This Week in Pac-10 Women's Basketball

Dec. 5, 2005

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THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
December
5 (Mo)

(23) UCLA at (20/19) Oklahoma, 7 p.m.

6 (Tu)
(21/21) New Mexico at (15/13) ARIZONA STATE, 6:30 p.m.
(25) USC at Loyola Marymount, 7 p.m.

8 (Th)
CALIFORNIA at San Jose State, 7 p.m.
Pepperdine at (23) UCLA, 7 p.m.

9 (Fr)
Cal State Northridge at (25) USC, 7 p.m. (Sports Arena)
Michigan at WASHINGTON, 7 p.m.

10 (Sa)
South Carolina State at CALIFORNIA, 2 p.m.
Prairie View A&M at OREGON (1), 2:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON ST. at (10/10) Minnesota, 7 p.m.

11 (Su)
ARIZONA at (9/9) Maryland, 1 p.m.
(4/4) Ohio State at (25) USC, 2:30 p.m. (Sports Arena) (FSN)

Tournaments/Neutral Sites
(1) Papé Jam; Portland, Ore.
All times are local to site.

THIS WEEK IN THE POLLS
AP; USA Today/ESPN/WBCA (as of Nov. 28)
ARIZONA - RV/--
ARIZONA STATE - 15/13
OREGON - RV/RV
STANFORD - 12/11
UCLA - 23/RV
USC - RV/25
WASHINGTON - RV/RV

CONFERENCE SEASON NOTES

BAWSI CELEBRATES 110th ANNIVERSARY: The Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative, founded by former General Manger of the San Jose CyberRays, Marlene Bjornsrud and international soccer star, Brandi Chastain, is honoring the first-ever intercollegiate women's basketball game that took place on San Francisco's Page Street Armory on April 8, 1896 between Stanford and California. The game, in which the Cardinal pulled off a 2-1 victory, was played in front of a women-only crowd of 700. BAWSI, Stanford and Cal will celebrate this milestone of women's sports on Sat., Jan. 14, 2006, with a lunch reception, featuring Cal athletics director Sandy Barbour as the speaker. The two Bay Area rivals will take to the floor at Maples Pavilion, with a much-higher expected final score, immediately following the luncheon. More information can be found at www.bawsi.org, or by calling (650) 725-2876.

KATRINA ASSIST: Stanford assistant head coach, Charmin Smith, has launched the Katrina Assist Pledge Program to assist the disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast earlier this fall. Both Stanford and California have teamed up on the project where fans can pledge money for each assist recorded during the season. Funds raised through this program will be donated to Peninsula Habitat, the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity International. For more information and a pledge brochure, please visit www.gostanford.com or www.calbears.com.

KATRINA RELIEF: Over 1.5 million has been raised by Pac-10 member institutions for the relief efforts of Hurricane Katrina, including specific contributions from the women's basketball programs. Along with the Katrina Assist Pledge Program created by Stanford, and joined by Cal, Washington State has adopted the Petry family: Randy and Danel, daughter Jennifer (23) and son Jeremy (20) of Slidell, La., a town roughly 30 miles northeast of New Orleans. The Cougars have also participated in clothing and food drives in the local Pullman community.

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.

PAC-10 MEDIA SERVICES: All Pac-10 press releases can be found online by accessing www.pac-10.org. Statistical information and standings are also available on the site, as well as Pac-10 Player of the Week and 2006 Pac-10 Tournament information.

WEEKLY E-MAIL LIST: If you would like to receive the weekly Pac-10 women's basketball release via e-mail, provide Bri Niemi [bniemi@pac-10.org] of the Pac-10 office with your e-mail address.

ONLINE COLUMNS: Visit www.pac-10.org for weekly columns on Pac-10 women's basketball by long-time women's basketball writer Dick Rockne of the Seattle-Post Intelligencer and Fox Sports Net color analyst Mary Murphy. The weekly online column is posted every Wednesday afternoon, beginning Dec. 21, 2005, and resuming Jan. 4 through Mar. 1, 2006.

