UCLA Women's Basketball Travels To No. 8 Purdue Dec. 13

Dec. 10, 2003

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Bruins vs. Purdue in Indianapolis - UCLA (2-2) is coming off of a 53-52 loss at St. Mary's on Dec. 6 and will travel to play No. 8-ranked (AP) Purdue (6-1) on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 1:00 PST at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN as part of the Boilermaker BlockBuster event (a doubleheader with the Purdue men playing Central Michigan in the second game).

The Bruins dropped a one-point decision at St. Mary's in their last outing, despite a season-high 17 points from Nikki Blue. Two-free throws with 4.8 seconds by the Gaels's Triola Jackson proved to be the difference. Noelle Quinn (12) and Lisa Willis (10) were also in double figures for the Bruins. Quinn led the team in rebounds with seven.

UCLA will be playing the second of four Big Ten conference opponents when it meets Purdue. UCLA defeated Illinois on Nov. 30 and has two more games scheduled with Big Ten schools (Michigan State - Dec. 19 and Ohio State - Dec. 30) at home in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins own a 10-10 all-time record in games played against teams from the Big Ten.

Purdue has won five straight games since dropping a 93-63 decision to Duke in the Jimmy V Classic held in Raleigh, NC on Nov. 23. The Boilermakers are led by All-American forward Shereka Wright, who is averaging 17.7 ppg and 4.9 rebounds. This will be the first meeting between UCLA and Purdue. The Boilers were the NCAA champions in 1999 and lost in the championship game in 2001. Last season, Purdue lost to UConn in the East Regional final. Purdue has been either the Big 10 conference champion or conference tournament champion each season since 1997.

Multi-Sport Stars Expected to Join the Team - Two-sport athlete Whitney Jones is a starting midfielder for the highly-ranked UCLA women's soccer team. The Bruins advanced to the College Cup national semifinals last weekend before being eliminated by eventual national champion North Carolina. Jones joined the basketball team this past week for practice and is expected to travel to Indianapolis. Brittany Ringel is a starting outside hitter for the nationally-ranked and eighth-seeded volleyball team. The volleyball playoffs continue this weekend as the Bruins face Nebraska in NCAA Regional action on Friday.

Blue Named to Pre-Season All-Conference Team by Media - Nikki Blue was selected by the media to the Pre-Season All-Conference team announced at the annual Pac-10 media day in San Jose on Oct. 29. Blue was joined by Stanford's Nicole Powell, USC's Ebony Hoffman, Washington's Giuliana Mendiola and Arizona's Shawntinice Polk.

Bruins Picked To Finish Sixth/Seventh In Pac-10 - The Pac-10 women's basketball coaches picked UCLA to finish sixth in the conference. Stanford, with eight first-place votes, was the solid choice to finish first. The Cardinal were followed by Arizona (two first-place votes), Washington, Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA, USC, Oregon State, California and Washington State.

The Pac-10 media also tabbed Stanford for the top spot. Next was Arizona, Washington and Arizona State. USC was picked to finish fifth followed by Oregon, UCLA, Oregon State, California and Washington State.

UCLA Signs Two for Class of 2008 - UCLA head coach Kathy Olivier signed two players, forward Lindsey Pluimer and guard Lauren Pedersen, to National Letters of Intent to enter school in the Fall of 2004. Pluimer, a 6-3 forward from San Clemente, CA High, is considered by some publications to be one of the top 35 recruits in the nation. She was chosen the CIF Southern Section Div. I-A Player of the Year last season as a junior and averaged 22 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots per game. Pedersen, a 5-10 guard, was a All-CIF Southern Section and Div. II-A first-team pick last year following her junior season. An outstanding perimeter shooter, she averaged 13.9 points, 5.2 assists, 4.6 steals and four rebounds per game as a junior and had been ranked as one of the top 60 recruits in the nation by one publication.

UCLA On The Radio - All of UCLA's women's games will be broadcast on KIIS 850am in Thousand Oaks, as well as on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. Dave Marcus and Steve Rourke will call the action on Saturday.

Challenging Schedule Ahead For Bruins - The Bruins could play 17 regular season games against teams which advanced to the post-season last season. Non-conference games will be played against NCAA Tournament teams from Texas, Illinois, Michigan State and Ohio State. Pre-season ranked (USA Today) opponents include Arizona (22), Ohio State (15), Purdue (9), Stanford (7) and Texas (3).

Player Bio Updates

#00 Ortal Oren - Scored six points off the bench vs. Illinois ... Had four points vs. UNLV ... Saw action in 11 games last season ... Had a high of nine points against both Washington State and CSUN ... Member of the Israeli Junior National team ... Team won the Israeli School Championships in her senior year. Career Highs: Points - 9, last vs. Wash. St., 1-5-03; Rebounds - 2, last at St. Mary's, 12-6-03; Assists - 2, vs. St. Mary's, 12-3-02; Steals - 3, last vs. Wash. St., 1-5-03.

