Women's basketball opens Pac-12 slate this weekend

Arizona State Athletics

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Pac-12 women’s basketball teams wrapped up the non-conference season on Monday night, while USC and UCLA tipped off Pac-12 play. No. 24/25 ARIZONA STATE upset No. 20 Syracuse to highlight the evening’s games, while the Women of Troy pulled out a two-point victory over its crosstown rivals ... Four teams are ranked in this week’s polls, with STANFORD leading all league squads at No. 4/4. COLORADO got back in the win column after suffering its first regular-season non-conference loss in 33 games, staying at No. 12 in the writers’ poll and No. 14 in the coaches polling. CALIFORNIA is ranked 23rd in the AP and 21st in the coaches poll ... UCLA’s Nirra Fields was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday morning after she scored a career-high 36 points on a career-best five three-pointers in a non-conference victory over Cal Poly. OREGON’s Chrishae Rowe was tabbed the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the fourth time this season ... For the second-straight year, the Pac-12 boasts some of the nation’s top rebounders with four individuals ranking in the top-20 in the country. UO’s Jillian Alleyne is owning the boards again this year, ranking second nationally with an average of 14.3 rpg. UTAH’s Michelle Plouffe ranks 14th, Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumuke is 16th and WASHINGTON’s Aminah Williams comes in at No. 19 ... The Ducks, who have scored in the 100s in seven of their 11 games this season, are the country’s scoring leader, netting an average of 105.3 points per game ... There is a full slate of women’s basketball games on the Pac-12 Networks this week. Four of the six Pac-12 matchups on Friday are being televised, while all six games on Sunday are being broadcast live. Check listings for channel and times.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Friday, January 3
Oregon at #4/4 Stanford, 6 p.m. PT P12N
Utah at UCLA, 6 p.m. PT P12N
Arizona at Washington, 7 p.m. PT Live Stream
#24/25 Arizona State at Washington State, 7 p.m. PT Live Stream
Oregon State at #23/21 California, 8 p.m. PT P12N
#12/14 Colorado at USC, 8 p.m. PT P12N
 
Sunday, January 5
Oregon at #23/21 California, 12 p.m. PT P12N
Arizona at Washington State, 12 p.m. PT P12N
Oregon State at #4/4 Stanford P12N 2 p.m. PT
#24/25 Arizona State at Washington, 2 p.m. PT P12N
Utah at USC, 4 p.m. PT P12N
#12/14 Colorado at UCLA, 7:30 p.m. PT P12N
 
* game times local to site; Live stream of games is available at pac-12.com.
P12N indicates televised match on Pac-12 Networks.
 
TEAM NOTES
ARIZONA
The Wildcats closed the non-conference season with three-straight victories, after getting off to a 1-7 start to the season ... Arizona welcomed back redshirt junior Candice Warthen who sat out all of last season because of injury. She currently leads the team in scoring (13.5 ppg) ... Though Warthen is welcomed back, UA will have to do without SR F Alli Gloyd because of a season-ending injury. She was one of only two Wildcats last year to start ever game ... Arizona defeated Texas Tech, 65-56, on Dec. 15 to jump start its current win streak ... None of UA’s losses have been by more than 10 points.
 
ARIZONA STATE
The Sun Devils have won 10 in a row to go into the Conference season with an 11-1 record, winning more non-conference games than a year ago ... ASU entered the AP poll for the first time last week and upset No. 20 Syracuse in ASU’s first chance to defend its ranking ... Arizona State has vastly improved its scoring this season, averaging nearly 20.0 ppg better than a year ago. Among the team’s reasons for the improvement is the team’s shooting percentage, which ranked 19th in the country entering the week. The Sun Devils shot just 38.6 percent last year and is shooting at a 46.7 percent clip ... ASU’s success can be attributed to its balanced scoring, as five players are averaging at least 8.0 ppg, with RS-SR G Deja Mann leading the way with 11.9 ppg after missing all of last season because of injury.
 
CALIFORNIA
The Golden Bears have been ranked all season and two of their three losses to-date have been to teams ranked in the top-three in the country at the time of the meeting ... Cal has been without national player of the year candidate Gennifer Brandon for all but 34 minutes of the season. In her absence, JR F Reshanda Gray has been a tremendous force for the Bears, averaging a team-best 15.5 ppg, more than seven points per game better than last year and nearly 1.5 rpg better than last year. She has also been a starter in every game this season, compared to just one game last year.
 
COLORADO
The Buffs 10-1 start to the 2013-14 season has earned them a top-15 national ranking. Their only loss of the season to-date is a seven-point setback to 2013 NCAA runner up Louisville ... The loss to the Cardinals snapped a 33-game win streak against regular-season non-conference opponents, a streak that dated back to the 2010-11 campaign ... 2013 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Arielle Roberson is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, but the Buffs boast a balanced attack with four players averaging double-digit scoring.
 
