Bruin Women's Basketball Returns Home to Host Arizona Schools

Feb. 11, 2003

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UCLA to Meet Arizona on Friday and ASU on Sunday - UCLA (12-9, 7-5 in the Pac-10) will square off with Arizona (16-6, 9-4) on Friday, Feb. 14 at 7:00 pm in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins will host Arizona State (14-8, 6-7) on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Both teams are coming off of home sweeps of the Washington schools. The Bruins lost to Arizona in the first meeting of the season, 80-61. UCLA topped ASU, 60-58, in Tempe earlier this season.

Radio/TV Broadcast Info - The Arizona game will be broadcast live on the internet at and also aired on the radio at XTRA Sports 1150 am and 690 am, KTDD (1350 am) and KBET (850 am). The ASU game will be aired on the internet and on KTDD and KBET. Tony Luftman will call the action.

Bruin Team Notes - Michelle Greco scored 28 points in the loss to USC ... It marked the 34th career game in which Greco has scored at least 20 points in a game to tie Anita Ortega for sixth on the all-time school list (fifth is Ann Meyers with 36) ... Nikki Blue set a UCLA freshman scoring record with 35 points in the loss at Washington (old mark 33 by Maylana Martin vs. Washington in 1997) ... Over the last seven games, Blue has averaged 21.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.9 steals per game ... Greco, with 273 career steals, ranks sixth in Pac-10 history in the category (her eight steals in the Stanford game tied her for the eighth-best performance in school history) ... She has made 40 of her last 44 free throws entering the games with the Arizona schools (she set a school record with 32 straight earlier this season) ... The Bruin senior is on track to finish among the all-time UCLA leaders in 11 stat categories ... Bruin freshmen are accounting for 42% of the team's scoring this season ... UCLA is averaging 75.8 points per game this season (21st-best in the nation) after scoring at a 59.0 clip in 2001-02 ... Lisa Willis' 34 made three-pointers rank third on the all-time freshman list (No. 1 is Michelle Palmisano with 48 in 1993, and 2nd is Nicole Kaczmarski with 36 in 2000) ... Only six opponents this season have shot over 45.1% against the Bruins (at Hawaii, Baylor, at Arizona, at Washington, Stanford and at USC, all losses) ... UCLA is shooting 42% from the field this season after registering just a 34% mark last year ... Free throw shooting is also improved (69% from 64%) ... UCLA ranks 11th in the nation in steals per game (13.2) ... The Bruins have held opponents under .450 shooting in all 12 wins ... Washington, in Seattle, became just the fourth opponent (all losses - Baylor, Arizona, Stanford) this season which 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 ... The 6-0 conference start was the best Bruin start in the conference since it won its first six to begin 1999-2000 ... The crowd of 6,172 at the USC game was the ninth-best home crowd in school history.

Series Info - The Bruins lead in the series with Arizona State, 36-13, and snapped a four-game losing streak to the Sun Devils with a 60-58 win in Tempe earlier this season. Nikki Blue scored 30 points in that contest, including 19 of UCLA's final 21 in the game. UCLA holds a 34-15 edge over Arizona but has lost the last four meetings with the Wildcats. Arizona captured the first meeting of the season, 80-61, in Tucson. Blue had 19 points against the 'Cats.

About The Opponents - Arizona (16-6, 9-4) is led by freshman center Shawntinice Polk who begins the week with a 17.9 scoring mark (2nd in conf.) and 11.0 rebounding average (conf. leader). U of A is the best shooting team in the Pac-10 at .490. Arizona State is 14-8 (6-7 in the Pac-10) after sweeping a pair of games at home against the Washington schools last week. Freshman Jill Noe leads ASU with a 14.1 scoring mark (8th in the Pac-10 entering the week). ASU leads the Pac-10 in offensive rebounding (15.8/g).

