five minutes of the first half to go into the locker room trailing 34-31. Arizona led by as many as 12 points in the second half before Ragland buried a 3-pointer with 2:42 remaining to cut the lead to 74-72. UA recovered to score nine of the game's final 10 points to seal the victory. Ragland was the lone OSU player to score in double figures, hitting 11-of-23 field goals and scoring 26 of her game-high 29 points in the second half. Four Wildcats scored in double digits with LaKeisha Taylor's 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting leading the way.

A GLANCE AT THE SUN DEVILS: No. 22 ranked Arizona State brings a Pac-10 Conference leading 11-3 mark and a 19-7 overall record into Thursday's game against University of Oregon. The Sun Devils have won three-straight and 10 of their last 11. ASU is looking for its first 20-win season since the 1991-92 season. Junior Amanda Levens leads the squad with 15 points per game while 6-2 post Melody Johnson averages 14.7 points per game and 6.9 rebounds. Beaverton High School grad, Betsy Boardman also averages double figures in scoring with 11.7 points per game. ASU leads the conference in scoring defense (60.8) and rebounding defense (34.0). The Sun Devils commit a Pac-10 Conference-low 17 turnovers per outing.

THE SERIES WITH ASU: Oregon State leads the all-time series with the Sun Devils, 16-15. ASU has won two-straight and seven of the last eight meetings between the squads. The last time that the Beavers swept the Arizona schools was after a 70-59 victory in Gill Coliseum against the Sun Devils during the 1996-97 season. In her tenure as head coach at Oregon State, Judy Spoelstra has a record of 4-7 against Arizona State.

SUN DEVILS AND BEAVERS THIS SEASON: Poor shooting hampered all hopes of a comeback victory as Oregon State fell to Arizona State 58-51 on Feb. 1. The Sun Devils led by as many as 12 points in the second half and OSU could never get any closer than four points (50-46) for the rest of the game. The Beavers, ice-cold from the floor, hit just 9-of-33 field goal attempts for 27-percent in the first half and finished the game shooting 32-percent from the floor. Senior guard Syesha Thomas led all players with 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting. The only other Beaver player to reach double figures in scoring was freshman post Hollye Holbrook who scored 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor. Arizona State was paced by Melody Johnson's 14 points and nine rebounds. OSU's Felicia Ragland was held to just nine points, half her season average, on 3-of-13 shooting. Ragland led the squad with nine rebounds and matched her season high with six assists.

LOOKING BACK AT USC: Sophomore forward Nicole Funn led all players with 22 points as Oregon State over-powered USC, 78-68, on Friday night in the Sports Arena. Despite allowing 25 Southern California offensive rebounds, the Beavers utiilized sharp-shooting (29-of-58, 50-percent) to pull out the victory. Funn buried 9-of-20 field goals and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Junior Ericka Cook finished with 18 points and six rebounds while Felicia Ragland also reached double figures in scoring with 13 points. Leilani Estavan, making her third consecutive start for Funn, dished out a game-high seven assists.

LOOKING BACK AT UCLA: Junior Felicia Ragland scored a career-high 31 points, including 24 points in the first half as Oregon State knocked off UCLA, 65-57 on Sunday. The Beavers dominated the first half of action taking a 36-26 lead into the locker room but the Bruins rallied to pull in front in the second frame. UCLA grabbed a 50-46 lead with just over six minutes remaining in the game as OSU's one-two scoring punch of Ragland and Ericka Cook were side-lined with four fouls. The Beavers regained the lead for good at the 3:49 mark when freshman Hollye Holbrook's rebound-basket made the score 56-55. Ragland finished shooting 11-of-21 from the field, 3-of-4 from 3-point range, and a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. The Tulare, CA, native also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds in 29 minutes of action. Cook was the only other OSU player to reach double figures in scoring with 12 points. Holbrook and senior Syesha Thomas each recorded career-highs in rebounds with eight and six, respectively.

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.

FILL GILL-2: Any fans wearing the color orange, painting their face, or bringing a sign in support of the Beavers will receive FREE admission to Saturday afternoon's 1 p.m. game against No. 22 Arizona State. The Beaver-Sun Devil match-up is the final home game of the season.

