Bruin Women's Hoops To Host Utah in Home Opener Friday

Nov. 13, 2000

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Next Up
The UCLA women's basketball team will host Utah in the regularseason home opener on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:00 pm in Pauley Pavilion. Utahwas 23-8 last season and advanced to the NCAA first round, where it lost toIllinois. The series with Utah is tied at 1-1. The teams have not met sincethe 1990-91 season.

UCLA In Season Openers
The Bruins are 19-7 all-time in home seasonopeners. Last season, the Bruins bested Texas, 84-77 in overtime to kick offthe home schedule. Michelle Greco's basket in the final seconds ofregulation sent the game into the extra period.

UCLA Hosts Love And Basketball In Exhibition Sunday
UCLA will host Loveand Basketball, a local AAU team, in an exhibition game Sunday, Nov. 19 inPauley Pavilion at 2:00 pm. Love and Basketball is coached by former UCLAwomen's basketball assistant coach Colleen Matsuhara.

Looking Ahead
UCLA next regular season game will be on Saturday, November25th, at BYU. The Cougars were 22-9 last season, placed second in theMountain West conference and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournamentto finish with a 22-9 overall mark.

Bruins Face One of Nation's Toughest Schedules In 2000
Seven non-conference games (Duke, Utah, BYU, San Diego, Old Dominion, Pepperdineand Georgia) will be played against teams which earned bids to the 2000 NCAAtournament. The Bruins will also face NCAA tournament teams from the Pac-10in Oregon, Arizona and Stanford as well as WNIT teams from Arizona State andUSC. A local matchup with Long Beach State and a trip to Colorado are alsoon tap.

Bruins Drop Season Opener to #5 Duke
The Bruins lost their regular seasonopener, 80-52, in the first round of the Women's Sports Foundation Classicin Albuquerque, New Mexico. Michelle Greco led UCLA with a game-high 22points. Stacy Robertson, Malika Leatham, Natalie Nakase and Jalina Bradleyeach made their first career starts for the Bruins.

Bruins Lose at New Mexico
The Bruins dropped a 75-54 decision to the hostteam in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic consolation game. MichelleGreco led all scorers in the game with a career-high 28 points and was namedto the all-tournament squad.

Bruins Best Slovakia In Exhibition Game
The Bruins won their exhibitionopener, 69-68, over Slovakia on Nov. 6 in Pauley Pavilion. Michelle Grecopoured in 25 points to take high scoring honors in the game, including 21 inthe second half which helped the Bruins battle back from a 33-30 halftimedeficit. Jalina Bradley added 14 points and scored UCLA's final eight pointsin the game. Malika Leatham led UCLA on the boards with nine rebounds.

Bruins Picked To Finish Fifth In Pac-10
The Pac-10 women's basketballmedia picked UCLA to finish fifth in the conference in a pre-season poll.Stanford was the media's No. 1 choice, followed by Oregon, USC, Arizona,UCLA, Arizona State, Washington, California, Oregon State and WashingtonState.

A Look at UCLA
Six letterwinners, including three who have earnedAll-Pac-10 honors in past seasons return. Guards LaCresha Flannigan(All-Conf. in 1999), Michelle Greco (hon. mention All-Conf. in 2000) andNicole Kaczmarski (Pac-10 all-freshman in 2000) offer the most experience ofthe returners for the Bruins. Sophomore guard Natalie Nakase came off thebench in 11 games last season. Forward Natalie Jarrett missed the start ofthe 2000 season while recovering from knee surgery and appeared in eightgames overall. Guard Jalina Bradley, who missed 12 games with a stressfracture of the foot, saw limited action in nine games. VolleyballAll-American Kristee Porter will also return to the team after redshirtinglast season.

Newcomers include three freshmen and three players from the Texas juniorcollege ranks. Shalada Allen (Kilgore College) and Malika Leatham (BlinnCollege) will help solidify the Bruin post position. Stacy Robertson(Kilgore College) is a very capable perimeter shooter. Freshmen JamilaVeasley (Valley Christian HS) and Whitney Jones (San Clemente HS and also amember of the UCLA soccer team) will see action in the Bruin frontcourt.Gennifer Arranaga is a guard from Centennial HS in Corona, CA.

