Women's Basketball Hosts UNLV In Friday's WNIT First Round

March 18, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL MAKES THIRD CONSECUTIVE POSTSEASON WNIT APPEARANCE; BEAVERS WILL HOST UNLV IN THE TOURNEY'S OPENING ROUND ON FRIDAY AT 7 P.M.

Friday, Mar. 21, 2003
UNLV at OSU
7 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum) (First Round - WNIT)
Radio broadcast on KEJO 1240

OREGON STATE BEAVERS (14-14 overall; 8-10 Pac-10)
G #10 Leilani Estavan, 5-7, Jr., (11.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.7 apg.)
G #12 Casey Bunn, 6-0, Fr., (6.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.8 apg.)
G #14 Jessica Jones, 5-8, So., (4.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.0 apg.)
F #45 Hollye Chapman, 6-2, Jr., (12.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.5 apg.)
C #42 Brina Chaney, 6-5, Jr., (8.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.3 bpg.)

UNLV REBELS (17-11 overall; 8-6 Mountain West)
G #11 Julia Gray, 5-6, Sr., (6.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.0 apg.)
G #23 Constance Jinks, 5-7, Sr., (20.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.3 apg.)
G #30 Talisha Mitchell, 5-9, Sr., (5.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.4 apg.)
F #54 Sherry McCracklin, 6-2, So., (11.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.4 apg.)
F #55 Dishawn McCracklin, 6-2, Sr., (5.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.2 apg.)

BEAVERS IN THE WNIT: Oregon State is making its third consecutive appearance in the postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament, and its fifth appearance overall. The Beavers picked up their first postseason win since the 1995 campaign with a 62-50 victory against University of Hawaii on Mar. 14, 2002. Oregon State won the tournament championship in both the 1980 and 1982 seasons. Beaver head coach Judy Spoelstra was a member of the 1982 squad that finished with a 20-8 record.

THREE IN A ROW: Oregon State is hosting a game in the first round of the WNIT for the third consecutive year. The Beavers are one of just four Pacific-10 Conference teams to reach postseason in each of the last three years - Stanford (15), Arizona State (4), Washington (3).

A GLANCE AT UNLV: UNLV enters Friday's first round WNIT game with a 17-11 overall record and an 8-6 mark in the Mountain West Conference. The Rebels were eliminated in the first round of their conference tournament when Brigham Young's Erin Thorn buried a 3-pointer with less than one-second remaining in overtime to give the Cougars a 66-64 victory. UNLV had won three of its last four games heading into the MWC tourney. Senior guard Constance Jinks leads the squad in scoring with 20.3 points per game to go along with 4.2 rebounds. Sophomore post Sherry McCracklin is the only other Rebel averaging double figures in scoring with 11.2 points and a team-leading 8.6 rebounds per outing. Senior Julia Gray, a two-year member of the Washington Huskies, adds 6.6 points and 3.4 steals per game. Gray was named MWC Defensive Player of the Year. As a team, UNLV averages 66.1 points per game while allowing its opponents to score just 62.3 points. The Rebels faced two Pacific-10 Conference opponents on the season, dropping games with UCLA (72-64) and Arizona (101-73).

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

                        OSU     UNLVPoints per game         59.5    66.1Points allowed per game 61.5    62.3Field goal percentage   40.8    42.13-pt field goal percent 27.0    31.9Free throw percentage   66.8    65.6Rebounds per game       36.5    35.5Assists per game        14.2    13.8Steals per game          7.1     9.8

BEAVERS AND REBELS SERIES NUMBERS: UNLV leads the all-time series record with Oregon State, 2-1. The Beavers and Rebels last played each other on Dec. 30, 1989 with UNLV recording a 68-57 victory in Corvallis.

GOOD THING WE'RE HOME: Oregon State currently holds a six-game winning streak in games played in Corvallis. By Friday's WNIT contest, it will have been one month since the Beavers last played a game in Gill Coliseum. OSU wrapped up regular season action at home against Washington State with a 62-46 victory on Feb. 22.

TOURNEY TALK: Oregon State has a 7-2 all-time record in WNIT and a 1-2 mark under the direction of head coach Judy Spoelstra. OSU went undefeated and won the tournament championship in 1980 and 1982. Teams from the Pacific-10 Conference hold a 31-18 (.633) overall record in WNIT games and Pac-10 teams have won five WNIT titles. Fellow Pac-10 squad Arizona State will host University of Hawaii on Thursday in the tourney's opening round.

