This Week in Pac-10 Women's Basketball

Feb. 6, 2006

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THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Thurs., Feb. 9
*ARIZONA at OREGON
, 7 p.m.
Series: 21-18 (ORE) Last Meeting: 81-72 (ARIZ)
*ARIZONA STATE at OREGON STATE, 7 p.m.
Series: 20-19 (ASU) Last Meeting: 69-51 (ASU)
UC Santa Barbara at STANFORD, 7 p.m.
Series: 7-1 (STAN) Last Meeting: 87-64 (STAN)
*WASHINGTON at USC, 7 p.m. (Sports Arena)
Series: 25-17 (WASH) Last Meeting: 64-61 (USC)
*WASHINGTON STATE at UCLA, 7 p.m.
Series: 33-6 (UCLA) Last Meeting: 73-63 (UCLA)

Sat., Feb. 11
*ARIZONA at OREGON STATE, 7 p.m.
Series: 22-19 (ARIZ) Last Meeting: 64-48 (OSU)
*WASHINGTON STATE at USC, 2 p.m. (Sports Arena)
Series: 29-11 (USC) Last Meeting: 81-60 (USC)
*WASHINGTON at UCLA, 1 p.m. (FSN)
Series: 25-14 (WASH) Last Meeting: 96-75 (WASH)
*STANFORD at CALIFORNIA, 2 p.m.
Series: 38-4 (STAN) Last Meeting: 87-75 (STAN)

Sun., Feb. 12
*ARIZONA STATE at OREGON
, 12:30 p.m. (FSN)
Series: 25-16 (ORE) Last Meeting: 44-43 (ASU)

*Conference game
All times are local to site

THIS WEEK IN THE POLLS

AP (2/6); USA Today/ESPN/WBCA (1/31)
ARIZONA STATE - 16/18
STANFORD - 14/15
UCLA - RV/--
USC - --/RV
WASHINGTON - RV/RV

CONFERENCE WEEKLY NOTES (2/6)

NON-CONFERENCE NOTES
: Through 92 non-conference games played this season, the Pac-10 owns a 65-27 (.706) record, all of which have come against Division I opponents ... Only four times in league history has the Pac-10 finished with a .700 average or better, sending five squads into the NCAA Tournament twice in those years (1997 and 1992) ... Last year, the Conference finished with a 64-32 (.667) regular season non-conference record, while sending its top five teams into NCAA postseason action ... Two opportunities are left on the 2005-06 docket to better the Conference record, as STANFORD takes on UC Santa Barbara on Thurs., Feb. 9 and OREGON STATE hosts Texas-Pan American on Mon., Feb. 27 ... With two wins in those games, the Pac-10 would finish with a 67-27 (.713) non-conference mark, its best average since the 1991-92 season when all 10 teams combined for a 75-24 (.758) record and the Cardinal went on to claim the NCAA title.

PAC-10 PARITY: From top to bottom, the Pac-10 continues to show its strength as teams beat up on one another in regular season action ... The latest RPI rankings from both the Collegiate Basketball News and the NCAA have six Pac-10 squads ranked in the Top-65 in the nation: ARIZONA STATE (11th, 17th), CALIFORNIA (63rd, 52nd), Stanford (15th, 18th), UCLA (41st, 44th), USC (51st, 48th) and WASHINGTON (49th, 43rd) ... The three conferences ranked higher than the Pac-10 in both the CBN and Sagarin polls (ACC, SEC and Big 12) have a combined seven teams with two losses or less in league play, and each with one school undefeated in conference in North Carolina, LSU and Oklahoma ... The Pac-10's leading team, Stanford, having played through an entire first-round and two weeks of second-round action has suffered two league losses facing some of the toughest teams in the nation week-in and week-out.

WHO'S GOT THE HOT HANDS: This week's look at who's hot: UCLA JR G Noelle Quinn scored 56 points on the weekend, averaging a cool 28 ppg, while recording a season-high 30 against Arizona State on Thurs., Feb. 2 ... Quinn, who moved into 19th place on UCLA's all-time scoring list with 1,102 career points, has scored 20 or more points in six straight games and in seven of her last eight ... USC SR G Meghan Gnekow, known more for her grit and toughness, scored 31 points in a road series with the Arizona schools, connecting on 12-of-23 shots for a 52.2 average from the floor, including 5-of-13 (38.5) from long range ... SO G Candice Wiggins guided the Cardinal to their 43rd and 44th respective Conference home wins, averaging 19.5 points in the process, while shooting an even 50 percent from beyond the arc (4-for-8).

