Women's Basketball Faces Arizona State On Saturday For Senior Day

Feb. 18, 2005


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Saturday, Feb. 19, 2005
Arizona State at OSU
7 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum)


OREGON STATE BEAVERS (6-19 overall; 1-14 Pac-10)
G #14 Jessica Mellinger, 5-8, Sr., (1.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.6 apg.)
G #24 Mandy Close, 5-11, Jr., (8.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.0 apg.)
G #33 Shannon Howell, 5-9, Sr., (17.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.2 apg)
F #12 Casey Bunn, 6-0, So., (5.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.9 apg.)
F #42 Kim Butler, 6-1, Jr., (10.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.8 apg.)

ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS (17-8 overall; 9-6 Pac-10)
G #10 Kylan Loney, 5-7, Sr., (10.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.5 apg.)
G #30 Carrie Buckner, 5-9, Sr., (4.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.4 apg.)
F #4 Emily Westerberg, 6-0, So., (11.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.2 apg.)
F #32 Aubree Johnson, 6-2, So., (4.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.6 apg.)
C #54 Kristen Kovesdy, 6-3, Jr., (11.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.7 apg.)

A GLANCE AT ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State enters Saturday's game against Oregon State with a 17-8 overall record and 9-6 mark in Pacific-10 Conference outings. The Sun Devils are coming off a 66-59 loss to University of Oregon in Eugene on Feb. 17. Junior Amy Denson led the squad with a double-double (16 points and 10 rebounds), but the Ducks outscored ASU by an 18-5 margin at the free throw line. Three ASU players average double figures in scoring on the season. 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 11.0 points, while senior point guard Kylan Loney chips in 10.1 points and 2.5 assists per game. The defensive minded Sun Devils are allowing the opposition to score just 53.5 points per outing. ASU is averaging 62.9 points on the season. Arizona State holds a 35.9 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.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: How Oregon State enters Saturday's game stacked up statistically with Arizona State:

	                 OSU	ASUPoints per game	        61.3	62.9Points allowed per game	68.9	53.5Field goal percentage	39.1	42.13-pt field goal percent	27.0	32.9Free throw percentage	        71.8	66.6Rebounds per game	        35.5	35.9Assists per game	11.2	16.5Steals per game	        8.6	10.6

SENIOR DAY: Saturday's game against Arizona State marks the final time that Oregon State senior guards Shannon Howell and Jessica Mellinger will compete in Gill Coliseum. Howell, from Los Angeles, Calif., made an immediate impact in her two years at OSU after transferring from Nebraska. She will finish her career as Oregon State's all-time leading free throw shooter - holding an .836 (219-of-262) clip from the line. Howell has reached double figures in scoring during 33 of her 47 career games. Howell has scored 20 or more points 17 times while at Oregon State. She has led the Pac-10 in scoring average throughout the season. Mellinger, from Brush Prairie, Wash., has been one of the most recognizable faces on the court for the Beavers over the past four years. Mellinger has seen action in 117 games - the 6th highest total in school history and just six games off the all-time record. She enters the week having played over 2,000 career minutes (2,015) and has made 40 appearances in the starting line-up. Mellinger's .813 free throw percentage for the 2002-03 season ranks as the 8th highest mark in the OSU single season record book. She played her first three seasons at Oregon State as Jessica Jones, before marrying Brad Mellinger in September of 2004.

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 ARIZONA: Oregon State had one of its most balanced scoring outputs of the season with five players contributing nine or more points, but the Beavers dropped a 78-59 decision against University of Arizona on Feb. 17. The Wildcats used a 20-4 run in the middle of the first half to take a commanding lead. OSU closed out the frame on an 11-0 run to pull within 32-25 at intermission. The Beavers trailed by just four points (59-55) after senior Jessica Mellinger converted an old-fashioned 3-point play with 5:27 left, but UA All-American guard Dee Dee Wheeler single handedly went on a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach. Junior guard Mandy Close hit 5-of-8 field goals for a team-high 11 points, while Kim Butler also reached double figures in scoring with 10. Mellinger added a season-best nine points on 3-of-4 shooting. Four Wildcat players reached double figures, led by Wheeler's 22 points. The victory was Arizona's sixth straight in the series.

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.

JUST ONE MORE WIN, PLEASE: Oregon State heads into Saturday's home finale against Arizona State with a 3-8 record in Gill Coliseum. The three victories match the fewest number of wins (3-10; during the 1989-90 campaign) in a single season on Ralph Miller Court.

THE LAST THREE: Junior post Karen Vickery is averaging 11.7 points and a team-leading 5.0 rebounds during the last three games. Vickery just missed scoring in double figures for a third straight game, when she finished with nine points against Arizona on Feb. 17. Senior guard Jessica Mellinger has hit 5-of-6 field goals (.833) over the last three games, and junior post Kim Butler is 9-of-10 from the free throw line in the stretch.

DID YOU KNOW: Senior guard Shannon Howell, junior post Kim Butler, and junior guard Mandy Close are all shooting over 80-percent from the free throw line in games played in Gill Coliseum. Howell leads the trio with a .91-percent clip, while Butler is shooting 83-percent and Close is hitting 81-percent from the stripe.

FACTS AND FIGURES: Senior guard Jessica Mellinger has played in 117 games during her career - 6th place in the OSU record book...Senior guard Shannon Howell's 123 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 13 games, while Mandy Close has scored 10-plus on 10 occasions... Shannon Howell has led the Beavers in assists during 16 games, scoring 15 times, and steals on 12 occasions... Mandy Close, Casey Bunn, and Tiffany Ducker have all pulled down 45 offensive rebounds on the season - Kim Butler leads the squad with 46 offensive boards... Shannon Howell entered 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 .718 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 nine-game Pac-10 losing streak is its longest since a 12-game slide in 1997-98... The Beavers have lost more than eight consecutive Pac-10 games on only two other 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 63.4 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 .866 (123-for-142) from the free throw line on the season. In her two years at OSU, Howell has buried 219-of-262 free throw attempts for an .836 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 25 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 47 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 144 (.625) games played at Gill Coliseum. Over the last 11 seasons OSU is 105-56 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 133-154 while in her 10th season at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 231-222 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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