State Farm Pac-10 Tournament Makes its San Jose Debut Mar. 7-10

March 3, 2003

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IT'S TOURNEY TIME!
State Farm Pac-10 Tournament Makes its San Jose Debut Mar. 7-10

The stage is set for the 2003 State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament, held Mar. 7-10 at HP Pavilion at San Jose. The STANFORD Cardinal is the tournament's No. 1 seed for the second year in a row, having clinched its third straight regular season Conference crown on Feb. 22 with the 79-61 win over UCLA... WASHINGTON and ARIZONA tied for second place in the Pac-10, and the Huskies edged the Wildcats to grab the No. 2 seed by virtue of a tie-breaker... UW and UA split the season series and share identical records against every other team in the Conference, invoking the nonconference record portion of the tie-breaker (see Page 7)... The Wildcats are riding a Pac-10-leading four-game winning streak heading into the tournament, including a 79-64 upset of then-No. 9 Stanford last week.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Game 1: #7 USC vs. #10 Washington State, 6:30 p.m.
Game 2: #8 Arizona State vs. No. 9 California, 8:45 p.m.

Sat., Mar, 8

Game 3: No. 2 Washington vs. Winner 7/10, 11:00 a.m.
Game 4: No. 3 Arizona vs. No. 6 Oregon State, 1:15 p.m.
Game 5: No. 1 Stanford vs. Winner 8/9, 5:00 p.m.
Game 6: No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 5 Oregon, 7:15 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 9
Game 7: Game 3 Winner vs. 3/6 Winner, 12:30 p.m., FOX Sports NetGame 8: Game 5 Winner vs. 4/5 Winner, 3 p.m. (FOX Sports Net)

Mon., Mar. 10

Game 9: Championship Game, 7:30 p.m., FOX Sports Net

All game times are Pacific.

PAC-10 TOURNAMENT CREDENTIALS:
The deadline for media credential applications for the 2003 State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament was Feb. 21. Applicants who were approved received e-mail notification that included information on the media hotel, the media shuttle as well as credential pickup and press conference schedules. Please contact Julie Reuvers in the Pac-10 Office with any questions (925-932-4411).

PHONE LINES:
Ample charge call phone lines will be available in the HP Pavilion media work room and at various locations in the press seating areas in the arena. Media members wishing to install a phone line at their press row seat location should call Chuck Ryder at HP Pavilion (408-999-5816) and ask for information on Pac-10 Tournament phone line installation.

PARKING:
Parking at HP Pavilion is extremely limited. Every attempt will be made to accommodate local media parking requests. Local media members who have been approved for a parking pass must pick up their passes at HP Pavilion Credential Pick-up (Media/Gate A Entrance) on Thursday, Mar. 6, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Unclaimed parking passes will remain with credential packets at Credential Pick-up, however, beginning Friday, Mar. 7, access to Lot A will not be granted without a parking pass.

TV TRUCKS:
Television trucks should park in the back of Lot B near the satellite building (no pass needed).

PAC-10 TOURNAMENT MEDIA SHUTTLE:
Members of the media are encouraged to utilize the free shuttle, as parking at HP Pavilion is extremely limited. A media shuttle that runs between The Fairmont Hotel and HP Pavilion will be available daily, beginning Thursday, Mar. 6. The shuttle will run in a continuous loop every 20 minutes during the following times:

PAC-10 TOURNAMENT BANQUET:
Media members and/or members of the general public wishing to purchase a ticket to the State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament Banquet should contact Sandy Safford in the Pac-10 Office at 925-932-4411. The tournament banquet is Thursday, Mar. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the San Jose Tech Museum (201 South Market Street). Banquet tickets are $60 each.

2003 STATE FARM PAC-10 TOURNAMENT (Mar. 7-10, 2003, HP Pavilion at San Jose):
Fresh off its inaugural run and gaining in popularity, the State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament moves to San Jose, Calif., in 2003. HP Pavilion at San Jose will serve as home to the five-session, nine-game event. Eugene, Ore., was the site of the first-ever Pac-10 tournament in 2002, setting the stage for the league's premier women's sporting event. The total tournament attendance was 27,415 for an average of 5,483 per session. All 10 Pac-10 teams participate in the tournament, with the winner receiving the Conference's automatic bid to the 2003 NCAA Tournament. The tournament seeds and Conference Champion will be determined by the 18-game regular-season Pac-10 schedule.

