This week in Pac-12 women's basketball
By the Pac-12 Conference
Just four weeks remain in the regular season, and the top four Pac-12 teams have winning streaks of at least four games. Three of those teams - California (seven games), Stanford (six games) and Washington (six games) - will be at home. The Huskies will put their streak on the line hosting UCLA, who is riding a four-game win streak. Both teams are tied for third in the league standings heading into the weekend. The game can be watched live on pac-12.com.
The Pac-12 has four teams ranked in the top-25 again this week with Stanford pacing the league, earning top-five rankings in both polls, coming in at No. 4 in the Associated Press poll and No. 5 in ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. California is ranked No. 6/6, followed by UCLA at No. 17/17 and Colorado at No. 21/25.
Cal's Gennifer Brandon and Layshia Clarendon were added to the WBCA's Wade Trophy Watch List, announced on Monday. They join fellow Conference representative Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford on the list. The Wade Trophy is presented to women's collegiate basketball's national player of the year.
Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer became the first head coach in NCAA Division I women's basketball to win 400 league games in the same conference. She is only the third men's or women's Division I coach to achieve the milestone.
Ogwumike was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the fifth time this season, tying a Conference record for most selections in a season set by USC's Cherie Nelson in 1987-88. Washington State's Lia Galdeira was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, her third selection of the season.
Oregon's Jillian Alleyene and California's Gennifer Brandon 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.
Alleyne and Ogwumike are two of several player from the Pac-12 who figure prominently in the NCAA stats. The league boasts four of the top-25 rebounders in the country, including Alleyne, who ranks fifth (12.5). Ogwumike ranks seventh (12.3), Brandon ranks 15th (11.3) and WAashington's Aminah Williams ranks 23rd (10.8).
Friday, February 8
Oregon State at Colorado….P12N….7 p.m. MT
Oregon at Utah….Live Stream….7 p.m. MT
USC at Washington State….Live Stream….6 p.m. PT
Arizona at Stanford ….Live Stream….7 p.m. PT
UCLA at Washington….Live Stream….7 p.m. PT
Arizona State at California….P12N….8 p.m. PT
Sunday, February 10
UCLA at Washington State….Live Stream….12 p.m. PT
Arizona at California….Live Stream….12 p.m. PT
Oregon State at Utah….P12N….1 p.m. MT
Oregon at Colorado ….Live Stream….1:30 p.m. MT
USC at Washington ….Live Stream….1 p.m. PT
Arizona State at Stanford….P12N….2 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.
Friday, February 1
#4/5 Stanford at Oregon….STAN, 86-62
Washington State at Arizona State….WSU, 54-43
Washington at Arizona….WASH, 74-65
#6/6 California at Oregon State….CAL, 60-38
Utah at USC….UTAH, 63-60
#22/23 Colorado at #18/19 UCLA….UCLA, 62-46
Sunday, February 3
#22/23 Colorado at USC….COLO, 65-49
Washington at Arizona State….WASH, 74-61
Utah at #18/19 UCLA….UCLA, 70-42
#6/6 California at Oregon….CAL, 72-45
Washington State at Arizona….WSU, 60-50
#4/5 Stanford at Oregon State….STAN, 65-45
PAC-12 TEAM NOTES
Arizona fell to 3-7 in Conference play after suffering a pair of setbacks to Washington and Washington State over the weekend. The Wildcats lead the league in free throw percentage, having converted 71.5 percent of their attempts from the stripe this season. Individually, JR F Erica Barnes ranks second in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.840). SR G Davellyn Whyte, the Conference's active career leader in points (2,207), has had a standout season thus far, ranking in the top four in the Pac-12 in several statistical categories—she ranks fourth in scoring (16.4 ppg), second in assists (4.8 apg), third in steals (2.7) and fourth in 3-point field goals made (2.6 pg). During league play, Whyte has been busy from beyond the arc, averaging 5.3 threes per game to rank second in the Conference.