MARCH MADNESS, PAC-10 STYLE: For the third straight year, at least one Pac-10 institution has been selected to host NCAA March Madness. The University of Arizona and McKale Center (14,545) will host the 2006 NCAA First and Second Rounds. Last season, Washington hosted NCAA First and Second Rounds, while Arizona State University was the site of the NCAA West Regional. The 2006 First and Second Rounds will be conducted at eight predetermined sites. Arizona will host games on Sat., March 18 and Mon., March 20. Tickets for First and Second Rounds are available by calling the UA Ticket Office at (520) 621-2287 or by logging onto www. arizonaathletics.com.

2006 STATE FARM PAC-10 TOURNAMENT
Mar. 3-6, 2006 • HP Pavilion at San Jose

The fifth annual State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament returns to the San Francisco Bay Area, March 3-6, 2006, at HP Pavilion at San Jose.

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. The cost of all-session ticket booklets is $85 each, plus handling.

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.

Fri., Mar. 3
Game 1: No. 7 Seed vs. No. 10 Seed, 6 p.m.
Game 2: No. 8 Seed vs. No. 9 Seed, 8:15 p.m.

Sat., Mar. 4
Game 3: No. 3 Seed vs. No. 6 Seed, 11 a.m.
Game 4: No. 2 Seed vs. Winner 7/10, 1:15 p.m.
Game 5: No. 1 Seed vs. Winner 8/9, 5 p.m.
Game 6: No. 4 Seed vs. No. 5 Seed, 7:15 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 5
Game 7: Game 3 win vs. Game 4 win, 3 p.m. (FSN)
Game 8: Game 5 win vs. Game 6 win, 5:30 p.m. (FSN)

Mon., Mar. 6
Game 9: Championship Game, 7:30 p.m. (FSN)

CONFERENCE WEEKLY NOTES

WINNING WAYS FOR WSU
Just seven games into the 2005-06 season, the WASHINGTON STATE women's basketball program has equaled its win total for both the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons ... The Cougars, 6-1 on the season, suffered their lone loss of the season in a five-point, 68-63 defeat to Hawai'i on Fri., Nov. 25 ... WSU is off to its best start since beginning the 1994-95 season with a 7-1 mark ... Staples for the success of Sherri Murrell's squad: defense and rebounding ... The Cougars pace the league in rebounding offense (48.4 rpg), rebounding margin (+10.0) and defensive rebounds (30.57 drpg), while they are second in the Conference in field goal percentage defense (.336).

TOURNEY TITLES
Three Pac-10 teams hosted their own tournaments over the weekend and a trio of titles were collected ... ARIZONA, with a pair of wins over Lehigh and Chicago State picked up the Mission Management & Trust Fiesta Bowl Classic championship ... ARIZONA STATE, outscoring its opponents by 60 points, claimed the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic and CALIFORNIA, led by MVP FR F/C Devanei Hampton, earned its own 2005 Contra Costa Times Classic at Haas Pavilion ... With tournament play over, OREGON will play Prairie View A&M in the Papé Jam on Sat., Dec. 10 at 2:30 p.m. to conclude all regular season tournaments and jamborees.

PHRESHMAN PHENOMS
While Pac-10 upperclassmen are paving the way for their respective squads, Conference freshmen are making big waves, playing well beyond their years ... Coming as no surprise, California has one of the top freshmen classes in the nation ... Four freshmen make up the Golden Bear starting lineup as 6-0 F Ashley Walker leads the team with 13.4 ppg ... Right behind her is trio, Hampton (12.4 ppg), G Jené Morris (10.1 ppg) and G Alexis Gray-Lawson (9.5 ppg) ... STANFORD youngster F Jillian Harmon is playing an important role, coming off the bench the past two games to average 7.5 points, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals ... Washington State standout guards Katie Appleton and Amanda DuRocher combined for 39 points in the Sun., Dec. 4 overtime victory for Washington State ... Appleton ranks seventh in the league in steals, averaging 2.43 per game, while also proving her worth from behind the arc, having nailed 17 3-point field goals this season, good enough to rank third in the Pac-10.

