This Week in Pac-12 Women's Basketball
By the Pac-12 Conference
Nine Pac-12 games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks this week. Teams are still in the hunt for the league title, and, with California and Stanford clinching first-round byes at the Pac-12 Tournament, four teams are vying for the two-remaining byes.
The Pac-12 has four teams ranked in the top-25 again this week with Stanford pacing the league with top-five rankings in both polls. The Cardinal came 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. 17/16 and Colorado at No. 20/23.
Washington's Kristi Kingma was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after netting a Pac-12 record 11 three pointers en route to a career-high 35 points. Her 11 threes tied for the most in a game this season in NCAA Division I women's basketball. OREGON's Jillian Alleyne was voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the third time this season, after averaging 17.5 ppg and 13.0 rpg while shooting 59.3 percent from the floor in two games last week.
Cal boasts the longest win streak in the Pac-12, having won its last 11 games, and sits atop the Conference standings in a tie with Stanford. The Cardinal also has a significant double-digit winning streak going. It has won its last 10 games.
Alleyene and Cal'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. Alleyene's 23 rebounding effort against Oklahoma in November is also in the top-five in single-season performances this season in the NCAA.
Alleyne and Brandon are two of several players from the Pac-12 who figure prominently in the NCAA stats. The league boasts four of the top-20 rebounders in the country, including STANFORD's Chiney Ogwumike and Alleyne, who are tied for sixth in the category (12.3). Brandon ranks 14th (11.4) and Washington's Aminah Williams ranks 19th (10.9).
Monday, February 18
Washington at Oregon State….P12N….WASH, 49-44
Tuesday, February 19
Arizona State at Arizona….P12N….6 p.m. PT
#17/16 UCLA at USC….P12N….8 p.m. PT
Friday, February 22
Oregon at #6/6 California….P12N….6 p.m. PT
Washington State at Colorado….Live Stream….7 p.m. MT
Oregon State at #4/5 Stanford….P12N….8 p.m. PT
Washington at Utah….Live Stream….7 p.m. MT
Sunday, February 24
USC at #17/16 UCLA….P12N….2 p.m. PT
Oregon State at #6/6 California….P12N….2 p.m. PT
Washington at #20/23 Colorado….Live Stream….2 p.m. MT
Arizona at Arizona State ….P12N….3 p.m. MT
Washington State at Utah….Live Stream….3 p.m. MT
Oregon at #6/6 Stanford….P12N….4 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 15
#6/6 California at #15/16 UCLA….CAL, 79-51
Utah at Arizona State….UTAH, 54-46
#21/25 Colorado at Arizona….COLO, 55-42
Washington at Oregon….WASH, 97-71
Washington State at Oregon State….WSU, 51-49
#4/5 Stanford at USC….STAN, 79-55
Sunday, February 17
#4/5 Stanford at #15/16 UCLA….STAN, 68-57
#21/25 Colorado at Arizona State….COLO, 71-63
#6/6 California at USC….CAL, 72-64
Washington State at Oregon….ORE, 65-60
Utah at Arizona….ARIZ, 61-52
PAC-12 TEAM NOTES
Arizona earned a home split against No. 21 Colorado and Utah over the weekend. The Wildcats fell to the Buffaloes, 55-42 on Friday but rebounded nicely to secure a 61-52 victory over the Utes on Sunday. Davellyn Whyte, the Conference's active career scoring leader (1,958), paced the Wildcats with 27 points over the weekend, and her 21-point effort on Sunday helped Arizona to a season sweep of Utah. She has had another standout season, averaging a team-high 16.2 ppg and 5.7 rpg, while also leading the team in assists (116) and steals (65). She has not averaged fewer than 15.7 ppg in her career. Whyte ranks in the top five in the Pac-12 in scoring (5th, 16.2 ppg), assists (2nd, 4.64 apg) and steals (3rd, 2.75 spg). As a unit, Arizona ranks in the top third of the league in in a number of statistical categories, including free-throw percentage (2nd, .712), steals (4th, 9.6 spg), three-point field goal defense (4th, .279) and three-point field goals made per game (3rd, 5.72). The Wildcats take on traditional rival Arizona State this weekend in Tucson.
