Women's Basketball Opens Pac-10 Play On Friday Against USC

Dec. 24, 2002

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE ACTION AGAINST USC; BEAVERS LOOK TO EXTEND HOME WINNING STREAK

Friday, Dec. 27, 2002
Southern California at OSU
7 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum)
Radio broadcast on KEJO (1240 AM)

OREGON STATE BEAVERS (6-3 overall; 0-0 Pac-10)
G #10 Leilani Estavan, 5-7, Jr.,(9.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.3 apg.)
G #14 Jessica Jones, 5-8, So., (2.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.0 apg.)
G #24 Mandy Close, 5-11, Fr., (4.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.2 apg.)
F #45 Hollye Chapman, 6-2, Jr., (10.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.2 apg.)
C #42 Brina Chaney, 6-5, Jr., (10.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.3 bpg.)

USC WOMEN OF TROY (5-5 overall; 0-0 Pac-10)
G #10 Jessica Cheeks, 5-9, Jr., (9.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.0 apg)
G #24 Tiffany Hicks, 5-6, Jr.,(2.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.1 apg.)
G #21 Erin Young, 5-11, Sr., (2.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.8 apg.)
F #32 Ebony Hoffman, 6-2, Jr., (14.3 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 2.3 apg.)
F #33 Rachel Woodward, 6-1, So., (11.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.1 apg.)

A GLANCE AT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: University of Southern California enters Friday's Pacific-10 Conference opener against Oregon State with a 5-5 overall record. The Women of Troy played arguably the toughest non-conference schedule with games at Connecticut and Colorado as well as facing Tennessee and Notre Dame in Los Angeles. Four players are averaging double figures in scoring with Ebony Hoffman's 14.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game leading the way. Guard Rometra Craig, the daughter of former NFL football star Roger Craig, is averaging 18.5 points per outing in two games for USC after transferring from Duke University. Fellow guard Aisha Hollans adds 10.1 points and 6.2 boards per game. As a team the Women of Troy are averaging 60.8 points per game.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: How Oregon State stacks up statistically with Southern California:

                        OSU	USCPoints per game	        56.4	60.8Points allowed per game	53.1	65.6Field goal percentage	36.7	37.53-pt field goal percent	20.0	22.9Free throw percentage	67.9	68.2Rebounds per game	40.4	36.4Assists per game	14.4	14.2Steals per game	        8.6	11.5

BEAVERS AND WOMEN OF TROY SERIES NUMBERS: USC leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 25-12, but the Beavers have won five of the last eight games against the Women of Troy. The last three meetings between the squads have been decided by a combined seven points. Head coach Judy Spoelstra has an all-time record of 7-8 against USC.

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The third time proved to be the charm, as Oregon State knocked off No. 4 seeded University of Southern California, 69-68, in the opening round of the inaugural State Farm Pac-10 Tournament on Mar. 2, 2002 in Eugene, OR. Senior guard Felicia Ragland sank a pair of free throws with just 3-seconds remaining to lift the Beavers past the Women of Troy. All three meetings were decided by a combined seven points. Ragland finished with 29 points on 8-of-19 shooting and an 11-of-13 clip from the free throw line. Freshman guard Juleen Smith also reached double figures in scoring with 14 points and a then-career-best eight rebounds. Trailing by one (67-68) with 4.2 seconds remaining, OSU senior Ericka Cook launched a long pass to midcourt that Ragland and two USC defenders attempted to corral, Ragland was knocked to the floor, setting up the game-winning free throws.

QUITE A RIVALRY: The last three meetings between Oregon State and University of Southern California have been decided by a combined seven points.

LOOKING BACK AT SOUTHWEST MISSOURI STATE: Hollye Chapman recorded her fifth career double-double with 18 points and a season-high 12 rebounds to lead Oregon State past Southwest Missouri State, 49-42, on Dec. 20. SMS led by as many as five points in the early going but Michelle Smith's 3-pointer with 11:35 remaining in the opening half sparked a 9-0 OSU run and helped the Beavers pull in front for good. Fellow post Brina Chaney also reached double figures in scoring with 16 points, including a 10-of-11 clip from the free throw line. The 6-5 post added a career-best three assists and three steals. The Beavers shot 48-percent (11-of-23) from the floor in the first half - their second-best percentage of the season in 20 minutes of action. OSU finished the game with a 39-percent mark from the field while SMS shot just 32-percent on the night.

LOOKING BACK AT TEXAS TECH: Oregon State held No. 9 Texas Tech to its lowest scoring output of the season and kept the game close for most of the contest, but the Lady Raiders came away with a 67-51 victory in Lubbock, TX on Dec. 17. Junior post Hollye Chapman had a season-high 18 points, including a 4-for-7 clip from 3-point range, and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the Beavers. Fellow post Krystal Turner added a career-high 11 rebounds and seven points on the night. Leilani Estavan led the squad in assists for the eighth time this year with a season-high eight dishes. The 5-7 guard also reached double figures in scoring with 12 points. Tech went into the locker room with a 30-22 lead at the break but the Beavers pulled within four points on three different occasions in the second half. Plennette Pierson's 19 points led all players. The Lady Raiders had 14 steals in the contest compared to only three for Oregon State.

PACIFIC-10 OPENER: Oregon State is just 1-6 in Pacific-10 Conference season openers with Judy Spoelstra at the helm, having dropped six straight. The last OSU conference opening victory came in the 1995-96 season when the Beavers topped in-state rival Oregon, 58-57 in Gill Coliseum. Since joining the Pac-10 in the 1986-87 season, OSU is just 3-14 in conference openers. The Beavers have met USC in four openers, including last season's 69-65 loss against the Women of Troy in Los Angeles.

INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore guard Juleen Smith has missed four consecutive games while nursing an injured hamstring. Smith's return to the lineup remains questionable. Freshman post Karen Vickery will be available for action in Friday's game against USC after recovering from a broken foot suffered prior to the San Jose State game (Dec. 4).

ONE MORE FOR 200: Head coach Judy Spoelstra enters Friday's game against USC needing just one more win to pick up career victory No. 200. Spoelstra earned victory No. 100 while at Oregon State on Dec. 14 against University of Florida. Prior to taking the helm at OSU in 1995, Spoelstra spent six seasons as the head coach at Montana State University.

BIG GAMES FOR CHAPMAN: Junior post Hollye Chapman had a big week for the Beavers at No. 9 Texas Tech (Dec. 17) and Southwest Missouri State (Dec. 20). In the two games Chapman buried 14-of-26 field goals for 54-percent and hit 6-of-11 3-point field goal attempts. She finished with 36 points and pulled down 21 rebounds, including a season-high 12 boards at SMS. The 6-2 Cottage Grove, OR native recorded her fifth career double-double at SMS with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

DID YOU KNOW: Leilani Estavan has led the team in assists in all nine games this year...Brina Chaney has blocked at least one shot in 11 consecutive games...Freshman Mandy Close has made seven consecutive appearances in the starting lineup...Forward Hollye Chapman ranks second on the team in assists with 20...Hollye Chapman has hit a team-high 10 3-point field goals...Leilani Estavan leads the Pac-10 in assists with 5.33 assists per game...Junior Brina Chaney leads the Pac-10 in free throw percentage with an .868 clip...OSU is 5-0 in Gill Coliseum this season...The Beavers are 6-0 when shooting better than their opponents...Oregon State is 5-0 when it leads at the half...Junior Krystal Turner leads the Beavers with a .500 field goal percentage.

PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE COACHES POLL: For the second consecutive year, Oregon State was tabbed to finish in seventh place in the 2002-03 Pacific-10 Conference race, as voted on by the Pac-10 coaches. The Beavers received 40 points in the voting, while Stanford, who went undefeated in conference play last season, was predicted to repeat as champion with 90 points and nine first place votes. OSU's 2001-02 fourth place finish was its highest since 1995-96, when the squad finished second.

THE SCHEDULE: Oregon State's non-conference schedule includes three games against 2002 NCAA Tournament qualifying teams. No. 9 Texas Tech University, a legitimate Final Four candidate, tops the list of opponents. The Beavers held the high-scoring Lady Raiders to 20-points below their season average, but suffered a 67-51 setback in Lubbock, TX on Dec. 17. OSU topped fellow 2002 WNIT participant, Southwest Missouri State, 49-42 on Dec. 20. The Beavers knocked off Tulane (56-51) on Nov. 29 and Florida (49-48) on Dec. 14, both NCAA tournament teams. Oregon State opens Pacific-10 Conference action this Friday when the Beavers host USC. The culmination of the Pac-10 season will be decided in the conference tournament on Mar. 7-10 in San Jose, CA. The tournament's winner will receive the Pac-10's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

CLOSING IN ON RECORDS: Junior post Brina Chaney has moved into sole possession of 8th place in the OSU record book with 91 blocked shots in her career. Chaney needs just four swats to move into 6th place in the record book. 2002 graduate Ericka Cook currently ranks 6th with 94 career blocks. Junior guard Leilani Estavan's season-high eight assists at No. 10 Texas Tech on Dec. 17, propelled her into 8th place in the OSU record book. The 5-7 guard has 361 career assists. Estavan needs 61 dishes to climb up the ladder to 7th place on the all-time list and pass Chelle Flamoe's (1986-89) total of 421.

STREAKS TO WATCH: Junior guard Leilani Estavan is the only Oregon State returning player to start all 32 games last season. Estavan closed out the 2000-01 campaign with eight straight starts, giving her a current streak of 49 consecutive appearances in the starting five.

IN GILL: The Beavers have won 70 of their last 109 (.642) games played at Gill Coliseum. Over the last nine seasons OSU is 86-43 in the friendly confines of Gill. Oregon State is currently a perfect 5-0 in games played on Ralph Miller Court. The 5-0 start is the best for the Beavers since opening the 1995-96 season with five straight home wins. The 1995-96 squad finished Judy Spoelstra's first year at the helm with an 11-1 record in Gill Coliseum. OSU's lone loss came against Stanford University on Jan. 20, 1996.

NON-CONFERENCE RECORD: Oregon State has an all-time non-conference record of 237-124 dating back to the 1976-77 season for a .657 percentage.

ON THE BENCH: Assistant coach Todd Corman returns for his second year on the Beaver bench after spending 10 seasons as the head coach at Loyola Marymount University and more recently, six years at the helm of Albertson College. Jualeah Woods enters her third year on the Oregon State staff, assuming second assistant coaching duties in July. Heath Alexander joins the coaching staff as an assistant coach after spending the 2001-02 season as director of operations. Mary Kincaid, a 14-year coaching veteran, joins the staff for her first year as operations director.

HEAD COACH JUDY SPOELSTRA: Judy Spoelstra has a record of 101-108 in her eight seasons at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 199-176 overall record while in her 14th season as a collegiate head coach, her first six being at Montana State. Spoelstra has led the Beavers to back-to-back postseason tournament appearances in the WNIT. At the conclusion of the 1999-00 season, Spoelstra was named Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year.

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