Women's Basketball Faces Creighton In Home Opener

Dec. 1, 2004


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Thursday, Dec. 2, 2004
Creighton at OSU
7 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum)


OREGON STATE BEAVERS (2-2 overall; 0-0 Pac-10)
G #24 Mandy Close, 5-11, Jr., (12.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.0 apg.)
G #33 Shannon Howell, 5-9, Sr., (23.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.5 apg)
F #3 Tiffany Ducker, 6-1, Fr., (2.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.3 bpg.)
F #12 Casey Bunn, 6-0, So., (4.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.8 apg.)
F #31 Anita Rivera, 6-0, Jr., (5.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg.)

G #3 Kristi Woodard, 5-9, Jr., (13.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.3 apg.)
G #21 Laura Spanheimer, 5-9, Sr., (12.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.8 apg.)
G #32 Codi Walker, 5-10, Sr., (7.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.0 apg.)
F #4 Christy Erickson, 6-1, Jr., (6.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.8 apg.)
F #33 Angie Janis, 6-1, Jr., (18.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.0 apg.)

A GLANCE AT CREIGHTON: Creighton University enters the week with a 2-2 overall record. The Bluejays return six players with starting experience from last season's team that finished with a 24-9 record and won the Women's National Invitation Tournament. Junior forward Angie Janis leads the team in scoring with 18.5 points per game. Two other Creighton players are averaging double figures in scoring with Kristi Woodard contributing 13.3 points per game and Laura Spanheimer adding 12.3 points and a team-leading 7.3 rebounds per outing. The Bluejays have hit 35-of-103 field goals from beyond the arc during the first four games. CU is averaging 73.8 points per game.

BEAVERS AND BLUEJAYS SERIES NUMBERS: Oregon State and Creighton have split the two previous meetings between the squads. The Bluejays won last season's WNIT quarterfinal matchup in Omaha by a 74-64 margin. OSU had won the first meeting between the schools with an 82-56 victory during the 1984-85 campaign at the UNLV Tournament.

LAST TIME OUT WITH OSU-CU: Oregon State's season came to an end when Creighton University recorded a 74-64 victory on March 24, 2004 in the Women's National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals. The game was tied at halftime (35-35), but OSU shot a paltry 29-percent in the second half compared to Creighton's 41-percent from the field. Mandy Close led all returning OSU players with eight points, while Shannon Howell was held to just five points on only 1-of-7 shooting. Four Bluejays reached double figures in scoring, led by senior Dayna Finch's 22 points. CU went 9-for-29 from 3-point range in the contest.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: How Oregon State enters Thursday's game stacked up statistically with Creighton:

	                 OSU	CUPoints per game	         68.8	73.8Points allowed per game	70.5	72.0Field goal percentage	46.3	40.13-pt field goal percent.	40.0	34.0Free throw percentage	66.2	69.6Rebounds per game	        36.2	36.8Assists per game	         11.8	18.0Steals per game	          7.3	10.3

HOME OPENER: Oregon State boasts a 23-5 overall record in home openers since the 1976-77 season. The Beavers have won 12 consecutive home openers and are a perfect 9-0 starting the season in Gill Coliseum with Judy Spoelstra at the helm.

MORE ON THE OPENER: Oregon State is 5-3 all-time when playing its home opener in the month of December. The last time the Beavers opened the home campaign in the last month of the year, was on December 10, 1993.

LOOKING BACK AT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE: Shannon Howell led all players with 24 points, as Oregon State held off South Dakota State, 68-65, at the Paradise Jam on Nov. 27. The balanced Beaver attack saw nine players reach the scoring column in the opening half as OSU took a commanding 39-26 lead into the locker room. The Jackrabbits took advantage of poor shooting and turnovers by Oregon State to rally back for a 61-58 lead with just under six minutes to play, but the Beavers responded with eight straight points to regain the lead for good. Howell added a team-high four assists, while posts Kerstin Brosterhous and Karen Vickery each recorded career-bests of eight points. Brosterhous also added a team-high six rebounds. As a team, the Beavers shot 47-percent for the game compared to SDSU's 39-percent clip.

LOOKING BACK AT No. 17 RUTGERS: Oregon State dropped a 77-53 contest against No. 17 ranked Rutgers University on Nov. 26 in the Paradise Jam. A balanced offensive attack kept the Beavers close in the first half and OSU went into the locker room trailing by a 41-35 margin. Oregon State managed just two field goals in the opening 10 minutes of the second frame as the Scarlet Knights put the game out of reach. Junior post Kim Butler recorded her first career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Shannon Howell added 14 points for the Beavers. OSU held a 43-27 rebounding advantage, but shot only 36-percent while Rutgers hit 51-percent from the floor.

