Women's Basketball Hosts USC To Start Second Half Of Pac-10 Play

Jan. 25, 2005

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS SECOND HALF OF PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE ACTION AGAINST USC ON THURSDAY; BEAVERS HOST UCLA IN TELEVISION GAME ON SATURDAY

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2005
USC at OSU
7 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum)

RADIO BROADCAST ON KTHH (990 AM)

Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005
UCLA at OSU
7:30 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum)

RADIO BROADCAST ON KTHH (990 AM)
TELEVISION - FSN NW

OREGON STATE BEAVERS (5-13 overall; 1-8 Pac-10)
G #14 Jessica Mellinger, 5-8,Sr., (1.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.6 apg.)
G #21 Mandy Close, 5-11, Jr., (9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.9 apg.)
G #33 Shannon Howell, 5-9, Sr., (19.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.3 apg)
F #12 Casey Bunn, 6-0, So., (4.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.1 apg.)
F #42 Kim Butler, 6-1, Jr., (10.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.9 bpg.)

USC WOMEN OF TROY (13-5 overall; 7-2 Pac-10)
G #1 Camille LeNoir, 5-6, Fr., (8.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.1 apg.)
G #5 Megan Gnekow, 5-11, Jr., (8.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.4 apg.)
G #11 Brynn Cameron, 5-10, Fr., (9.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.9 apg.)
F #41 Jamie Funn, 6-2, So., (6.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.8 bpg.)
C #44 Kim Gipson, 6-5, Sr., (6.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.7 apg.)

UCLA BRUINS (12-6 overall; 6-3 Pac-10)
G #32 Nikki Blue, 5-8, Jr., (15.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.6 apg.)
G #40 Lisa Willis, 5-11, Jr., (15.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.2 apg.)
G #00 Oren Ortal, 5-9, Jr., (3.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.1 apg.)
F #14 Lindsey Pluimer, 6-3, Fr., (10.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.7 apg.)
F #31 Amanda Livingston, 6-1, So., (7.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.4 apg.)

A GLANCE AT USC: University of Southern California enters the week with a 13-5 overall record and 7-2 mark in the Pac-10. The Women of Troy had won seven straight games until dropping a 94-58 decision at No. 5 Stanford on Jan. 22. The balanced USC attack has eight different players averaging six or more points. Freshman guard Brynn Cameron leads the squad with 9.9 points per game, while shooting .443 from the field. Meghan Gnekow adds 8.3 points and a team-best 5.6 rebounds per outing. Six different players are pulling down four or more rebounds and as a team, USC holds a 40.4-38.3 rebounding edge against its opponents. Four of USC's five losses have come on the road.

BEAVERS AND WOMEN OF TROY SERIES NUMBERS: USC leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 27-15, but the Beavers have won eight of the last 13 games. OSU head coach Judy Spoelstra has an all-time record of 10-10 against USC. The Beavers have won two straight games against the Women of Troy in Corvallis.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: How Oregon State enters the week stacked up statistically against USC and UCLA:

	                OSU	USC	UCLAPoints per game	        62.9	67.9	72.1Points allowed per game	69.1	63.9	65.4Field goal percentage	39.4	37.8	41.53-pt field goal percent	28.0	32.3	34.9Free throw percentage	71.2 	66.5	69.2Rebounds per game	        36.3	40.4	39.4Assists per game	        11.8	13.2	14.9Steals per game	         9.4	11.7	12.3

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST USC: Kim Butler and Shannon Howell combined to score 38 points, but University of Southern California came away with the 62-51 victory against Oregon State on Jan. 4 in the Lyon Center. USC built a 30-20 lead at the break and extended it lead to as many as 19 points (60-41) before Butler and Howell combined to score 10 straight in the final two minutes. Butler finished with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, while Howell broke out of a scoring funk with 19 points on a 5-for-13 clip. The Women of Troy had 10 different players reach the scoring column, led by senior Kim Gipson's 11 points. Eshaya Murphy added eight points and 13 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive glass. OSU shot 38-percent from the field while holding USC to just a 35-percent clip, but the Women of Troy held a 45-28 rebounding advantage.

TV TIME: Oregon State's 7:30 p.m. game on Saturday against UCLA will be broadcast on Fox Sports throughout the Northwest and in the Los Angeles area. Cara Capuano and Mary Murphy will provide the commentary. The Beavers hold a 1-3 record in televised games this season.

FILL GILL: All tickets for Saturday's 7:30 p.m. game against UCLA will be available for $1.

