This Week in Pac-10 Women's Basketball
Dec. 11, 2006
1. Arizona State, 8-1, .889
California, 8-1, .889
3. Oregon, 5-1, .833
4. Oregon State, 4-1, .800
5. Stanford, 4-3, .571
6. Washington, 5-4, .556
7. UCLA, 6-5, .545
8. Arizona, 5-5, .500
9. USC, 4-4, .500
10. Washington State, 3-6, .333
**Through all games of Sun., Dec. 10**
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Tues., Dec. 12
Long Beach State at ARIZONA, 7 p.m. MT
Thurs., Dec. 14
ARIZONA STATE at UC Irvine, 7 p.m. PT
OREGON at Drake, 7:05 p.m. CT
USC vs. Prairie View A&M (1), 4 p.m. PT
Fri., Dec. 15
OREGON STATE at Creighton , 8:05 p.m. CT
Gonzaga at WASHINGTON, 7 p.m. PT
Sat., Dec. 16
OREGON at Missouri State, 1:05 p.m. CT
Utah at STANFORD, 2 p.m. PT
USC vs. Houston (1), 2 p.m. PT
Sun., Dec. 17
OREGON STATE at Drake, 1:05 p.m. CT
Baylor at UCLA (FSN) , 12:30 p.m. PT
Florida State at WASHINGTON , 1 p.m. PT
Northwestern State at WASHINGTON STATE, 2 p.m. PT
Key(1) Women of Troy Basketball Classic, Los Angeles, Calif.
UPCOMING TV GAMES
Sun., Dec. 17
Baylor at UCLA (FSN), 12:30 p.m. PT
Sat., Dec. 23
WASHINGTON at OREGON STATE (FSNNW), 4 p.m. PT
Sat., Dec. 30
ARIZONA STATE at STANFORD (FSN), 5 p.m. PT
All times are local to site.
CONFERENCE WEEKLY NOTES
PAC-10 PLAY ON THE HORIZON
One week of non-conference play remains before Pac-10 teams take to the floor to battle it out against each other for Conference bragging rights ... A handful of teams will play games this week before next week's Wed., Dec. 20 opener in which the Bay Area schools travel to Los Angeles to take on UCLA and USC ... CALIFORNIA, with an 8-1 record, is the only team on hiatus until league play starts ... A couple of big matchups highlight the docket this week as Baylor heads to UCLA for a Sun., Dec. 17 game, televised on FSN ... WASHINGTON will also face ACC-foe Florida State the same day ... Next Mon., Dec. 18, ARIZONA STATE will face Texas Tech at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. ... The Sun Devils and Lady Raiders will face off in the Hoops for Health Classic, the second outdoor college basketball game played at Chase Field, home of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks.
All the hours of off-season work are beginning to pay off as Pac-10 teams see improvement in the stat sheets ... At this time last season, California was sixth in the Conference in field goal percentage with a .431 mark ... Through nine games thus far in 2006, the Golden Bears lead the league with a .495 clip, due in part to the solid shooting of SO F/C Ashley Walker who leads the Pac-10 in the same category with a .640 field goal percentage ... From the free throw line, USC has missed just 29 attempts all season (100-of-129) for a .775 percentage, up from last year's ninth-place ranking when the team had hit just 83-of-137 (.606) shots from the charity stripe ... Leading the way for the Women of Troy in this category is SR G Shay Murphy who has hit 29-of-31 (.935) attempts from the free throw line ... Defensively, there appears to be very minimal changes as the top four teams in scoring defense remain the same from a year ago.
Eight games on the schedule will be played at home this week and that should bode well for Pac-10 teams who have amassed a 34-8 (.810) record through all games on their home floor this season ... California, Oregon State and Washington are all 4-0 at home in 2006-07.