BLUE, WILLIS and KOVESDY HONORED
A trio of Pac-10 players, including UCLA G Nikki Blue and G Lisa Willis, as well as Arizona State F Kristen Kovesdy, have been named 2005-06 Bayer Advantage Senior Class Award nominees ... The award, now in its fifth season, recognizes the nation's senior player of the year for NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball ... UCLA was one of six schools on the women's side to have two nominees.

TO BE THE BEST ...
You must play the best, and the Pac-10 is no stranger to Top-25 competition ... Having already faced the nation's toughest teams 14 times - Stanford leading the way with three of those opponents - the Conference will take on top-ranked foes again this week ... Arizona hits the road to take on ninth-ranked Maryland for a Sun., Dec. 11 matchup ... ASU will host No. 21 New Mexico on Tues., Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. ... The last meeting between the two teams saw the Lobos claim a 61-45 on Dec. 18, 2004 ... UCLA has a Mon., Dec. 5 matchup with 20/19 Oklahoma, pitting speed against the Sooners' inside presence ... USC faces No. 4/4 Ohio State, undefeated this season at 5-0, at the Sports Arena on Sun., Dec. 11, while Washington State will be tested with a Sat., Dec. 10 game at Minnesota, which is currently No. 10 in both polls.

TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES

ARIZONA (4-2, 0-0)
Arizona picked up two wins over the weekend to claim its own Mission Management & Trust Fiesta Bowl Classic ... The Wildcats were 78-58 winners over Lehigh on Sat., Dec. 3, while notching a 61-51 win over Chicago State in Sunday's championship game ... SR G Natalie Jones and JR G Joy Hollingsworth were named to the All-Tournament team, while SO G Ashley Whisonant was honored with the Most Valuable Player award ... Whisonant averaged 17.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals in guiding UA to the title over the weekend ... Jones' numbers on the weekend, included 17.5 ppg, 8.5 rpb and 4.0 spg, while Hollingsworth put up averages of 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds ... Arizona has now claimed the tourney title 11 times in the 15-year history ... FR F Amina Njonkou, a 6-1 product of Foumban, Cameroon, Africa fractured her right foot prior to regular season play and is expected to be out up to another four weeks ... Her return should give the `Cats much needed depth in the post, as four guards currently make up the starting lineup ... Next up, UA will travel to ninth-ranked Maryland for a Sun., Dec. 11, 1 p.m. ET matchup.

ARIZONA STATE (6-1, 0-0)
Arizona State, winners of three in a row, claimed its own Wells Fargo Holiday Classic with a 103-57 blowout against Memphis in the opening round on Fri., Dec. 2, followed by a 78-64 win over Western Kentucky on Sat., Dec. 3 ... SR F Amy Denson was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, averaging 15.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 0.5 steals over the weekend ... SR F Kristen Kovesdy was also named to the All-Tournament Team, after notching her first double-double on the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds in Saturday's game ... The Sun Devils are solid in getting to the line, having went 65 times in the past two games, dropping 50 of those shots ... ASU paces the Conference in free throw percentage at a .745 clip ... Despite not having one player in the Top-10 in the league in individual assists, Arizona State is making it a team effort to share the ball, leading the league with 139, good enough for a 19.86 average ... The Sun Devils will face off with No. 21 New Mexico on Tues., Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.

CALIFORNIA (6-2, 0-0)
California, using back-to-back double-digit efforts from SO F Krista Foster and FR F/C Devanei Hampton, picked up a 71-36 thumping of Columbia on Sat., Dec. 3 and a 58-50 win over UNLV in Sunday's championship game to claim the 2005 Contra Costa Times Classic at Haas Pavilion over the weekend ... The Bears have won the Classic three consecutive years and are currently riding a 17-game non-conference home winning streak ... Hampton was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament after posting career highs of 23 points and 10 rebounds (equaled her career high) in the game against the Runnin' Rebels ... She also collected four steals, three assists and one block ... FR G Jené Morris leads the Pac-10 in steals, having nabbed 25 thus far, good enough for a 3.57 average ... Morris is one of four freshmen to start for Cal, as SR F Reneé Wright rounds out the five ... Wright plays a strong leadership role for her young teammates, averaging 34.62 minutes per game, fourth-most in the Conference ... Cal will next play at San Jose State on Thurs., Dec. 8, before returning home for a Sat., Dec. 10 contest against South Carolina State at 2 p.m.