TICKETS:
All-session ($80 plus handling) and single-session ($20 plus handling) tickets for the 2003 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament are available now at www.pac-10.org, www.real-sports.com or by calling (800) 650-0122 or (408) 924-7434.

ARIZONA FRESHMAN SHAWNTINICE POLK NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
ARIZONA freshman center Shawntinice Polk has been named the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Feb. 24-Mar. 2.

Polk, from Hanford, Calif., averaged 22.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 7.0 blocks, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game while leading Arizona to its first home sweep of the Bay Area schools in four years. Polk shot 69.2 percent (18-of-26) from the floor for the weekend and averaged just 27.0 minutes per game.

On Feb. 27, Polk logged her 19th double-double of the season with 23 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks to lead Arizona to its first win over No. 9 Stanford since 2001, 79-64. It marked Arizona's largest winning margin over the Cardinal in 17 years, ended a four-game losing skid to Stanford and gave the Cats their fourth win of the year over a ranked opponent.

Polk broke three school records in one game while leading Arizona to its 13th straight home win on Mar. 1, a 68-51 victory over California. She ripped off a game-high 22 points to go with seven rebounds, two steals and a school-record nine blocked shots. The nine blocks broke the old record of six that was set in the 1980-81 season. Her 22 points allowed her to set a new freshman scoring record at Arizona, with 482 points. Her seven rebounds also gave her a new school single-season record with 291.

Arizona (20-7, 13-5 Pac-10) is the No. 3 seed in the State Farm Pac-10 Tournament this weekend at HP Pavilion at San Jose. The Wildcats will face No. 6 seed Oregon State Saturday, Mar. 8 at 1:15 p.m. PT.

The Player of the Week honor is the fourth for Polk and the 29th all-time selection for Arizona.

ALSO NOMINATED: Leilani Estavan, OSU; Nicole Powell, STAN; Michelle Greco, UCLA; Giuliana Mendiola, WASH; Bianca McCall, WSU.

2002-03 PAC-10 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Dec. 2- Shawntinice Polk, ARIZ; Dec. 9- Giuliana Mendiola, WASH; Dec. 16- Jill Noe, ASU; Dec. 22-Shawntinice Polk, ARIZ; Dec. 29- Kelley Suminski, STAN; Jan. 6- Jill Noe, ASU; Jan. 13- Michelle Greco, UCLA; Jan. 20- Dee-Dee Wheeler, ARIZ; Jan. 27- Rometra Craig, USC; Feb. 3- Giuliana Mendiola, WASH; Feb. 10- Shawntinice Polk, ARIZ; Feb. 17- Giuliana Mendiola, WASH; Feb. 24- Nicole Powell, STAN; Mar. 3- Shawntinice Polk, ARIZ.

BAY AREA CONNECTIONS
California and Stanford aren't the only Pac-10 teams with coach and player connections to the San Francisco Bay Area...

PAC-10 TEAMS IN THE AP POLL
Three Pac-10 teams were ranked among the Associated Press Top-25 on Feb. 16 and Feb. 23, 2003, the first time three teams have been ranked in consecutive AP polls since Nov. 6 (preseason) and Nov. 19, 2001. On Feb. 16, Stanford was No. 9, Washington No. 23 and Arizona No. 25. Last week, Stanford stayed at ninth while Arizona was 24th and Washington was 25th. The same three teams were ranked in the Jan. 27, 2003 AP Poll (No. 6 Stanford, No. 24 Arizona, No. 25 Washington) - the first time the Pac-10 had three ranked teams since Nov. 19, 2001. The Conference has had at least two teams ranked in the AP Top-25 for 13 straight weeks, since Arizona made its debut at No. 21 (Dec. 2, 2002).

NAISMITH AWARDS
Stanford JR F Nicole Powell is one of 20 finalists for the 2003 Naismith Women's College Basketball Player of the Year Award. In addition, three Pac-10 coaches are among the 25 finalists for the 2003 Naismith Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year Award: Arizona's Joan Bonvicini, Stanford's Tara VanDerveer and Washington's June Daugherty. The Naismith Awards Program, now in its 35th year, honors the outstanding college basketball players and coaches in the United States. The winners of this year's awards will be honored in Atlanta on April 11, 2003, at the Georgia World Congress Center.

