UCLA Women's Basketball Faces Undefeated Ohio State

Dec. 19, 2000

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Next Up -- The Bruins will conclude an East Coast road swing with a Thursday Dec. 21 game at Ohio State (8-0 with a contest against Akron Dec. 19).Ohio State is off to an 8-0 start and is averaging 86.5 point per game while allowing just 52 points per game. LaToya Turner, the 2000 Big 10 Freshman of the Year, is one of the nation's top young talents. The 6-4 sophomore center averages 18.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Jamie Lewis averages 13.0 points and 9.4 assists per game. OSU leads the series, 3-1, and won the last meeting, 91-80, in a game played in Columbus in 1992.

Radio -- There will be no UCLA radio broadcast of this game.

Greco Atop Pac-10 Conference In Scoring -- Junior guard Michelle Greco took over the Pac-10 Conference scoring lead last week after her 34-point performance against Long Beach State. Greco leads all conference players with a scoring average of 19.1 and a free throw percentage of .885 (23-26). She also entered the week ranked fourth in three-point field goals made. In the latest national rankings, Greco checked in at 27th.

Porter Makes Impressive Debut -- Just over a week after ending her volleyball season at the Regional Final and after being named a first-team All-American, three-sport standout Kristee Porter joined the UCLA women's basketball team at Old Dominion. In her 2000-01 season debut, she gave a 10-point, nine-rebound, five-block effort against the Lady Monarchs. Porter also competes for the track and field team and was a Pac-10 qualifier in the triple jump.

Keeping Up With The Joneses -- Joining Porter on the multi-sport front is freshman forward Whitney Jones, a starting midfielder on the women's soccer team that advanced to the NCAA championship game for the first time in school history. Jones saw her first action for the basketball team on Dec. 10 against Long Beach State and scored two points and grabbed three rebounds. Against Old Dominion Dec. 18, she scored 11 points in 17 minutes on 3-4 shooting from the field.

Bruins Face One of Nation's Toughest Schedules in 2000-2001 -- Seven non-conference games (Duke, Utah, BYU, San Diego, Old Dominion, Pepperdine and Georgia) will be played against teams which earned bids to the 2000 NCAA tournament. The Bruins will face NCAA tournament teams from the Pac-10 in Oregon, Arizona and Stanford, as well as WNIT teams from New Mexico, Long Beach St., Arizona St. and USC. Trips to Colorado and Ohio St. are also on tap.

Bruins Picked To Finish Fifth In Pac-10 -- The Pac-10 women's basketball media 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 Washington State.

A Look at UCLA -- Five letterwinners, including two who have earned All-Pac-10 honors in past seasons return. Guards LaCresha Flannigan (All-Conf. in 1999) and Michelle Greco (hon. mention All-Conf. in 2000) offer the most experience of the returners for the Bruins. Sophomore guard Natalie Nakase came off the bench in 11 games last season. Forward Natalie Jarrett missed the start of the 2000 season while recovering from knee surgery and appeared in eight games overall. Guard Jalina Bradley, who missed 12 games with a stress fracture of the foot, saw limited action in nine games. Volleyball All-American Kristee Porter also returns to the team after redshirting last season.

Newcomers include three freshmen and three players from the Texas junior college ranks. Shalada Allen (Kilgore College) and Malika Leatham (Blinn College) will help solidify the Bruin post position. Stacy Robertson (Kilgore College) is a very capable perimeter shooter. Freshmen Jamila Veasley (Valley Christian HS) and Whitney Jones (San Clemente HS) will see action in the Bruin frontcourt. Gennifer Arranaga is a guard from Centennial HS in Corona, CA.

Head Coach Kathy Olivier -- Having just completed her seventh season (entered the 2000-01 season with a 115-85 overall record) as UCLA head coach, Kathy Olivier has steadily built the program to reflect her own positive, upbeat and outgoing personality. In 2000, she saw her team reach the NCAA tournament for a third-straight season, a school record. The squad also set a school home attendance record by averaging over 3,700 fans. Maylana Martin became just the third player to ever earn All-Pac-10 honors in four straight seasons. Olivier became just the second coach at UCLA and the 11th in the 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 conference title and an unprecedented second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance for the program. The team totaled the most wins (26) since the 1981 season and advanced further in the NCAA tournament (Regional final) than any previous UCLA team. The team put together back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since the 1970's. In addition, the 1999 Bruin team finished with its highest ranking ever (No. 7) in the USA Today poll.

