Women's Basketball Faces USC On Saturday In Regular Season Finale

Feb. 28, 2003

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WRAPS UP REGULAR SEASON AGAINST USC ON SATURDAY; No. 5 SEED IN THE PAC-10 TOURNAMENT ON THE LINE FOR THE BEAVERS

Saturday, Mar. 1, 2003
OSU at USC
2 p.m. PST, Los Angeles, CA
(Sports Arena)
Radio broadcast on KRKT 990

OREGON STATE BEAVERS (14-12 overall; 8-9 Pac-10)
G #10 Leilani Estavan, 5-7, Jr.,(11.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 4.9 apg.)
G #12 Casey Bunn, 6-0, Fr., (6.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.8 apg.)
G #14 Jessica Jones, 5-8, So., (4.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.1 apg.)
F #45 Hollye Chapman, 6-2, Jr., (12.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.5 apg.)
C #42 Brina Chaney, 6-5, Jr., (8.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.4 bpg.)

USC WOMEN OF TROY (12-16 overall; 7-10 Pac-10)
G #3 Rometra Craig, 5-10, Jr., (13.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.3 apg)
G #21 Erin Young, 5-11, Sr., (2.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.1 apg.)
G #24 Tiffany Hicks, 5-6, Jr., (2.1 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 2.1 apg.)
F #32 Ebony Hoffman, 6-2, Jr., (16.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.3 apg.)
F #33 Rachel Woodward, 6-1, So., (9.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.5 apg.)

A GLANCE AT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: University of Southern California enters Saturday's regular season finale on a four-game losing streak. The Women of Troy are coming off a 75-70 loss against Oregon on Thursday. Junior post Ebony Hoffman matched her career-best with 27 points against the Ducks and Rometra Craig added 17 points. Hoffman leads the squad in scoring with 16.2 points per game and pulls down a team-high 9.5 rebounds. Two other USC players average double figures in scoring, with Craig sitting at 13.8 points and Aisha Hollans adding 12.1 points. Guard Jessica Cheeks has left the team for the remainder of the season but will return next year. The short-handed squad has just eight players that see action. USC ranks second in the conference in steals per game with 11.1.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: How Oregon State stacks up statistically with USC:

                        OSU     USCPoints per game         60.3    66.0Points allowed per game 60.2    66.6Field goal percentage   41.0    40.93-pt field goal percent 27.1    27.4Free throw percentage   66.5    69.0Rebounds per game       37.2    37.0Assists per game        14.6    14.6Steals per game          7.2    10.9

BEAVERS AND WOMEN OF TROY SERIES NUMBERS: USC leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 25-13, but the Beavers have won six of the last nine games, and two straight against the Women of Troy. The last four meetings between the squads have been decided by a combined nine points. Head coach Judy Spoelstra has an all-time record of 8-8 against USC.

LOOKING BACK AT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: University of Southern California had three shots in the final 10 seconds fall astray as Oregon State recorded a 63-61 victory in the Dec. 27 Pac-10 opener. The back-and-forth game saw 16 lead changes and nine ties - the last four meetings between OSU and USC have been decided by a combined nine points. Hollye Chapman's 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field led the Beavers. Leilani Estavan added 12 points and five assists while Brina Chaney amassed her fifth career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. OSU won the battle of the boards, 46-37, and rallied from a 10-point first half deficit.

THE RIVALRY CONTINUES: The last four meetings between Oregon State and University of Southern California have been decided by a combined nine points. The Beavers have won two straight after USC swept the 2001-02 regular season meetings.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Oregon State has won its Pacific-10 Conference opener and finale, just one time in program history - the Beavers opened the 1994-95 conference campaign with a victory against USC and then topped the Women of Troy in the regular season finale. OSU looks to complete the 2002-03 season sweep of USC in Saturday's season finale.

SEASON FINALE: Oregon State is just 1-6 in closing out the regular season with Judy Spoelstra at the helm. The Beavers recorded their lone regular season finale win last year, with a 74-52 victory at Washington State.

WHAT IT ALL MEANS - No. 5, No. 6, or No. 7: Here is a quick breakdown of where Oregon State would sit in the Pacific-10 Conference Tournament seeding: 1. If Oregon State beats USC - The Beavers have locked up the No. 5 seed and would face UCLA in the tourney's first round. 2. If Oregon State loses to USC and UCLA beats Oregon - The Beavers would be a No. 6 seed and most likely face Arizona in the tourney's first round. 3. If Oregon State loses to USC and Oregon beats UCLA - The Beavers would be a No. 7 seed and would face Washington State in the tourney's first round.

INJURY UPDATE: Oregon State freshman guard Anita Rivera will miss the remainder of the season after tearing her ACL in a collision during the Jan. 11 game against California. Rivera saw action in 10 games for OSU and averaged just over one rebound per outing. Sophomore guard Juleen Smith has missed 11 consecutive contests while nursing an ongoing hamstring injury. Her return to the lineup is doubtful for the remainder of the season. The 5-5 speedster has now missed 15 games on the season due to the hamstring injury.

