Ducks are Desert Bound

Jan. 29, 2001

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Oregon (No. 21 Associated Press, No. 21 ESPN/USA Today), hits the road for two crucial games against Arizona (14-5, 4-3) on Thursday and Arizona State (13-6, 5-2) on Saturday. Both games begin at 6 p.m. PST. Oregon is tied for first place in the Pac-10 with Arizona State, which has won four straight. Meanwhile, Arizona, ranked No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today poll, will try to snap its three-game losing skid.

All Oregon women's basketball games are broadcast by KSCR (1320 AM) in Eugene and KUIK (1360 AM) in Portland, with Ray Martin providing the play-by-play for the sixth consecutive year. Games that don't conflict with Oregon men's basketball broadcasts will be carried by KUGN (590 AM) in Eugene, KXL (750 AM) in Portland and KTBR (950) in Roseburg. Radio broadcasts also can be heard on the Internet at

The Ducks lead the series 20-10, but the teams have split their season series the last two years. In the teams' last meeting on March 4, 2000, Oregon pulled off its biggest comeback win in school history -- trailing 55-33 in the second half -- to beat Arizona 75-71 at Tucson. Shaquala Williams scored 18 of her 24 points in the second half. The Wildcats won 73-66 at Eugene last year, despite Brianne Meharry's 19 points and Angelina Wolvert's 11.

Oregon has won 11 straight over the Sun Devils and lead the series 24-8. In the teams' last meeting, Oregon won 67-56 at Tempe on March 2, 2000, behind Shaquala Williams' 19 points and Lindsey Dion's 14 points and five steals. Dion also went 7 of 7 from the field. Last season, the Ducks defeated Arizona State at home, winning 66-55 as Williams had 25 while Kourtney Shreve added 10. The Sun Devils last beat Oregon on Jan. 28, 1995.

Jody Runge is in her eighth season at the helm of the Ducks. She has compiled an impressive 155-66 (.702) record in her Oregon tenure, which includes a 95-38 (.714) mark in conference play. Her resume includes seven straight NCAA Tournament berths along with claiming back-to-back Pac-10 Conference championships in 1999 and 2000 for the first time in school history. She earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1999 and in 1994. In addition, the Women's Basketball News Service selected Runge as its Coach of the Year in 1998.

Fred Litzenberger enters his sixth season in the Ducks' program. A native of Longmont, Colo., Litzenberger's 34 years in coaching includes six seasons as a men's collegiate head coach and 15 appearances for his teams in the NCAA Tournament. Second-year coach Dan Muscatell, the recruiting coordinator, and third-year coach Kirsten McKnight, a four-year Oregon basketball letterwinner, complete the coaching staff.

Oregon moved down one spot to No. 21 in the Associated Press poll. It marks the 12th straight week Oregon has been ranked in the AP poll, which is the best mark under Jody Runge, and second only to the 1980-81 squad which was in the top 25 for 18 weeks in a row. Oregon began last season ranked in the first 10 polls. The Ducks also are No. 21 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. Four current top-25 teams are on Oregon's schedule.

Jenny Mowe (.578), Brianne Meharry (.541), Angelina Wolvert (.526) and Lindsey Dion (.476) have been a major factor in Oregon's status as one of the nation's best shooting teams. Among the Pac-10 field goal percentage leaders, Mowe, Meharry, Wolvert and Dion are second, fourth, fifth and ninth. Their backups, Ndidi Unaka (.536) and Alyssa Fredrick (.580), have proven to be prolific, too.

Kourtney Shreve suffered a mild concussion Saturday vs. UCLA after catching an inadvertent elbow from an opposing player. After further evaluation Monday, she was cleared to play this week.

Angelina Wolvert sprained her medial collateral ligament in her left knee Jan. 18 at Washington about five minutes into the game. Wolvert missed the first game in her four-year career Jan. 20 at Washington State and also sat out the USC game Jan. 25. She returned last Saturday vs. UCLA, scoring seven points and grabbing three rebounds in 17 minutes in a reserve role.