The Sun Devils look to turn things around, entering Tuesday night's matchup with in-state rival Arizona. ASU is on a seven-game losing streak, but has been dominant in the series versus the Wildcats since 2005-06. Arizona State won all three meetings between the teams last year, and has one 14 of the last 15 meetings. ASU will face UA twice this week. After a meeting in Tucson on Tuesday, the Sun Devils return home for their final three regular-season games of the season, hoping to end on high note before heading to Seattle for the Pac-12 Tournament. Five of ASU's 13 losses this season have been by six or fewer points. Among these losses were a six-point decision against then-No. 23 Dayton and a four-point defeat at the hands of then-No. 19 UCLA. 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 remains a tie atop the Pac-12 standings after notching wins over No. 15 UCLA and USC. The Golden Bears' who are 13-1 in league play and have clinched a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament, have logged double-digit Conference wins in seven of the last eight seasons. Cal's winning streak now sits at a league-best 11 games, marking its longest run since the 2008-09 campaign when it won 12 in a row. The Bears boast the nation's sixth-best rebounding margin (+11.2) on the strength of Gennifer Brandon's 11.4 rpg, which ranks 14th in the country. Cal has also outscored its opponents by an average of 15.4 ppg, which ranks 22nd in the NCAA. The Bears, who are ranked sixth in the latest AP Poll, are 7-0 in Pac-12 road games this season.
The Buffs picked up their 20th win of the season, the second-straight 20-win season and only the second time since posting back-to-back 20-win campaigns in 2003 and 2004. Colorado has bested its Conference record from last year when it won just six league contests. This weekend, the Buffs will be going for Pac-12-win number 10 win its hosts Washington State and Washington. CU has key games coming up as it sits just one game out of the top four. The top four teams in the standings receive a first-round bye at the Pac-12 Tournament. CU is ranked in the top 25 for the 10th-straight week. They are led by SR F Chucky Jeffery is averaging team highs of 13.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 4.0 apg and 2.4 spg this season. The Buffs rank second in the Pac-12 and 11th in the nation in rebounding margin (+9.3 rpg).
The Ducks, paced by FR F Jillian Alleyne, lead the league in rebounding (45.5 rpg), rank second in 3-point field goals made (6.0) and are third in blocked shots (4.34 bpg). Alleyne, who earned her third Pac-12 Freshman of the Week nod of the season after a monster effort against Washington and Washington State last week, is the nation's sixth-leading rebounder (12.3 rpg). She has ranked in the top 10 in rebounding in the country all season. 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 18th in the NCAA in free throw percentage (87.2 pct.).
Oregon State has lost its last eight games, but four have come by five points or less, including two overtime setbacks. The most recent losses were to Washington State and Washington by an average margin of defeat of 3.5 points. The Beavers have seen significant contributions from their younger players, particularly during Conference play. Freshmen and sophomores have accounted for 66. 5percent of OSU's total minutes played this season, with freshman shouldering much of the load (44.1 percent). FR G Jamie Weisner (12.7 ppg) and FR F Deven Hunter (6.7 rpg) lead the team in points and rebounds, respectively. No freshman tandem in school history has accomplished that feat over the course of a season. The Beavers rank seventh as a team in blocked shots per game (5.9) and boast the 17th-best field goal percentage defense in the country (second in the Pac-12), holding opponents to just 34.4 percent from the field.
Ranked fourth in the AP poll and fifth by the coaches, the Cardinal took down No.15 UCLA and USC over the weekend to clinch a first-round by in the Pac-12 Tournament. Stanford is led by All-American Chiney Ogwumike, the Pac-12's leader in scoring (22.7) and rebounding (12.3). She ranks third and sixth in the NCAA in those categories, respectively. She has been the nation's fourth-most efficient shooter to this point in the season, connecting on 58.4 percent of her field goal attempts and has collected 20 double-doubles in 26 games this season, a total that is tied for third-most in the nation. The Cardinal remain in a tied for first place in the Pac-12 standings with Bay Area rival California. Stanford has won double-digit Conference games every year since 1987-88, the second year the Conference sponsored women's sports.