OREGON (5-1, 0-0)
Oregon sits at 5-1 on the season after picking up a 70-40 win over Drake on Mon., Nov. 28 at McArthur Court in Eugene ... The Ducks, who have received votes each week this season in the AP and WBCA/USA Today/ESPN polls, are aiming to break into the Top-25 with another solid performance this weekend ... UO will take on Prairie View A&M on Sat., Dec. 10 in the Papé Jam in Portland, following almost a two-week break ... The team will leave the state of Oregon for the first time, facing St. Mary's (Calif.) on Mon., Dec. 12 ... The Ducks have been stingy with their opponents this season, only giving up a league-best 44.3 points per game ... Arkansas was able to put up a season-high 59 points on Fri., Nov. 25, but much else has been hard to come by for opponents ... The team leads the Pac-10 in field goal percentage defense, with a .279 clip ... Only 91 of 326 attempted shots have gone in against the Ducks ... JR G Cicely Oaks ranks first in the Conference in free throw percentage, having knocked down 13-of-14 for a .929 percentage.

OREGON STATE (4-1, 0-0)
Oregon State played a close contest with 25/22 Utah on Thurs., Dec. 1, but could not hang on in the 62-53 loss ... The Beavers rebounded, however, to pick up a 63-56 road win over Utah Valley State on Sat., Dec. 3, improving to 4-1 on the season ... JR G Casey Nash shot a team-leading 67 percent (8-of-12) from the field against the Utah schools last week ... Nash reached double figures in scoring in back-to-back games, after missing the Sat., Nov. 26 contest against Drake with a dislocated thumb ... Her 12 rebounds at UVS were a career-best and combined with her 13 points, Nash recorded her fourth career double-double, the most of any current Beaver player ... Nash has 16 offensive rebounds through four games played, giving her a 4.00 average, which leads the league ... SR G Anita Rivera scored 24 points on the weekend, picking up eight boards and seven blocks ... She also paces the Pac-10 in minutes played, averaging 36.20 per game ... Oregon State is off for finals week and will return to action on Tues., Dec. 13 when it will host Portland State in a 7 p.m. tip-off.

STANFORD (4-2, 0-0)
Stanford put on an offensive clinic in its 109-58 win over Pacific on Thurs., Dec. 1, but dropped a 74-67 decision to 2/1 Tennessee at home on Sun., Dec. 4 ... The Cardinal are now 4-2 on the season ... JR F/C Kristen Newlin was superb against the Lady Vols, picking up her fourth double-double on the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds ... For the week, Newlin averaged 17.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.0 steals ... Her 20 points (8-of-10) sets a career high ... Despite having SO G Candice Wiggins in an unfamiliar role at the point much of the time, Stanford leads the league in assist-turnover ratio, with a 1.24 mark ... FR F Jillian Harmon has been instrumental off the bench the past two games, averaging 7.5 points, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals ... Led by the services of Newlin, the squad ranks first in blocked shots, averaging 5.67 per game ... Wiggins has also been in denial mode, picking up eight blocks through six games played, good enough for a 1.33 average to rank fifth in the Pac-10 ... The Cardinal has one more non-conference game before it heads into league play, as they will take on Rice on Sat., Dec. 17 in a 2 p.m. tip-off at Maples Pavilion.