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

The 1999-00 Bruins Highlights --
*The Bruins advanced to the NCAA tournament for a school record third straight time
*The Bruins won at least 18 games in back-to-back-to back seasons for the first 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 named all-conference in four straight seasons

UCLA Finishes 2000 with 18-11 Record and School's Third Straight NCAA Appearance -- Coach Kathy Olivier's UCLA women's basketball team advanced to the NCAA tournament for a third straight year last season, a first for the Bruin program, and its seventh overall trip to the Big Dance. The 18 wins also marked the first time the Bruin program had won as many as 18 games 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 -- Ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in assists with an average of 4.5 ...Also ranks eighth in steals (2.0 per game entering the week) ...Starter in all eight games ... Has recorded career-highs in points in each of the last three games ...Recorded career-highs in points (seven) and assists (seven) at Colorado and matched the exact totals in the next game vs. Long Beach ...Bested those numbers with nine points against Old Dominion ...Also set a new career high in rebounds at ODU with three ... Made a career-best six steals vs. Long Beach ... Handed out six assists at BYU ... Made her first career starts in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic against Duke and New Mexico ... Saw action for 31 minutes against both teams ... Had five assists against New Mexico ... Added three assists versus Duke ... Matched her then-career high with three points in each contest ...Saw action in 11 games off the bench last season ... Knows the system well. Career Highs: Points - 9, at ODU, 12-18-00, Rebounds - 3, at ODU, 12-18-00, Assists - 7, last vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Steals - 6, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00.

#4 Kristee Porter -- Volleyball first-team All-American who saw her first action with the 2000-01 Bruin hoopsters at Old Dominion Dec. 18 ... Recorded 10 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots in her season debut at ODU, all career-highs ...Saw action in four games during the 1999 season and redshirted last year ... Also a member of the track team and has scored at the Conference championship meet in the triple jump. Career Highs: Points - 10, at ODU, 12-18-00, Rebounds - 9, at ODU, 12-18-00, Blocks - 5, at ODU, 12-18-00 , Steals - 1, vs. ASU, 1-5-99.

#5 Melissa Maurin -- Second-year student who walked on to the team ... Has seen action in three games ... Played at Don Lugo High School in Chino, CA ... Came off the bench in the New Mexico game to see her first action, but did not score in five minutes of play ... Did not score in two minutes against Utah ... Younger brother Ty is a midfielder on the UCLA men's soccer team.

#10 Whitney Jones -- Starting midfielder on the soccer team who began practice on Dec. 6 and played for the first time vs. Long Beach State (2 points, 3 rebounds) ... In just her second game, she scored 11 points on 3-4 fg shooting at ODU ...Helped lead the Bruin soccer team to the NCAA Championship game for the first time in school history ...League Player of the Year last season at San Clemente High School ... Holds the school record for points in a game, steals in a season and single-season field goal percentage ... Team advanced to the CIF finals her junior season. Career Highs: Points - 11, at ODU, 12-18-00, Rebounds - 3, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Assists - 2, at ODU, 12-18-00, Steals - 2, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00.

#13 Gennifer Arranaga -- Rated fifth in the conference entering the week in steals (now a 2.13 average) and sixth in free throw percentage (.824) ... Has appeared in all eight games off the bench ... Pulled down a career-high five rebounds and scored 11 points with two steals at Colorado ...Poured in a career-high 13 points vs. USD ... Had six points and four rebounds at BYU ... Scored nine points with four steals and three rebounds against Utah ...Had seven points and three steals off the bench in the opener against Duke in her first game action as a Bruin ... Outstanding athlete who helped her Centennial High School team to a pair of league titles ... Served as team captain her last two prep seasons ... Advanced to the finals of the 100-meter event at the CIF meet as a prep freshman. Career Highs: Points - 13, vs. San Diego, 11-28-00, Rebounds - 5, at Colorado, 12-2-00, Assists - 2, at BYU, 11-25-00, Steals - 4, vs. Utah, 11-17-00.