BEAVERS REMAIN OUT OF POLL: Oregon State has not appeared in the Associated Press Top-25 women's basketball poll for the past six 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. Saturday's opponent, Arizona State is currently ranked No. 22.

ON A ROLL: Oregon State has won three consecutive games and swept the weekend series against a Pac-10 Conference opponent for the first time this season. OSU's three-game winning streak is its longest since the Beavers opened the season with six consecutive victories.

RECORD WEEK: Oregon State's victories against USC and UCLA last week marked the first ever Beaver sweep of the Southern California schools since joining the Pacific-10 Conference in the 1986-87 season.

TOURNAMENT TALK: With three-straight victories heading into this weekends games with Arizona and Arizona State, the Beavers are in contention for a post-season tournament appearance. A sweep of the Arizona schools would secure a position in the Women's National Invitational Tournament. OSU has not reached the post-season since 1996 and has not played in the WNIT since the 1981-82 season. As it stands now, the Beavers are guaranteed to finish with a .500 record, the minimum qualification for a WNIT team.

FAST FACT: Oregon State and Arizona State are the only two teams in the Pacific-10 Conference to have three players ranked in the league's Top-20 for scoring. Felicia Ragland (No. 2 - 19.6 ppg), Ericka Cook (No. 13 - 12.6 ppg) and Nicole Funn (No.14 - 12.4 ppg) are making their mark for the Beavers, while Amanda Levens (No. 6 - 15.0 ppg), Melody Johnson (No.7 - 14.7 ppg) and Betsy Boardman (No. 16 - 11.7) top the chart for the Sun Devils.

ANOTHER FAST FACT: Oregon State is the only team to have three players rank in the Pac-10 Conference's Top-20 in both scoring and rebounding - Felicia Ragland, Ericka Cook and Nicole Funn.

BACK AT HOME: In its 13 games home games this season, Oregon State has out-scored its opponents 918-791. The Beavers are averaging just over 70 points per game in Gill Coliseum while their opponents are scoring just over 60 points.

SHE'S MONEY: Junior guard Felicia Ragland is the only player to score over 300 points in Pac-10 Conference games this season. Ragland has tallied 326 points in 15 conference games for a league-leading average of 21.7 points per outing. Washington senior, Megan Franza is the closest player to Ragland with 265 points in 15 contests.

1,000 POINT CLUB: Junior guard Felicia Ragland has moved into a select company of players - the 1,000 point club. Ragland's career-high 31 points against UCLA on Sunday moved her past Sonijhia Fleming (1990-93) into Oregon State's Top-10 list for career scoring with a total of 1,084 points. Ragland has scored 491 points this season and needs just two more points to pass Brenda Arbuckle (1984-87) and move into sole possession of ninth place in the OSU record book. Jan Martin's (1980-83) 1,145 points are the next step on the ladder, ranking in eighth place.

500 REBOUND CLUB: Junior Felicia Ragland edges closer to 500 rebounds in her career. Ragland has tallied 177 boards this season and has a career total of 489 rebounds. The 5-9 guard needs just 9 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 53 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 a tie for 9th place in the Oregon State record book for career blocked shots after recording a pair of stuffs against USC last Friday. The 6-3 post's 60 swats tie her with Tina Lelas (1994-97). Kristina Walsh (1995-98) is next on the ladder at 8th place with a career total 62 blocks.

REBOUNDING WATCH: Oregon State struggled on the boards last Friday against USC. The Beavers narrowly lost the rebounding edge, 39-38, but were dominated on the offensive glass by the Women of Troy. Southern California pulled down 25 offensive boards compared to OSU's 18. The Beavers recovered on Sunday however, taking a commanding 48-34 rebounding advantage against UCLA. Oregon State continues to maintain an edge against its opponents on the offensive glass, earning a 383-332 advantage.