LOOKING BACK AT UCLA: Leilani Estavan's game-high 21 points weren't enough, as Oregon State dropped an 82-71 decision to UCLA on Thursday night. Estavan buried nine of her first 10 shots from the field, but the Bruins had everyone contributing as six different players reached double figures in scoring. OSU kept the contest close in the early going but UCLA used a 10-0 run to take a 20-10 advantage with 11:51 left in the half. The Bruins went into the locker room with a 42-29 lead. The Beavers sliced into the lead in the second frame, helped in part by eight straight points from Estavan. Michelle Smith's lay-up with 13:43 remaining pulled the Beavers within four (50-46) but UCLA responded with six straight points to put the game out of reach. Freshman Casey Bunn recorded her third career double-double with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass. Hollye Chapman also reached double figures in scoring with 12 points and added seven boards. UCLA tallied 17 steals in the contest and the Beavers committed 23 turnovers. Nikki Blue's 17 points, six assists, and four steals led the Bruins.

LOOKING BACK AT WASHINGTON STATE: Seniors Michelle Smith and Kristina Rukstelyte closed out their four-year careers in Gill Coliseum on Feb. 22 with a 62-46 victory against Washington State. Smith led all players with 13 points and pulled down a career-high eight rebounds in 34 minutes of action. Rukstelyte had a season-best eight points and five rebounds in her final game in Corvallis. The win marked the sixth consecutive victory for OSU in Corvallis, and 12th win of the season in Gill Coliseum - just one game short of the school record (13-2) set in 1994-95. WSU opened with a 4-3 lead but it was all Oregon State after that as the Beavers scored 13 consecutive points and never looked back. Junior guard Leilani Estavan added 12 points and a game-high five assists, while freshman post Karen Vickery added a career-best five points and four rebounds. All 10 OSU athletes that saw action in the contest scored.

LOOKING BACK AT No. 23 WASHINGTON: It was all Oregon State as the Beavers put up their highest scoring total since 1998 en route to a 100-86 upset victory against No. 23 Washington on Feb. 20. The Beavers were on fire from the start, scoring 10 of their first 13 times down the court and shooting a season-high 20-of-30 (67-percent) in the first half. OSU took a commanding 52-30 lead into the locker room at the break. The 52 points were more than the Beavers had scored in seven games this season. Four different OSU players reached double figures in scoring with Hollye Chapman connecting on 8-of-11 shots to match her season-best with 22 points. Sophomore guard Jessica Jones had a career night, finishing with a career-best 20 points and career-high seven assists. Senior guard Michelle Smith also posted the best game in her four seasons with a career-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range. Brina Chaney finished with 16 points. OSU finished the game shooting a season-best 59-percent while the Huskies shot 48-percent from the field. Oregon State reached the century mark for the ninth time in school history and for the first time since a 100-54 victory against Eastern Washington on Nov. 27, 1998.

HOT SHOT: Junior guard Leilani Estavan connected on 9-of-14 field goal attempts and finished with a game-high 21 points against UCLA on Thursday. The Los Angeles, CA, native also dished out five assists against the Bruins to move into 5th place in the OSU record book with 440 dishes in her career. Estavan has scored 20-plus points three times this season and has reached double figures in scoring a team-leading 17 games. Estavan averages 12.1 points per game on the road, which leads all Oregon State players.

ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Freshman guard Casey Bunn recorded her third career double-double with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds against UCLA on Thursday. Bunn pulled down a season-high eight offensive boards against the Bruins. The Stayton, OR, product currently ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 6.8 points per game and third on the squad in rebounding with 4.3 boards per outing. Bunn has started six straight games for the Beavers.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Oregon State attempts to break a five-game road losing streak on Saturday at USC. Oregon State has been outscored by an average of 13.2 points per game in 12 road contests. The Beavers are also shooting just 38-percent from the field on the road compared to their opponents' 44-percent clip.

FAST FACT: Oregon State enters Saturday's regular season finale against USC with a 2-10 record in games played away from Gill Coliseum. The road mark is the worst for the Beavers since finishing the 1997-98 campaign with a 1-13 record outside of Corvallis.

PAC-10 TOURNAMENT: The 2002-03 season will conclude with the State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament to be played at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA on March 7-10. The tournament's winner will receive the Pac-10's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Tickets may be purchased through the Oregon State ticket office at 1-800-GOBEAVS.

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.

CLOSING IN ON RECORDS: Junior post Brina Chaney currently ranks in 3rd place in the OSU record book for blocked shots with 132 in her career. Chaney tied the OSU school record for blocked shots in a single game with eight swats against Oregon on Jan. 18. The 6-5 post needs just 12 more swats to move into sole possession of 2nd place in the record book and pass Carol Menken's (1979-81) total of 143. Chaney has tallied five or most blocks in four different contests this season. Her 62 stuffs on the year rank third on the OSU single-season chart. Junior guard Leilani Estavan ranks in 5th place for assists in the OSU record book. The 5-7 guard has 440 career assists. Estavan needs just three dishes to climb up the ladder to 4th place on the all-time list and pass Margo Evashevski's (1990-93) total of 442. The Los Angeles, CA native is only 15 assists away from ranking second in the Beaver record book. Estavan has tallied nine assists in two different contests this season.

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 66 consecutive appearances in the starting five.

IN GILL: The Beavers have won 77 of their last 118 (.653) games played at Gill Coliseum. Over the last nine seasons OSU is 93-45 in the friendly confines of Gill.

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 109-117 in her eight seasons at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 207-185 overall record while in her 14th season as a collegiate head coach, her first six being at Montana State. She picked up career win No. 200 against USC on Dec. 27, 2002. 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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