Climbing The Charts - Michelle Greco and Natalie Nakase are climbing their way up the UCLA record books and are poised to surpass some all-time UCLA greats this week. Greco needs one more steal to move into a tie for second place in the career steals list with Nicole Anderson. Greco is also three steals away from moving into fourth on the Pac-10's all-time career steals list. Nakase, with 345 assists, needs just eight more to tie Hall of Famer Denise Curry for eighth on the school career list.

Bruins Drop Close One at USC - The Women of Troy used a put-back basket by Ebony Hoffman with 12 seconds to play and a couple of free throws with one second remaining to hold off the Bruins down the stretch. The Trojans led 33-26 after going on a 15-4 run to end the half. There were 12 lead changes in the second half before USC grabbed the lead for good, 59-57, on a three-point shot with 5:07 to play. The Bruins got as close as two points on three occasions in the final minutes but could not regain the lead. Michelle Greco paced the Bruins with a game-high 28 points, while Lisa Willis contributed a career-high 18 off the bench.

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 On CLASS Award Watch List - Michelle Greco has been selected to the CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) Award Players to Watch List. The award honors the top senior in the nation who best exemplifies great achievement on the court and in the classroom. Ten finalists for the CLASS Award will be selected on February 16, with balloting being conducted in March. The male and female award winner will each be announced during the respective men's and women's NCAA Final Four weekends.

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

Head Coach Kathy Olivier - Now in her 10th season, Kathy Olivier, who entered the year with a 130-128 overall record, has steadily built the program to reflect her own positive, upbeat and outgoing personality.

In 2002, she directed a team which lost its top two scorers during the season to the second round of the Pac-10 tournament and a win over Sweet Sixteen team BYU. In 2001, Olivier guided a team which was playing without eight of its top nine scorers from the previous season to a winning home record in Pac-10 play and wins over three nationally-ranked teams. In 2000, she saw her team reach the NCAA tournament for a school record third straight season. The squad also set a Bruin home attendance record by averaging over 3,700 fans. Maylana Martin was 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 ever 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. 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.


#00 Ortal Oren - Played in eight games ... Had nine points and three steals in 17 minutes of play at home against Washington State ... Had five points in the win versus Washington ... Had nine points and three steals vs. Northridge ... Played for the first time this season against St. Mary's. Career Highs: Points - 9, last vs. Wash. St., 1-5-03; Rebounds - 2, last at Wash. St., 1-30-03; Assists - 2, vs. St. Mary's, 12-3-02; Steals - 3, last vs. Wash. St., 1-5-03.

#1 Natalie Nakase - Starter in 79 straight games ... Moved into ninth place on UCLA's all-time career assists list at USC with four assists and has 345 for her career, just eight shy of tying Denise Curry for eighth place ...Entered the week ranked second in Pac-10 assist/turnover ratio (1.81 entering the week) ... Her 2.86 assist/turnover ratio (entering the week) in Pac-10 only games ranks No. 1 ... Has hit 12 of her last 14 free throws entering the games with the Arizona schools ... Had a season-best eight assists at Washington State ... Had seven points at Arizona ... Had seven points in the win over USC ... Credited with six assists in the home win over WSU and moved into 10th place on the school's all-time list for assists ... Had six assists in the Oregon win ... Had eight points and six assists vs. Baylor ... Scored eight points vs. St. Mary's ... Hit four-straight free throws in the final 30 seconds to clinch the win over Northwestern State. Career Highs: Points - 24, at Washington State, 1-6-02; Rebounds - 8, last at Washington State, 1-6-02; Assists - 11, vs. Arizona, 1-19-02; Steals - 8, vs. Oregon, 2-23-01.

#5 Melissa Maurin - Grabbed a rebound in the home win over WSU ... Saw action but did not score in the win at Oregon ... Scored her first point of the year versus Cal State Northridge ...Had three rebounds in six minutes of action against Sac State. Career Highs: Points - 6, vs. Washington St, 3-8-01; Rebounds - 3, v. Sac St., 11-24-02; Assists - 1, vs. Oregon St.; Steals - 2, at OSU, 1-24-02.