Head Coach Kathy Olivier
Just completed her seventh season (entered the2000-01 season with a 115-85 overall record) as UCLA head coach, KathyOlivier has steadily built the program to reflect her own positive, upbeatand outgoing personality. In 2000, she saw her team reach the NCAAtournament for a school record third straight season. The squad also set aBruin home attendance record by averaging over 3,700 fans. Maylana Martinbecame just the third player to ever earn All-Pac-10 honors in four straightseasons. Olivier became just the second coach at UCLA and the 11th ever inthe Pac-10 to earn victory number 100, which came against San Diego State.

In 1999, she led her Bruin team to the school's first ever Pac-10 conferencetitle and an unprecedented second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance forthe program. The team totaled the most wins (26) since the 1981 season andadvanced further in the NCAA tournament (Regional final) than any previousUCLA team. The team put together back-to-back 20-win seasons for the firsttime since the 1970's. In addition, the 1999 Bruin team finished with itshighest ranking ever (No. 7) in the USA Today poll.

In 1998, she guided UCLA to what was then its best finish ever (tie forsecond) in the Pac-10, its best winning percentage in the last 17 seasonsand the first 20-win season since 1992.

Multi-Sport Stars Will Join Team In December
Two of UCLA's finest athleteswill join the Bruin squad in December - three-sport standout Kristee Porterand two-sport athlete Whitney Jones. Porter is a star player on the UCLAvolleyball team, earning all-district and all-conference honors her firsttwo seasons and All-America honors in 1999. She has set numerous UCLA andPac-10 records in just three seasons. Porter also competes in the triplejump for the UCLA women's track and field team and qualified for the Pac-10Championships on that event. Jones is a starting midfielder for thehighly-ranked UCLA women's soccer team in just her first season andcurrently has two assists in 18 games played.

Veteran Guards To Return In December
UCLA is also expected to regain theservices of guards Nicole Kaczmarski and LaCresha Flannigan by mid-December.Kaczmarski, a Pac-10 All-Freshman guard a year ago, is taking the fallquarter of school off for personal reasons. She is expected to return toUCLA by December 16. Flannigan, a first-team All-Pac-10 performer as asophomore, is academically ineligible to participate with the team duringthe first quarter of school. She could also return to the team as early asDec. 16.

The 1999-00 Bruins Highlights

  • The Bruins advanced to the NCAA tournament for a school record thirdstraight time
  • The Bruins won at least 18 games in back-to-back-to back seasons for thefirst time since they did it in the 1979 (24)-80 (18)-81 (29) seasons.
  • The team set a home attendance record by averaging over 3,700 fans per game
  • Maylana Martin became the second-leading scorer in school history
  • Janae Hubbard and Marie Philman joined the 1,000-point club
  • Martin became just the third player in Pac-10 history to be namedall-conference in four straight seasons

UCLA Finishes 2000 with 18-11 Record and School's Third Straight NCAAAppearance
Coach Kathy Olivier's UCLA women's basketball team advancedto the NCAA tournament for a third straight year last season, a first forthe Bruin program, and its seventh overall trip to the Big Dance. The 18wins also marked the first time the Bruin program had won as many as 18games in three straight seasons (26 in 1999, 20 in 1998) since the 1979(24), 1980 (18) and 1981 (29) seasons.

Player Bio Updates

#1 Natalie Nakase - Played a team-high 31 minutes against Slovakia in theBruins' first exhibition and tallied five assists and two steals...Made herfirst career starts in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic against Dukeand New Mexico ... Saw action for 31 minutes against both teams... Had a careerbest five assists against New Mexico ... Added three assists versus New Mexico... Matched her career high with three points in each contest... Saw action in11 games off the bench last season ... Knows the system well.

#4 Kristee Porter - Volleyball All-American who is expected to join theteam in mid-December... Saw action in four games during the 1999 season andredshirted last year... Also a member of the track team and has scored at theConference championship meet in the triple jump.

#5 Melissa Maurin - Second-year student who walked on to the team... Playedat Don Lugo High School in Chino, CA... Came off the bench in the New Mexicogame to see her first action, but did not score in five minutes of play...Younger brother Ty is a midfielder on the UCLA men's soccer team.

