Women's Basketball Opens Pac-10 Conference Play At Oregon/OSU

Dec. 23, 2002

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Bruins Play at Oregon and Oregon State - UCLA (5-4) will open Pac-10 conference play this week in Oregon. The Bruins will play at Oregon (4-5) on Friday, Dec. 27 at 7:00 pm and at Oregon State (6-3) on Sunday, Dec. 29 at 1:00 pm.

The Bruins trail Oregon 19-16 in the all-time series with the Ducks. UCLA leads Oregon State 24-15 in the all-time series, which dates back to 1976.

Broadcast Info - UCLA's games against the Oregon schools will be broadcast on KTDD (1350 am) and KBET (850 am), as well as on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. Tony Luftman and Stacey Nuveman will call the action.

About The Opponents - Oregon is coming off a 76-70 loss at Texas Christian Sunday. The Ducks are led by Catherine Kraayeveld, who ranks third in the conference in scoring (16.7 ppg) and second in rebounding (11.7). Oregon State enters the week ranked No. 1 in the Pac-10 in scoring defense, allowing just 53.1 points per game. Brina Chaney leads the Beavers in scoring with a 10.3 average and in rebounding with a 7.0 average.

Bruins In Pac-10 Standings - Michelle Greco ranks second in the conference in scoring with a 19.1 average and is also second in free throw percentage (.833), fourth in steals (2.44) and sixth in assist/turnover ratio (1.75). Nikki Blue is tied for fourth in scoring with her 14.9 mark, 18th in rebounding (5.3), 10th in assists (3.33), sixth in steals (2.11) and eighth in defensive rebounds (4.33). Julia Pitts leads the conference in shooting percentage (.674 prior to her injury) and ranks 15th in the Pac-10 in rebounding (5.9) and seventh in offensive boards (2.75). Lisa Willis ranks in three categories - three-point FG percentage (fifth, 46.3%), three-point FG made (third, 2.11) and steals (seventh, 2.00). Jamila Veasley ranks ninth in blocked shots with a 0.78 average. As a team, the Bruins top the standings in steals with a 12.44 average and rank second in scoring offense with 79.2 points per game. UCLA also ranks in the Top 3 in turnover margin (third, +5.00), assist/turnover ratio (third, 0.91) and defensive rebounds (third, 25.78).

Freshmen Make Big Contributions - The Bruin freshman class of Nikki Blue, Lisa Willis, Julia Pitts, Emma Tautolo and Ortal Oren have accounted for 46% of UCLA's scoring load so far this season. Blue, Pitts and Willis rank in the Top Four on the team in scoring. Blue ranks second behind scoring leader Michelle Greco at 14.9 points per game and is first on the team with 30 assists and second in rebounding with a 5.3 average. Pitts, prior to her injury, averaged 10.0 points per game and led the team in rebounding with a 5.9 average. Willis is UCLA's top three-point shooter with 19 treys (43% from beyond the arc) and averages 8.3 points. Tautolo and Oren average 3.2 and 3.0 points, respectively.

Greco Aims For Record Books - Senior guard Michelle Greco will look to keep climbing the UCLA scoring charts in 2002-03 (see charts, pg. 3). She entered the season ranked No. 15 on the career points chart with 1,158 and has moved into the top-10. In addition, Greco looks to challenge Denise Curry's long-standing career free throw percentage mark of .818. Greco entered the season with a career free throw percentage mark of .813(218-268).

Pitts Out For Season - Freshman forward Julia Pitts will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL and a torn LCL in her left knee. Pitts suffered the injury in the first half of UCLA's game against Baylor of Dec. 19. She will have surgery after this week. Prior to her injury, Pitts ranked second on the team in scoring (14.9 ppg) and first in rebounding (5.9 rpg) and was also first in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (67.4%).

Greco: Pre-Season All-Conference ... - Michelle Greco was selected by the media to the Pre-Season All-Conference team for the second consecutive year. She was joined by Stanford's Nicole Powell, USC's Ebony Hoffman, Washington's Loree Payne and Oregon's Shaquala Williams.

... And Pre-Season All-American - Greco was also selected to the Women's Basketball News Service pre-season All-America second team, joining Stanford's Nicole Powell (first team) as the only two Pac-10 honorees.

Blue Earns Pre-Season Honors - Freshman guard Nikki Blue was selected by Women's College Hoops.com as one of 21 'Freshmen of Impact' for 2002-03 and was also named to the Women's Basketball News Service pre-season All-Freshman team.

Pac-10 Pre-Season Polls - The Pac-10 media selected the Bruins to finish seventh in the conference race this season in a pre-season poll. Stanford was the near unanimous choice to finish first, followed by Washington (two first-place votes), Oregon, USC, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon State, California and Washington State.

The Pac-10 women's basketball coaches picked UCLA to finish eighth in the conference. Stanford was the near unanimous choice to finish first, followed by Washington, Oregon (one first-place vote), USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, UCLA, California and Washington State.

Pac-10 Tournament - The 2002-03 season will conclude with the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament to be played at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA on March 7-10. All conference schools will participate in the tournament, with the winner receiving the conference's automatic bid to the 2003 NCAA tournament. The team that finishes the regular season atop the Pac-10 standings, based on the results of the double round robin play, is the conference champion.

Game Time Change - The tip-off time for the January 26 home game against California has been changed from 2:00 pm to 12:00 pm.

Now on Pac-12 Network
5:15 PM PT

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