#10 Whitney Jones - Starting midfielder on the soccer team who joined the hoops team on Nov. 25 ... Entered the week averaging a team-best 5.6 rpg in Pac-10 games ... Third in Pac-10 games-only with a 3.08 offensive rebounds per game mark ... Has converted nine of her last 10 free throws entering the games with the Arizona schools ... Has committed just three turnovers in the last five games ... Had nine points and a team-best 10 rebounds to match her career-high in the game against Stanford ... Had 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds at Arizona ... Scored nine points with five boards in 40 minutes at ASU ... Had eight points, five rebounds and three steals in the win vs. USC ... Had 11 points in the home WSU game ... Had 10 points and tied her career best with four assists in the Washington win ... Tied her career highs with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Oregon for her fourth career double-double ... Made her first start in the Northridge win ...Shared the team lead in rebounds with eight at Pepperdine ... Scored 10 points off the bench at UNLV ... Saw her first action of this season against Northwestern State. Career Highs: Points - 24, last at Oregon, 12-27-02; Rebounds - 10, last vs. Stanford, 1-24-03; Assists - 4, last vs. Washington, 1-3-03; Steals - 5, last at Oregon, 1-26-02.

#11 Julia Pitts - Starter in the first eight games of the season ... Suffered two torn ligaments in her left knee in the first half against Baylor and will miss the remainder of the season ... Had surgery on Dec. 30 ... At the time of her injury, she led the Pac-10 with a .674 shooting percentage. Career Highs: Points - 20, at Georgia, 12-6-02; Rebounds - 11, vs. Northwestern State, 12-1-02; Assists - 4, at Georgia, 12-6-02; Steals - 2, at Georgia, 12-6-02.

#13 Gennifer Arranaga - Has come off the bench in the first 21 games ... Had 12 points at Washington State ... Totaled seven points vs. Stanford ... Had four points, three assists and four rebounds at Arizona ... Sparked the Bruins in the win vs. USC with nine points and five rebounds ... Had six points, four assists and four boards in the home win over WSU ... Totaled 10 points, three assists and six rebounds at Georgia ... Named to the all-tournament team at the UNLV Lady Rebel Shootout after scoring 13 points against Northwestern State and 12 against UNLV ... Had nine points and five boards vs. St. Mary's ... Had eight points and four assists against Sac State. Career Highs: Points - 21, vs. Stanford, 2-24-02; Rebounds - 8, vs. Stanford, 2-24-02; Assists - 6, vs. Oregon State, 12-22-01; Steals - 6, vs. Georgia, 12-30-00.

#14 Natalie Jarrett - Played in 13 games, including the last three straight ... Had four points in the win at Washington State ... Had four points in the home win over WSU ... Scored six points against CS Northridge and added a career-high tying two steals ... Had three rebounds in the win over Northwestern State ... Had three points and four rebounds against Sac St. Career Highs: Points - 9, last vs. Stanford, 2-24-02; Rebounds - 7, last at New Mexico, 11-11-00; Blocks - 2, last at ASU, 2-16-02; Steals - 2, last vs. CSUN, 12-21-02.

