Familiar foes, top teams tangle this week
By the Pac-12 Conference
A couple of big matchups are slated for this week, as No. 20/23 Colorado heads to the Bay Area to face No. 6/6 Stanford and No. 7/7 California. The Buffs look to avenge losses to the Bay Area teams, having hosted both teams earlier this month. To add to the drama, Colorado is just one game behind the Pac-12 leaders, Cal and Stanford, who took over the top spot in the standings after notching wins over USC and UCLA last week. Both games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. Check local listings. Authenticated subscribers can also watch on the Pac-12 Now app.
The Pac-12 has four teams ranked in the top-25 again this week with Stanford pacing the league at No. 6 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. California is ranked No. 7/7, followed by UCLA at No. 19/20 and Colorado at No. 20/23.
Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike was named one a top-20 midseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award, which was announced on Tuesday. Ogwumike ranks in the top 10 in the country in scoring (21.4 ppg) and rebounding (11.6 rpg). The award is presented to collegiate women's basketball's national player of the year.
California's Gennifer Brandon was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after averaging 17.5 points, 20.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals while shooting at a .467 clip. She grabbed a school-record 26 rebounds in the win over USC, setting the Pac-12 record for rebounds in a league game. OREGON STATE's Jamie Weisner was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the second-straight week. She helped the Beavers to a pair of double-digit wins over traditional-rival Oregon.
Brandon and Oregon's Jillian Alleyene account for the two highest single-game rebounding games in NCAA Division I this season. Alleyene grabbed 27 in a non-conference tilt in November to set the overall league mark and the most by a player in the country this season. Brandon's 26 last week are the second-most.
Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne is going for her 300th-career win this week as the team heads to USC and UCLA. She would become just the third coach in Pac-12 history to reach the milestone.
Oregon's Jillian Alleyne (14.3 ppg, 12.8 rpg), Ogwumike and Brandon (12.6 ppg, 11.4 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 fourth in rebounding and Ogwumike, who ranks seventh in rebounding and is tied for tourth in double-doubles (11.0) and 7th in scoring average.
Friday, January 25
Oregon at Washington State…7 p.m. PT
Arizona at #19/20 UCLA…P12N…6 p.m. PT
Oregon State at Washington...6 p.m. PT
#20/23 Colorado at #7/7 California…P12N…8 p.m. PT
Arizona State at USC…7 p.m. PT
Utah at #6/6 Stanford…7 p.m. PT
Sunday, January 27
Arizona at USC…2 p.m. PT
Utah at #7/7 California…2 p.m. PT
Oregon at Washington…P12N…2 p.m. PT
#20/23 Colorado at #6/6 Stanford…P12N…4 p.m. PT
Arizona State at #19/20 UCLA…2 p.m. PT
Oregon State at Washington State…1 p.m. PT
* game times local to site. Live stream of games are available at pac-12.com.
P12N indicates live broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks, pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app.
Tuesday, January 15
Washington State at Washington….P12N….WASH, 60-53
Oregon State at Oregon.…P12N….OSU, 63-53
Thursday, January 17
USC at #7/7 California….P12N….CAL, 71-63 (OT)
Friday, January 18
Arizona at Utah….P12N….ARIZ, 62-58
Arizona State at No. 21/25 Colorado….Live Stream….COLO, 57-43
#14/15UCLA at #6/6 Stanford….P12N….STAN, 75-49
Sunday, January 20
#14/15 UCLA at #7/7 California….ESPNU….CAL, 70-65
Arizona at #21/25 Colorado….Live Stream.…COLO, 79-36
Oregon at Oregon State….P12N.…OSU, 68-49
Washington at Washington State….P12N….WASH, 79-72
Arizona State at Utah….Live Stream….UTAH, 66-46
USC at #6/6 Stanford….P12N….STAN, 75-66
PAC-12 TEAM NOTES
Playing without its second-leading scorer, Kama Griffitts, for the second-straight week, Arizona split a road series with No. 21/23 Colorado and Utah. The Wildcats opened the weekend with a win over the Utes, a tilt in which SR G Davellyn Whyte notched her third double-double of the season (23 points, 10 rebounds). Whyte, the Pac-12's active leader in points (1,832), has reach double digits in scoring in 25 straight contests. Head coach Niya Butts has led the Wildcats to a winning record in non-conference play in each of her five seasons at the helm in Tucson. Arizona.
Head coach Charli Turner Thorne needs one win to become the third coach in Pac-12 history to reach 300 victories at a Conference institution. ASU ranks seventh in the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds, but has been even better in Conference games, averaging 16.00 offensive rebounds per game in league contests. The Sun Devils are an inexperienced squad, with nine of the 12 players on the active roster having just one or two years in the program. Only one returning player had more than 10 career starts. Arizona State is in the midst of a four-game road trip.
California remains entrenched at No. 7 this week after notching a pair of victories over USC and then-No. 14 UCLA. The Bears moved into a tie atop the Conference standings and improved to 4-2 against ranked opponents. Cal put up 40 first-half points against the Bruins, marking its largest scoring output in a single half during Conference play. JR F Gennifer Brandon earned Pac-12 and espnW Player of the Week accolades after a week in which she averaged 17.5 points, 20.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals while shooting at a .467 clip. Against USC, Brandon posted her second-career 20-20 game, tallying a season-high 23 points to go along with a school-record 26 rebounds. The 26 boards set a new Pac-12 record for individual rebounds in a Conference game.