ON A HOT STREAK
Offensive production hasn't been hard to come by for these folks: UCLA JR F Lindsey Pluimer, who came into the season with a 10.4 career scoring average, has stepped her game up for a 16.8 points per game average in 2006-07 which currently ranks sixth in the league ... More importantly, Pluimer has been consistent for a Bruin team which lost a major portion of its scoring offense in departed seniors Nikki Blue and Lisa Willis, by amassing nine double-digit scoring efforts ... Impressive in the paint, of course, has been Cal's Walker who hasn't scored less than 14 points in one game all season ... In that 5-for-10, 14-point game, she played in just 26 minutes, picking up seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal along the way ... Another dependable Pac-10 performer has been SR F Emily Westerberg as she has helped guide the Sun Devils to an 8-1 record ... In her last three games, Westerberg has averaged 18.3 points and 6.0 rebounds, hitting 55.6 percent of her field goal attempts (19-34) and 89.5 percent of her free throw attempts (17-19) during that span ... Westerberg ranks seventh in the league with a 16.1 scoring average.
Arizona played two tough games last week, dropping a 76-63 decision to 23/NR New Mexico on Tuesday, followed by a 66-60 loss to Utah on Saturday in Salt Lake City ... The Wildcats even their record at 5-5 on the year with two non-conference games remaining before they go head-to-head against Pac-10 competition ... JR G Jessica Arnold led all scorers with 20 points, shooting 8-for-15 from the floor against Utah, while JR C Suzy Bofia picked up 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting against New Mexico ... Even as SR G Joy Hollingsworth and JR G Ashley Whisonant have played large roles in UA's success thus far, much more production is being seen from the post this season ... JR F/C Shannon Hobson and SO F Amina Njonkou have played substantial minutes and are improving under head coach Joan Bonvicini ... Hobson started both games last week at the center position, picking up 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting against New Mexico ... Next up, Arizona takes on Long Beach State on Tues., Dec. 12 and Fresno State on Mon., Dec. 18.
ARIZONA STATE (8-1)
Arizona State picked up an 81-66 win over Gonzaga on Wednesday to improve to 8-1 on the season, which ties the team for first place in the Pac-10 with California ... SR F Emily Westerberg scored 14 of her 20 points in the second half against the Bulldogs, becoming the 17th Sun Devil to score more than 1,000 career points ... Westerberg, who has now led the Sun Devils in scoring four times this season, picked up 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in only 21 minutes of action ... SO C Kirsten Thompson came off the bench to score 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting, while grabbing five rebounds ... Arizona State leads the Conference in scoring offense, averaging 80.3 points per game ... The Sun Devils also pace the league in scoring margin (+19.0), 3-point field goal percentages (.412), assists (21.56), turnover margin (+5.67), assist/turover ratio (1.23) and are tied for first in steals (10.78) ... Arizona State will play at UC Irvine on Thurs., Dec. 14 followed by a Mon., Dec. 18 contest against Texas Tech, to be played at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. ... It will be the second such outdoor college basketball game, as ASU first played Tennessee on Dec. 27, 2000 at the ballpark, producing a Pac-10 record for the highest attendance at a women's basketball game (16,282).
Looking solid at 8-1 on the season is California, which picked up two more wins last week, including a 77-62 defeat of Fresno State on Thursday and a 73-65 road win over Kansas on Sunday ... Even more solid, however, has been the play of SO F/C Ashley Walker who posted consecutive double-doubles over the week, helping guide Cal to its best start since the 1992-93 team opened with a 9-1 record ... Walker leads Cal in scoring (20.3 ppg), rebounding (8.4 rpg) and blocked shots (1.9 bpg) ... SO G Alexis Gray-Lawson left Sunday's game after she hyper-extended her right knee ... She played just 14 minutes, tallying eight points, one assist and one steal ... The Bears will resume play next Wed., Dec. 20 when they take on UCLA to open Conference play ... The 10-day break is much-needed for a team that is short on depth and relying on time off to rest injuries ... Both Gray-Lawson and FR G Lauren Greif are averaging over 30 minutes per game, as Greif's 34.22 mpg ranks seventh in the Pac-10 ... A strong fundamental player, Greif is seeing more and more playing time in head coach Joanne Boyle's system ... Consistent with her shot, Greif ranks third in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (.486) and fourth in 3-point field goals made (1.89).