OREGON
The Ducks are 9-2 on the season, already more than doubling its win total from a year ago. After starting the season at 202, Oregon has rattled off seven wins in a row heading into Conference play ... UO is leading the country in scoring, averaging 105.3 ppg, an offensive improvement of nearly 45.0 ppg from a year ago. It has reached triple digits seven times and tallied at least 90 points in eight games altogether ... The Ducks opened the 2013-14 campaign scoring 131 points to shatter the Pac-12 single-game scoring mark ... FR G Chrishae Rowe has been a  key catalyst in the Ducks’ turnaround, leading the team in scoring at 24.5 ppg, while earning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors four times. She scored a Pac-12 season-high 41 points in a win on Dec. 4.
 
OREGON STATE
The Beavers’ Ruth Hamblin had a school-record nine blocks against No. 2 Notre Dame, but it was not enough to overcome the Fighting Irish ... OSU has turned up the offensive pressure, averaging 75.9 ppg as compared to 57.3 ppg a season ago. But continue to maintain a strong defensive stance, limiting opponents to just 62.0 ppg and a 34.2 field goal percentage, which ranks 23rd in the country and second in the Pac-12 ... SO G Jamie Weisner is building on a stellar freshman campaign, leading the team in scoring again at 15.2 ppg. She is receiving some help from freshman Sydney Weise, who is netting 12.2 ppg.
 
STANFORD
The Cardinal are off to another impressive start, winning its last 10 games in a row after falling to defending NCAA Champion Connecticut in the second game of the season. Most notably in the win streak is a six-point victory over top-five perrenial power Tennessee, handing the Lady Vols their first loss of the season ... Stanford is again looking to an Ogwumike to lead the team, as the younger sister enters her final campaign. The All-American is leading the team in scoring and Pac-12 in scoring (25.8), and is the team’s rebounding leader (11.3), as well ... Hall of fame head coach Tara VanDerveer posted her 900th-career victory earlier this season, becoming only the fifth women’s basketball coach in NCAA women’s basketball history to reach the threshold.
 
UCLA
The Bruins have suffered several season-ending injuries this season, as a result are 6-7 on the season. But UCLA has been more than competitive despite the slim roster with all but two losses coming by 10 points or less. It also posted a notable win was an upset of then-No. 10 Oklahoma earlier this season ... SO G Nirra Fields and SR F Atonye Nyingifa are tied for the team-scoring lead, both contributing 17.5 ppg, while Nyingifa is the team’s rebounding leader at 8.3 rpg. Both have been named Pac-12 Players of the Week this season, with Fields earning the honor this week ... UCLA opened the Pac-12 slate on Monday night, falling to crosstown rival USC, 56-54.
 
USC
The Women of Troy’s 3-0 start to the season was the team’s best since 1998-99 ... USC is under the direction of first-year head coach and legendary basketball player Cynthis Cooper, also a USC alumni ... USC leads the Pac-12 in rebounding defense, limiting opponents to 31.5 rpg while averaging 38.4 rpg, a difference of nearly 7.0 boards per game ... JR G Ariya Crook is averaging a team-high 16.3 ppg after dropping 25 points against crosstown rivals UCLA in the Pac-12 opener. The Trojans held off the Bruins, 56-54, in Pauley Pavilion.
 
UTAH
The Utes got off to a tough start to the season, going 2-4 and learning that All-Pac-12 performer Taryn Wicijowski would be out for the season because of an injury. However, Utah appears to have turned it around heading into the Conference slate, winning its last five games in a row, including a double-overtime victory over intra-state foe BYU in Provo. Two of those victories have been without All-Pac-12 performer and the team’s leading scorer and rebounder Michelle Plouffe. Plouffe is tallying 19.6 ppg and 11.4 rpg. She was named the ESPNW National Player of the Week after leading the Utes to a victory over BYU ... FR F Emily Potter is one of three players scoring in double figures, contributing 12.3 ppg, and is the team’s second-leading rebounder at 6.0 rpg. She was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week in mid-December.
 
WASHINGTON
The Huskies got off to a slow start to the season but have won five of their last six games, including a win over UC Irvine on Monday to close out the non-conference season ... UW has three players averaging double digits with two of them - JR G Jazmine Davis (18.8) and FR G Kelsey Plum (18.3) - ranking in the top 10 in the Pac-12 ... Plum has been voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week this season ... Washington is under the direction of first-time head coach Mike Neighbors who was an assistant coach last season.
 
WASHINGTON STATE
The Cougars enter the Conference season with a 6-6 record, posting a signature win over then-No. 10 Nebraska in Lincoln. The win marked the first time since 1998 the Cougs had defeated a top-10 team ... So far this season, WSU has shown significant improvement in its scoring, averaging 73.4 pgg. Washington State averaged just 59.4 ppg all season last year ... SO G Lia Galdeira is one of the team’s scoring leaders again, averaging 17.8 ppg, while JR G Tia Presley is tallying over 7.0 ppg more than a year ago, netting a team-high 20.4 ppg.
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