This Week In Pac-10 Women's Basketball
Feb. 28, 2005
The stage is set for the fourth annual State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament, held Mar. 4-7 at HP Pavilion at San Jose. The No. 2/2 STANFORD Cardinal (26-2, 17-1 Pac-10) locked up the tournament's No. 1 seed by capturing sole possession of their fifth straight Pac-10 title back on Feb. 18. The Cardinal enter the tournament riding a 17-game win streak and are back-to-back defending Pac-10 Tournament Champions.
The OREGON DUCKS (19-8, 12-6) captured the No. 2 seed by virtue of the Conference tie-breaker. Oregon finished in a three-way tie for second place with ARIZONA STATE (20-8, 12-6) and USC (18-9, 12-6). Of the trio, the Ducks were the sole team to notch a win against Stanford. Oregon's previous high seed in the Pac-10 Tournament was fifth in 2003. Arizona State edged USC for the No. 3 seed due to the Sun Devils' 2-0 record against sixth-place UCLA, compared to the Trojans' 1-1 mark. ASU matched a school record with 12 league wins, the same total it achieved in 2001 and 2002. The Sun Devils won the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament in 2002, also entering the tournament as the No. 3 seed that year. The No. 4 seed, USC logged its best Pac-10 finish (tie for second) since winning the league title in 1994. Under first-year coach Mark Trakh, the Women of Troy notched their most overall wins (19) since going 20-9 in 1996-97, the last time they made an NCAA Tournament appearance.
The No. 5 through 10 seeds belong to fifth-place ARIZONA (19-10, 11-7), sixth-place UCLA (16-11, 10-8), seventh-place WASHINGTON (12-16, 8-10), eighth-place CALIFORNIA (10-17, 4-14), ninth-place WASHINGTON STATE (6-21, 2-16) and 10th-place OREGON STATE (6-21, 1-17), respectively. Under third-year coach Sherri Murrell, the rebuilding Cougars enter the tournament seeded other than 10th for the first time in the four-year history of the event.
The State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament made its debut in 2002 and was held on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, Ore. The Conference's premier women's sporting event moved to its current home, HP Pavilion at San Jose, in 2003. The winner of the 10-team tournament receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. The tournament seeds and Conference Champion are determined by the 18-game regular-season Pac-10 schedule.
Fans can purchase tickets by calling Ticketmaster at (408) 998-8497 or their local Ticketmaster charge by phone number. Online purchases may be made by logging on to www.pac-10.org or www.Ticketmaster.com. In addition, tickets may be purchased through the Conference's 10 member institutions' ticket offices. All-session ticket booklets cost $85 each, plus handling (5 sessions, 9 games).
Schedule of games:
2005 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament
Mar. 4-7, 2005
HP Pavilion at San Jose
Fri., Mar. 4
Game 1: No. 7 Washington (13-15, 9-9) vs. No. 10 Oregon State (6-22, 1-17), 6 p.m.
Game 2: No. 8 California (10-17, 4-14) vs. No. 9 Washington State (6-21, 2-16), 8:15 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 5
Game 3: No. 3 Arizona State (20-8, 12-6) vs. No. 6 UCLA (16-11, 10-8), 11 a.m.
Game 4: No. 2 Oregon (19-8, 12-6) vs. Winner 7/10, 1:15 p.m.
Game 5: No. 1 Stanford (26-2, 17-1) vs. Winner 8/9, 5 p.m.
Game 6: No. 4 USC (18-9, 12-6) vs. No. 5 Arizona (19-10, 11-7), 7:15 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 6
Game 7: Game 3 win vs. Game 4 win, 12:39 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)
Game 8: Game 5 win vs. Game 6 win, 3:05 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)
Mon., Mar. 7
Game 9: Championship Game, 7:39 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)
CONFERENCE RPI: Through games as of Feb. 27, 2005, the WBCA/Summerville RPI ranks the top six conferences as follows: 1. ACC, 2. SEC, 3. Pac-10, 4. Big 12, 5. Big Ten, 6. Big East.
ARIZONA WILDCATS: Having dropped two of their last three contests, the Wildcats (19-10, 11-7) finished fifth in the Pac-10 to earn the tournament's No. 5 seed... Coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Pac-10 Tournament, Arizona was seeded third and second the last two seasons, respectively... The Wildcats shot a season-high 57 percent from the field in their 89-60 win over Washington State on Feb. 24... UA's home loss to Washington on Feb. 26 was just its fourth over the last three seasons... JR C Shawntinice Polk notched her Pac-10-leading ninth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds on Feb. 26... SR G Dee-Dee Wheeler, ranks second on the Pac-10's all-time steals list, with 299 thefts, and is 10 steals behind first-place Tammy Story of USC (1989-92)... UA is 18-1 when leading at the half this season and 1-9 when trailing.
ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS: ASU (20-8, 12-6) tied for second place in the Pac-10 with Oregon and USC and turned in the seventh 20-win season in school history and third under ninth-year head coach Charli Turner Thorne... The No. 3 seed in the Pac-10 Tournament, the Sun Devils matched a school record with 12 Pac-10 wins, a total they achieved in 2001 and 2002... ASU won the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament in 2002, also as a No. 3 seed... Arizona State owns the Conference's top scoring defense at 52.9 points per game, on pace to set the new Pac-10 single-season record (Stanford, 58.4 ppg in 2004)... SR G Lauren Stagg scored a career-high 11 points to lead ASU to its season-best third Pac-10 win in a row, Feb. 26 against Washington State... Turner Thorne owns the second-best winning percentage in Pac-10 Tournament play with a 3-2 mark (.600).
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS: The Golden Bears (10-17, 4-14) secured the No. 8 seed in the Pac-10 Tournament after garnering the ninth seed in the first three tournaments.. California is just 1-11 away from Haas Pavilion this year (road and neutral games), and arrives in San Jose looking to snap a seven-game road losing streak... SR C Khadijah Coakley posted her second career double-double on Senior Day, with 11 points and a career-high 12 boards in the Bears' 58-51 loss to Oregon Feb. 26... SR F Leigh Gregory, who ranks 11th all-time at Cal with 1,115 points, paces the squad with 11.2 ppg... FR C Jessica Lawson is second at 10.5 ppg... SR G Kristin Iwanaga, the Pac-10's career free throw percentage leader, continues to lead the nation in free throw percentage this season at 94.0 percent.
OREGON DUCKS: The Ducks (19-8, 12-6) finished tied for second in the Pac-10 with Arizona State and USC, but grabbed the No. 2 seed in the Conference Tournament by virtue of their December win over Stanford... On the verge of earning its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2001, Oregon logged its highest Pac-10 finish since winning the Pac-10 title in 2000... The Ducks had not been seeded higher than fifth in the Pac-10 Tournament entering the 2004-05 season, and have not won a tournament game since 2002, when the event was staged on their home court... SR G Corrie Mizusawa, who averages an NCAA second-best 7.04 assists per game, needs seven more to tie the UO single-season record of 190... SR C Andrea Bills tied for third in the UO all-time annals, playing in her 113th career game Feb. 26 against California... Oregon's 58-51 victory over the Bears marked the 16th time this season it has held an opponent to fewer than 60 points.
OREGON STATE BEAVERS: The Beavers (6-22, 1-17) travel to San Jose looking to turn the tide in games away from their home court... OSU has dropped nine straight road games, notching its last victory away from Corvallis on Dec. 15, 2004... The squad has dropped 12 straight Pac-10 games, its longest slide since losing 12 in a row in 1997-98... Oregon State's last victory was Feb. 1 against Utah Valley State...The Beavers finished last in the Conference for the first time since going 3-15 in 1999 to tie with USC... SR G Shannon Howell ranks third in the league in scoring (17.1 ppg) and is ranked among the Pac-10's top-10 in five statistical categories... Oregon State's 72.4 free throw percentage is the second-best single-season mark in school history... JR F Kim Butler has converted 17 of her last 18 free throws.
STANFORD CARDINAL: The No. 2/2 Cardinal (26-2, 17-1), winners of 17 in a row, solidified the top seed in the Pac-10 Tournament for the fourth year in a row... The back-to-back defending Pac-10 Tournament Champion, Stanford captured sole possession of its fifth straight Pac-10 title on Feb. 18... The Cardinal's average margin of victory in league games this season is 24.9 points... Stanford concluded the season undefeated at home for the first time since 1996-97, the last year they reached the Final Four... SR F T'Nae Thiel (23 starts) sustained a partial fracture of the left foot Feb. 24 in the win over Oregon and is expected to return to the lineup in time for NCAA Tournament play... FR G Candice Wiggins ranks second in the league in scoring (17.9 ppg), fourth in steals (2.61 spg) and fourth in free throw percentage (.814)... Wiggins is the lone freshman in the nation on either major mid-season award list -- among the top-30 on the Naismith Award List and the top-20 on the Wooden Award List... Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer is 8-1 in Pac-10 Tournament games.