#20 Michelle Greco - Entered the week ranked first in the Pac-10 in scoring average (20.0) and steals (3.14) and fourth in free throw percentage (.829) ... Has 70 career double figure scoring games (Natalie Williams is 6th with 82) and 34 career 20+ scoring games (tied for 6th with Anita Ortega 34 20+ games) ... Ranks sixth all-time in the Pac-10 in steals ... Has 23 steals in the last five games entering the games with the Arizona schools ... Scored 28 points at USC ... Scored 29 points in the loss at Washington ... Totaled 16 points at Washington State ... Recorded her first career double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds against Cal ... Made her first nine free throw attempts versus Cal to give her 32 straight and a school record total (old mark - 24 held by Denise Curry, 1978-80) ... Totaled 28 points against Stanford and was credited with a career-high eight steals ... Scored 14 at Arizona ... Held to six points at ASU, her lowest point total since not scoring against Utah in the 2000-01 season following an early injury ... Pulled down nine rebounds against the Sun Devils ... Led the team in scoring (28), rebounding (seven), assists (three) and blocks (one) in the win over USC and was subsequently named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the first time in her career ... Had 23 points and seven steals in the home win against WSU ... Scored 14 in the home win over Washington ... Totaled 29 points in the win at Oregon State ... Scored 11 points with six assists at Oregon ... Led all players with 22 points against CSUN ... Had 16 points and four assists against Baylor ... Scored 31 points in the loss at Pepperdine for her third career 30-point game ... Had 12 points and eight boards at Georgia ... Had six assists vs. St. Mary's ... Named MVP of the Las Vegas Shootout after scoring 26 in the win over UNLV and a team-best 18 points in the win over Northwestern State ... All-tournament selection at the Hawaii Tournament ... Had 19 points and four steals versus Sac State and 20 points at Hawaii ... Selected to the Senior CLASS Award Players to Watch List ...Four-time Student-Athlete of the Week (Dec. 16-22, Dec. 23-29, Jan. 6-12, Jan. 21-26) ... Pre-season all-conference performer for the second consecutive year ... Named to the Women's Basketball News Service pre-season All-America second team. Career Highs: 36, at Michigan St., 11-18-01; Rebounds - 10, vs. Cal, 1-26-03; Assists - 7, last vs. Washington St., 1-9-00; Steals - 8, vs. Stanford, 1-24-03.

#21 Jalina Bradley - Has played in 17 games, including the last six straight ... Gave the Bruins a second-half spark at Arizona ... Scored four points with three boards against CSUN ... Had three points at Georgia ... Had two points and three boards in the win over Northwestern State ... Off the bench for eight points and five rebounds against Sac State. Career Highs: Points - 14, at Stanford, 12-28-01; Rebounds - 8, last at Oregon St., 1-24-02; Assists - 6, at Wash. St., 1-6-02; Steals - 5, vs. Stan., 3-2-02.

#32 Nikki Blue - Starter in the first 21 games ... Has 52 assists in her last 13 games ... Entered the week ranked first on the team in rebounds (112) and assists (74) and second in scoring (16.6 ppg) ... Fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring (16.6), 17th in rebounding (5.3), t-sixth in assists (3.50), fifth in steals (2.15) ... Foul trouble helped to limit her to eight points at USC, snapping a streak of seven straight double digit games ... Totaled a UCLA freshman record 35 points in the loss at Washington ... Led the team with 26 points and six (tied) boards at WSU ... Scored 17 points with a career-high five steals versus Cal ... Had 16 points, six rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes against Stanford ... Sat out the final 17 minutes of the first half against the Cardinal due to foul trouble ... Had a team-high 19 points at Arizona ... Recorded 30 points (scoring 19 of the last 21 Bruin points in the game) and added nine rebounds and three steals in the 60-58 win at ASU ... Scored 12 points in the win over USC ... Had eight points, seven boards and five assists in the home win against UW ... Had 12 points and seven rebounds at Oregon State ... Totaled 26 points, in just 23 minutes at Oregon, and five assists ... Against CSUN, scored 10 points with a team-best eight boards and eight assists ... Scored 26 points vs. Baylor ... Scored 14 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four steals at Pepperdine ... Scored 11 points with three assists and three steals at Georgia ... Scored 24 points, all in the second half, against St. Mary's ... Had 15 points with seven boards and four assists in the win over Northwestern State ... Against Sac State, totaled 24 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, along with three steals ... Named one of 21 'Freshmen of Impact' by Women's College Career Highs: Points - 35, at Washington, 2-1-03; Rebounds - 12, vs. Sac State, 11-24-02; Assists - 9, vs. Sac State, 11-24-02; Steals - 5, vs. Cal, 1-26-03.

