Women's Basketball Ready For First Round Of WNIT

March 14, 2001

CORVALLIS -

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL MAKES FIRST POST-SEASON APPEARANCE SINCE 1996, BEAVERS HOST BYU IN FIRST ROUND OF THE WNIT

Friday March 16, 2001
BrighamYoung at OSU - 7 p.m., Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum)

WNIT - FIRST ROUND
PROBABLE STARTERS
OREGON STATE BEAVERS (16-12 overall, 8-10 Pac-10)
G #10 Leilani Estavan, 5-7 Fr., (4.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 4.8 apg.)
G #23 Syesha Thomas, 5-6, Sr., (6.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.7 apg.)
G #34 Felicia Ragland, 5-9, Jr., (19.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.9 apg.)
F #22 Ericka Cook, 6-3, Jr., (12.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.8 apg.)
F #42 Brina Chaney, 6-5, Fr., (4.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.6 apg.)

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY (18-12 overall, 10-6 Mountain West)
G #11 Erin Thorn, 5-10, So., (15.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.2 apg.)
G #22 Stacy Jensen, 5-6, Jr. (9.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.9 apg.)
F #23 Chanell Rose, 6-0, So., (6.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.8 apg.)
F #31 Lisa Osguthorpe, 6-0, Jr., (6.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.3 apg.)
C #44 Caroline Beus, 6-1, Sr., (9.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.9 apg.)

A GLANCE AT THE COUGARS: Brigham Young University enters the WNIT with an 18-12 overall record and a 10-6 mark in the Mountain West Conference. The Cougars upset No. 14 ranked Utah (57-50) in the semi-final game of the MWC Tournament, only to fall 59-56 against Colorado State in the championship. Against the Utes, BYU rallied from a 40-20 halftime deficit to hold Utah to just 12-percent shooting in the second half. The Cougars scored 37 points after intermission and held Utah to just two field goals and 10 points. Trailing at the half 28-19 against Colorado State, the Cougars rallied to out-score CSU by six points in the second frame but it wasn't enough as the Rams held on for the victory and earned the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Sophomore Erin Thorne is the lone Cougar to average double figures in scoring with 15.3 points per game. The 5-11 guard is also pulling down 4.4 rebounds per outing and dishing out 3.2 assists. Fellow back-court mate, Stacy Jensen is second on the squad in scoring at 9.6 points per game and leads the team in assists with 3.9. Senior Caroline Beus leads the team in rebounding with 5.9 boards per game to go along with 9.0 points. On the season, BYU has buried 207-of-525 3-point field goals including an 87-for-219 mark from beyond the arc by Thorn. BYU has buried 378-of-528 free throws for 71.6 percent. As a team the Cougars average 67.6 points per game while their opponents average 62 points. BYU has won three of its last four games.

THE SERIES NUMBERS: Oregon State leads the all-time series with Brigham Young 5-3 dating back to the 1978-79 season. The teams last met in the 1995-96 season with the Beavers winning, 89-52, in Salt Lake City. OSU is 1-0 against the Cougars with Judy Spoelstra at the helm.

BYU IN THE WNIT: Brigham Young has a 2-2 record in two appearances in the WNIT. The Cougars most recent visit to post-season play ended in a first round loss to Colorado (83-70) during the 1998-99 season.

LOOKING BACK AT OREGON: Felicia Ragland's career-high 15 rebounds and game-high 22 points weren't enough as Oregon State lost its 11th consecutive meeting with the University of Oregon, 72-60. The Ducks started the game hot from the field, burying a trio of 3-point baskets and hitting five of their first seven shot attempts. OSU narrowed the gap to one-point on two occasions but could never pull in front after taking a 2-0 lead on the opening basket of the game. Foul problems hampered Ragland as well as starting posts Ericka Cook and Brina Chaney - all three players finished with four fouls. OSU's big guns, Cook and Nicole Funn were held to just 3-of-20 shooting from the field and combined to score only 10 points. Freshman Hollye Holbrook was the only other Beaver to reach double figures in scoring with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Oregon hit 55-percent of its field goals and had five players in double figures while OSU managed to connect on just 36-percent from the field. The Ducks held an 8-point advantage at the free throw line.

PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Junior Felicia Ragland was named Pac-10 Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year announced commissioner Tom Hansen on Monday. Ragland, a 5-9 guard, is a two-time All-Pac-10 selection and the third OSU player to earn Pac-10 Player of the Year honors - most recently OSU all-time leading scorer Tanja Kostic was recognized in 1996. The junior All-America candidate currently leads the Pac-10 in scoring with 19.9 points per game. She ranks fifth in the conference in rebounding (7.5 rpg.), third in steals (2.61 spg.), first in 3-point field goal percentage (.466) and third in 3-pointers made (2.21). On the season, the Tulare, CA native has buried 62 3-point baskets, shattering the OSU single season record of 43. Ragland has reached double figures in scoring in 26 of 28 games, posted seven double-doubles and scored 20+ points on 14 different occasions and has scored 30+ points three times. Ragland is one of just eight Oregon State players to score 1,000 (1,150) career points and grab 500 career rebounds (521).