#14 Natalie Jarrett -- Starter in six games ... Had nine points and five boards in 20 minutes of play against Utah ... Came off the bench to grab a team-leading seven rebounds against New Mexico ... In the opener against Duke, she had a team-high and career-best seven rebounds ...Appeared in eight games last season ... Saw her first action on Dec. 17 at Cal State Fullerton ... Missed the first six games of the 1999-2000 season while recovering from off-season knee surgery ... Had best of six points vs. Washington last season. Career Highs: Points - 9, vs. Utah, 11-17-00, Rebounds - 7, last at UNM, 11-11-00, Blocks - 1, last vs. OSU, 1-27-00, Steals - 2, last vs. San Diego, 11-28-00.

#20 Michelle Greco -- Leading scorer for UCLA and the Pac-10 with a 19.1 average ...Also leads the conference in free throw percentage (.885, 23-26) ...Has led UCLA in scoring in seven of its eight games (only time she did not lead was when she injured an ankle early in the first half against Utah) ...Scored a career-high 34 points to key the Bruin win over Long Beach, including 25 in the second half ... Led UCLA with 15 points and recorded a season-high five assists at Colorado ... Had 18 points vs. San Diego ... Had 22 points and five steals in the season opener against Duke ... Named to the all-tournament team of the Women's Sports Foundation Classic in New Mexico ...Scored a then career-high 28 points against New Mexico despite leaving the game with a sprained right ankle with over five minutes to play ... Re-aggravated the ankle five minutes into the contest with Utah and did not score in 17 minutes of play ...Returned to action at BYU and scored a team-high 24 points ... Matched her career-best with eight boards at BYU ... Has now scored an average of 16.8 points in her 16 career starts (269 points) ... Last year, she was selected to the honorable mention all-conference team ... Starter in six games last season and for a total of nine for her career entering the current season ... Third in the 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 then career-best 26 points at Stanford last year. Career Highs: Points - 34, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Rebounds - 8, last at BYU, 11-25-00, Assists - 7, last vs. WSU, 1-9-00, Steals - 7, last at Stanford, 2-3-00.

#21 Jalina Bradley -- Starter in all eight games ... Recorded 10 points against Old Dominion ...Had seven points and a career-high three steals in the win over Long Beach ... Scored 10 points on 4-6 shooting and had career-highs in rebounds (five) and steals (two) at Colorado ... Led the Bruins against Utah with career-highs in points (12) and assists (five) ...Made her first career start in the season opener against Duke and scored eight points ...Played in nine games last season ... Missed 12 games in mid-season after fracturing her right foot ... Had a high game of four points vs. Washington ... Hit all four of her free throws last season. Career Highs: Points - 12, vs. Utah, 11-17-00, Rebounds - 5, at Colorado, 12-2-00, Assists - 5, vs. Utah, 11-17-00, Steals - 3, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00.

#30 Kelly Tiao -- Freshman who walked on to the team ... Played in high school at Cerritos (CA) High School.

#32 Malika Leatham -- Starter in all eight games ... Ranks amongst the Top 20 in the conference in rebounding (5.5 average) ... Had four points and seven boards in just 14 minutes while battling foul trouble at ODU ...Scored a career-high 16 points and blocked a career-best five shots in the win over Long Beach ... Also matched her career-high in rebounds with eight vs. the Beach ... Posted then career-bests in points (12) and rebounds (8) vs. San Diego ... Pulled down a team-best six boards at Colorado ... Scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds at BYU before fouling out ...Had eight points and five rebounds against Utah ...Started both games in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic, battling foul trouble in both contests ... Transfer from Blinn Junior College in Texas ... Ranked eighth in Region XIV in rebounding last season ... Second on her team with 46 blocked shots ... Scored a career-best 20 points vs. Western Texas as a freshman. UCLA Career Highs: Points - 16, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Rebounds - 8, last vs. LBSU, 12-10-00 Blocks - 5, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Steals - 3, vs. Duke, 11-10-00.

#33 Shalada Allen -- Recorded six rebounds in just 12 minutes of play at ODU ...Pulled down a career-high seven rebounds vs. Long Beach State ... Recorded a UCLA-high 14 points with three boards and two steals at Colorado ...Did not play against Utah due to a sprained thumb ...Returned to action at BYU and came off the bench for two points and three rebounds ... Scored six and had two rebounds before fouling out in a starting role against New Mexico ... Came off the bench to scored six points and grab five rebounds versus Duke ... Scored eight points with five boards and had a team-high three steals vs. Slovakia ...Transfer from Kilgore Junior College in Texas ... Ranked 10th last season in Region XIV in both scoring and rebounding ... Scored a career-best 36 points against TVCC. UCLA Career Highs: Points - 14, at Colorado, 12-2-00, Rebounds - 7, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Assists - 1, at UNM, 11-11-00, Steals - 3, vs. Duke, 11-10-00.