Oregon grabbed its sixth win and fourth-straight on the year in a 70-60 win over Colorado in the Papé Jam in Portland on Saturday ... SR F Eleanor Haring led all players with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting, while picking up eight rebounds, three assists and one block ... Haring's efforts earned her MVP honors as she collected her fifth straight game with 10 or more points ... JR G Kaela Chapdelaine added 16 points, four assists and five steals for the Ducks ... UO sits in sole possession of third place in the Conference, having earned votes in the Associated Press poll for the second consecutive week ... At 6-1 on the year, Oregon has a two-game road trip this week to conclude the bulk of its non-conference season ... The Ducks will take on Drake on Thurs., Dec. 14 and Missouri State on Sat., Dec. 16 ... Oregon is giving up just 52.7 points per game to rank second in the Pac-10 ... The team has also allowed only 27 field goals from 3-point land, good enough to pace the league with a .265 clip (27-of-102) ... The Ducks have been as expected defensively, ranking in the upper echelon of virtually every defensive category in the Pac-10, including field goal percentage defense where they are only allowing opponents to hit 33.7 percent of the time (134-of-398).
OREGON STATE (4-1)
Oregon State returns to the court this week for a Fri., Dec. 15 contest with Creighton and a Sun., Dec. 17 game against Drake ... The Beavers haven't played since an 82-39 dismantling of Birmingham Southern on Sun., Dec. 3 ... Oregon State leads the league with a 52.6 scoring defense, while averaging 68.4 points per game as a team, good enough to outscore its opponents by an average of 15.8 points ... OSU has played on the road just once this season with a 68-65 loss coming at the hands of Cal Poly on Tues., Nov. 14 ... Despite the setback, the confines of Gill Coliseum have been comforting for the young squad as it has collected all four wins at home, improving home court advantage as the Beavers have won 103 of their last 164 (.628) games played at Gill Coliseum.
Stanford will also return from a finals hiatus as the team is set to take on Utah on Sat., Dec. 16 in what will be the last Cardinal tune-up before Conference play begins ... Ranked as the No. 14 team in the nation according to this week's Associated Press poll, Stanford is riding a two-game win streak ... Collegiate Basketball News came out with its RPI numbers through the first portion of the season and Stanford has played the No. 2 toughest schedule in the nation thus far ... The Cardinal has been up to the challenge, however, guided by All-American talents JR G Candice Wiggins and SR F/C Brooke Smith ... The duo rank 1-2 on the team in scoring with averages of 16.9 and 14.7, respectively ... Also averaging in double-figures is FR F/C Jayne Appel with a 10.7 ppg mark.
UCLA played three games last week, picking up two wins and a loss to improve to 6-5 on the young season ... The Bruins tallied 23 points on 12 UC Irvine turnovers to notch the 66-62 win on Monday, followed by an appearance in the Southwest Airlines Lobo Classic in which UCLA went 1-1, defeating Delaware State, 64-54 on Friday, but losing Saturday's finale to 23/NR New Mexico, 72-63 ... SR G Noelle Quinn and JR F Lindsey Pluimer were named to the All-Tournament team ... Quinn averaged 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the tournament, while recording her 23rd career double-double with a game-high 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds at UC Irvine ... With a developing cast surrounding her, Quinn has shouldered a leadership role, already dishing out a Pac-10-best 70 assists this season, more than half of her assist total from all of last year ... Quinn has been named a preseason Naismith Trophy candidate ... UCLA has just one game this week, but it's a big one as the Bruins take on Baylor on Sun., Dec. 17 at home ... The two teams met in UCLA's 2005-06 season-opener, with Baylor claiming a 93-85 win.