MORE PAC-10 RECOGNITION: Leilani Estavan earned Pac-10 Conference honorable mention All-Freshman honors on Monday. Estavan, a red-shirt from Los Angeles, CA leads the Pac-10 in assist-turnover ratio (2.29) and ranks third in the conference in assists with 4.82 per game. Since entering the starting line-up on Feb. 15 against Washington, Estavan is averaging 7.1 assists over the past seven games. The 5-7 guard leads the Beavers in assists with 135, for an average of 4.8 per game.

TOUGH CONFERENCE: Living up to its name as one of the toughest conferences in the nation, the Pac-10 has six members competing in post-season tournament action. With a three-way tie for first place between Washington, Arizona State and Stanford, the Cardinal won the tie-breaker and received the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies, Sun Devils and University of Oregon all received at-large births to the Big Dance, marking the fifth consecutive season that at least four teams from the Pac-10 have advanced to the field of 64. Oregon State and Arizona will represent the conference in the WNIT. Pac-10 teams have posted a 23-13 (.639) record in the Women's NIT and have recorded four Championships (OSU `80, OSU `82, Oregon `89, Arizona `96).

POST SEASON PLAY: Oregon State finished the regular season, winning five of its last six games, catapulting the team into its first post-season appearance since the 1995-96 season. OSU is making its first appearance in the WNIT since 1982 and its third overall invitation. The Beavers won the tournament in 1980 and 1982 and are a perfect 6-0 in WNIT games. Oregon State's 16-12 overall record marks the best Beaver finish since a 19-9 mark in the 1995-96 campaign.

BEAVERS REMAIN OUT OF POLL: Oregon State has not appeared in the Associated Press Top-25 women's basketball poll for the past eight 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.

FAST FACT: The last time that Brigham Young has faced Oregon State was on Dec. 14, 1995 when the Beavers topped the Cougars in Salt Lake City, 89-52. The 1995-96 season was also the last time that OSU has reached post-season action.

LOOKING AT THE LONGBALL: BYU is shooting .394 (207-525) from 3-point range on the season. Oregon State ranks third in the Pac-10 Conference for 3-point field goal percentage defense, allowing its opponents to hit just .322 from beyond the arc.

THE STREAK: Oregon State's recent five-game Pac-10 winning streak was the longest in head coach Judy Spoelstra's tenure, dating back to her inaugural season (1995-96) when the Beavers topped Arizona State followed by sweeps of the southern California and Washington schools.

WIN IT AT THE LINE: Oregon State is 15-2 this season when it makes more free throws than its opponents. When the Beavers make the same or less charity tosses than their opponents they have just a 1-10 record. The lone win came in the season opener when Portland State sank six shots from the line and Oregon State hit just five.

BIG THREE: 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.

FIRST HALF DOMINANCE: Oregon State is outscoring its opponents 942-781 in the first half of games this season. The second 20 minutes have been a different story, with the Beavers and their foes scoring 977 points each. On the season, OSU is 13-4 when leading at intermission.

SCORING LEADER: Junior Felicia Ragland is just percentage points ahead of UCLA's Michelle Greco in the Pac-10 Conference scoring race. Ragland is averaging 19.892 points per game while Greco is scoring 19.888 points per outing. Ragland is shooting to become the second Beaver player to capture the Pac-10 scoring title. OSU all-time leading scorer, Tanja Kostic, held the honor in 1995.

1,000 POINT CLUB: Junior guard Felicia Ragland has moved into a select company of players - the 1,000 point club. Ragland's 22 points against Oregon last Saturday, moved her past Jan Martin (1980-83) and Judy Shannon (1991-92) into sole possession of 7th place in Oregon State's Top-10 list for career scoring with a total of 1,150 points. Tina Lelas' (1994-97) 1,313 points are the next step on the ladder, ranking in 6th place. Ragland has scored 557 points this season which ranks 10th in the OSU single-season charts for scoring. Ragland needs just four more points to surpass Chelle Flamoe (1987-88) and move into 9th place.

500 REBOUND CLUB: Junior Felicia Ragland surpassed 500 rebounds in her career after pulling down a game-high nine boards against Arizona State on Mar. 3. Last Saturday the Pac-10 Player of the Year pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds, including 11 defensive against Oregon. Ragland has tallied 209 boards this season and has a career total of 521 rebounds. The 5-9 guard has moved into 10th place in the OSU record books for career rebounds and needs 47 more boards to surpass Sissel Pierce's (1997-00) total of 567 and climb the ladder to 9th place.