MOVING INTO POSITION: As the race to crown the 2005-06 Pac-10 champion heats up, a big weekend awaits all schools ... A Conference shake-up could take place as third-ranked Washington will head south to face USC and UCLA, who are both tied for fourth place with identical 8-5 league records ... The Huskies are 3-2 on the road this Pac-10 season ... A hungry OREGON team awaits the Arizona schools, as the Sun Devils got the best of the Ducks, 44-43, on Thurs., Jan. 12 in Tempe ... Fox Sports Net will carry the Sat., Feb. 11 Washington at UCLA contest, tip-off time at 1 p.m., as well as the Sun., Feb. 12 Arizona State at Oregon match-up at Mac Court, tip at 12:30 p.m ... FSN's Jim Watson and Mary Murphy will call the action.

TOURNAMENT TIME: The 2006 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament will take place March 3-6 at the HP Pavilion at San Jose, the winner receiving the Pac-10's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament ... Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling (408) 998-8497 or through the Pac-10 website at www.pac-10.org.

TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES (2/6)

ARIZONA (7-16, 3-10)
: Arizona had one of its best outings all season against USC on Thurs., Feb. 2, but could not hang on for the win, as the Women of Troy handed UA a 73-72 loss in Tucson ... The Wildcats were also defeated by UCLA on Sat., Feb. 4 by a score of 90-64 ... The team aims to end its four-game losing skid with a road trip to the Oregon schools this week, taking on Oregon on Thurs., Feb. 9 and Oregon State on Sat., Feb. 11 ... SR G Natalie Jones was on fire last week, dropping consecutive 22-point games on 7-of-13 shooting against USC and 8-of-10 shooting against UCLA ... Jones also grabbed 12 rebounds in Thursday's game to secure her third double-double of the season ... FR G Kelsey Burns logged some solid minutes this past week as UA suffered yet another injury as SO G Jessica Arnold went out with a concussion in practice early in the week ... Burns notched 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting against the Bruins, including a 3-for-6 mark from downtown ... The team picked up 16 steals on the weekend, good enough for a 9.13 season average to rank fifth in the Conference.

ARIZONA STATE (18-5, 9-4): Arizona State picked up two big wins over the weekend, including a 17-point rout of UCLA, 87-70, on Thurs., Feb. 2, as well as a 79-72 win over USC on Sat., Feb. 4 to improve to 18-5 overall, 9-4 in league play ... The Sun Devils own sole possession of second place heading North to face Oregon State on Thurs., Feb. 9, as well as Oregon on Sun., Feb. 12 ... JR F Emily Westerberg tied her career-high with 26 points against the Women of Troy on Saturday ... Westerberg was 9-of-14 (64.7) from the field, as well as 3-for-4 from beyond the arc ... Her nine field goals made also tied her single-game career best ... Against the Bruins, ASU had five players in double-digits, as SR F Kristen Kovesdy led the way with 18 points on 9-of-15 shooting ... Kovesdy paces the Conference in field goal percentage, shooting at a deadly .599 clip (118-of-197) ... SO G Reagan Pariseau averaged 7.5 points and 27 minutes last weekend for the deep Sun Devil team ... ASU, leading the Conference in rebounding margin with a +6.0 mark, was outrebounded by USC, 51-41, but held on for the victory ... Arizona State came into the week ranked 25th nationally in the same category.

CALIFORNIA (15-8, 7-6): California suffered just its second loss at home this past week, losing to Oregon State, 63-55, on Thurs., Feb. 2, but rebounded with a 49-39 win over Oregon on Sat., Feb. 4 ... With the win over the Ducks, Cal is guaranteed its first winning record in the regular season since the 1992-93 season ... The Bears are 15-8, 7-6 headed into the last crucial stretch of Pac-10 play ... The team will face Bay Area rival, Stanford, on Sat., Feb. 11 at Haas Pavilion ... The last time the two teams met, freshman guards Alexis Gray-Lawson and Jené Morris combined for 47 points as the team gave then-14th-ranked Stanford a serious run for its money ... FR F/C Ashley Walker was instrumental in last weekend's games, posting 11 points and 10 rebounds in the win over UO ... Walker has been absolutely phenomenal in her role on this young Bear team, ranking in the Top-5 in the Conference in blocked shots (1.74, 1st), rebounding (8.1, 2nd), field goal percentage (49.8, 5th), offensive rebounds (2.70, 4th) and defensive rebounds (5.43, 3rd) ... FR C Devanei Hampton recorded back-to-back double-doubles against the Oregon's, putting up numbers of 11 points and 12 rebounds on Thursday, as well as 15 points and 11 rebounds on Saturday off the bench.

