This week in Pac-12 women's basketball

Associated Press

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• Owning the No. 1 Conference RPI, the Pac-12 again was the only league with three teams in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee’s top-10 ranking which was announced on Monday night. OREGON STATE was No. 7, ARIZONA STATE was No. 8 and UCLA was No. 10.

• Pac-12 students are known for their athletic success, but they are also impressive, complete people with outside interests, diverse backgrounds, extracurricular activities, interesting families, busy schedules and full lives. This week, the Conference will focus on the students in the classroom and community.

• UTAH: Senior point guard Danielle Rodriguez was named to the 2016 Allstate Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Good Works Team®. Rodriguez is among 10 student‐athletes from 103 nominees selection from colleges and univerities across the nation. This prestigious community service award recognizes those who have demonstrated a commitment to enriching the lives of others and contributing to the greater good in their communities.

• USC: Did you know that Candela Abejon studied classical music for 11 years? A freshman from Gijon, Spain, Abejon is majoring in electrical engineering.

• COLORADO: Junior forward Zoe Beard-Fails enjoys volunteering with Special Olympics programs. Beard-Fails has had more than 30 pets during her life including a Boa Constrictor, Sugar Gliders (similar to a flying squirrel), two Moluccan Cockatoos and many more. She also enjoys volunteering her time with Special Olympics.

• WASHINGTON STATE: Half of the 14 players on the Cougar roster hail from six different countries, including Australia (2), Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia and Romania.

UPSET CITY
January was the month of upset with 12 Pac-12 teams posting underdog wins, based on Associated Press rankings, further highlighting the strength of Pac-12 teams this season. Oregon State set the tone for February, posting the slight upset over Arizona State on the first of the month. The Pac-12 has the No. 1 RPI in the country with four teams in the top 10, the most for any conference in the nation. Below is a list of Conference upsets from this season. Rankings are at the time of the meeting:

Dec. 21: #21 California def. #19 UCLA, 108-104 2OT
Jan. 4: NR Arizona def. #21 California, 57-52
Jan. 4: #14 Arizona State def. #9 Stanford, 49-31
Jan. 4: #15 UCLA def. #11 Oregon State, 71-51
Jan. 10: USC def. #15 UCLA, 71-68
Jan. 10: Utah def. #21 California, 84-79
Jan. 15: Washington def. #17 UCLA, 64-56
Jan. 15: Washington State def. #25 USC, 73-61
Jan. 17: Washington def. #25 USC, 69-60
Jan. 24: #20 UCLA def. #12 Stanford, 56-36
Feb. 1: #9 Oregon State def. #8 Arizona State, 63-58
Feb. 7: Oregon def. #24 Washington, 75-63

Alleyne Becomes All-Time Leading Rebounder
Senior forward Jillian Alleyne pulled down 15 boards to become the Pac-12’s career rebounding leader on Jan. 17, 2016, surpassing the mark set by former Stanford great Chiney Ogwumike. Alleyne is also ranked fourth all-time in NCAA history. 

1. Jillian Alleyne, ORE (2012-pres.) 1683
2. Chiney Ogwumike, STAN (2011-14) 1567
3. Kayla Pedersen, STAN (2008-11) 1266
4. Jayne Appel, STAN (2007-10) 1263
5. Nnemkadi Ogwumike, STAN (2009-12) 1226

Alleyne’s total numbers are impressive, but her career average is as well. Having averaged at least 11.9 rpg every season, her career average of 14.5 rpg through three seasons would break the all-time record currently held by former UCLA standout Natalie Williams who maintained a 12.8 rpg in her career from 1991-94. Alleyne also has 90 career double-doubles, breaking STANFORD’s Chiney Ogwumike’s 85 for the most ever. 

2K CLUB 
On Jan. 31, two Pac-12 standouts each reached 2,000 career points. WASHINGTON’s Kelsey Plum needed only 88 games to reach 2,000 career points, becoming the fastest player to reach the milestone in Conference history. Jillian Alleyne also hit the mark, becoming the 10th player in the NCAA to total 2,000 career points and 1,500 career rebounds. As of Feb. 14, both players have collected 2,103 points to date, ranking 12th in league history. They each need 39 points to break into the top-10.

