Back-to-back top-25 matchups, rivalry games start this week
In the lone weekday game this week WASHINGTON headed to WASHINGTON STATE looking to extend a 35-game win streak over the Cougars. But WSU, off to a strong start in Conference with a pair of wins, including an upset of top-25 foe ARIZONA STATE, ended that streak with their first win over their cross-state rivals since 1995 with a 82-80 victory at home. The rivals will meet again on Saturday afternoon as the Cougars try to go 4-0 in Conference play for the first time in program history. The rematch will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks ... OREGON STATE and OREGON will also go head-to-head on Saturday ... A couple of other big games are slated for this week as No. 17 COLORADO hosts both No. 4 STANFORD and No. 19 CALIFORNIA, setting up back-to-back top-25 matchups on the Pac-12 Networks ... USC, who is riding a five-game winning streak, is 3-0 in Pac-12 play after upsetting the Buffs over the weekend. The Trojans hit the road to the Arizona schools ... UCLA, who nearly upset the Buffs on Sunday and already has a signature win this season over Oklahoma, looks to get another chance at an upset when it closes out the week with a game at ASU ... The Ducks are the only team in the nation to average 100 points per game, while SO G Jillian Alleyne is the country’s rebounding leader (14.0) ... STANFORD’s Chiney Ogwumike became the Pac-12’s all-time leading rebounder (1,248), breaking the record formerly held by former Cardinal Kayla Pedersen (1,266). Ogwumike was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week for the fifth time. She also moved into eighth place in scoring in the Pac-12 record book (2,148) ... The Huskies’ Kelsey Plum was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the third time ... Four Pac-12 teams are ranked in the Associated Press poll for the third-straight week ... In all seven games will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks this weekend.
Tuesday, January 7
Washington at Washington State (P12N), 7 p.m. PT
Friday, January 10
#4 Stanford at Utah (P12N), 6 p.m. MT
USC at #23 Arizona State (P12N), 6 p.m. MT
UCLA at Arizona (P12N), 8 p.m. MT
#19 California at #17 Colorado (P12N), 8 p.m. MT
Saturday, January 11
Washington State at Washington (P12N), 3 p.m. PT
Oregon State at Oregon (P12N), 5 p.m. PT
Sunday, January 12
UCLA at #23 Arizona State (P12N), 1 p.m. MT
#19 California at Utah (P12N), 1 p.m. MT
USC at Arizona (P12N), 2 p.m. MT
#4 Stanford at #17 Colorado (P12N), 3 p.m. MT
* game times local to site; Live stream of games is available at pac-12.com.
P12N indicates televised match on Pac-12 Networks.
ARIZONA (4-9, 0-2)
The Wildcats closed the non-conference season with three-straight victories, after getting off to a 1-7 start to the season ... UA defeated Texas Tech, 65-56, on Dec. 15 to jump start a three-game win streak to close out the non-conference slate ... Arizona welcomed back redshirt junior Candice Warthen who sat out all of last season because of injury. She currently leads the team in scoring (13.3 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 ... None of UA’s losses have been by more than 10 points, including a three-point and two-point setbacks to open Pac-12 play.
ARIZONA STATE (12-2, 1-1)
The Sun Devils jumped a spot in the Associated Press poll to No. 23 and have been ranked three conseuctive weeks ... ASU’s 11-1 start to the season was the team’s best since 1986-87, including wins over ranked teams - No. 11 North Carolina and No. 20 Syracuse, going on a 10-game win streak after starting the season 1-1. It was the longest win streak for the program since 2009 ... 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. The Sun Devils shot just 38.6 percent last year and is shooting at a 45.1 percent clip ... ASU’s success can also 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 11.1 ppg after missing all of last season because of injury ... Six of ASU’s wins have come when it was either trailing (TTU, UNC, LBSU, SU) or ahead by only one point (Ark. St., Miami) at some point in the last five minutes of regulation.
CALIFORNIA (10-3, 2-0)
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 ... After playing in just the first two games of the season (for a total of 34 minutes), Cal welcomed back national player of the year candidate Gennifer Brandon, who played 22 minutes in the overtime win over Oregon, scoring her 1,000th-career point in the game ... In her absence, JR F Reshanda Gray has been a tremendous force for the Bears, averaging a team-best 16.8 ppg, more than double her scoring average from last year and nearly 2.0 rpg better than last year. She has also been a starter in every game this season, compared to just one game last year. Most recently, she scored a career-high 33 points and had a career-best 13 rebounds to propel the Bears to a win over the Ducks.
COLORADO (11-2, 1-1)
The Buffs are ranked at No. 17 this week in the Associated Press poll ... CU reeled off nine wins in a row to start the season, but have suffered two setbacks in the last four games, one of which was to top-10 foe Louisville and the other to USC, both on the road ... The loss to the Trojans was just its second loss to an unranked team in the last 36 games over the past two seasons ... The loss to the Cardinals also snapped a 33-game win streak against regular-season non-conference opponents, a streak that dated back to the 2010-11 campaign ... The Buffs sport a balanced attack with four players averaging double-digit scoring with JR F Jen Reese leading the team. 2013 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Arielle Roberson is the team’s leading rebounder at 8.5 rpg.
