Pac-12 continues to boast four top-25 teams
OREGON and OREGON STATE tipped off the week with an exciting Monday night contest to wrap up the Civil War series. The Beavers won the game to sweep the regular-season series, as SO C Ruth Hamblin made history, recording the 17th triple-double in Conference history and the first to accomplish the feat with 10 blocks. Hamblin is also the first OSU player to put up a triple double in Conference history ... OREGON SO F Jillian Alleyne continues to dominate the boards, grabbing 19 in the loss to Oregon State. She entered the week ranked second in the nation in rebounds per game, but has upped her season average to 14.2 rpg to also lead the Pac-12 ... The Pac-12 has four teams ranked in this week’s Associted Press and USA Today/WBCA Coaches polls. STANFORD remains at No. 4 in both rankings, while CALIFORNIA moved up to No. 15 in the polls. COLORADO slipped a few notches, but still is No. 21 and 20, respectively. ARIZONA STATE is ranked in the AP poll for the fourth week in a row, coming in at No. 19 this week, but enters the coaches poll for the first time this season and is at No. 24 ... Friday’s lineup includes the Buffs traveling to WASHINGTON STATE, who is 4-0 for the first time in Conference history. The Cougs have already defeated two ranked opponents this season ... The Sun Devils host the Cardinal and Golden Bears for a pair of top-25 clashes in the desert ... Nine games are slated for the Pac-12 Networks, with the remainder of the schedule being live streamed on pac-12.com ... STANFORD’s Chiney Ogwumike was voted the Pac-12 Player of the Week for the sixth time this season after averaging 32.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, including back-to-back 30-point performances. OSU guard Sydney Wiese was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week ... Entering the week, the Ducks are leading the NCAA in scoring and rank second in three-point field goals per game. Ogwumike (total points), Alleyne (rebounds per game) and Boyd (steals per game) rank second in the country in their respective categories.
Team Season Notes
ARIZONA (4-11, 0-4)
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 the three-game win ... Arizona welcomed back redshirt junior Candice Warthen who sat out all of last season because of injury. She currently leads the team in scoring (13.0 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 ... Nine of UA’s losses have been by 10 points or less, with all their Pac-12 losses coming by nine or less points.
ARIZONA STATE (14-2, 3-1)
The Sun Devls have been ranked four-consecutive weeks by the Associated Press, jumping four spots to No. 19 ... 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 ... ASU 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 are shooting at a 45.2 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 11.6 ppg after missing all of last season because of injury ... Eight of ASU’s wins have come when it was either trailing (TTU, UNC, LBSU, SU, UCLA) or ahead by only one point (Ark. St., Miami, USC) at some point in the last five minutes of regulation... ASU is 3-0 in overtime games this year.
CALIFORNIA (12-3, 4-0)
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 scored her 1,000th-career point in an overtime win over Oregon ... In Brandon’s absence, JR F Reshanda Gray has been a tremendous force for the Bears, averaging a team-best 16.5 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 ... Cal has won 19-consecutive regular season conference games dating back to last season.
COLORADO (11-4, 1-3)
The Buffs have been ranked all season and this week are No. 21 in the Associated Press poll after two Conference losses over the weekend ... CU reeled off nine wins in a row to start the season, but have suffered four setbacks in the last six games, three of which were to top-25 foes, including Louisville and Stanford who are both ranked in the top five ... 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 ... The Buffs sport a balanced attack with three players averaging double-digit scoring with 2013 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Arielle Roberson leading the team in both scoring average (13.3 ppg) and rebounding average (8.2 rpg) ... JR G Lexy Kresl ranks 20th in the country in free throw percentage (89.1).
OREGON (9-6, 0-4)
The Ducks lead the nation in scoring and was the only team in the nation to average 100+ ppg entering the week. They have more than doubled their 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 15 games ... UO opened 2013-14 scoring 131 points to shatter the Pac-12 single-game scoring mark ... FR G Chrishae Rowe is the top-scoring freshman in the country, leading the team and ranking ninth in the nation at 23.1 ppg, 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 was second NCAA Division I in rebounding entering the week and is now averaging at 14.2 rpg.