LOOKING BACK AT KENTUCKY: Oregon State let a 14-point halftime lead slip away, as University of Kentucky rallied back for a 73-70 victory on Thanksgiving Day in the Paradise Jam. It was a tale of two halves as the Beavers dominated the opening 20 minutes, but it was all Kentucky when it counted down the stretch. Shannon Howell finished with 27 points - including 17 in the first half - connecting on 10-of-23 shots from the field. Junior guard Mandy Close hit 9-of-14 field goals en route to a career-high 22 points and finished with six rebounds. Sara Potts led three Wildcat players in double figures for scoring, with 27 points. Just three Beaver players scored in the second half (Howell, Close, and Casey Bunn).

HOWELL HIGHLIGHTS: Senior guard Shannon Howell earned Paradise Jam All-Tournament honors after leading the Beavers with 21.7 points per game and totaling eight assists and five steals over the three tourney games. Howell has reached double figures in scoring in all four of Oregon State's games this season and has scored 20-plus points on three occasions. She has now scored 20-plus points 10 times and has reached double figures in scoring in 19 of her 26 career games at Oregon State. The 5-9 All-America candidate scored a career-high 40 points at Washington (Jan. 17, 2004) and scored 32 points in her Oregon State debut at No. 9 ranked Stanford (Dec. 27, 2004).

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Oregon State has one of the toughest schedules in the country according to the WBCA preseason rankings. The Beavers' non-conference schedule ranks 33rd, while their overall schedule is 44th.

MISSING FACES: Two players that appeared in the 2004-05 women's basketball media guide will not be on the sidelines for the Beavers during the season. Sophomore guard Tarika Campbell has been dismissed from the squad after breaking team rules, while freshman forward Claire Pallansch has decided not to attend school.

CHANGING NAMES: Senior guard Jessica Jones will compete during the 2004-05 season as Jessica Mellinger after marrying former Beaver baseball player Brad Mellinger over the summer. Sophomore forward Kerstin Mellbye will compete this season as Kerstin Brosterhous after changing her last name to that of her step-father.

PRESEASON PAC-10 POLLS: Oregon State was tabbed to finish in eighth place in the Pac-10 Preseason Media Poll and was picked to finish ninth in the Preseason Coaches Poll. Stanford was picked to repeat as conference champion in both polls. OSU has finished higher than selected in the preseason polls the past five seasons.

GAMETRACKER: The Oregon State athletics homepage - www.osubeavers.com - will feature Gametracker for every home regular season women's basketball game during the year. Gametracker allows fans to view up-to-the minute statistics for each contest.

TICKET PRICES: Gates open one-hour prior to tip-off for all women's basketball games.
Reserved seats: $8
General admission: $6
GA seniors (62 or older) and children (3-18): $4

HOME-SWEET-HOME: Oregon State has won at least eight games in Gill Coliseum during each of the last six seasons. The Beavers finished the 2003-04 season with a 9-5 record on Ralph Miller Court.

IN GILL: The Beavers have won 87 of their last 133 (.654) games played at Gill Coliseum. Over the last 11 seasons OSU is 102-49 in the friendly confines of Gill.

NON-CONFERENCE RECORD: Oregon State has an all-time non-conference record of 247-130 dating back to the 1976-77 season for a .655 percentage.

PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT: The Pac-10 Conference plays host to the fourth annual State Farm Women's Basketball Tournament, March 4-7, 2005, at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. This year marks the third year the tournament has been held at that site. A total of nine games will be played, with the champion earning the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Arizona State won the inaugural tournament in 2002, while Stanford has won the last two.

ON THE BENCH: Mary Kincaid, a 14-year coaching veteran, was promoted from her position of operations director to assistant coach in September after the departure of Todd Corman. Heath Alexander enters his third year as assistant coach after being elevated in status with the departure of Corman, while Jualeah Woods, who holds the longest tenure on staff, returns for her fifth year at OSU and serves as the director of recruiting. Bruce Henderson joins the Beavers as director of operations, after serving the past six years as an assistant coach at Portland State University.

HEAD COACH Judy Spoelstra: Judy Spoelstra has a record of 129-137 while in her 10th season at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 227-205 overall record during her 16 seasons 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 four 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. In September of 2003, Spoelstra was inducted into the Montana State University Hall of Fame as part of the 1992-93 MSU women's basketball team that won the Big Sky Championship.


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