ELITE COMPANY: Felicia Ragland is one of just eight Oregon State players to score 1,000 points (1,150) and grab 500 rebounds (521) in her career.

RECORD BOOK: For the third time this season, guard Felicia Ragland tied Anette Mollerstrom's OSU record for 3-point field goals made in a game with six against Arizona State last Saturday on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. Ragland tied the record for the first time against California on Feb. 8. when she 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 62 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 sole possession of 9th place in the Oregon State record book for career blocked shots after recording a stuff against Oregon last Saturday. The 6-3 post's 61 swats are just one block behind Kristina Walsh's (1995-98) 8th place career total of 62. Debbie Dalluge (1985-89) ranks 7th with 89 blocks.

REBOUNDING WATCH: Oregon State continued its dominance on the boards last Saturday against Oregon. The Beavers pulled down a 38 rebounds compared to the Ducks' 30, including a 19-5 advantage on the offensive glass. OSU is coming off a season-high 25 offensive rebounds Arizona on Mar. 1. For the season, Oregon State continues to maintain an edge against its opponents on the offensive glass, earning a 436-361 advantage. The Beavers rank second in the Pac-10 Conference with a +4.0 rebounding margin.

RUKSTELYTE OUT FOR SEASON: Sophomore post Kristina Rukstelyte has missed the last 16 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.

A GLANCE AT RAGLAND: Junior guard Felicia Ragland has recorded seven double-doubles this season and 12 in her career after pulling down a career-high 15 rebounds and scoring 22 points at Oregon last Saturday. In OSU's 18 conference games, Ragland has recorded five double-doubles and scored 20-plus points on 12 occasions. Ragland ranks first in the Pac-10 Conference with an average of 19.9 points per game. The junior guard also ranks first in the Pac-10 in 3-point field goal percentage (.466), third in 3-point field goals made per game (2.21), third in steals (2.61) as well as ranking fifth in rebounding (7.5). Overall, her name dots eight of 12 Pac-10 statistical categories.

RAGLAND IN CONFERENCE GAMES: After all 18 Pacific-10 Conference games, Felicia Ragland became the scoring champion with an average of 21.8 points per game while she finished second in rebounding with 8.3 boards per game. The Pac-10 Player of the Year finished the season ranked in the Top-5 in eight of 12 statistical categories.

MORE ON RAGLAND:Junior Felicia Ragland has reached double figures in scoring in 26 of 28 games this season, including a current streak of 10 consecutive games. The 5-9 guard has started 84 consecutive games for the Beavers and has led the squad in either scoring or rebounding in 20 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 62-of-133 (.466) long balls this season and has a career total of 108 treys. Anette Mollerstrom (1993-96) holds the all-time record with 113 3-point baskets.

ONE MORE GAME: Senior Syesha Thomas will have another chance to play in front of the Gill Coliseum crowd as the Beavers host their first post-season game on Friday. Thomas, OSU's lone senior, knocked down 3-of-6 shots from the floor in the Beavers' home finale against Arizona State on Mar. 3 and buried 3-of-4 free throws to finish with 11 points. Thomas sank a pair of free throws with 11 seconds remaining before leaving the court to a standing ovation from the Gill Coliseum crowd. In her career, Thomas has played in a total of 105 games for Oregon State and needs just three more (108) to move into the Top-10 in OSU's record book for most games played.

HOLBROOK KEEPS GETTING BETTER: Freshman post Hollye Holbrook had another big game for the Beavers last Saturday at Oregon. Holbrook buried 5-of-7 shots from the field, including a 1-for-1 clip from 3-point range for 11 points. The Oregon City grad has reached double figures in scoring seven times this season and has buried four treys. Holbrook ranks fifth on OSU's squad with an average of 5.2 points per game and her .463 field goal percentage is second on the team.

COOK PUTS UP BIG NUMBERS ON YEAR: Junior Ericka Cook finished the regular season ranked second on the squad in scoring and rebounding with 353 points and 170 boards. Cook had her streak of seven consecutive games scoring in double figures broken last Saturday with a four-point 2-for-10 shooting effort against Oregon. One of the most consistent performers on the season, the 6-3 post has reached double figures in scoring on 21 different occasions and has amassed five double-doubles. The former North Medford High star, currently ranks 14th in the Pac-10 Conference with an average of 12.6 points per game while her 6.1 rebounds per game rank 10th.

HOME STREAK: The Beavers have won 57 of their last 88 (.648) games played at Gill Coliseum. Over the last eight seasons OSU is 74-36 in the friendly confines of Gill. Oregon State finished with a 5-4 record in Pac-10 Conference games played at home this season and have won three straight.

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 77-89 while in her sixth season at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 175-156 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. Friday's game against BYU will be broadcast on KLOO Radio (1340 AM) in Corvallis.

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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