RUKSTELYTE OUT FOR SEASON: Sophomore post Kristina Rukstelyte has missed the last 14 games after re-injuring her right knee in practice following the Pac-10 season opener against Oregon. Results of a 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 AT A GLANCE: Junior guard Felicia Ragland has recorded six double-doubles this season and 11 in her career. In OSU's 15 conference games, Ragland has recorded four double-doubles and scored 20-plus points on 10 occasions. Ragland ranks second in the Pac-10 Conference with an average of 19.6 points per game. Entering the week, the junior guard ranked first in the Pac-10 in 3-point field goal percentage (.465), second in 3-point field goals made per game (2.12), third in steals (2.68) as well as ranking fifth in rebounding (7.1). Overall, her name dots seven of 12 Pac-10 statistical categories.

RAGLAND IN CONFERENCE GAMES: After 15 Pacific-10 Conference games, Felicia Ragland leads the league in scoring with an average of 21.7 points per game and ranks fourth in rebounding with 7.9 boards per game. Entering the week, Ragland's .493 3-point field goal percentage leads the Pac-10.

MORE ON RAGLAND: Junior Felicia Ragland has reached double figures in scoring in 23 of 25 games this season. The 5-9 guard has started 81 consecutive games for the Beavers and has led the squad in either scoring or rebounding in 17 contests this season. Ragland ranks second in Oregon State's record book for 3-point baskets made in her career. The Tulare, CA, native has made 53-of-114 (.465) long balls this season and has a career total of 99 treys. Anette Mollerstrom (1993-96) holds the all-time record with 113 3-point baskets.

DISHING IT OUT: Freshman point guard Leilani Estavan has made four straight appearances in Oregon State's starting lineup. The 5-7 guard is currently leading the Pac-10 Conference in assist-turnover ratio with an average of 2.17 per game. Estavan has dished out a total of 41 assists in the last six games. Estavan tallied a game-high seven assists against USC last Friday and added a team-high five dishes against UCLA on Sunday. The Palisades High grad leads the Beavers in assists with 113, for an average of 4.5 per game.

FUNN FACTS: Sophomore Nicole Funn has returned to her early season form, coming off the bench in the last four games. Funn led the Beavers with 22 points on 9-of-20 shooting against USC last Friday. The 6-0 sophomore struggled from the field against UCLA on Sunday, hitting just 1-of-7 shots and grabbing one rebound. Funn is third on the team in scoring and rebounding with 12.4 points per game and 5.6 boards per outing.

SAYING GOODBYE: Syesha Thomas, the Beavers' lone senior, will play her last game in Gill Coliseum on Sunday afternoon against Arizona State. Thomas has started 24 of 25 games this season and currently ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 6.6 points per game while dishing out 74 assists on the year. In her career, Thomas has scored 368 points, pulled down 121 rebounds and tallied 137 assists. The Interlake High School grad grabbed a career-high six rebounds on Sunday against UCLA.

HOLBROOK PLAYS BIG: Freshman post Hollye Holbrook finished with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting and matched her career high with three steals against USC last Friday. On Sunday, Holbrook buried a pair of crucial baskets with time running down against UCLA and pulled down a career-high eight rebounds. Holbrook ranks fifth on OSU's squad with an average of 4.9 points per game while her .457 field goal percentage ranks second on the team.

COOK KEEPS IT UP: Junior Ericka Cook continued her recent shooting and rebounding dominance against USC last Friday. Cook buried 5-of-8 field goals and hit 8-of-10 free throws to finish with 18 points in the contest while grabbing six rebounds. Against UCLA on Sunday, Cook hit 5-of-12 field goals for 12 points and pulled down five rebounds. The junior post has now reached double figures in scoring for the fifth consecutive game. The former North Medford High star, currently ranks 13th in the Pac-10 Conference with an average of 12.6 points per game while her 6.5 rebounds per game rank eighth. Cook ranks second on the Beavers' squad in rebounding and scoring with 163 boards and 314 points.

IN THE ACTION: Walk-on Carey Jo Stephens continued to give the Beavers some much needed depth against USC last Friday. Stephens pulled down a career-high two rebounds in 10 minutes of playing time. Stephens scored the first points of her career, hitting 3-of-4 free throws on Feb. 17 against Washington State. The former Bend High grad also pulled down a rebound and assist in 10 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 75-88 while in her sixth season at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 173-155 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 Arizona will also be broadcast on KLOO (1340 AM) while Saturday's game against Arizona State can be heard solely on the Internet. Future games 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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