USC split its two contests last weekend, dropping a close 70-66 loss on the road to Utah on Monday, but following up with a 72-52 win over Hawaii on Saturday ... The Trojans are 4-4 on the year with a weekend tournament awaiting them as the team will host its own Women of Troy Basketball Classic, taking on Prairie View A&M on Thurs., Dec. 14 and Houston on Sat., Dec. 16 ... SR G Shay Murphy continues to guide USC as she tallied her 33rd-straight game in double figures and fourth double-double of the season in leading USC to the victory over the Rainbows ... Murphy, named to the Naismith Trophy preseason watch list, is third in the league in scoring (19.9), second in rebounding (9.3), first in free throw percentages (.935), third in steals (2.63), first in 3-point field goals made (22), third in offensive rebounds (3.38) and third in defensive rebounds (5.88) ... Solid in the paint for the Women of Troy, has been SR C Chloé Kerr, who is averaging 14.8 points per game, ranking second on the team and 10th in the Conference ... Kerr's 8.1 rebounds per game average also ranks her sixth in the league.
Washington put together a strong 2-0 week, picking up a 65-59 upset of 15/14 Texas A&M on Wednesday, followed by a 79-60 win over Nevada on Sunday ... The Huskies better their record to 5-4 with a two-game home stretch this week as they take on Gonzaga on Fri., Dec. 15 and Florida State on Sun., Dec. 17 ... SR G Cameo Hicks was instrumental in UW's two wins as she secured a team-high 16.5 ppg scoring average and a team-high 6.0 rebounding average ... The All-America candidate now leads Washington with a scoring average of 18.3 points per contest and has tallied eight double-figure scoring games in nine chances - including four 20-point games ... Opponents had better box out on the offensive end as the Huskies again pace the league in offensive rebounds, averaging 17.44 per game ... The second-chance opportunities are helping Washington average 74.4 points per game, third-most in the Pac-10 ... The team is also averaging 24.56 defensive boards per game.
WASHINGTON STATE (3-6)
Washington State picked up its first road win of the season in a 72-61 victory over San Jose State on Tuesday ... The Cougars' momentum was halted, however, as they came up on the short end of a 71-60 game against Montana on Friday ... SO G Katie Appleton recorded her first career double-double in an 18-point, 11-rebound effort against the Spartans ... JR G Dani Montgomery led the team with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting against the Grizzlies, while SR F Kate Benz pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds ... Benz now owns 758 career boards, good enough to rank third on WSU's all-time charts and 32nd on the Pac-10 career charts ... Washington State has its final tune-up this week before Conference play starts in a Sun., Dec. 17 game against Northwestern State at home ... The team will look to pick up its fourth win on the 2006-07 season and second all-time against NSU as the 1997 Cougar squad notched a 90-63 defeat of the Lady Demons.
CALIFORNIA SOPHOMORE FORWARD/CENTER ASHLEY WALKER NAMED U.S. BANK PAC-10 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--CALIFORNIA sohpomore forward/center Ashley Walker has been named the U.S. Bank Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Dec. 4-10, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
Walker commanded the post with authority last week, leading the Golden Bears to wins over Fresno State and Kansas. At home against Fresno State, Walker dropped in 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while blocking a career-high seven shots, most by a Pac-10 player this year. She also was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line and shot 8-of-12 from the field as Cal cruised to a 77-62 win.
On the road against the Jayhawks, Walker posted another double-double, this time going for 26 points and a season-high 14 rebounds to lead Cal to a 73-65 victory. Walker continued her accurate marksmanship, going 9-of-15 from the field and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe.
For the week, Walker averaged 24.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks while shooting 63 percent from the field and 93.8 percent from the foul line. Her 20.3 scoring average ranks second in the Conference and she is fifth with 8.4 rebounds per game. Walker also leads the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.640), is third in blocked shots (1.89) and sixth in free throw percentage (.797).
California's current 8-1 start is its best since the 1992-93 team opened with a 9-1 record. Next up for Cal is the beginning of Conference play, kicking off at UCLA on Wednesday, Dec. 20th.
This is the second Player of the Week award for Walker this season and the 24th all-time for California.
ALSO NOMINATED: Emily Westerberg, ASU; Eleanor Haring, ORE; Noelle Quinn, UCLA; Eshaya Murphy, USC; Cameo Hicks, WASH.
2006-07 PAC-10 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Nov. 20- Ashley Walker, CAL; Nov. 27- Chloé Kerr, USC; Dec. 4- Cameo Hicks, WASH; Dec. 11- Ashley Walker, CAL.