UCLA (4-2, 0-0)
UCLA looks to have worked out the season-opening kinks to post a four-game winning streak, including a 92-54 drilling of UC Irvine on Wed., Nov. 30, followed up by a 76-63 win at Clemson on Sat., Dec. 3 ... JR G Noelle Quinn has returned with a vengeance from her 2004-05 mid-season injury, averaging 21.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals over the weekend ... She recorded her 16th career 20-point game, dropping a season-high 24 against UCI, while tying her career-high of three blocks in the same game ... UCLA is now 15-1 when Quinn scores 20 points or more ... With the triple-threat in the backcourt, made up of Quinn and senior guards Nikki Blue and Lisa Willis, it comes as no surprise that the Bruins are leading the Conference in scoring with an 81.8 average ... Led by Willis' 18-of-41 mark from downtown, UCLA also paces the Pac-10 in 3-point field goal percentage with a .395 clip (32-of-81) ... The Bruins set a Pac-10 season-high when they pulled down 65 boards against the Anteaters in Wednesday's game ... The team has an important game against 20/19 Oklahoma tonight as speed will contend with the Sooners' 'bigs' ... UCLA will return home for a Thurs., Dec. 8 contest with Pepperdine at Pauley Pavilion.

USC (3-2, 0-0)
USC needed everything JR F Shay Murphy had to give - and that was a lot - as the Women of Troy scored the 65-62 win over TCU on Sun., Dec. 4 at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles ... Murphy dropped 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field, including five from downtown, to pick up her first 20-point game of the season ... Her 22 points, five 3-point field goals made and nine 3-point field goals attempted were all career highs ... Murphy also picked up nine rebounds to set a season-high ... SR G Meghan Gnekow pitched in 12 points and six boards ... SO G Brynn Cameron hit the hardwood for the first time this season, coming off the bench to score five points in her season debut ... Cameron had been out with a hip injury suffered earlier this fall ... USC has proven that opponents had better take care of the ball when facing them, having nabbed 75 steals through five games played, good enough for a 15.00 average which puts them in first place in the Conference ... Should the team keep this up, they will break the previous record of 14.5 spg set by the 1991-92 Arizona State squad ... Next up, the Women of Troy will take on Loyola Marymount on Tues., Dec. 6 at 7 p.m., the team's fifth road game in just a six-game season thus far.

WASHINGTON (5-2, 0-0)
Washington went on the road as the third Pac-10 squad to face defending national champion Baylor this season, but could not come away with a win, despite the close competition, falling 81-74 on Fri., Dec. 2 ... The Huskies also dropped a 79-65 decision to Texas A&M just two days later, now owning a 5-2 overall record on the year ... JR G Cameo Hicks dropped in 15 points and seven rebounds against the Lady Bears, while SO G Dominique Banks and JR F Jill Bell each added 11 points ... Hicks ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in scoring, averaging just under 16 points per game with a 15.9 mark ... The Huskies are making good on second chances, leading the league in offensive boards with 132 through seven games played, an 18.86 average ... UW returns home for a Fri., Dec. 9 contest against Big Ten-foe, Michigan ... Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion has been good to the Huskies, as they own a 277-68 all-time record on their home court ... The team will look to improve its 3-0 home record thus far.

WASHINGTON STATE (6-1, 0-0)
Washington State has set out with something to prove this season and it's showing up where it needs to be - in the win column ... With a 68-55 defeat of Cal State Northridge on Fri., Dec. 2 and a 80-76 overtime thriller against Boise State on Sun., Dec. 4, the Cougars improve to 6-1 on the year ... WSU, off to its best start since beginning the 1994-95 season with a 7-1 mark, has equaled its win total from the both the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons ... The Cougars handed BSU its first loss of the season ... FR G Katie Appleton is playing beyond her years, having averaged 15.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals over the weekend ... Appleton poured in 20 points against Boise State, including nine in overtime ... Leading the team in scoring (11.4 ppg), she has notched five double-digit games this season ... WSU's 80 points were the most scored since Feb. 27, 2003 in a 82-53 win over Idaho, and coincidentally, its last overtime victory came on Dec. 22, 1996 against Boise State ... JR F Kate Benz continues to put the hurt on when it comes to rebounding ... The 6-2, Portland, Ore., product has 90 total through seven games played, ranking first in the league with a 12.9 average ... Benz ranks second in offensive boards with a 3.86 mark ... The team returns to action with a big road game against No. 10 Minnesota on Sat., Dec. 10, scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

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