Arizona State ranks third in the Pac-12 in assists, dishing out 13.95 per game. SR F Janae Fulcher is fourth in the Pac-12 with a 53.7 shooting percentage and seventh in free throw percentage (.754). With a pair of losses last week, the Sun Devils are on a three-game losing streak but will be at home for five of their last eight regular-season games. However, before returning to the friendly confines of Wells Fargo Arena where ASU has posted a winning record and has an all-time winning percentage of 65.5 percent, it will face a tough road challenge traveling to face top-10 opponents in back-to-back games in the Bay Area. Earlier this season, head coach Charli Turner Thorne became just the third coach in league history to win 300 games at a Pac-12 institution.
California improved to 8-1 in road tilts with wins over Oregon and Oregon State last week. Head coach Lindsay Gottlieb earned her 100th career coaching victory on Sunday, as Cal topped Oregon, 72-45. Cal's seven-game winning streak is the longest active run in the Pac-12. During that stretch, which started with a 12-point victory at then-No.5 Stanford and includes three games against ranked teams, the Golden Bears have outscored their opponents by an average of 14.8 points per game. They remain tied atop the Pac-12 standings and are ranked No. 6 again in this week's AP poll. Cal leads the Pac-12 and ranks fourth in the nation in rebounding margin (11.8 rpg), and its scoring margin (15.8 ppg) ranks second in the Conference and 22nd nationally.
The Buffs ended a three-game losing streak with a win against USC over the weekend, 65-49. All three of the losses in the streak were on the road to teams ranked in the top 20, including two ranked in the top-10 (Stanford, California). The Buffs are the 10th-ranked team in the nation in rebounding margin at +9.4 rpg, which also ranked second in the Pac-12. CU also ranks second in the Conference in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 53.8 ppg. It has held its opponents to fewer than 60 points in 15 of 21 games, and the team has not allowed any opponent to score 70 points in any game this season. Colorado is led by SR F Chucky Jeffery who is averaging team highs of 13.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 4.2 apg and 2.4 spg. The Buffs are ranked 21 this week in the AP poll.
Oregon dropped a pair of home games to top-10 foes Stanford and California last week after earning its first Conference win of the season against Washington State a week earlier. The Ducks, paced by FR F Jillian Alleyne, lead the league in rebounding (46.0 rpg), rank second in 3-point field goals made (6.0) and are third in blocked shots (4.4 bpg). Alleyne is the nation's fifth-leading rebounder, pulling down 12.5 boards per game, and she has posted four of the top six single-game rebounding performances in the Conference this year (27, 23, 19, 18). No Oregon player, and only one freshman in Conference history, has led the league in rebounding over the course of a single season. FR G Devyn Galland leads the Pac-12 and ranks 19th in the NCAA in free throw percentage (87.0 pct.), while SO G Amanda Delgado ranks third in the Conference in three-pointers made (2.6 pg).
Oregon State dropped two more games, falling to top-10 opponents California and Stanford at home after dropping a pair of back-to-back overtime contests on the road two weeks ago. The Beavers are one of the toughest defensive teams in the country to contend with. They rank sixth as a team in blocked shots per game (6.1) and boast the 14th-best field goal percentage defense in the country (second in the Pac-12), limiting opponents to just 34 percent shooting. SR F Patricia Bright, the Conference's active leader in career blocks, has registered 1.9 stuffs per game to rank second in the Pac-12. Since Conference play began, she has averaged 2.11 blocks per game, the highest average in the league during that span.
Stanford rolled past Oregon and Oregon State last week to maintain its perch—tied with California— atop the Pac-12 standings. Head coach Tara VanDerveer notched her 400th career conference win against Oregon, becoming the first coach in NCAA Division I women's basektball history to win that many games in one conference. JR F Chiney Ogwumike picked up her second-straight Pac-12 Player of the Week honor—her fifth of the season, tying a Pac-12 record— after a weekend in which she averaged 27.0 points and 15.5 rebounds while shooting 58.6 percent from the field. She ranks fifth in the nation in scoring (22.4 ppg), seventh in rebounding (12.3 rpg) and seventh in field goal percentage (58.4), and her 17 double-doubles are the second-most in the country. A national player of the year candidate, she ranks fifth in the country in scoring (22.4 ppg), seventh in rebounding (12.3 rpg) and seventh in field goal percentage (58.4). Her 17 double-doubles are the second-most in the country.