A GLANCE AT UCLA: UCLA enters the week with a 12-6 overall record and a 6-3 record in Pac-10 games. The Bruins will be playing without the services of leading scorer and rebounder Noelle Quinn, who underwent knee surgery on Jan. 19 for a torn meniscus. Three other Bruin players are averaging double figures in scoring with Lisa Willis contributing 15.2 points and 6.1 rebounds, Nikki Blue averaging 13.2 points and 5.6 assists, and Lindsey Pluimer adding 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds. UCLA is averaging 72.1 points per game and leads the Pac-10 with 12.28 steals per outing.

BEAVERS AND BRUINS SERIES NUMBERS: UCLA leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 26-16. In her tenure as head coach at OSU, Judy Spoelstra has a 7-12 record against the Bruins but the Beavers have won six of the last 10 outings, including four of the last five in Corvallis.

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST No. 23 UCLA: No. 23 ranked UCLA rolled to a 73-45 victory against Oregon State on Jan. 2. The Beavers struggled shooting from the start and the Bruins took a 27-18 lead into the locker room. OSU managed just 1-for-23 shooting from 3-point range in the game and hit only 27-percent from the floor, while UCLA shot 39-percent. Freshman Tiffany Ducker led the Beavers with eight points and eight rebounds. Ebony Young added seven points and two assists. Junior guard Mandy Close was forced to leave the game late in the second half after suffering a concussion. The Bruins had three players reach double figures in scoring led by Noelle Quinn's 20 points, 12 rebounds, and eight steals.

LOOKING BACK AT ARIZONA: Junior post Kim Butler buried 7-of-16 field goals en route to a team-high 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds at University of Arizona on Jan. 22, but the Wildcats used a torrid shooting attack to record the 86-65 victory against Oregon State. UA hit 52-percent of its field goals compared to OSU's 32-percent clip for the game. Arizona shot 62-percent in the opening half, taking a 47-23 lead into the locker room. Junior Anita Rivera had a season-best 11 points and pulled down five rebounds, while sophomore Melanie Casey scored a career-high seven points and grabbed three rebounds for the Beavers. All five Arizona starters reached double figures in scoring, led by freshman Jessica Arnold's 21 points. Oregon State's bench outscored the Wildcats by a 30-11 margin.

LOOKING BACK AT ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State University used a 14-2 run in the second half to pull away and knock off Oregon State by a 50-38 margin on Jan. 20. The victory marked the ninth straight for the Sun Devils against the Beavers in Tempe. Neither team shot well from the field - 30-percent - and ASU held a slim 17-14 lead at halftime. Beaver senior Shannon Howell led all players with 16 points and dished out five assists. Freshman post Tiffany Ducker blocked a career-high four shots, while pulling down five rebounds and adding six points. Betsy Boardman and Kristen Kovesdy had 13 points each for Arizona State.

TURNING THE TIDE: Oregon State has opened the second half of Pacific-10 Conference action with a victory in three consecutive years. The Beavers hold a 7-2 record under the direction of head coach Judy Spoelstra in the first game of the second half of the Pac-10 season.

WHO'S IT GOING TO BE: Oregon State has had 10 different starting line-ups over the first 18 games. The Beavers have kept the same starting five for no more than three consecutive contests. Eleven different players have started on the season. Junior guard Mandy Close has started in 63 games over the course of her career - the most of any current OSU player.

CLOSING IN: Senior guard Jessica Mellinger has played in 110 career games for the Beavers heading into the week. Mellinger needs to see action in just two more games to move into a tie for 9th place in the OSU record book for career games played.

IN THE RECORD BOOK: Senior guard Shannon Howell is shooting a team-best .856 (89-for-104) from the free throw line on the season. In her two years at OSU, Howell has buried 185-of-224 free throw attempts for an .826 clip - the highest career free throw percentage in school history.

HOWELL HIGHLIGHTS: Senior guard Shannon Howell finished with a season-high 36 points and career-high seven steals at University of Florida on Dec. 12. The Los Angeles native scored 30-plus in two straight games, hitting 12-of-23 shots and 8-of-10 free throws for 34 points against Washington on Jan. 15. She buried 9-of-20 shots and 12-of-13 free throws for 33 points against Washington State on Jan. 13. Howell also amassed five steals against both UW and WSU. Howell has reached double figures in scoring in 13 of Oregon State's 18 games this season and has scored 20-plus points on eight occasions. She has now scored 20-plus points 15 times and has reached double figures in scoring in 28 of her 40 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, 2003).

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.

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 89 of their last 140 (.636) games played at Gill Coliseum. Over the last 11 seasons OSU is 104-54 in the friendly confines of Gill.

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

NON-CONFERENCE RECORD: Oregon State has an all-time non-conference record of 249-133 dating back to the 1976-77 season for a .652 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 132-148 while in her 10th season at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 230-216 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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