Pair of top-10 matchups highlight this week's slate
By the Pac-12 Conference
Back-to-back top-10 matchups highlight the Pac-12 schedule as fifth-ranked Stanford and seventh-ranked California go head-to-head in the Battle of the Bay twice this week. The Cardinal is riding an 80-game winning streak against league teams (including postseason), but the Golden Bears are the last Pac-12 team to defeat the Cardinal. Both games will be televised with Tuesday night's matchup airing on the Pac-12 Networks and Sunday's clash appearing on ESPN2.
It's also rivalry week for Utah and No. 23 Colorado, who also play each other twice this week. The Utes and Buffs tip off the women's basketball Tuesday night double-header on the Pac-12 Networks. The teams also cap Sunday's action on the Networks. Check local listings for times and Networks. Authenticated subscribers can also watch all Pac-12 Networks games online at Pac-12.com or on the Pac-12 Now app.
The Pac-12 has four teams ranked in the top-25 this week again with Stanford pacing the league teams at No. 5 in the Associated Press poll. California is ranked No. 7, followed by UCLA at No. 14 and Colorado at No. 23. The ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll will be released on Tuesday.
USC's Cassie Harberts was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week, while Washington's Talia Walton was tabbed the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after leading the Huskies to their first 2-0 start in Pac-12 play since 2006-07.
Oregon's Jillian Alleyne (15.3 ppg, 13.4 rpg), Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike (21.3 ppg, 12.2 rpg) and Cal's Gennifer Brandon (12.4 ppg, 10.3 rpg) are three of just 36 players in NCAA Division I women's basketball averaging a double-double on the season. Several Pac-12 players figured prominently in the national statistical rankings, including Alleyne, who ranks third in rebounding and Ogwumike, who ranks fourth in double-doubles (11.0)
The first NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) was released this week, and three Pac-12 teams are in the top 15. Stanford's RPI is tops in the country, while Cal's is ranked No. 4 and UCLA's is No. 14. For the full list of Pac-12 team RPIs, see page 8. For the full RPI listing, visit NCAA.com.
Tuesday, January 8
Utah at #23 Colorado….P12N….6 p.m. MT
#5 Stanford at #7 California….P12N….7 p.m. PT
Friday, January 11
Oregon at Arizona State Live Stream….6:30 p.m. MT
Washington at USC Live Stream….6 p.m. PT
Oregon State at Arizona Live Stream…..7 p.m. MT
Washington State at #14 UCLA….P12N….7 p.m. PT
Sunday, January 13
Oregon State at Arizona State….P12N….1 p.m. MT
#7 California at #5 Stanford….ESPN2….1 p.m. PT
Washington at #14 UCLA….Live Stream….2 p.m. PT
Washington State at USC….Live Stream….2 p.m. PT
Oregon at Arizona….Live Stream….1 p.m. MT
Colorado at Utah….P12N….3 p.m. MT
PAC-12 TEAM NOTES
Head coach Niya Butts has led her Wildcats to a winning record in non-conference play in each of her five seasons at the helm in Tucson. Arizona ranks third in the Pac-12 in three-point shooting percentage, connecting on 32.8 percent of its shots. Senior Davellyn Whyte ranks third in the Conference in three-point percentage (34.0), while junior Kama Griffitts ranks fourth (32.7). Additionally, the pair is tied for second in the league in three-point field goals per game (2.62). Whyte is the Pac-12 active career leader in points (1,739).
Arizona State, which has outrebounded its opponents by more than eight boards per game ranks fifth in the Pac-12 and 33rd in the nation in rebounding margin. In a pair of weekend losses, ASU outrebounded Washington and Washington State 106-68. The Sun Devils, who entered the weekend on a five-game winning streak, are 7-0 when conceding fewer than 60 points.
At 12-1, California is off to the best start in program history. The Bears, who have only trailed once at the half this season, are 7-0 at home. Their No. 7 national ranking in the latest AP poll is the program's highest since the 2008-09 season. Cal leads the league in scoring (74.3 ppg) and rebounding margin (+13.2 rpg); the latter ranks fourth in the country. The Bears earned win No. 600 in program history with a 55-50 victory over Utah on Friday. Cal, which swept its opening weekend in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2008-09, dealt Stanford its last Conference defeat a 57-54 decision at Haas Pavilion.