#35 Jamila Veasley -- Matched her season-best with six points and had a career-best eight rebounds, including five offensive boards, vs. Long Beach ... Had a season-best six points at BYU, including a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line ... Had four rebounds against Utah ...Came off the bench in both games in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic ... Grabbed six 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 ... Her sister, Aisha, played at UCLA from 1995-98. Career Highs: Points - 6, at BYU, 11-25-00, Rebounds - 8, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Assists - 1, last vs. Utah, 11-17-00, Steals - 2, last vs. LBSU, 12-10-00.

#42 Stacy Robertson -- Hit her first three-pointer of the season vs. San Diego and scored a career-high six points ... Was 4-5 from three-point range and scored 15 points with nine rebounds against Love and Basketball ...Came off the bench to score three points vs. New Mexico ... Started the Duke game but was held scoreless ... Transfer from Kilgore Junior College in Texas ... Named to the 10-player JC All-Region XIV and all-conference teams last season ... Ranked third in the Region in three-point shooting ... Ranked 12th in the Region in scoring. Career Highs: Points - 6, vs. San Diego, 11-28-00, Rebounds - 3, vs. San Diego, 11-28-00, Assists - 1, last vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Steals - 2, at BYU, 11-25-00.

#45 LaCresha Flannigan -- Academically ineligible for the first quarter and could rejoin the Bruin team in mid-December ... Has 28 career starts ... 1999 All-Conference selection. Career Highs: Points - 27, at ASU, 1-5-99, Rebounds - 8, vs. OSU, 1-27-00, Assists - 4, vs. ASU, 3-4-99, Steals - 5, vs. UW, 1-28-99.


ODU Downs Bruins -- UCLA came back from an 11-2 ODU start and brought the game to an 18-18 tie and then a four-point deficit at the half before the Lady Monarchs used a 19-0 run to start the second half en route to an 86-62 ODU win. Michelle Greco led the Bruins with 12 points, while Whitney Jones added 11. Kristee Porter recorded 10 points, nine rebounds and five blocks in her season debut. UCLA won the rebound battle, 44-43.

Bruins Defeat Long Beach -- The Bruins used a 10-0 run midway through the first half to turn a 13-16 disadvantage into a 23-16 advantage and gain a lead which they would not relinquish. Michelle Greco paced the Bruins with a career-high 34 points. Malika Leatham added a career-best 16 points and five blocked shots. Leatham also tied her career best with eight rebounds.

Bruins Dropped at Colorado -- Colorado pulled away late in the first half and turned a 44-31 halftime edge to an 88-63 victory. Michelle Greco led four Bruins in double-figures with 15 points. Shalada Allen had a UCLA-best 14 points, while Gennifer Arranaga and Jalina Bradley contributed 11 and 10, respectively. Natalie Nakase had career-highs in both points (seven) and assists (seven).

San Diego Tops Bruins -- The visiting Toreros broke open a close game late in the first half and led 41-33 at the break. San Diego upped the advantage to 55-39 at the 15:55 mark of the second half and never looked back. Michelle Greco led UCLA with 18 points. Gennifer Arranaga and Malika Leatham each added career-high point totals with 13 and 12, respectively.

BYU Bests the Bruins -- Host BYU scored the first seven points of the second half to improve on its 33-28 halftime lead and went on to post a 68-53 decision in Provo, UT. Michelle Greco scored a game-high 24 points and also matched her career-best with eight rebounds.

UCLA Falls to Utah -- Utah used a 17-0 run early in the second half to put away UCLA, 65-42 in the Bruins' home opener. Jalina Bradley led the Bruins with 12 points and five assists. Injuries played a key role in the game, as UCLA leading scorer Michelle Greco re-aggravated a sprained ankle and was limited to 17 minutes of play.Bruins Lose at New Mexico -- The Bruins dropped a 75-54 decision to the host team in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic consolation game. Michelle Greco led all scorers with a career-high 28 points and was named to the six player all-tournament squad.

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

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