Jamie Craighead ranks second in the Pac-10 with a .453 mark (43 of 95) from 3-point range and also is first in 3-pointers per game (2.5). Last season, she shot .306 (30 of 98) from long range. Oregon also is second in the Pac-10 as a team with a .343 mark.

The Ducks also were 5-2 in Pac-10 play through seven games in 1999-00, 1998-99, 1997-98 and 1996-97. Oregon has won the conference the last two years.

Put Lindsey Dion in the starting lineup and the Ducks usually win. In her four-year career, the Ducks are 30-5 with Dion starting. In the last two years, Oregon is 27-5 with her in the starting five (8-1 this season) and 8-8 when Dion isn't.

The Ducks have won 14 of their last 17 conference games.

Oregon ranks first in the Pac-10 with its .467 field goal percentage and first with a .370 mark for defensive field goal percentage. The Ducks' defense also held UCLA to a 22 percent mark from the field (15 of 68) last Saturday -- the lowest total by an Oregon defense (and lowest in Pac-10 this year) since it held Portland State to a school-record .183 (11 of 60) last year.

Senior forward Brianne Meharry is just 19 points shy of scoring 1,000 in her career. Teammate Angelina Wolvert hit the 1,000-point plateau Dec. 9 at Texas. Meharry would become the 15th Oregon player to accomplish the feat.

Jenny Mowe's .578 mark from the field ranks second in the Pac-10. Oregon's single-season record of .614 was set by Debbie Adams in 1980-81. The Pac-10 record is held by former Duck great Stefanie Kasperski (.606).

Eight Ducks have scored in double-figures this season.

One of Brianne Meharry's strengths over her career hasn't been free-throw shooting ... until this year. A .636 foul-line shooter entering this season, Meharry is now 11th in the Pac-10 with a .717 mark.

The Ducks are ranked No. 23 nationally in the latest WBCA/Summerville RPI, second in the Pac-10 behind No. 20 Washington.

After leading the conference in free-throw shooting for much of the year, the Ducks shot a season-worst 5 of 12 from the line Jan. 20 at Washington State and hit just 16 of 32 in a two-point loss to USC on Jan. 25. The Ducks, though, rebounded on Saturday against UCLA to hit 14 of 19. Also, Kourtney Shreve ranks third in the Pac-10 with a .788 mark.

Ducks vs. UCLA, Jan. 27
Kourtney Shreve had 11 points and six rebounds before leaving with a mild concussion, and Oregon used two 13-0 runs in the second half to beat UCLA 54-43. Angelina Wolvert, who had missed the last two games with a sprained ligament in her left knee, added seven points in 17 minutes for the Ducks, who retained a share of the conference lead. Michelle Greco had 17 points for UCLA. The Bruins, the worst-shooting team in the Pac-10, shot just 22 percent. Greco was just 6 of 29, and 2 of 12 from 3-point range. Oregon had its own trouble finding the basket in the first half, shooting just 24 percent to take a 24-19 halftime lead. Greco's bank shot to open the second half cut the lead to three, but the Ducks ran off 13 straight points, with Shreve scoring seven. UCLA got within 39-27, but Oregon scored another 13 in a row to put it away.

Ducks vs. USC, Jan. 25
Ebony Hoffman, selected Monday as the Pac-10 Player of the Week, recorded her first double-double of the season with 19 points and 17 rebounds as USC beat Oregon 55-53 Thursday. Hoffman's hook over Jenny Mowe with 42 seconds left, coupled with her free throw with 13 seconds remaining, gave the Trojans the lead. She sealed the win with a steal with two seconds remaining. Tashara Carter scored 12 points for USC, which beat Oregon for the third straight time and second straight at McArthur Court. The Trojans earned their second victory over a Top 25 team in a week. Brianne Meharry led the Ducks with 12 points. Lindsey Dion added 10.

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