#35 Jamila Veasley - Starter in the first 21 games ... Had a season-best four steals at Washington State ... Had three steals vs. California ... Had six points and six rebounds against Stanford ... Credited with a team-best and career-high three blocked shots in the home win over WSU ... Entered the week ranked sixth in the Pac-10 in blocks/game (0.76) ... Had seven points, two blocks and a team-high 10 rebounds in the UW win ... Established new career highs in points (12) and assists (3) at Oregon ... Added eight rebounds and shot 6-8 from the field ... Had a team-best six boards vs. Baylor ... Pulled down six boards at Georgia ... Recorded a career-best 12 rebounds against St. Mary's ... Tied for team-high honors with five boards against UNLV ... Scored seven points against Hawaii. Career Highs: Points - 12, at Oregon, 12-27-02; Rebounds - 12, vs. St. Mary's 12-3-02; Assists - 3, at Oregon, 12-27-02; Steals - 5, vs. Arizona State, 1-17-02; Blocks - 3, vs. Washington State, 1/3/03.

#40 Lisa Willis - Entered the week ranked sixth in the Pac-10 in made three-point shots (1.62/g) ... Her 34 made three-pointers rank third on UCLA's all-time single-season frosh list (record is 48 by Michelle Palmisano, 1993; second is Nicole Kaczmarski, 2000, with 36) ... Has eight double figure games and has made at least one three-pointer in 17 of the 21 games ... Matched her career-best with 18 points and four threes in the loss at USC ... Tied for the team lead in rebounding with six boards (ties her career high) at Washington State ... Scored 15 points in the home win over WSU and added three assists and five steals ... Had team-high 17 points in the home win over UW ...Scored 10 points with four boards, two steals and a block at Oregon ... Scored 11 points (3-3 from beyond the arc) with four boards and two steals against CSUN ... Had 12 points on four three-pointers at Georgia ... Came off the bench with 18 points (3-three-pt. shots) against Hawaii and 14 (3-three-pt.) against Sac State ... All-tournament selection at the Hawaii Tournament. Career Highs: Points - 18, last at USC, 2-8-03; Rebounds - 6, last at Wash. St., 1-30-03; Assists - 3, vs. Wash. St., 1-5-03; Steals - 5, vs. Wash. St., 1-5-03.

#44 Emma Tautolo - Has come off the bench in all 21 games ... Had four points and three rebounds at USC ... Scored six points in the Cal game ... Had seven points in the Stanford game ...Totaled six points in the home win over Washington State ... Came off the bench with nine points and five rebounds against Hawaii and six points on 3-3 shooting versus Sac State. Career Highs: Points - 9, at Hawaii, 11-23-02; Rebounds - 5, at Hawaii, 11-23-02; Assists - 2, vs. Northwestern State, 11-30-02; Steals - 1, last vs. St. Mary's, 12-3-02.

# 54 Sissy Pickett - Has seen action in nine games ... Had two points and three boards at Arizona ... Scored five points and had four rebounds in the home win over Washington State ... Scored four points in nine minutes against CSUN ... Scored six points in the win over St. Mary's ... Had four points and three boards against Sac St. Career Highs: Points - 13, vs. Washington St., 2-1-02; Rebounds - 6, at Arizona, 2-14-02; Steals - 2, vs. Washington St., 2-1-02.

#55 Krystle Johnson - Has played in 16 games ... Scored a season-best eight points with two blocks in the win over Cal State Northridge ... Gave the Bruins a solid 10-minute effort in the win over UNLV ... Had five points and a career-best five rebounds against Sac State. Career Highs: Points - 15, vs. Washington, 2-3-02; Rebounds - 5, vs. Sac State, 11-24-02; Assists - 1, last at Georgia, 12-6-02; Steals - 1, vs. Arizona, 2-14-02.

Early Recruiting Class Ranked In Top 10 - Blue Star Report (No. 7) and All Star Girls Report (No. 6) have ranked Kathy Olivier's 2002 early signing period recruiting class among the top 10 in the nation. On November 14, coach Olivier announced the signing of Noelle Quinn of Bishop Montgomery High School (Torrance, CA), forward Amanda Livingston of Troy High School (Fullerton, CA), center Consuelo Lezcano of Marathon High School in Florida and guard Shaina Zaidi from Marlborough High in Los Angeles.

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