20-POINT SCORERS
The Washington Huskies have had five different players reach the 20-point plateau this season and are one of just eight Division I teams to claim that same distinction this season. UW is the lone Pac-10 team in that grouping. JR G Giuliana Mendiola leads the Huskies with 10 20-point games, followed by SR G Loree Payne (6), SR G Emily Autrey (2), JR F/C Andrea Lalum (2) and SR F Kellie Dalan (1). Four Pac-10 teams have had four players reach 20 points this season - Arizona, California, UCLA and USC. Teams with five or more 20-point scorers this season include: Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, Notre Dame (6), Oklahoma, South Florida, Valparaiso, WASHINGTON, Wisconsin-Green Bay.

PROTECTING THE HOME COURT
Home is where it's at in the Pac-10 this season, as the league's top three teams in the Conference standings - Stanford, Washington and Arizona - post a combined 27-0 record in Pac-10 home games this year. Two of those squads - the Cardinal and Huskies - tout perfect 14-0 overall home records in 2002-03. The Wildcats have suffered just one home loss on the season, a 78-71 overtime defeat at the hands of then-No. 3 LSU. Both Washington Arizona are under-.500 with identical 4-5 records in Pac-10 road games this year.

Stanford's 25-game home winning streak, which dates to Dec. 28, 2001, is second in Division I behind Connecticut. The Cardinal's current streak includes 19 straight Pac-10 wins. Washington has won 14 straight in Seattle, nine in league play. The Huskies ended the regular season undefeated in their home arena for the first time since 1990 when they also went 14-0. Arizona is third in the league with 13 consecutive home wins, the Cats' longest home win streak since the 2000-01 team also won 13 in a row.

THE LAST TIME...
In this year of talented Pac-10 freshmen, keep the following factoids close at hand:

  • No two freshmen (redshirt or true) have ever finished in the Pac-10's Top-10 in scoring in the same season. In fact, only eight players have ever finished their rookie season ranked in the league's Top-10 in scoring: Nicole Powell, Stanford, in 2000-01 (14.1 ppg, 10th); Loree Payne, Washington, in 1999-2000 (17.4 ppg, 3rd); Lindsey Yamasaki, Stanford, in 1998-99 (14.0 ppg, 8th); Maylana Martin, UCLA, in 1996-97 (17.9 ppg, 5th); Adia Barnes, Arizona, in 1994-95 (15.5 ppg, 10th); Tanja Kostic, Oregon State, in 1992-93 (18.2 ppg, 4th); Lisa Leslie, USC, in 1990-91 (19.4 ppg, 4th); Teresa Palmisano, California, in 1987-88 (14.0 ppg, 10th).
  • A freshman (true or redshirt) has never won the Pac-10 scoring title.
  • A freshman (true or redshirt) has captured the Pac-10 rebounding title only once, when Stanford JR F Nicole Powell did so in 2000-01 (8.5 rpg).
  • No freshman (redshirt or true) has ever finished the season in the Pac-10's Top-10 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.
  • UCLA's Maylana Martin was the last rookie to finish the season ranked first in the league in field goal percentage, shooting at a .539 clip (171-of-306) in 1996-97.

NCAA COMMITTEE CONTACT
Washington Associate Athletic Director Marie Tuite is currently in her second year as a member of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee. The 10-member committee selects and seeds the 64-team field NCAA Tournament. The Pac-10 Public Relations Department has arranged a media teleconference with Tuite regarding the NCAA Tournament selection process for Wed., Mar. 12 at 10:00 a.m. PT. Contact the Pac-10 Office for conference call details.

#3 SEED ARIZONA WILDCATS
Arizona went 9-0 at home in Pac-10 play this year for the first time in the program's history. The Cats' 13-1 home mark for the season is their best since the 1997-98 team went 14-1 at home. Arizona's 13 Conference wins is its highest Pac-10 win total since getting 13 league victories in 1999-2000. The tie for second equals the Cats' best-ever finish, accomplished in both 1997-98 and 1999-2000. FR C Shawntinice Polk averaged 22.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 7.0 blocks, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game last week while leading Arizona to its first home sweep of the Bay Area schools in four years. UA's 79-64 win over Stanford on Feb. 27 marked the Wildcats' largest winning margin over the Cardinal in 17 years. It also ended a four-game losing skid to Stanford and gave the Cats their fourth win of the year over a ranked team, the most victories over ranked teams since the 1997-98 season. The No. 3 seed in the State Farm Pac-10 Tournament, Arizona tied for second place in the Pac-10, its highest finish since tying for the same spot at the end of the 1999-2000 season.