PAC-12 TEAMS IN THE POLLS
Four Pac-12 teams are ranked this week in the Associated Press poll and in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches poll. The Conference has a team ranked as high as No. 7 in the AP poll with OREGON STATE. The Beavers rank No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches poll. Also in the top 10 is ARIZONA STATE, earning spots No. 9 and 10 in the respective polls.  UCLA is up to No. 12 in the AP and No. 14 in the coaches poll. STANFORD  rounds out the league presence at No. 15 in both polls. Five league teams were ranked in the AP poll from the week of Nov. 30 to the week of Jan. 11, it was the longest stretch of that many Pac-12 teams ranked in league history. Prior to that, five teams had been ranked in the AP on Nov. 13, 2006 for two weeks. 

NCAA SELECTION COMMITTEE TOP 10
The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee made its second of three announcements on Monday of its top-10 rankings in seed order, giving a look into their current thought process as it relates to the NCAA Tournament selections in early March. Owning the No. 1 Conference RPI for most of the season, the Pac-12 again was the only league with three teams in the ranking as No. 7 OREGON STATE, No. 8 ARIZONA STATE and No. 10 UCLA made an appearance for the second time. The Committee will reveal the final top 10 on Feb. 29.

QUICKLY AROUND THE LEAGUE
The Pac-12 concluded non-conference play with the top RPI in the nation. The Conference’s 79.7 winning percentage in non-conference regular-season play is the top mark since the league sponsored the sport in 1986-87 ... Now in league play, the Conference owns the top RPI in the country at .5919, according to the NCAA index. Four Pac-12 teams have landed in the top 10, the most of any conference in the country  ... Of the 17 women averaging double-doubles in the nation, the Pac-12 is the only league with three players achieving the feat including Alleyne, WASHINGTON’s Chantel Osahor and UTAH’s Emily Potter ... The Sun Devils tied its most-consecutive wins in program history at 15 ... OREGON STATE is one of three teams in the nation with three 1,000+ active point scorers (Hamblin, Weisner, Wiese; UCONN, Southern Illinois) Now at No. 7 in the AP poll, the Beavers have matched their highest ranking in school history ...  Senior center Ruth Hamblin had her hair cut on court in OSU’s DAM Cancer event. Her hair will be donated to make wigs for cancer patients. California freshman and Beijing, China product Chen Yue, who is pursuing a degree in marketing and business, helped plan the promotions to help Cal celebrate the Chinese New Year ... With road wins over Colorado/Utah, Washington/Washington State, Oregon has collected two road weekend sweeps this year. The last time the Ducks collected one road weekend sweep was in 2008-09 against the Washington schools. The Ducks are also averaging nearly 10.0 points per game more than last year, already posting more overall wins than all of last season ... Leading the Beavers to their 10th-straight win, Oregon State guard Jamie Weisner collected her 1,500th point and claimed weekly Conference honors... WASHINGTON’s Kelsey Plum was named a Nancy Lieberman Award finalist, given annually to the nation’s top point guard. The junior is also on midseason watch lists for the John Wooden Award, Ann Meyers Drysdale USBWA National Player of the Year and the Dawn Staley Award ... Also seeing vast improvements from last season is Utah. The Utes already have more overall wins and more Conference wins than all of last season. The Utes are under the direction of first-year head coach Lynne Roberts. Utah has also outrebounded its opponents in 18-of-25 games ... Washington State has played in 10 games this season in which the game was within two possessions in the final two minutes. WSU has a 4-6 record in those games.

PAC-12 IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
As of Feb. 15, WASHINGTON’s Kelsey Plum is averaging 27.1 points per game, the second-best average in the country. One of the most prolific scorers in Pac-12 history, the junior became the fastest player to reach 2,000 career points in Pac-12 history.

OREGON senior Jillian Alleyne has recorded double-doubles in the majority of the games she has played in her career, including 23 this season which is the most in the country. Alleyne also ranks third in the country averaging 13.6 rebounds per game.

Also posting stats in the top-10 in the country are Stanford’s Karlie Samuelson, Oregon’s Lexi Bando and Arizona State’s Katie Hempen. Samuleson ranks fourth nationally in three-point percentage at 46.6, while Bando (fifth, 45.6) and Hempen, (ninth, 44.1) round out the Pac-12 presence in the top 10.

 

 

 

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