Women's Basketball Heads to Arizona Atop Pac-10 Standings

Jan. 13, 2003

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UCLA Travels to Play at Arizona Schools - UCLA (10-4, 5-0 in the Pac-10) moved into sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 after its 72-64 win over USC on Sunday. The Bruins now head to Arizona with a six-game winning streak and will play at Arizona State (11-4, 3-3) on Thursday at 5 p.m. Pacific time. The Bruins will complete the road trip on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. Pacific time at Arizona (10-4, 4-2).

The last time the Bruins won more games in a row was during a seven-game streak in the 1999-00 season. UCLA won the first six conference games of the 1999-00 Pac-10 schedule

Radio/TV Broadcast Info - The games will be radio broadcast on KTDD (1350 am) and KBET (850 am), as well as on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. Tony Luftman will call the action.

Greco Named Pac-10 Player of the Week - Senior guard Michelle Greco was selected the Pac-10 Player of the Week after leading the Bruins to the win over USC on Sunday. Greco led the Bruins in scoring (28), rebounding (7), assists (3) and blocked shots (1) while playing all 40 minutes in the game.

Bruin Team Notes - UCLA is averaging 78.6 points (best in the Pac-10 and 17th in the nation) per game this season after scoring at a 59.0 clip in 2001-02 ... Bruins have held the last six opponents under 70 points (55.3 average) ... Only two opponents this season have shot over 45.1% against the Bruins (Hawaii and Baylor) ... UCLA is shooting 46% from the field this season after registering just a 34% mark last year ... Free throw shooting is also improved (64% to 69%) ... Only one opponent (Baylor) this season has managed to produce more assists than turnovers versus the Bruin defense ... The Bruins shot a season-best 55.4% in the wins over both Cal State Northridge and Oregon ... This is the best Bruin start in the conference since it won its first six conference games to begin the 1999-2000 season ... The 1998-99 Bruin team won its first nine Pac-10 games on its way to the conference championship ... The Bruins have held opponents under .450 shooting in all 10 wins ... In addition to scoring, the Bruins lead the Pac-10 in steals (13.07), scoring margin (+13.6), three-point field goal defense (.279) and turnover margin (+6.21) ... The crowd of 6,172 at the USC game was the ninth-best home crowd in school history in Pauley.

Series Info - The Bruins lead in the series with Arizona State, 35-13, but has lost the last four meetings. UCLA holds a 34-14 edge over Arizona, but has lost the last three meetings with the Wildcats.

About The Opponent - Arizona State is 11-4 (3-3 in the Pac-10) after splitting a pair of games in Washington last week. The Sun Devils are 8-1 at home this season and has won 16 of its last 17 home contests. Freshman Jill Noe leads ASU (sixth in the Pac-10 entering the week) with a 15.3 scoring mark. Arizona (10-4, 4-2) is led by freshman center Shantinice Polk who begins the week with a 18.6 scoring mark (2nd in conf.), 11.3 rebounding average (conf. leader) and 3.57 assist mark (10th).

Bruins In Pac-10 Standings -
*Michelle Greco entered the week ranked first in the conference in scoring with a 19.8 average. She also ranked first in steals (2.86) and was fifth in free throw percentage (.812).
*Nikki Blue was ranked eighth in scoring entering the week with her 14.1 mark and ninth in assists (3.64).
*Lisa Willis ranked in three categories - three-point FG percentage (seventh, 41.3%), three-point FG made (fourth, 1.86) and steals (fifth, 2.07).
*Jamila Veasley ranked seventh in blocked shots with a 0.93 average.

As a team, the Bruins topped the standings in steals with a 13.07 average, three-point field goal defense (.279), scoring offense at 78.6 points per game, scoring margin (+13.6) and turnover margin (+6.28). UCLA is also among the leaders in field goal percentage (2nd-.455), assist/turnover ratio (third, 0.97) and field goal percentage defense (third, .392).

Freshmen Make Big Contributions - The Bruin freshman class of Nikki Blue, Lisa Willis, Julia Pitts, Emma Tautolo and Ortal Oren has accounted for 42% of UCLA's scoring load so far this season. Blue ranks second behind scoring leader Michelle Greco at 14.1 points per game and is first on the team with 51 assists and third in rebounding with a 5.1 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 26 treys (41% from beyond the arc) and averages 8.9 points. Tautolo and Oren average 2.8 and 4.6 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 after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL in her left knee. Pitts suffered the injury in the first half of the UCLA's game against Baylor on Dec. 19.

Greco, Blue Earn Pre-Season Honors - Senior guard Michelle Greco was selected by the media to the pre-season all-conference team for the second consecutive year. She was also named 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. Freshman 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 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. For credential information, please visit the Pac-10 website at www.pac-10.org.

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.

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