#3 Shaina Zaidi - Point guard who helped her team win the CIF Division IV-AA Southern Section championship and advance to the CIF State Regional Division IV finals as a senior ... Averaged 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists as a senior ... Adidas Super 60 selection after her junior and senior seasons.

#10 Whitney Jones - Starting midfielder on the soccer team who joined the team this week after last weekend's College Cup semifinal loss to UNC ... Three-year basketball starter with 60 career starts ... Ranked 10th on the all-time UCLA free throw list (.736) and fifth in made three-point shots in her career ... Had her fourth career double-double last season with 24 points and 10 rebounds versus Oregon. Career Highs: Points - 24, last at Ore., 12-27-02; Rebounds - 10, last vs. Stan., 1-24-03; Assists - 4, last vs. Ariz., 2-14-03; Steals - 5, last at Cal, 2-20-03.

#11 Julia Pitts - Had seven points at St. Mary's ... Scored three points and had four rebounds vs. Illinois ... Had four points and four boards at Texas ... Starter against UNLV and finished with seven points and four boards ... Starter in the first eight games of last season ... Averaged 10.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game and shot .674 from the field ... Suffered a left knee injury in the first half of the Baylor game ... Had surgery last Dec. 30. 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, last at St. Mary's, 12-6-03.

#13 Gennifer Arranaga - Scored eight points in the win over Illinois ... Had 11 points and a team-best six rebounds in a starting role at Texas ... Came off the bench for four points, three boards, two assists and three steals vs. UNLV ... Appeared in all 29 games last season and has seen action in the last 64 games in a row ... Sparked the Bruins to key wins over Arizona and USC ... Named all-tournament at the Las Vegas Shootout last season. Career Highs: Points - 21, vs. Stanford, 2-24-02; Rebounds - 8, vs. Stanford, 2-24-02; Assists - 6, vs. Oregon St., 12-22-01; Steals - 6, vs. Georgia, 12-30-00.

#21 Brittany Ringel - Starter at outside hitter on the volleyball team ... Will join the basketball squad later in December following the NCAA volleyball tournament ... Sat out last year after playing on the basketball team during her true freshman year of 2001-02.

#22 Consuelo Lezcano - Saw her first collegiate action against Texas ... Exciting freshman who was a volleyball and basketball star at Marathon, FL High School ... Scored over 2,100 points in her prep career ... Averaged 22 points, 15 rebounds and nine blocks per game as a senior.

#31 Amanda Livingston - Had five boards at St. Mary's ... Had six points and three boards in a starting role against Illinois ... Had four points against Texas ... Came off the bench to score seven points and grab three boards vs. UNLV ... Led her team to the State championship as a senior in the school's first ever trip to the title game ... Averaged 17.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists as a senior. Career Highs: Points - 7, v. UNLV, 11-23-03; Rebounds - 5, at St. Mary's 12-6-03; Assists - ; Steals - 1, vs. UNLV, 11-23-03; Blocks - 1, last at St. Mary's, 12-6-03.

#32 Nikki Blue - Scored 17 points and had five assists at St. Mary's ... Led the team with 16 points vs. Illinois ... Had eight points and three steals at Texas ... Led the Bruins with 15 points vs. UNLV in the opener ... Also had six rebounds, six assists and six steals in a good all-around game ...Starter in all 29 games last season ... Just the second Bruin ever to be named first-team All-Pac-10 as a freshman ... Also selected to the Pac-10's All-Freshman team and to the Pac-10 All-Tournament team ... Ranked first on the team in rebounds and assists and was second in scoring ... Finished fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring, sixth in assists, second in steals and eighth in assist/turnover ratio ... Set a UCLA freshman scoring record with 35 points against Washington ... Named to the pre-season All-Pac-10 team at the 2003-04 conference media day. Career Highs: Points - 35, at Wash., 2-1-03; Rebounds - 12, vs. Sac St., 11-24-02; Assists - 9, vs. Sac St., 11-24-02; Steals - 8, vs. Oregon, 3-8-03.

#35 Jamila Veasley - Returned to the starting lineup at St. Mary's and had four rebounds ... Did not play against Illinois ... Injured her shoulder in the second half of the Texas contest ... Started the UNLV game, but saw just 10 minutes of action due to foul trouble ... Starter in all 29 games last season and 48 games overall in her career ... Ranked seventh in the conference in blocked shots (0.69) a year ago ... Scored a career-high 12 points in the win last season at Oregon. 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. Ariz. St., 1-17-02; Blocks - 3, vs. Wash. St., 1-3-03.