#10 Whitney Jones - Starting midfielder on the soccer team who is expectedto join the team in mid-December... League Player of the Year last season atSan Clemente High School... Holds the school record for points in a game,steals in a season and single-season field goal percentage... Team advancedto the CIF finals her junior season.

#13 Gennifer Arranaga - Had eight points and five rebounds in the Bruins'exhibition opener... Had seven points and three steals off the bench in theopener against Duke in her first game action as a Bruin... Outstandingathlete who helped her Centennial High School team to a pair of leaguetitles... Served as team captain the past two seasons... Advanced to thefinals of the 100-meter event at the CIF meet as a prep freshman.

#14 Natalie Jarrett - Had eight points and six rebounds against Slovakia inthe Bruins' exhibition opener... In the opener against Duke, she had ateam-high and career-best seven rebounds... Came off the bench to grab ateam-leading seven rebounds against New Mexico... Appeared in eight gameslast season... Saw her first action on Dec. 17 at Cal State Fullerton...Missed the first six games of the season while recovering from off-seasonknee surgery... Had best of six points vs. Washington last season.

#20 Michelle Greco - Recorded a game-high 25 points, including 21 in thesecond half, with six rebounds and two steals against Slovakia... Scored acareer-high 28 points against New Mexico despite leaving the game with asprained right ankle with over five minutes to play... Had 22 points and fivesteals in the season opener against Duke... Named to the all-tournament teamof the Women's Sports Foundation Classic... Has now scored an average of 16.2in her 11 career starts (178 points)... Last year, she was selected to thehonorable mention all-conference team... Starter in six games last season andfor a total of nine for her career entering the current season... Third inthe Pac-10 last season in steals (2.2) and hit 86% of her free throws...Ranked second on the team in assists in each of her first two seasons...Scored a career-best 26 points at Stanford last year.

#21 Jalina Bradley - Totaled 14 points and scored the Bruins' last eightpoints of the game to beat Slovakia... Made her first career start in theseason opener against Duke and scored a career-high eight points... Played innine games last season... Missed 12 games in mid-season after fracturing herright foot... Had a high game of four points vs. Washington... Hit all four ofher free throws last season.

#23 Nicole Kaczmarski - Granted permission to miss the first quarter ofschool for personal reasons... Expected back in mid-December... Selected tothe first-team All-Pac-10 freshman team... Led the team with 36 madethree-point shots, including a school record seven treys at Washington Statelast season... Hit her last 19 straight free throws of the season to approachthe school record of 24... Last season ranked second in the Pac-10 in freethrow shooting (.841) and ninth in three-point shooting (.356).

#30 Kelly Tiao - Freshman who walked on to the team... Played in high schoolat Cerritos, CA High.

#32 Malika Leatham - Pulled down a team-best nine rebounds against Slovakia... Started both games in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic, battling foultrouble in both contests... Transfer from Blinn Junior College in Texas...Ranked eighth in Region XIV in rebounding last season... Second on her teamwith 46 blocked shots... Scored a career-best 20 points vs. Western Texas asa freshman.

#33 Shalada Allen - Scored eight points with five boards and a team-highthree steals vs. Slovakia... Came off the bench to scored six points and grabfive rebounds versus Duke... Scored six and had two rebounds before foulingout in a starting role against New Mexico... Transfer from Kilgore JuniorCollege in Texas... Ranked 10th last season in Region XIV in both scoring andrebounding... Scored a career-best 36 points against TVCC.

#35 Jamila Veasley - Saw two minutes of action against Slovakia and pulleddown one rebound... Came off the bench in both games in the Classic... Grabbedsix rebounds vs. New Mexico... Four-time all-league selection in high school... First-team all-CIF the last two seasons... Named co-MVP of her league... Hersister, Aisha, played at UCLA from 1995-98.

#42 Stacy Robertson - Had two points in 15 minutes of play against Slovakia... Started the Duke game but was held scoreless ... Came off the bench to scorethree points vs. New Mexico... Transfer from Kilgore Junior College in Texas... Named to the 10-player JC All-Region XIV and all-conference teams lastseason... Ranked third in the Region in three-point shooting... Ranked 12th inthe Region in scoring.

#45 LaCresha Flannigan - Academically ineligible for the first quarter andcould rejoin the Bruin team in mid-December... Has 28 career starts... 1999All-Conference selection.

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