Women's Basketball Begins Pac-10 Play In Washington

Jan. 2, 2001

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Next Up -- UCLA (1-10) begins Pac-10 Conference play next week at Washington. The conference opener will pit the Bruins against Washington in Seattle on Thursday, Jan. 4 at 7:00 pm. It will be the Huskies' first Pac-10 game at its newly renovated Bank of America Pavilion. Following that game, UCLA will travel to Pullman to take on Washington State on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 7:00 pm.

The Huskies (7-3) had a six-game winning streak snapped by Colorado State in its last outing on Dec. 29 by a 66-64 margin. Senior guard Megan Franza leads the team in scoring (14.0). 5-11 freshman guard Giuliana Mendiola paces the team in rebounding at 7.8 and is scoring at a 12.5 a game clip. Washington leads the series with the Bruins by a 20-10 margin. The Bruins captured both meetings last season, winning the regular season finale at the Key Arena by an 85-66 score and the matchup in Pauley Pavilion by a 90-54 margin.

Washington State (5-5) is coming off an 80-66 loss at Montana Dec. 30. Brittney Hawks leads a balanced Cougar attack and averages 9.5 points per game. Yvonne Volkman is close behind with a 9.0 average, but she has missed the Cougars' last three games with a stress fracture in her left foot. She and Jessica Collins (also a stress fracture in her left foot) are not expected to play this week. In the only result versus a common opponent this season, BYU bested WSU 90-58, while UCLA lost at BYU, 68-53. The Bruins lead the series with WSU, 23-5, and have won the last eight meetings, including four straight in Pullman.

Radio -- The game against Washington will be aired on KACD 850 am and on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. The Washington State contest will be aired on XTRA 1150am and on the internet.

Looking Ahead -- UCLA will return home on Saturday, Jan. 14 to host USC in a 1 p.m. game which will be televised by Fox Sports Net.

Greco Atop Pac-10 Conference In Scoring, Eyes School FT Mark -- Junior guard Michelle Greco continues to lead the Pac-10 Conference in scoring with an 18.7 points per game average. She also ranks first in free throw percentage with a .912 mark (31-34). She has made her last 20 straight free throws to approach the school record of 24 held by Denise Curry, set over two seasons from 1978-80.

Bruins Nab Conference Lead In Steals -- The Bruins lead the Pac-10 Conference in steals with an average of 11 picks per game. UCLA has 122 steals, 19 more than second-place Oregon State. Freshman Gennifer Arranaga has been UCLA's best pick-pocket and ranks fifth in the Pac-10 with an average of 2.18 per game (24 total). Michelle Greco is close behind in seventh place with an average of 2.09 (23). Also in double-digits in this category are Natalie Nakase (20), Jalina Bradley (14) and Natalie Jarrett (10).

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 Dec. 18. In her 2000-01 season debut, she gave a 10-point, nine-rebound, five-block effort against the Lady Monarchs. Against Ohio State, she scored nine points and pulled down four boards. In her first home game of the season, she scored nine points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds with three blocked shots. Versus fourth-ranked Georgia, Porter made her first career start, scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds. She 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.

Jarrett Returns Home -- Sophomore Natalie Jarrett will return to her home state of Washington as the Bruins face the Huskies and Cougars. Jarrett, from Wenatchee, WA, prepped at Eastmont HS and was a first-team all-state selection and one of USA Today's top seniors in Washington. As a senior, she averaged 14.0 points and 9.7 rebounds.

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.

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 one who earned All-Pac-10 honors last season, return. Guard Michelle Greco, an honorable mention all-conference pick in 2000, offers 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 -- Ranked fourth in the Pac-10 in assists (4.0 average) ...Starter in all 11 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 ... Scored a career-best 11 points versus fourth-ranked Georgia and grabbed eight rebounds in her first career start ... Recorded 10 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots in her season debut at ODU, all career-highs at the time ...Scored nine with four boards at Ohio State ...Led the team in rebounding against Pepperdine, pulling down eight boards and scoring nine points with three blocked shots ...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 - 11, Georgia, 12-30-00, Rebounds - 9, at ODU, 12-18-00, Assists - 1, last vs. Georgia, 12-30-00, Blocks - 5, at ODU, 12-18-00 , Steals - 1, last vs. Georgia, 12-30-00.

#5 Melissa Maurin -- Second-year student who walked on to the team ... Has seen action in four 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 ...Tied her career high with three boards at Ohio State and against Pepperdine ...Recorded a career-best three steals vs. Pepperdine and also scored six points ...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, last vs. Pepperdine, 12-28-00, Assists - 2, at ODU, 12-18-00, Steals - 3, vs. Pepperdine, 12-28-00.

#13 Gennifer Arranaga -- Rated fifth in the conference in steals (2.18 per game) ...Has appeared in all 11 games off the bench ... Credited with a career-high six steals versus Georgia ... 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 - 6, vs. Georgia, 12-30-00.

#14 Natalie Jarrett -- Starter in nine games ... Recorded a career-high tying nine points and grabbed four rebounds vs. Pepperdine ...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, last vs. Pepperdine, 12-28-00, Rebounds - 7, last at UNM, 11-11-00, Blocks - 1, last vs. Pepperdine, 12-28-00, Steals - 2, last vs. Pepperdine, 12-28-00.

#20 Michelle Greco -- Leading scorer for UCLA and the Pac-10 with an 18.7 average ... Also leads the conference in free throw percentage (.912, 31-34) and has made 20 consecutive free throws, four shy of the school record held by Denise Curry ...Has led UCLA in scoring in 10 of its 11 games (only time she did not lead was when she injured an ankle early in the first half against Utah) ...Scored her sixth 20-point game of the season versus fourth-ranked Georgia with 22 points and also grabbed six boards ... Recorded her fifth 20-point game of the season by scoring 20 at Ohio State ...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 ... 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 10 games ... Scored nine points at Ohio State ...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.

#32 Malika Leatham -- Starter in all 11 games ... Ranks in the Top 20 in the conference in rebounding (5.1 average) ... Had nine points and six rebounds against Pepperdine ...Pulled down a team-high five rebounds and scored six points at Ohio State ...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, last at Ohio State, 12-21-00, 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 -- Matched her career-high in rebounds with three vs. Pepperdine ...Was 2-3 from the field and scored five points in just seven minutes at Ohio State ...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, last vs. Pepperdine, 12-28-00, Assists - 1, last vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Steals - 2, at BYU, 11-25-00.


#4 Georgia Runs Past Bruins -- Georgia led 39-23 at the intermission, went on to score the first 10 points of the second half and never looked back in handing the Bruins an 89-55 loss in Pauley. Michelle Greco recorded her sixth 20-point game of the season with 22 to lead UCLA.

Bruins Pressed Into Loss To Pepperdine -- Pepperdine's full-court press forced 18 UCLA turnovers in the second half and helped erase a four-point halftime deficit, winning 78-56. The Waves used a 13-2 run to open the first half to capture the lead. UCLA then cut the lead to two, at 41-39, but Pepperdine scored 11 of the next 12 points to take a 52-40 lead it would not relinquish. Michelle Greco led the Bruins with 11 points, all in the first half.

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