UCLA ended a four-game homestand with a pair of victories over the weekend, pushing its win streak to four games. The defensive-minded Bruins have limited their last three opponents to 50 points and less. The Bruins, who are 10-2 at home this season, rank at or near the top of the Conference in a number of offensive categories, including assists (1st, 16.43), scoring offense (3rd, 70.1 ppg), field goal percentage (2nd, .426) and rebounding offense (3rd, 44.0). UCLA's 70.1 points per game represents an improvement of eight points per game from last year (62.1 ppg). Nationally, the Bruins rank 23rd in assists per game and 24th in rebounding margin (+8.1). SR F Markel Walker ranks 22nd in the NCAA in steals (3.1 spg).
USC is now an even .500 (5-5) in league play. The Trojans won their first four games in Conference competition and posted a perfect record through the first three weeks of January but have since dropped five of their last six contests (three such losses have come against ranked opponents). USC's 4-0 start to open the league slate marks its best start since the 2004-05 season. The Trojans have been without SR F Christina Marinacci for much of the Pac-12 season. Marinacci has averaged 5.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game during the first 13 games of the season, but in her two Conference appearances, she averaged 11.5 boards per game. JR F Cassie Harberts, who averaged 11.9 ppg and 6.2 rpg in 2011-12, has been outstanding for USC, averaging 18.5 ppg (third in the Pac-12) and 7.6 rpg (seventh in the Pac-12) in 2012-13. She has been even better since Conference play began, averaging 20.4 ppg (second in the Pac-12) and 7.8 rpg (seventh in the Pac-12).
The Utes feature one of the best frontcourt tandems in the league in JR F Michelle Plouffe and RS-JR F Taryn Wicijowski. Both players rank in the top seven in the league in scoring and in the top 12 in rebounding. Wicijowski has been the Pac-12's third-most prolific shooter this season, connecting of 53.8 percent of her field goal attempts, while Plouffe ranks in the top 10 in the Conference in both steals (9th, 2.14 spg) and blocks (8th, 1.33 bpg). As a unit, Utah has committed the 20th-fewest turnovers per game in the nation (13.8) and ranks second in the Pac-12 in 3-point field goal percentage (.335). Rachel Messer is the Conference's top shooter from beyond the arc (.429). Wicijowski has missed the last three games due to injury is listed as day-to-day.
With a sweep of the Arizona schools last week, Washington improved to 8-2 in Pac-12 play and sits one game behind Conference leaders Stanford and California. The Huskies, who have won six straight, are unbeaten at home during league play and have lost just one home game all season. The Huskies, have been exceptional from beyond the arc on both sides of the ball. They lead the Pac-12 and rank ninth in the NCAA in 3-point field goals per game (8.4) and top the league in 3-point field goal percentage (.345)—they rank second in the Conference in 3-point FG percentage defense (.265). Additionally, SR G Kristi Kingma leads the Pac-12 in 3-point field goals made, averaging 2.9 treys per game. Washington has taken care of the ball this season, ranking ninth in the nation in turnovers per game (12.8) and 20th in turnover margin (+5.43).
Washington State is on a three-game winning streak after claiming a pair of gritty wins at Arizona State (54-43) and Arizona (60-50), the team's first road sweep of the Arizona schools since 1994-95. ASU's 43-point output was the lowest in the history of the series, and the Cougars' win over the Wildcats was their first in Tucson since 2009. WSU's three-game winning streak in league play it its first since winning three in a row to open the 2011-12 Pac-12 season. The wins put Washington State in seventh place in the standings. Guard Lia Galdeira earned her third Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honor after averaging 20.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 7.0 spg in the wins last week. Highlighting her week was a 21-point effort against Arizona that sparked a deciding 19-4 run.