TOP 5: Oregon State finished the regular season in a tie for fifth place in the Pacific-10 Conference standings. The Beavers' fifth place finish is their third best mark in Judy Spoelstra's eight years at the helm. OSU finished the 2001-02 campaign in a tie for fourth place. The Beavers had not finished in the conference's top 5 in back-to-back seasons since the 1994-95 and 1995-96 campaigns.

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 will miss the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury.

LOOKING BACK AT No. 22 ARIZONA: No. 6 seeded Oregon State dropped its first round game in the Pacific-10 Conference Tournament to No. 3 seed University of Arizona by a score of 70-56 on Mar. 8. OSU used hot shooting to open up a 10-5 lead but the Wildcats went on a 10-2 run over a five-minute stretch to pull in front 15-12 and never trailed for the remainder of the contest. Both teams shot 52-percent from the field in the first half with Arizona taking a 36-26 lead into the locker room. The Beavers would get no closer than within seven points (40-33) when Jessica Jones hit a 3-pointer with 16:17 remaining. Jones finished with 12 points in the contest on 5-of-9 shooting while senior Michelle Smith added 12 points and five rebounds, including four offensive boards. Fellow senior Kristina Rukstelyte hit 4-of-6 shots for a season-high 10 points, to go along with six rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes. The Beaver seniors accounted for nearly half of the team's points and one-third of the rebounds. OSU shot 39-percent for the game while UA hit 44-percent from the field and held a 21-10 advantage at the free throw line.

ALL-PAC-10 HONORS: Three Oregon State players received 2002-03 All-Pacific-10 Conference recognition for their efforts on the season. Junior guard Leilani Estavan earned first team All-Pac-10 recognition for the first time in her career after garnering honorable mention accolades last season. Estavan currently leads the Beavers in assists (4.7 apg.), steals (1.9 spg.) and minutes played (34.3 mpg.). Junior post Hollye Chapman garnered honorable mention recognition for the first time in her career after leading the Beavers in scoring (12.0 ppg.) and field goal percentage (.502). Guard Casey Bunn earned honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman honors and currently ranks third on the team in rebounding (4.1 rpg.) and fourth in scoring (6.5 ppg.).

MARCH MADNESS: Oregon State holds a 39-51 all-time record in games played during the month of March, dating back to the 1976-77 season. The Beavers hold a 5-17 record in March under the direction of Judy Spoelstra.

WHAT'S YOUR SCHOOL'S NAME: After 28 games on the season, Oregon State holds an 8-5 record against schools that end in the word University, e.g., Arizona State University or Tulane University. The Beavers are just 6-9 against teams that begin with the word University, e.g., University of Oregon or University of Arizona.

REMEMBER WHEN: Oregon State is currently riding a six-game home winning streak heading into Friday's opening round of the WNIT against UNLV. The Beavers have not won seven consecutive games in Gill Coliseum during a single season since reeling off eight in a row at home to close out the 1994-95 campaign.

HOME SWEET HOME: Oregon State boasts a 12-2 record in Gill Coliseum on the year and the Beavers have won six straight contests in Corvallis. OSU has recorded 10 or more wins in Gill Coliseum just six times in program history, dating back to 1978-79. The Beavers are just one victory away from matching the school record for home wins (13-2) set in 1994-95.

THE LATEST GILL FIGURES: In its six consecutive victories in Gill Coliseum, Oregon State has outscored its opponent by an average of 18.0 points per game. Three Beaver players are averaging double figures in scoring during the stretch, led by Hollye Chapman's 16.5 points and 7.8 rebounds. As a team the Beavers are shooting 49-percent from the floor compared to their opponents' 33-percent clip. Oregon State has averaged 73.0 points per game while giving up just 55.0 points over the six games.

EXACT OPPOSITES: Oregon State boasts a 12-2 record in games played at Gill Coliseum on the season but the Beavers are just 2-12 in games played outside of Corvallis. The following list shows how Oregon State fares statistically in games played in Gill Coliseum versus games played on the road:

                        HOME    ROADPoints per game         64.1    55.0Points allowed per game 52.7    70.4Field goal percentage   43.7    37.8Opp. field goal percent 33.7    45.8Free throw percentage   67.7    65.7Rebounds per game       39.0    34.0Assists per game        16.3    12.1Steals per game          7.7     6.4

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 133 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 11 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 63 stuffs on the year rank third on the OSU single-season chart. Junior guard Leilani Estavan ranks in 4th place for assists in the OSU record book. The 5-7 guard has 445 career assists. Estavan needs just five dishes to climb up the ladder to 3rd place on the all-time list and pass Carol Sturzenegger's (1981-84) total of 449. The Los Angeles, CA native is only 10 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 68 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 109-119 in her eight seasons at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 207-187 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 three consecutive 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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