UCLA Women's Basketball Opens Pac-10 Conference Play on Wednesday
Dec. 19, 2006
UCLA Hosts Cal Wednesday to Open Pac-10 Play, Stanford Visits Friday -- Defending Pac-10 Tournament Champion UCLA (6-6) opens the Conference season on Wednesday, Dec. 20 against No. 15 (AP)/No. 16 (ESPN/USA Today) California (8-1) at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. Cal has won its last four games but will be playing its first contest without the services of guard Alexis Gray-Lawson, last year's Pac-10 Freshman Player of the Year, due to a season-ending knee injury suffered Dec. 10. The Bruins are in the midst of playing four straight ranked opponents and will welcome No. 14 (AP)/No. 15 (ESPN/USA Today) Stanford (5-3, plays at USC on Wednesday) to Pauley at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22. Two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year Candice Wiggins is coming off a sprained hamstring suffered in the Dec. 16 game and is listed as day-to-day.
Live Coverage -- The UCLA-Cal game will be broadcast on am1150. UCLABruins.com will also offer a free internet broadcast of the Cal and Stanford games with Dave Marcus and Michael Sondheimer mikeside, beginning five minutes before the top of the hour with the Bruin Countdown pre-game show. Gametracker live stats will also be provided at UCLABruins.com.
Looking Ahead -- UCLA travels to Pullman, WA to face Washington State on Dec. 29 and then to Seattle, WA to close out 2006 at Washington on Dec. 31.
Quinn Earns Pre-Season Acclaim -- The pre-season honors are piling up for senior guard Noelle Quinn. She was named to the pre-season Wade Watch List and is a pre-season candidate for both the Naismith Trophy and the Wooden Award for the third consecutive year. She was also named to Street & Smith's 'Terrific 10' list as one of the Top 10 players in the nation and is listed by ESPN.com as one of the Top 5 players in the nation at the wing position. Additionally, Quinn was named to the pre-season All-Pac-10 team for the third-straight year. She entered the week ranked first in the Pac-10 and 13th nationally in assists (6.25) and tied for seventh in the Pac-10 in scoring (16.0). Quinn was named to the all-tournament team at the Lobo Classic.
Pluimer Powers Bruins -- Junior forward Lindsey Pluimer has had an impressive start to the season, leading the team in scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg). At the Lobo Classic in New Mexico, she was named to the All-Tournament team after scoring a game-high 22 points vs. the host Lobos, her third 20-plus point game of the year. She was also selected to the All-Tournament team in the Rainbow Wahine Classic after scoring 14 against Gonzaga, a career-high 27 against Sacramento State and 15 versus Texas Tech. Pluimer posted a double-double in the season opener against UC Santa Barbara, totalling 23 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. She entered the week ranked fifth in the conference in scoring average (16.9) and ninth in rebounding (7.0).
Henderson Steals Way to Second on Pac-10 List -- Sophomore guard Tierra Henderson began the week ranked second in the Pac-10 in steals average (2.58). She amassed 18 steals in three games at the Rainbow Classic, including a career-best seven against Gonzaga. She followed that up with six thefts vs. Sacramento State and five vs.Texas Tech.
Livingston Shoots into Pac-10 Rankings -- Senior forward Amanda Livingston ranks sixth overall in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.561). She is also eighth in the conference with a .789 free throw percentage. Livingston leads the team with three double-doubles this season, including a 10-point, 10-rebound effort at New Mexico.
All A-Board -- UCLA leads the Pac-10 and is ranked 28th nationally in rebounding margin with a +7.9 mark. The Bruins have outrebounded their opponents in nine of 12 games, with a high of 57 in the season opener against UC Santa Barbara. The Bruins have totaled 50+ rebounds in three games (UCSB, Sacramento State and UC Irvine) and 40+ in eight games, including four of the last five. Four of the Bruins' starting five average 5.9 rpg or higher - Lindsey Pluimer (7.0), Chinyere Ibekwe (6.7), Noelle Quinn (6.2) and Amanda Livingston (5.9). Pluimer leads the Pac-10 in offensive boards with an average of 3.5 per game.
About The Golden Bears -- This will be UCLA's 49th meeting with California. The Bruins hold a 38-10 series advantage and have won seven of the last eight meetings (2-1 last season), including wins in the last two contests, a 80-63 decision in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament (3/4/06) and a 90-87 overtime win (1/29/06) in Pauley. Cal bested the Bruins in Berkeley by a score of 65-58 (12/30/05). Noelle Quinn averaged 18.0 points in the three games vs. the Golden Bears last season, including a high of 25 points in the win in Pauley. Devanei Hampton averaged 22.3 points for Cal in the three games last season.
Cal entered the week ranked second in the conference in scoring (75.8) and field goal percentage (.495) while allowing the third lowest points against in the league (59.1). Ashley Walker ranks in the Top 4 in the Pac-10 in scoring (2nd - 20.3), rebounding (4th - 8.4), field goal percentage (2nd - .640) and blocked shots (T-3rd - 1.89).
About The Cardinal -- Stanford leads the overall series with UCLA by a 36-21 count, but UCLA won the last two meetings, a 85-76 overtime win in the Pac-10 tournament championship game (3/6/06) and a 90-80 win in Pauley (1/27/06). UCLA's two victories last year marked the first time a Pac-10 team had handed Stanford more than one loss in a season since UCLA did it in 1987-88. The Cardinal had won the previous 14 meetings in the series, including a 91-68 verdict in Maples Pavilion (1/1/06). Noelle Quinn averaged 18.7 points in the three games vs. the Cardinal last season, with a high of 25 in the win in Pauley. Candice Wiggins averaged 26.3 ppg for the Cardinal in the three matchups last season, but her career shooting percentage of 42.3% against UCLA is her lowest such mark against any Pac-10 team.
Stanford entered the week ranked first in the Pac-10 in blocked shots (5.63), second in assists (18.13), third in three-point shots made (5.4/g) and fourth in scoring (72.4). Wiggins ranks sixth in the conference in scoring (16.4), while Kristen Newlin ranks fifth in rebounding (8.4).
Bruins Face Nation's Best In 2006-07 -- The Bruins have games scheduled against nine teams that were in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. UCLA has already played at Tennessee and New Mexico and hosted Oklahoma and Baylor. Still looming on the schedule are Cal, USC, Washington, Stanford and Arizona State.
The Cal and Stanford games will be the third and fourth of four-straight contests the Bruins will play against nationally ranked opponents (New Mexico, Baylor, Cal, Stanford).
UCLA's last win over a ranked team came in the first round of last year's NCAA tournament over then No. 23-ranked Bowling Green. UCLA's last win over a top-10 ranked team came last season against No. 9 Arizona State on Jan. 8, 2006. The Bruins defeated five teams ranked in the top 15 last season.
No. 9 Baylor Runs Past Bruins -- UCLA was forced to play catch-up from the start and came up short against Baylor, 83-70. The Lady Bears opened up a 21-10 lead in the first 10 minutes of the contest and were not headed. Noelle Quinn led the Bruins with 19 points. Lindsey Pluimer added 18 for UCLA, which lost its third game of the season to a top-10 ranked team.