#40 Lisa Willis - Had 10 points and six boards at St. Mary's ... Had seven points and three steals vs. Illinois ... Moved into the school's top 10 in three-point shots made ... Had 17 points, including five three-point shots, against Texas ... Made her first career start vs. UNLV and scored 13 points ... Appeared in all 29 games and excelled on the perimeter with 46 made three-pointers (second on UCLA freshman list) and on defense with 55 steals ... Seventh in the Pac-10 in three-point shots made (1.59/g) ... Had 11 double figure scoring games and made at least one three-point shot in 21 games as a freshman. Career Highs: Points - 18, last at USC, 2-8-03; Rebounds - 7, at Stanford, 2-22-03; Assists - 3, last at Stanford, 2-22-03; Steals - 5, vs. Wash. St., 1-5-03.

#44 Emma Tautolo - Had two points and three boards at St. Mary's ... Scored a career-high 10 points vs. Illinois ... Had three points at Texas ... Played against UNLV but did not score ... Appeared in 26 games in '03 ... Averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds ... Had bests of nine points and five rebounds versus Hawaii. Career Highs: Points - 10, v. Illinois, 11-30-03; Rebounds - 5, at Hawaii, 11-23-02; Assists - 2, vs. NW St., 11-30-02; Steals - 1, last at St. Mary's, 12-6-03.

#45 Noelle Quinn - Totaled 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds at St. Mary's ... Had her first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds vs. Illinois ... Had eight points at Texas ... Scored 11 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds vs. UNLV ... All-Everything freshman who helped lead her team to three CIF Division III championships, four California Regional Division III crowns and four CIF state championships ... Parade Magazine and McDonald's All-American ... Averaged 22.9 points and 10.1 rebounds as a senior. Career Highs: Points - 12, v. Illinois, 11-30-03; Rebounds - 11, vs. Illinois 11-30-03; Assists - 3, v. Illinois, 11-30-03; Steals - 3, vs. UNLV, 11-23-03; Blocks - 1, last at St. Mary's, 12-6-03.

#54 Sissy Pickett - Saw her first action of the season at Texas but did not score ... Saw action in 12 games last season ... Averaged 2.1 points and 1.2 rebounds ... Had six points in the win over St. Mary's ... Career 77% free throw shooter. Career Highs: Points - 13, vs. Wash. St., 2-1-02; Rebounds - 6, at Ariz, 2-14-02; Steals - 2, vs. Wash. St., 2-1-02.

Head Coach Kathy Olivier - Entering her 11th year as UCLA head coach, Kathy Olivier (150-141) has steadily built the program to reflect her own positive, upbeat and outgoing personality. In 2003, the team posted 12 wins in conference play, a total surpassed by only two other previous UCLA teams. The team improved its scoring average from 59.0 in the 2001-02 season to 73.0 points per game. Olivier has coached the only two Bruins players to be named first-team All-Pac-10 as freshmen (Nikki Blue and Maylana Martin). In 2002, she directed a team which lost its top two scorers in the middle of 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 became just the third player to ever earn All-Pac-10 honors in four straight seasons. In 1999, she led her Bruin team to the school's first ever Pac-10 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 (tied for second) in the Pac-10, its best winning percentage in the last 17 seasons and the first 20-win season since 1992.

St. Mary's Edges Bruins - St. Mary's scored the last eight points of the first half and the last six points of the game to edge the Bruins 53-52 in Moraga. The Bruins enjoyed a 13-point lead at 32-19 with 3:16 play in the first half before St. Mary's mounted a comeback. UCLA led 52-47 with 2:51 to play in the game but could not hang on. Triola Jackson made two free throws with 4.8 seconds remaining for the winning points. Nikki Blue led UCLA with 17 points.

Bruins Best Illinois - The Bruins handed Kathy Olivier her 150th career win with a 68-56 win over the Illini. UCLA used 52% first half shooting to take a 35-22 lead at the break. The Bruins built the lead up to as much as 50-30 before Illinois rallied to close to within eight, 54-46, with about five minutes to play. Emma Tautolo, who finished with a career-high 10 points, then scored the next six points in the game to help secure the win.

Bruins Fall To No. 2 Texas - UCLA went to halftime trailing second-ranked Texas, 37-35, but the Longhorns used their size advantage inside to pull away in the second half en route to a 89-58 victory in Austin. The Bruins used hot three-point shooting by Lisa Willis and Gennifer Arranaga, as well as a 22-16 rebound advantage at the half to keep the game close. Willis finished with a team-high 17 points and five three-pointers. Arranaga added 11 with a team-best six rebounds.

Bruins Win Season Opener Over UNLV - Sophomore Nikki Blue scored 15 points to help the Bruins past UNLV 61-51. Blue scored six of her points during a 10-2 Bruin run which helped push UCLA to a 51-44 advantage with 5:13 to play. The Bruin defense forced 31 UNLV turnovers and held the Rebels to just one basket over the final 9:07 of the contest.

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