OREGON STATE (10-6, 2-2)
The Beavers are back in the win column with back-to-back wins over Oregon after facing the toughest portion of their schedule, which included three-consecutive ranked opponents, including two ranked in the top five ... OSU ranks 10th in the country in blocks (5.9 bpg), led by Ruth Hamblin’s 3.53 bpg, which ranks seventh in the nation. She recorded a school-record nine blocks against No. 2 Notre Dame. She recorded the 17th triple-double in Pac-12/10 history in the home win over the Ducks and is the first to accomplish the feat with 10 blocks ... OSU has turned up the offensive pressure this year, averaging 75.3 ppg as compared to 57.3 ppg a season ago. But continue to maintain a strong defensive stance, limiting opponents to just 35.9 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 15.3 ppg. She is receiving help from freshman Sydney Weise, who is netting 13.5 ppg.
STANFORD (15-1, 4-0)
The Cardinal is ranked No. 4 in the country this week and is riding a 14-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 then-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 (27.3), also ranking third in the country. Her 11.8 rpg is also 10th in the nation ... 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 (8-9, 2-3)
The Bruins have suffered several season-ending injuries this season, but UCLA has been more than competitive despite the slim roster with all three Pac-12 losses coming by a combined six points, including a two point loss to No. 23 Arizona State. Six of the losses in all have been by 10 points or less ... The Bruins posted a notable win over then-No. 10 Oklahoma earlier this season ... SO G Nirra Fields leads the team in scoring with 17.5 ppg, also averaging a team-best 17.6 ppg in league games ... SR F Atonye Nyingifa is the team’s rebounding leader at 8.9 rpg, grabbing 10.6 in Pac-12 play.
USC (11-6, 4-1)
After a 3-0 start to the Conference schedule, USC suffered their first setback in an overtime loss to No. 23 Arizona State ... USC’s four 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, legendary basketball player and USC alumni Cynthis Cooper ... USC leads the Pac-12 in rebounding defense, limiting opponents to 33.6 rpg while averaging 38.6 rpg, a difference of 5.0 boards per game ... JR G Ariya Crook leads the team in scoring average (15.1 ppg) but has not played since dropping 25 points against crosstown rivals UCLA in the Pac-12 opener. JR F Alexyz Vaioletama has stepped up in her absence, averaging 12.7 ppg and 8.25 rpg.
UTAH (7-8, 0-4)
The Utes won five in a row before dropping their first four Conference games, dropping games at UCLA and USC, and losing at home to Stanford and California ... 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 games during the December stretch were without All-Pac-12 performer and the team’s leading scorer and rebounder Michelle Plouffe. Plouffe is tallying 17.7 ppg and 10.8 rpg. ... FR F Emily Potter is one of two players scoring in double figures, contributing 11.7 ppg, and is the team’s second-leading rebounder at 6.5 rpg. She was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week in mid-December.
WASHINGTON (8-7, 1-3)
The Huskies got off to a slow start to the season then won six of nine games before dropping three-straight Conference games, including two in a row to cross-state rival Washington State, the first time the Huskies have been swept by the Cougars since 1975 ... UW has three players averaging double digits with two of them - JR G Jazmine Davis (19.2) and FR G Kelsey Plum (18.7) - ranking in the top six in the Pac-12 ... Plum has been voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week three times this season ... Washington is under the direction of first-time head coach Mike Neighbors who was an assistant coach last season.
WASHINGTON STATE (10-6, 4-0)
The Cougars are 10-6 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 6.6 ppg more than a year ago, netting a team-high 19.9 ppg ... WSU’s 82-80 win over the Huskies on January 7 was its first since 1995, snapping a 36-game losing streak to UW. In the same week the Cougars’ earned their first win.