OREGON (13-9, 4-8): Oregon struggled offensively this past weekend and was unable to capitalize on its strong defense, losing to Stanford on Thurs., Feb. 2, 79-58, as well as getting defeated, 49-39, by California on Sat., Feb. 4 ... The Ducks are 13-9, 4-8 in the Pac-10 ... SR G Brandi Davis was 5-for-12 from long range for 15 points against the Cardinal, while SR G Chelsea Wagner was 4-for-10 from the floor for 11 points against the Bears ... As a team, the Ducks shot just 35.7 percent against Stanford, 24.5 percent against Cal ... UO's bench accounted for 39 of its 58 points on Thursday, as well as 26 of its 39 points on Saturday ... The team is pacing the Conference in free throw percentage, shooting 75.5 percent from the line, while also leading the Pac-10 in both field goal percentage defense (34.5) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (28.6) ... The Ducks are in need of some offensive production and will look to end their drought this weekend as the Arizona's pay a visit to Mac Court ... Arizona will take on UO on Thurs., Feb. 9, while Arizona State will hit the floor on Sun., Feb. 12, a 12:30 tip-off televised on FSN.

OREGON STATE (10-10, 4-8): SR F Kim Butler was on fire, hitting 10-of-20 shots for her second 30-point game of the season as Oregon State defeated California, 63-55, on Thurs., Feb. 2 for just the second time all season on its home court at Haas Pavilion ... The Beavers could not sustain that momentum as they were defeated, 87-54, just two days later against Stanford ... OSU is now 10-10 overall, 4-8 in Pac-10 play for a tie for seventh place in the Conference ... Butler was 10-of-14 from the foul line, en route to her 30 points, while also collecting seven rebounds and three assists in all 40 minutes played ... She scored 18 on 6-of-14 shooting against the Cardinal, to average 24 ppg on the weekend ... SR G Anita Rivera also scored in double-figures against the Cardinal, notching 12 points, nine of which came from downtown ... The Beavers, who have won three of their last five games, return home to Gill Coliseum to face Arizona State on Thurs., Feb. 9, as well as Arizona on Sat., Feb. 11 ... The Beavers are holding their opponents to just 61.2 points per game, good enough to rank fourth in the Conference, while their field goal percentage defense (40.1) ranks them fifth overall.

STANFORD (16-5, 11-2): Stanford, with two wins at home on the weekend, earned the season sweep of both Oregon and Oregon State, while extending its home win streak against Conference opponents to 44 games ... The Cardinal picked up a 79-58 win over the Ducks on Thurs., Feb. 2, as well as an 87-54 defeat of the Beavers on Sat., Feb. 4 ... SO G Candice Wiggins only played in an average of 25.5 minutes this past weekend, but it was enough to average 19.5 points and 5.5 rebounds ... Against OSU, Wiggins hit three straight 3-pointers during the first half to help the Cardinal take a 12-point halftime lead and eventual 33-point win ... Wiggins has also made 19-straight free throws, as she was a perfect 15-for-15 against both UO and OSU ... JR C Brooke Smith scored 19 points against the Ducks, averaging 15 points on the weekend ... Stanford had solid production from its bench, as six of seven players scored against the Beavers ... JR G Clare Bodensteiner was 3-for-4 from the floor for seven points in 15 minutes played, while SO G Cissy Pierce went 2-for-3 for six points, one assist and one steal in 13 minutes played ... Next up, Stanford will play UC Santa Barbara on Thurs., Feb. 9, as well as Bay Area rival, California, at Haas Pavilion on Sat., Feb. 11 ... The previous meeting between the two rivals resulted in an 87-75 Cardinal win.