#8 SEED ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS
FR G Jill Noe turned in her fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds in ASU's 61-47 win over Cal on Feb. 27. ASU outrebounded Cal 44-34 and held the Bears to 29.6 percent shooting from the field. SO G Kylan Loney scored a team-high 13 points and added eight assists in the 63-53 loss to Stanford on Mar. 1. The loss snapped the Sun Devils four-game home winning streak. ASU finished the regular season 12-4 at Wells Fargo Arena. Arizona State begins defending its 2002 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament title Friday night, when it takes on No. 9 seed California at 8:45 p.m. PT. Last season, ASU earned the No. 3 seed and knocked off Arizona and Oregon in its first two games before upsetting then second-ranked Stanford 70-63 to win the Pac-10 Tournament title.

#9 SEED CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
SO F Kiki Williams averaged 11.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in California's road losses to Arizona State and Arizona last week. SO F Leigh Gregory scored a team-high 11 points at Arizona and Williams came off the bench to add a season-high 16 points at ASU. Cal's 47 points at Arizona State tied its second-lowest scoring output of the season. The Bears have held their opposition to 61 points or fewer in five of the last nine games. Cal has an assist 67 percent of its baskets (400 assists/599 field goals), the best mark in the Conference. The Bears enter the Pac-10 Tournament as the No. 9 seed for the second consecutive season. Cal fell to UCLA, 49-42, in opening-round Pac-10 Tournament action last year.

#5 SEED OREGON DUCKS
SO C Andrea Bills led Oregon with 15 points and 11 rebounds in the 56-54 loss to UCLA Mar. 1 - her first double-double of the season and the second of her career. The Ducks outrebounded the Bruins 41-34 and held them to under 60 points for just the third time this season. The Ducks' defense held FR G Nikki Blue, who scored 26 points against Oregon in Eugene, to seven points. However, the Ducks committed 21 turnovers in the game, the most by Oregon in 15 games. UO just missed sweeping the L.A. schools on the road for the first time in school history. Oregon will again play UCLA Saturday at 7:15 p.m. in the State Farm Pac-10 Tournament.

#6 SEED OREGON STATE BEAVERS
In the Beavers' 82-71 loss to UCLA on Feb. 27, JR G Leilani Estavan led all players with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting and connected on nine of her first 10 field goals. FR G Casey Bunn posted her first career double-double at UCLA with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Oregon State's scoring defense (61.2 ppg) ranks second in the Pac-10 and the Beavers average a league second-best 3.89 blocks per game. Estavan ranks second in assists (4.78 apg), while JR C Brina Chaney is the Pac-10's second leading shot blocker (2.30 bpg). Oregon State will take on No. 3 seed Arizona Saturday at 1:15 p.m. OSU split with the Wildcats this season, falling to UA 72-44 Jan. 4 in Tucson and defeating the Cats 71-65 in overtime Jan. 30 in Corvallis. The Beavers were the No. 5 seed in last year's Pac-10 Tournament, defeating No. 4 seed USC 69-68 in the first round and falling to top-seeded Stanford, 71-55, in semifinal action.

#1 SEED STANFORD CARDINAL
The top seed in the State Farm Pac-10 Tournament for the second year in a row, the Cardinal claimed the 2002-03 Pac-10 regular season championship, its 12th in the 17-year history of the Conference. Stanford won Pac-10 titles in 1989, '90, '91, '92, '93, 95, '96, '97, '98, 2001, '02 and '03. The Cardinal's all-time Conference record stands at an impressive 260-46 (.850), including a 33-3 (.917) record the last two seasons. The Cardinal will open Pac-10 Tournament play Saturday 5:00 p.m. against the winner of Friday's first -round game between No. 9 seed California and a No. 8 seed Arizona State. Stanford is coming off a road split with the Arizona schools, falling to then-24th-ranked Arizona on Feb. 27, and defeating Arizona State Mar. 1. The Cardinal has not lost back-to-back Conference games since Feb. 24 and March 1, 2001. JR F Nicole Powell averaged 22.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals at UA and ASU. Against the Wildcats, Powell logged her 28th career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. With 752 career rebounds, Powell moved into fifth place on the all-time school list over the weekend, surpassing Olympia Scott (750; 1994-98).