Colorado suffered its first losses of the season—to a pair of top-10 foes in Stanford and Cal— snapping an 11-game winning streak to open the season. The Buffs, who were perfect in regular season non-conference action for the second straight season, have won 24 consecutive regular non-conference tilts dating back to 2010-11. Arielle Roberson, who has scored in double-figures in every game this season, ranks eighth in the Pac-12 (second among freshmen) in scoring (14.9 ppg).
The Ducks have shot a league-best 73.5 percent from the free throw line this season. Freshman Jillian Alleyne leads the Conference and ranks third in the nation in rebounding, grabbing 13.4 boards per game. She has reached double figures in 11 of 14 games this season, including a 27-rebound effort against Portland State on Nov. 15 that established a new Pac-12 single-game record. She leads all Pac-12 freshmen and ranks seventh in the league in scoring (15.3 ppg).
The Beavers, who rank second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage defense (33.8), have held all but one of their opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the floor this season. OSU leads the Conference and ranks eighth in the country in blocked shots, averaging 6.1 stuffs per game. Senior Patricia Bright, the Pac-12's second-leading career shot-blocker has registered 22 rejections this season.
The Cardinal has been ranked in the top five in the nation all season, ranking No. 1 for six-straight weeks from Nov. 19-Dec. 30. Its No. 1 national ranking this season was the first time since March 2005 it had earned top billing in the polls. The Cardinal extended its win streak against Conference opponents to 69 games, as well as an 80-game winning streak against Pac-12 teams (including postseason). Stanford is led by preseason All-American Chiney Ogwumike, who leads the Pac-12 and ranks eighth in the nation in points per game (21.3), and is second in the league and fifth in the NCAA in rebounding (12.2)
The Bruins reentered the top-15 in this week's AP poll and have been ranked for eight-straight weeks. UCLA boasts a 3-1 record in games vs. ranked opponents. All three of those victories were on the road. The Bruins lead the Pac-12 in assists (16.15) and steals (11.92). Senior Markel Walker ranks 13th in the country with 3.62 spg and is also the Conference's assist leader, dishing out 5.3 apg. Five of UCLA's last six games have been decided by nine points or less, going 4-1 in those contests and are 5-1 in those games this season.
The Trojans snapped a six-game losing skids, their longest since the 2000-01 campaign, with a pair of road victories at the Oregon schools. JR F Cassie Harberts was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after leading USC to the wins and a 2-0 start to the Conference season.
Utah is one of the top-10 teams in the country to commit the fewest turnovers, ranking sixth in the NCAA in the category, averaging just 12.9 turnovers per game. Danielle Rodriguez's 2.60 assist-to-turnover ratio is 12th in the nation. Second in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, the Utes have limited opponents to 55 points or less seven times this season, including a season-low 33 points against Houston Baptist, also the lowest scoring output by any Pac-12 opponent. Utah also limited California to just 55 points in the Pac-12 season opener, nearly 20 points below the Bears' scoring average.
Washington starts the Pac-12 season with a 2-0 record for the first time since the 2006-07 season with wins over Arizona and Arizona State. Its win over the Sun Devils was its first in 17 meetings. Forward Talia Walton was tabbed the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after leading the Huskies to the wins. Sophomore Aminah Williams ranks sixth in the country in rebounds per game (12.0) and is one of four players in the Pac-12 to average double-digit boards. Walton is 23rd in the NCAA in blocks per game (2.38), as well. The Huskies posted their second-straight winning record in regular-season non-conference games.
The Cougars split the opening Pac-12 weekend, falling to Arizona, but bouncing back to close out the weekend with a win over Arizona State, snapping an eight-game losing streak to the Sun Devils in Pullman. SO G Tia Presley scored a career-high 27 points to lead WSU in the ASU win. Washington State ranks sixth in the country in three-point field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to just 23.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The Cougars posted their first win over a ranked opponents since 2001 defeating Ohio State on Dec. 15 (62-55). It also defeated Gonzaga for the first time since that same year and the first time in Spokane since 1997.