UCLA BRUINS: Desperately missing the presence of SO G Noelle Quinn, who has missed the last 12 games with a knee injury, the Bruins (16-11, 10-8) lost four of their last five games to finish sixth in the Conference... A last-second three-point attempt by JR G Nikki Blue failed to connect in the Bruins' 80-77 loss to rival USC on Feb. 26... Blue finished with 19 points against the Trojans and has scored at least 20 points in six of her last seven outings... Both Quinn and Blue are listed among the 30 candidates on the Naismith Mid-Season List and the 20 candidates on the Wooden Award Mid-Season List... The Bruins have gone 1-1 in all three Pac-10 tournaments, as the No. 8 seed in 2002 and the No. 4 seed the last two seasons... Blue is a two-time All-Pac-10 Tournament Team selection.
USC WOMEN OF TROY: Finishing in a three-way tie for second place in the Pac-10, the Trojans (18-9, 12-6) earned the No. 4 seed in the Pac-10 Tournament, due to their 1-1 record against sixth-place UCLA... USC is in the midst of its best season since 1997, the last year the Trojans made an NCAA Tournament appearance... Under first-year coach Mark Trakh, USC has notched 18 overall wins for the first time since finishing 20-9 in 1997... The 12 Conference wins are the most for USC since the 1997 team won 13, and the second-place Pac-10 finish is its best since 1994, when it won the Conference crown... USC drained a school-record tying 12 three-point field goals Feb. 26 against UCLA, led by FR G Brynn Cameron's five treys... A season-high crowd of 5,222 was on hand for USC's regular season finale against rival UCLA in the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
WASHINGTON HUSKIES: The late-charging Huskies (13-15, 9-9) have won four of their last five games, including two against top tier Pac-10 teams Oregon (Feb. 12) and Arizona (Feb. 26) on the Wildcats' home court... Washington handed Arizona just its fourth home loss in the last three seasons, overcoming a 15-point deficit with 9:10 remaining in the contest... JR G Kayla Burt scored 17 of her career-high 23 points in the decisive second half, finishing with a career-best six three-point field goals... The No. 7 seed in the Pac-10 Tournament, Washington takes on 10th-seeded Oregon State... The Huskies swept the Beavers this season, including a 24-point win Feb. 10 in Seattle... UW and OSU have never met in Pac-10 Tournament play.
WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS: For the first time ever, the Cougars (6-21, 2-16) are not the No. 10 seed in the Pac-10 Tournament... Washington State finished ninth in the Conference and is the lone team never to have notched a Pac-10 Tournament win... The tournament's No. 9 seed has gone 2-1 against the No. 8 seed... SO F Kate Benz concluded the regular season averaging 9.1 rebounds per game, first in the Pac-10, and aims to become the first Cougar to capture the league's rebounding title... Benz has logged 15 double figure scoring games this season... JR C Keisha Moore has reached double figures in scoring in two of the last three games.. Washington State has held its opponents to fewer than 70 points in nine of the last 11 games and 19 this season... The Cougars rank sixth in the league in scoring defense (66.6 ppg).
NCAA COMMITTEE CONTACT: Washington Associate Athletic Director Marie Tuite is currently in her fourth year as a member of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee. The 10-member committee selects and seeds the 64-team field NCAA Tournament. Media members wishing to speak with Tuite should contact Erin Rowley in the University of Washington Media Relations Office at 206-543-2230.
SELECTION SUNDAY:The 64-team bracket for the 2005 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship will be announced Sunday, March 13 on ESPN. All 63 games of the 2005 championship will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN2. ESPN will offer whiparound-styled coverage of the first- and second-round games to most of the nation with regionalized/protected coverage in the home markets of the competing teams. All first- and second-round games were available in their entirety on ESPN's FullCourt pay-per-view package. Beginning with the regional semifinals, the remaining 15 games will be televised nationally on ESPN and ESPN2.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP ACTION ON PAC-10 CAMPUSES: For the second straight year, two Pac-10 institutions have been selected to host NCAA March Madness. The University of Washington and Bank of America Arena will host the 2005 NCAA First and Second Rounds, while Arizona State University and Wells Fargo Arena will host the 2005 NCAA West Regional. Last season, ASU hosted First and Second Rounds, while UW was the site of the West Regional. The 2005 First and Second rounds will be conducted at eight predetermined sites. Washington will host on Sat., Mar. 19, and Mon., Mar. 21. Arizona State will play host to games on Sat., Mar. 26 and Mon., Mar. 28. Tickets for First and Second Rounds are available by calling the Husky Ticket Office at 206-543-2200 or by logging onto www.gohuskies.com. Tickets for the Tempe, Ariz., Regional are on sale now at the ASU Ticket Office, by calling 480-965-2381 or by logging on to www.TheSunDevils.com.