The Buffs are ranked 20th in the AP poll this week, tying for its highest ranking of the season. CU's six-week run in the AP poll is its longest since appearing in all 19 polls of the 2003-04 season. SR G Chucky Jeffery became the first player in school history to earn 1,400 points, 800 rebounds and 400 assists in a career. The team's 15-2 start is its best start since the 2003-04 NCAA Tournament team began its season 18-2. A versatile and all-around player, Jeffery ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in rebounding (8.4) and 13th in scoring (13.5), while also ranking fourth in assists (4.25) and sixth in steals (2.50)
Oregon leads the Pac-12 in rebounding (45.7 rpg) and ranks second in the league in 3-point field goals made (5.9 per game). The Ducks, who have shot 70.2 from the charity stripe this season, rank third in the Conference in free throw percentage. They are led by JR F Danielle Love (92.7 pct.) and FR G Devyn Galland (87.5 pct.), who rank first and second in the Pac-12, respectively. FR F Jillian Alleyne has been a force in the paint for the Ducks, having posted four of the top six single-game rebounding performances in the Conference this season (27, 23, 19, 18). Her 27-rebound effort against Portland State on Nov. 15 represents a Pac-12 record and is the highest total recorded in the country this season. She leads the Conference and ranks fourth in the NCAA in rebounding, grabbing 12.8 boards per game.
FR G Jamie Weisner was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the second-straight week after leading the Beavers to a pair of victories over traditional-rival Oregon. Weisner leads the team in scoring (12.3), rebounding (5.7) and three-point shooting (29 3-point field goals, 38.7 percent), but has been even better since Pac-12 play began, averaging 16.2 ppg and 6.3 rpg, with a 40.6 three-point shooting effort. She ranks sixth in scoring in Conference-only games and is tied for 15th in rebounding in those game, as well. The Beavers rank seventh in the country in blocks (6.2 bpg) and 13th in field-goal percentage defense (33.2 pct.). They have held 16 of 18 opponents under 40 percent shooting from the floor this season. They held CS Fullerton to 19.1 percent from the field (13-68), the program's best single-game mark in more than a decade.
Stanford extended its winning streak against the Los Angeles schools to 25 games with weekend victories over No. 14 UCLA and USC and reclaimed the top spot the Pac-12 standings (tied with California). The Cardinal leads the Pac-12 in five statistical categories, including scoring margin (+16.8 ppg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1). Its 12.7 turnovers per game rank seventh nationally, and it also ranks in the top 10 in the country in field goal percentage defense (32.5, 4th) and field goal percentage (47.6 pct., 5th). The Cardinal is paced by Preseason All-American Chiney Ogwumike, who leads the Pac-12 and ranks seventh in the nation in points per game (22.0), and is second in the league and eighth in the NCAA in rebounding (11.9).
The Bruins have dropped a pair of tough road contests over the weekend, losing to both #6/6 Stanford and No. 7/7 California. UCLA is 3-3 in game vs. ranked opponents, all three wins coming on the road. In addition, three of its four losses have come against teams ranked in the top 10 in the country. SR F Markel Walker ranks 17th in the NCAA in steals (3.35). She is in the top-20 in the Pac-12 in scoring (12.3 ppg) and rebounding (7.9 rpg). The Bruins turnaround so far this season has been due, in large part, to the five players scoring in double digits. UCLA also ranks second in the Pac-12 in scoring, averaging 71.4 ppg, an improvement of over 9.0 ppg from last year.
After winning its first four games in league play and posting a perfect record through the first three weeks of January, USC dropped an overtime road tilt at California, 71-63 and followed it up with a 75-66 loss to Stanford at Maples Pavilion. The Trojans 4-0 start in Pac-12 play was their best since 2004-05. USC sits comfortably in the top half of the Pac-12 standings and is within one game of Conference leaders Cal and Stanford. JR F Cassie Harberts, who averaged 11.9 ppg and 6.2 rpg in 2011-12, has been outstanding for USC, averaging 17.9 ppg and 7.7 rpg in 2012-13. She has been even better since Conference play began, averaging 20.2 ppg (3rd in the Pac-12) and 8.2 rpg (6th in the Pac-12).
The Utes know how to take care of the ball, ranking ninth in the country in turnovers per game, committing just 13.4 per contest this season. Defensively, the Utes have held opponents to 54.9 points per game—a figure that ranks third in the Conference— and have allowed 55 points or fewer eight times. Against Houston Baptist, Utah allowed a season-low 33 points, the lowest scoring output by any Pac-12 opponent. Utah's JR F Taryn Wicijowski is just out of the top 25 in the country in field goal percentage, knocking down 53.8 percent of her field goal attempts, good for 26th in the country and third in the Pac-12.
Washington earned a pair of victories over rival Washington State in this year's edition of the Apple Cup, running its winning streak against WSU to 36. The Huskies, who have been exceptional from beyond the arc on both sides of the ball, lead the Pac-12 and rank 13th in the NCAA in 3-point field goals per game (8.0) and top the league in 3-point field goal percentage (.340)—they rank third in the Conference in 3-point FG percentage defense (.269). Additionally, SR G Kristi Kingma leads the Pac-12 3-point field goals made, averaging 2.8 treys per game. SO G Jazmine Davis is the league's second-leading scorer, averaging 20.4 points per game to rank 15th in the nation, while SO F Aminah Williams ranks 13th in the NCAA with 11.2 rpg. The Huskies lead the Pac-12 in turnover margin (+4.6).
With a pair of blocks against Washington at home, SR C Carly Noyes became the program's all-time leading shot blocker and is currently the Pac-12's active career leader (150). The Cougars posted their first win over a ranked opponent since 2001, taking down Ohio State on Dec. 15, 62-55. WSU also topped Gonzaga for the first time since 2001, and the victory marked its first over the Bulldogs in Spokane since 1997. WSU is looking to snap a four-game losing streak after dropping a pair of games to traditional rival Washington.