UCLA (13-9, 8-5): UCLA appears to be hitting somewhat of a stride, splitting its last series in Arizona, and having won three of its last five games ... The Bruins notched a 90-64 win over Arizona on Sat., Feb. 4, after losing to the 18th-ranked Sun Devils on Thurs., Feb. 2, 87-70 ... UCLA is tied for fourth place in the Conference with cross-town rival, USC, as both teams own identical 8-5 league records ... JR G Noelle Quinn is absolutely scorching hot from the offensive end of the court as of late ... She recorded her fifth and sixth consecutive 20-point games last weekend, scoring 30 against ASU and 26 against UA to average 28 ppg ... She is averaging 25 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 57.4 percent from the field in her last six games ... Senior guards Nikki Blue and Lisa Willis are approaching milestone scoring totals ... Blue needs 10 more points to become the seventh UCLA woman to score 1,700 points, while Willis is six points away from scoring her 1,500 career point ... SO F Lindsey Pluimer has scored in double figures in six of the last seven games and is averaging 13 points and 6.7 rebounds in that stretch ... Next up, the Bruins will host Washington State on Thurs., Feb. 9, as well as Washington on Sat., Feb. 11 in a 1 p.m. tip-off on FSN.

USC (14-8, 8-5): USC split its road trip with the Arizona schools, edging Arizona, 73-72, on Thurs., Feb. 2, before falling to No. 18 Arizona State, 79-72, on Sat., Feb. 4 to see its overall record to 13-9, 8-5 in Conference play ... The Women of Troy were solid in both games, despite sluggish starts that had them trailing early to both teams ... SR G Meghan Gnekow led USC in assists, scoring and rebounding with her second double-double of the season at Arizona, notching 17 points and 10 rebounds ... Gnekow picked up 14 points in the loss to the Sun Devils, shooting 5-for-11 from the floor, collecting two steals and one block ... Gnekow is averaging 1.73 steals per game, good enough to rank ninth in the Conference ... JR G Shay Murphy was hot from downtown, hitting 5-of-13 from long range, bringing her season total to 50 3-pointers made, ranking her third in the Pac-10 ... Murphy's ability to hit from beyond the arc, softens the blow of SO G Brynn Cameron out with a hip injury for an indefinite amount of time ... The Trojans will remain home for a series against the Washington schools, as the Huskies come calling on Thurs., Feb. 9 and Washington State takes to the Sports Arena floor on Sat., Feb. 11.

WASHINGTON (15-6, 8-4): Washington was sure to pick up at least one win for the state on Super Bowl Sunday, as the Huskies defeated the Cougars, 83-57, to claim the series sweep over WSU for the 11th consecutive season ... JR G Cameo Hicks scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds, while notching six assists and one steal for UW ... Her six assists ties her career-high, while her 11 points marks her fifth-straight double-figure scoring game and 17th overall on the season ... Four other players scored in double figures for the Huskies, including SO F Andrea Plouffe (16), SO G Dominique Banks (11), JR F Jill Bell (10) and JR G Cheri Craddock (12) ... Washington forced WSU into 24 turnovers, including 13 in the opening 10 minutes of play, while shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor (47.7, 31-for-64) to secure the win ... UW faces a tough and important road test this weekend as it takes on USC on Thurs., Feb. 9 and UCLA on Sat., Feb. 11 ... The game with the Bruins will be televised on FSN ... UW split the first series with the LA's, claiming a 96-75 advantage over the Bruins, before succumbing 64-61 to USC two days later.

WASHINGTON STATE (7-14, 1-11): Despite 20 points on 5-of-14 shooting from the field from FR G Amanda DuRocher, Washington State could not come away with a win, losing the game and season series to Washington, 83-57, on Super Bowl Sunday ... The Cougars are 1-11 in league play, 7-14 overall ... DuRocher connected on four of her nine shots from beyond the arc, while going 6-for-9 from the charity stripe to tie her season-high point total ... FR G Katie Appleton also recorded nine points, five assists and two steals in Sunday's game ... JR F Kate Benz added eight points and seven rebounds in the game ... Benz continues to pace the Conference in rebounding, averaging over nine a game (9.2), while leading the Pac-10 in defensive rebounds (6.62) ... With SR G Charmaine Jones out with a concussion, SR G Crystal Blue has stepped up, playing some important minutes ... Blue has earned the past three starts, averaging 20 minutes per game ... Washington State will hit the road this week to take on two eager LA schools, as the Cougars face UCLA on Thurs., Feb. 9 and USC on Sat., Feb. 11.

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