Women's Basketball Closes Out Home Campaign Against Arizona Schools

Feb. 15, 2005

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ENTERS FINAL REGULAR SEASON HOME WEEKEND; BEAVERS LOOK TO GET BACK ON TRACK AGAINST THE ARIZONA SCHOOLS

Thursday, Feb. 17, 2005
Arizona at OSU
7 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum)
RADIO BROADCAST ON KTHH (990 AM)

Saturday, Feb. 19, 2005
Arizona State at OSU
7 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum)
RADIO BROADCAST ON KTHH (990 AM)
THROUGHOUT THE STATE ON BEAVER SPORTS NETWORK

OREGON STATE BEAVERS (6-18 overall; 1-13 Pac-10)
G #14 Jessica Mellinger, 5-8, Sr., (1.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.6 apg.)
G #24 Mandy Close, 5-11, Jr., (8.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.0 apg.)
G #33 Shannon Howell, 5-9, Sr., (17.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.2 apg)
F #12 Casey Bunn, 6-0, So., (5.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.9 apg.)
F #42 Kim Butler, 6-1, Jr., (10.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.8 bpg.)

ARIZONA WILDCATS (17-8 overall; 9-5 Pac-10)
G #11 Dee-Dee Wheeler, 5-6, Sr., (17.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.5 apg.)
G #20 Jessica Arnold, 5-4, Fr., (9.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.4 apg.)
F #23 Natalie Jones, 5-10, Jr., (9.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.5 apg.)
F #44 Danielle Adefeso, 6-2, Sr., (6.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.6 bpg.)
C #00 Shawntinice Polk, 6-5, Jr., (13.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.0 bpg.)

ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS (17-7 overall; 9-5 Pac-10)
G #10 Kylan Loney, 5-7, Sr., (10.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.4 apg.)
G #30 Carrie Buckner, 5-9, Sr., (4.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.3 apg.)
F #4 Emily Westerberg, 6-0, So., (11.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.3 apg.)
F #32 Aubree Johnson, 6-2, So., (4.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.6 apg.)
C #54 Kristen Kovesdy, 6-3, Jr., (11.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.7 apg.)

A GLANCE AT ARIZONA: University of Arizona enters the week with a 17-8 overall record and a 9-5 mark in the Pac-10. Six different UA players are averaging 6.1 points or more per game. Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler leads the squad with 17.6 points and 4.5 assists per game. The 5-6 All-America candidate also pulls down 5.2 rebounds. Junior post Shawntinice Polk adds 13.2 points while shooting .573 from the field, and a team-high 7.7 rebounds per outing. As a team, Arizona holds a .440 field goal percentage and a .349 3-point percentage. The Wildcats buried 11-of-16 shots from long range last Saturday against USC. Arizona is just 5-6 on the season in games played outside of Tucson.

BEAVERS AND WILDCATS SERIES NUMBERS: Arizona holds a narrow 22-18 lead in the all-time series with Oregon State. The Wildcats have won 13 of the last 17 meetings, including five straight. OSU's last victory against UA was a 71-65 overtime thriller on Jan. 30, 2003 in Corvallis. In her tenure as head coach at Oregon State, Judy Spoelstra has a record of 6-14 against Arizona.

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST 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.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: How Oregon State enters the week stacked up statistically with Arizona and Arizona State:

	                OSU	UA	ASUPoints per game	        61.4	72.0	63.1Points allowed per game	68.5	66.0	53.0Field goal percentage	39.2	44.0	42.03-pt field goal percent	27.5	34.9	33.0Free throw percentage	71.7	64.8	66.8Rebounds per game	        35.7	38.1	36.2Assists per game	        11.3	14.8	16.5Steals per game	         8.8	8.8	10.7

A GLANCE AT ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State enters the week with a 17-7 overall record and 9-5 mark in Pacific-10 Conference games. The Sun Devils have won two straight games, but have not won three in a row during Pac-10 play on the season. Three ASU players average double figures in scoring. Sophomore forward Emily Westerberg leads the squad with 11.6 points per game to go along with 5.0 rebounds per outing. Kristen Kovesdy adds 11.5 points, while senior point guard Kylan Loney chips in 10.2 points and 2.4 assists per game. The defensive minded Sun Devils are allowing the opposition to score just 53.0 points per outing. ASU is averaging 63.1 points on the season. Arizona State holds a 36.2 to 31.9 rebounding edge against its opponents.

BEAVERS AND SUN DEVILS SERIES NUMBERS: Arizona State holds a slim 20-19 advantage in the all-time series against Oregon State, dating back to the 1983-84 season. The Sun Devils swept last year's series and ASU has won 12 of the last 16 games - all four of Oregon State's wins in the stretch have come in Gill Coliseum. Head coach Judy Spoelstra has an 8-11 record against the Sun Devils.