The Bruins saw their six-game winning streak come to an end, falling to No. 6 California (79-51) and No. 4 Stanford (68-57). Five of UCLA's six losses have come to teams ranked in the top seven in the country at the time of the meetings. At the same time, UCLA has also defeated four ranked opponents this year, as well. All four of UCLA's leage losses have come to Cal and Stanford. The Bruins rank at or near the top of the Conference in a number of offensive categories, including assists (1st, 16.3), scoring offense (3rd, 69.0 ppg), field goal percentage (2nd, .429) and free throw percentage (3rd, .695). Nationally, they rank 25th in rebounding margin (+7.5) and 23rd in assists per game (16.3). SR F Markel Walker has done a little bit of everything for the Bruins, ranking in the top three on the team in points (10.7 ppg, 3rd), rebounding (7.4 rpg, 2nd), assists (5.6 apg, 1st) and steals (2.8 spg, 1st).
The Trojans won their first four games in Conference competition and posted a perfect record through the first three weeks of January, but has hit a tough stretch, dropping its last six games, including a pair of setbacks to top-10 foes Stanford and California last week. USC's 4-0 start to open the league slate marks its best start since the 2004-05 season. JR F Cassie Harberts, who averaged 11.9 ppg and 6.2 rpg in 2011-12, has been outstanding for USC, averaging 17.8 ppg (third in the Pac-12) and 7.7 rpg (eighth in the Pac-12) in 2012-13. She has been even better since Conference play began, averaging 18.6 ppg (third in the Pac-12) and 7.9 rpg (eighth in the Pac-12).
The Utes had a three-game win streak snapped over the weekend. After picking up a road win over Arizona State, Utah could not carry its momentum to Tucson where it lost to Arizona, 61-52. Utah's recent successes can be attributed to the return of JR F Taryn Wicijowski. With her back in the lineup, the Utes have gone 3-1, including a home sweep of the Oregon schools. The sweep of the Oregon schools was the Utes' first weekend sweep in Pac-12 play. Utah is one of the tougher teams to score on in the Pac-12, ranking third in the league in scoring defense (55.8). They have limited five league teams to 55 points or less, and 12 teams overall since the start of the campaign. The Utes feature one of the best frontcourt tandems in the league in JR F Michelle Plouffe and Wicijowski. Both players rank in the top eight in the league in scoring and in the top 13 in rebounding.
Washington notched a pair of wins against the Oregon schools and leaped UCLA to take over sole possession of third-place in the Pac-12 standings. SR G Kristi Kingma broke the Pac-12 single-game record with 11 three-pointers (tied for the most in the NCAA this season) in the Huskies' 97-71 victory over Oregon on Friday, finishing the game just one try shy of the NCAA record for threes in game (12). In the game, Washington set a Conference team single-game record for three-pointers (18). For her effort, Kingma was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week. She ranks seventh in the country in three-point field goals per game (3.17). As a team, the Huskies rank seventh in the NCAA in turnovers per game, committing just 12.3 per contest. Its 5.75 turnover margin ranks 16th in the country. SO G Jazmine Davis is averaging 19.5 points per game, 20th-best in the NCAA. Teammate Aminah Williams' has been one of the NCAA's top rebounders for most of the season. She ranks 19th in the NCAA this week, averaging 10.9 boards per game.
The Cougars have been very competitive this season and are going for their best finish in league play since 1995-96 (tied for sixth that season), as the team stands in sixth place heading into the final two weeks of regular-season play. On the season, 11 of WSU's 15 losses have been by 11 points or less. All but one of its Pac-12 losses have been by seven points or less. Washington State went on a four-game win streak from Jan. 27-Feb. 8, the team's longest in Conference play since 1994-95. Paced by the Pac-12's co-leader in steals, FR G Lia Galdeira (2.92 spg), WSU ranks second in the Conference in takeaways per game (10.1). Galdeira who ranks seventh in the league in scoring (15.0 ppg) the Pac-12's top-scoring freshman. The Cougars have bested their league record from a year ago.