#4 SEED UCLA BRUINS
The Bruins enter the State Farm Pac-10 Tournament as the No. 4 seed and face fifth-seeded Oregon on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. The Bruins edged the Ducks 56-54 to close out the regular season Mar. 1 at Pauley Pavilion. SR G Michelle Greco scored the game-winning basket, a jump shot in the lane with 6.1 seconds remaining. With wins over the Ducks and Beavers last week, UCLA posted its first series sweep of the Oregon schools since 1997-98. In the Feb. 27 win over Oregon State, FR G Nikki Blue led six Bruins in double figures in scoring with 17 points. It marked the first time sic Bruins scored in double digits since Dec. 17, 1999 (at Cal State Fullerton). With four steals last week, Greco moved into third place on the all-time Pac-10 steals chart with 282. She needs just three steals to surpass Cal's Courtney Johnson (284; 1997-2001) and move into second place. The Pac-10 career steals record is 309 by USC's Tammy Story (1989-92). UCLA was the No. 8 seed in last year's Pac-10 Tournament. The Bruins have rebounded from a 9-20 record a year ago, without Greco's services, to a 17-10 mark this season.

#7 SEED USC WOMEN OF TROY
The Women of Troy tied for fifth place in the Pac-10 and are the No. 7 seed in the Pac-10 Tournament, by virtue of the league's tie-breaker. USC meets up with No. 10 seed Washington State in Game 1, Friday at 6:30 p.m. Coming off a split with the Oregon schools, the Women of Troy had four players finish in double figures in their 87-44 win over OSU on Feb. 27. JR G Aisha Hollans notched a game-high 20 points as the Women of Troy posted a season-high 63.2 field goal percentage. In the 75-70 loss to Oregon, JR F Ebony Hoffman tied her career high with 27 points, while Hollans grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds. USC ranks second in the league in steals (12.89 spg), second in offensive rebounds (14.66 avg.) and third in turnover margin (+3.28). Hoffman's 9.4 rebound per game ranks second in the Pac-10, and she enter the week sixth in scoring (16.1 ppg). Hoffman (2.52 spg) and JR G Rometra Craig (2.48 spg) rank second and third in steals, respectively. The Women of Troy went 0-1 in last year's Pac-10 Tournament with a one-point loss (69-68) to Oregon State.

#2 SEED WASHINGTON HUSKIES
The Huskies tied for second in the Pac-10 with Arizona, but edged the Wildcats for the Pac-10 Tournament's No. 2 seed by virtue of a tie-breaker. Washington and Arizona split the season series this year, and the two squads post identical records against all other teams in the Conference. The next tie-breaker, overall Division I winning percentage, gave the advantage to UW (21-6, .778) over Arizona (20-7, .741). The Huskies earned the No. 2 seed for the second year in a row and will face the winner of Friday night's Arizona State-California contest (No. 8 vs. No. 9). Last year the Huskies were ousted by No. 7 and host Oregon, 78-64. Washington's 13 Pac-10 wins are the most ever under June Daugherty, while its 21 regular-season wins are the most since the 1994-95 season under Chris Gobrecht. JR G Giuliana Mendiola had 20 points, six rebounds, four assists and a career-high five steals in the 73-49 win over Washington State on Mar. 1. She has reached the 20-point plateau seven times in the last 10 games. She paces the Huskies in scoring (17.3 ppg), rebounding (6.5 rpg) and assists (5.4 apg). The win was UW's 14th consecutive at home, and the Huskies ended the 2003 season undefeated in their home arena for the first time since 1990 when they also went 14-0.

#10 SEED WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
The Cougars are the Pac-10 Tournament's No. 10 seed and will open with No. 7 seed USC, Friday at 6:30 p.m. Washington State will look to avenge two losses to the Women of Troy this season, by a combined 97 points. In two games last week, JR F Bianca McCall averaged 18.0 points and 8.5 rebounds as the Cougars defeated Idaho and fell to rival Washington. McCall posted her eighth double-double on the season - third most in the Pac-10 - with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the Cougars' 82-53 win over the Vandals. McCall reached the 20-point plataeu for the sixth time this season with 20 points at Washington. SO G Jessica Perry notched 20 points in the win over Idaho. SR G Jessica Ottmar, who had not played all year due to injury, saw her first action of the season against the Vandals in the final home game for WSU.

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