Women's Basketball Begins New Year On The Road In Oregon

Dec. 31, 2003

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Bruins Travel to Play at Oregon State (Friday) and Oregon (Sunday) - UCLAevened its overall record at 5-5 after a 71-56 win over 18th-rankedOhioState on Tuesday, Dec. 30 in its final non-conference game of theseason.The Bruins now take their 0-1 conference record on the road for a pairofgames in Oregon this weekend. The Bruins will play at Oregon State(7-4,1-1) this Friday, Jan. 2 at 7 pm and at Oregon (8-4, 0-2) on Sunday,Jan. 4at 2 pm. Both Oregon schools lost last weekend at Stanford. OregonStatebested Cal while the Ducks lost at Cal.

A Look at the Beavers - The Beavers opened up Pac-10 play last weekendonthe road in the Bay Area and lost a game to Stanford and came back towin atCal.

UCLA leads the series with the Beavers, 26-15, and won both meetingslastseason. UCLA captured the game in Corvallis by a 58-54 score behind 29points from Michelle Greco. The win at OSU snapped a string of threestraight Bruin losses in Corvallis and a streak of five straightlosses toOregon State. The Bruins also won the last meeting in the series, heldinPauley in February, by a score of 82-71. Six Bruins, led by NikkiBlue's 17points, scored in double figures in that contest.

The Series with Oregon - The Bruins won all three meetings last seasontoeven the series record at 19 wins each. UCLA won the meeting in Eugene,lastseason's Pac-10 opener, by a 93-68 score. The win snapped a streak offourstraight Bruin losses to the Ducks in Eugene. Nikki Blue scored 26points,and Whitney Jones added 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The Bruinsearneda 56-54 win in the regular season finale a year ago in Pauley onMichelleGreco's basket with eight seconds to play. The Bruins followed that upwitha 71-58 win over the Ducks in the semifinal round of the Pac-10tournamentin San Jose. Blue had 30 points and eight steals in that game.

The Ducks opened the conference season by dropping a pair of games atStanford and Cal.

UCLA on the Radio - All of UCLA's games this season will be radiobroadcastlive on KIIS 850am in Thousand Oaks and on the internet atwww.uclabruins.com. Dave Marcus will be on hand to call the action thisweekend.

Notes - The Bruins shot a season-high 51.7% versus Ohio State ... It wasthesecond time this season the Bruins have shot over 50% (.508 v. CalStateNorthridge) ... Ohio State was the seventh opponent the Bruins have heldtoless than 60 points this season ... Nikki Blue tied her career-high withnineassists in the win over the Buckeyes and has 22 assists in her lastthreegames ... Lisa Willis has made at least two three-pointers in five gamesthisseason with a high of five made at Texas ... Willis, who scored 17 pointsinthe win over Ohio State, has seven double figure games this season ...JuliaPitts had her first double-figure game of the season with 13 points atCSUN... Pitts scored 13 more against Fresno State ... Whitney Jones made her65thcareer start versus USC ... Jamila Veasley had a season-high seven pointsinthe win over Ohio State ... Three of the five Bruin losses have come atthehands of nationally ranked teams from Texas, Purdue and Michigan State...Noelle Quinn returned to action at USC and scored nine points andgrabbed 10rebounds and returned to the starting lineup versus Ohio State andscored acareer-high 14 points.

Multi-Sport Stars Jones and Ringel Join the Team - Two-sport athletesWhitney Jones (soccer) and Brittany Ringel (volleyball) have rejoinedtheBruin basketball team after completing their fall sports. Jones was astarting midfielder and first-team All-Pac-10 selection for the UCLAwomen'ssoccer team, which advanced to the College Cup national semifinalsbeforebeing eliminated by eventual national champion North Carolina. Jonesjoinedthe basketball team Dec. 9th for practice and she saw her first actionofthe season against Purdue. Brittany Ringel was a starting outsidehitter forthe volleyball team, which advanced to the Regional Final beforefalling toUSC. Ringel, who earned All-Tournament honors at the NCAA Regional,joinedthe basketball team on Dec. 17.

Blue Selected UCLA/MET-Rx Student-Athlete of the Week - Sophomore guardNikki Blue was named the UCLA/MET-Rx Student-Athlete of the Week fortheweek of Dec. 15-21 after averaging 14.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 6.3assistsand 4.3 steals per game in wins over Cal State Northridge and FresnoStateand a close loss to No. 24 Michigan State. Blue led UCLA in scoring inbothvictories, recording 14 points against Northridge and a season-high 23against Fresno State. She also tied her career-high with nine assistsagainst the Bulldogs and led the team in rebounding against MichiganState(nine) and Fresno State (seven).

Bruins Picked To Finish Sixth/Seventh In Pac-10 -The Pac-10 women'sbasketball coaches picked UCLA to finish sixth in the conference.Stanford,with eight first-place votes, was the solid choice to finish first. TheCardinal were followed by Arizona (two first-place votes), Washington,Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA, USC, Oregon State, California andWashingtonState.

The Pac-10 media also tabbed Stanford for the top spot. Next wasArizona,Washington and Arizona State. USC was picked to finish fifth followedbyOregon, UCLA, Oregon State, California and Washington State.

Blue Named to Pre-Season All-Conference Team by Media - Nikki Blue wasselected by the media to the Pre-Season All-Conference team announcedat theannual Pac-10 media day in San Jose on Oct. 29. Blue was joined byStanford's Nicole Powell, USC's Ebony Hoffman, Washington's GiulianaMendiola and Arizona's Shawntinice Polk.

UCLA Signs Two for Class of 2008 - UCLA head coach Kathy Olivier signedtwoplayers, forward Lindsey Pluimer and guard Lauren Pedersen, to NationalLetters of Intent to enter school in the Fall of 2004. Pluimer, a 6-3forward from San Clemente, CA High, is considered by some publicationsto beone of the top 35 recruits in the nation. She was chosen the CIFSouthernSection Div. I-A Player of the Year last season as a junior andaveraged 22points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots per game. Pedersen, a 5-10guard,was a All-CIF Southern Section and Div. II-A first-team pick last yearfollowing her junior season. An outstanding perimeter shooter, sheaveraged13.9 points, 5.2 assists, 4.6 steals and four rebounds per game as ajuniorand had been ranked as one of the top 60 recruits in the nation by onepublication.

Challenging Schedule Ahead For Bruins - The Bruins could play 17regularseason games against teams which advanced to the post-season lastseason.Non-conference games will be played against NCAA Tournament teams fromTexas, Illinois, Michigan State and Ohio State. Pre-season ranked (USAToday) opponents include Arizona (22), Ohio State (15), Purdue (9),Stanford(7) and Texas (3). UCLA's strength of schedule currently ranks 24th inthenation in the WBCA's RPI ratings.

Bruins Best No. 18 Ohio State - The Bruins shot a season-best 52% fromthefield and handed Ohio State a 71-56 loss. Lisa Willis led three Bruinsindouble figures with 17 points. Nikki Blue had 15 points and tied hercareer-high with nine assists. Noelle Quinn added a career-high 14points.The Bruins led 33-28 at the half and led by as many as 18 points beforesettling for the 71-56 win.

Bruins Drop Pac-10 Opener at USC - USC limited the Bruins to 32%shootingand won 64-51 in the Sports Arena. The Bruins, who trailed by as manyas 15points in the first half, trimmed USC's lead to one in the second half,butcould get no closer. Nikki Blue led UCLA with 14 points. Whitney Joneshad12. Noelle Quinn came off the bench to total nine points and 10rebounds.

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