OREGON (9-4, 0-2)
The Ducks lead the nation in scoring, the only team in the nation to average 100+ ppg, and has more than doubled its win total from a year ago. After starting the season at 2-2, UO rattled off seven wins in a row to close out the non-conference regular-season slate ... Oregon has improved its scoring by over 40.0 ppg from last year, reaching triple digits seven times and tallying at least 90 points nine times in 13 games ... 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 23.5 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 ... SO F Jillian Alleyne also leads NCAA Division I in rebounding at 14.0 rpg.
OREGON STATE (8-6, 0-2)
The Beavers are coing off their toughest portion of the schedule, facing three-consecutive ranked opponents, including two ranked in the top five ... OSU ranks eighth in the country in blocks (6.0 bpg), led by Ruth Hamblin’s 3.43 bpg, which ranks seventh in the nation. She recorded a school-ranked nine blocks against No. 2 Notre Dame ... OSU has turned up the offensive pressure this year, averaging 74.4 ppg as compared to 57.3 ppg a season ago. But continue to maintain a strong defensive stance, limiting opponents to just 35.8 field goal percentage, which ranks third in the Pac-12 ... SO G Jamie Weisner is building on a stellar freshman campaign, leading the team in scoring again at 15.5 ppg. She is receiving some help from freshman Sydney Weise, who is netting 12.7 ppg.
STANFORD (13-1, 2-0)
The Cardinal are ranked No. 4 in the country this week and are riding a 12-game win streak. Its only loss of the season was to defending NCAA Champion Connecticut in the second game of the season. Most notably during 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 is in the midst of her final campaign. The All-American is leading the team in scoring and Pac-12 in scoring (26.6), and is the team’s rebounding leader (11.6), as well. In the team’s Conference opener, Ogwumike became the Pac-12’s all-time leading rebounder, en route to earning her fifth Pac-12 Player of the Week honor ... 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 (7-8, 1-1)
The Bruins have suffered several season-ending injuries this season, as a result are 7-8 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. Its two Pac-12 losses were by a combined four points. The Bruins also posted a notable win over then-No. 10 Oklahoma earlier this season ... SO G Nirra Fields leads the team in scoring with 17.8 ppg, also averaging a team-best 19.0 ppg in league games ... SR F Atonye Nyingifa is the team’s rebounding leader at 8.5 rpg, grabbing 9.7 in Pac-12 play.
USC (10-5, 3-0)
USC’s 3-0 start to the Conference schedule extends the Women of Troy’s current win streak to five games ... USC’s three league victories were by 10 points or less and includes an upset of then-No. 12 Colorado, the Trojans’ first win over a ranked team since 2011 ... USC opened the 2013-14 with a 3-0 start, 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 33.5 rpg while averaging 38.7 rpg, a difference of 5.2 boards per game ... JR G Ariya Crook is averaging a team-high 15.1 ppg after dropping 25 points against crosstown rivals UCLA in the Pac-12 opener.
UTAH (7-6, 0-2)
The Utes had a five-game win streak snapped with back-to-back road losses in Pac-12 play, dropping games to at UCA and USC ... Utah went undefeated in the month of December, which included a double-overtime win over BYU in Provo ... All-Pac-12 performer Taryn Wicijowski is out for the season because of an injury ... Two of the five during that stretch were without All-Pac-12 performer and the team’s leading scorer and rebounder Michelle Plouffe. Plouffe is tallying 17.9 ppg and 10.7 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 two players scoring in double figures, contributing 11.5 ppg, and is the team’s second-leading rebounder at 6.4 rpg. She was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week in mid-December.
WASHINGTON (8-5, 1-1)
The Huskies got off to a slow start to the season but have won six of their last nine games, including a going 2-1 last week ... The Huskies won three in a row before having their win streak snapped by Arizona State ... UW has three players averaging double digits with two of them - JR G Jazmine Davis (18.4) and FR G Kelsey Plum (18.5) - ranking in the top six in the Pac-12 ... Plum has been voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week three times this season ... SO F Aminah Williams ranks 21st in the nation with 10.9 rpg ... Washington is under the direction of first-time head coach Mike Neighbors who was an assistant coach last season.
WASHINGTON STATE (8-6, 2-0)
The Cougars are 8-6 record, posting a signature wins over then-No. 10 Nebraska in Lincoln and a win over top-25 foe Arizona State at home. The win over the Huskers 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 18.4 ppg, while JR G Tia Presley is tallying nearly 6.5 ppg more than a year ago, netting a team-high 19.7 ppg ... The Cougs are 2-0 for the second time in the last three seasons.