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST 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.

INJURY UPDATE: Junior guard Ebony Young will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee against UCLA on Jan. 29. Sophomore guard Melanie Casey will not play against the Arizona schools.

LOOKING BACK AT WASHINGTON STATE: Washington State hit its free throws down the stretch allowing the Cougars to knock off Oregon State for the first time in 13 meetings, with a 68-63 victory on Feb. 12. The victory was the first for WSU against OSU since Feb. 13, 1999. The Beavers buried six of their first eight field goals as all five starters scored in the opening minutes. Oregon State held a slim 33-30 halftime advantage after shooting 54-percent from the floor, but Washington State used an 18-7 run in the second frame to pull ahead for good. WSU led by as many as 11 points and OSU rallied back to pull within two points on two separate occasions as Mandy Close hit clutch 3-point field goals. The Cougars hit eight free throws in the final 1:43 to secure the win. Shannon Howell broke the 20-point scoring barrier for the 10th time on the season with a game-high 21 points on 7-of-18 shooting. Junior post Karen Vickery reached double figures for a second straight game with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting and Close added 10 points. Three WSU players reached double figures in scoring led by Keisha Moore's 17 points and seven rebounds.

LOOKING BACK AT WASHINGTON: Junior posts Kim Butler and Karen Vickery combined to score 32 points and pull down 13 rebounds, but Oregon State couldn't overcome the turnover bug and University of Washington ran away with the 84-53 victory on Feb. 10. The Huskies led from the opening tip and held a 25-7 advantage in points off turnovers. Butler finished with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, pulled down six rebounds and dished out a career-high five assists. Vickery finished with a career-best 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and pulled down a career-high seven rebounds to lead the Beavers. Cameo Hicks had 13 points and nine rebounds and Breanne Watson added 13 points for the Huskies. UW shot 48-percent from the field while OSU hit just 39-percent in the game.

BIG WEEKEND: Junior post Karen Vickery scored a career-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and pulled down a career-best seven rebounds at Washington on Feb. 10. Vickery reached double figures in scoring for a second straight game with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting at Washington State on Feb. 12. The 6-2 forward shot a team-best 65-percent (11-for-17) over the weekend. Vickery averaged 13.0 points per game and a team-leading 6.5 rebounds against the Washington schools.

MORE HIGHLIGHTS: Junior guard Mandy Close dished out a career-best five assists on Feb. 10 at Washington, while junior post Kim Butler tallied a career-high three steals at Washington State on Feb. 12.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: In its two games against Washington State on the season, Oregon State shot 44-percent from the field (51-for-115). The Beavers have managed just 35-percent (243-for-690) shooting in their other 12 conference games combined.

FACTS AND FIGURES: Senior guard Jessica Mellinger has played in 116 games during her career - tied for 6th place in the OSU record book...Senior guard Shannon Howell's 118 made free throws ranks 5th in the OSU single season record book... Shannon Howell has reached double figures in scoring in a team-leading 18 games this season...Junior post Kim Butler has reached double figures in scoring in 12 games, while Mandy Close has scored 10-plus on nine occasions... Shannon Howell has led the Beavers in assists during 16 games, scoring 15 times, and steals on 12 occasions...Sophomore Casey Bunn is shooting a team-best .521 from the field in home games... Shannon Howell enters the week leading the Pac-10 in scoring with 17.6 points per game and ranking in the top-10 in seven different statistical categories...Oregon State's .717 free throw percentage is the second highest in school history...OSU matched the school record for fewest turnovers in a game with seven against Utah Valley State on Feb. 1...Oregon State's current eight-game Pac-10 losing streak is its longest since an eight-game slide in 1998-99... The Beavers have lost more than eight consecutive Pac-10 games on only two occasions since joining the conference in 1986-87...Oregon State is shooting 76-percent from the free throw line during home games...The Beavers are averaging 63.8 points per game in Gill Coliseum, while scoring 58.5 points per game on the road.

IN THE RECORD BOOK: Senior guard Shannon Howell is shooting a team-best .861 (118-for-137) from the free throw line on the season. In her two years at OSU, Howell has buried 214-of-257 free throw attempts for an .833 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 18 of Oregon State's 24 games this season and has scored 20-plus points on 10 occasions. She has now scored 20-plus points 17 times and has reached double figures in scoring in 33 of her 46 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.

IN GILL: The Beavers have won 90 of their last 143 (.629) games played at Gill Coliseum. Over the last 11 seasons OSU is 105-55 in the friendly confines of Gill.

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 250-133 dating back to the 1976-77 season for a .653 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 133-153 while in her 10th season at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 231-221 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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