Women's Basketball Looks To Extend Winning Streak Sunday Against USC

Jan. 3, 2004

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOOKS TO IMPROVE ON BEST START SINCE 2000-01 SEASON; BEAVERS HOST USC ON SUNDAY IN GAME TELEVISED ON FOX SPORTS NET

Sunday, Jan. 4, 2003
USC at OSU
12 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR
(Gill Coliseum)
RADIO BROADCAST ON KRKT (990 am)
Television - Fox Net

OREGON STATE BEAVERS (8-4 overall; 2-1 Pac-10)
G #10 Leilani Estavan, 5-7, Sr., (10.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.1 apg.)
G #24 Mandy Close, 5-11, So., (7.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.6 apg.)
G #33 Shannon Howell, 5-9, Jr., (22.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.3 apg.)
F #45 Hollye Chapman, 6-2, Sr., (11.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.4 apg.)
C #42 Brina Chaney, 6-5, Sr., (8.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.3 bpg.)

USC WOMEN OF TROY (5-5 overall; 2-0 Pac-10)
G #3 Rometra Craig, 5-10, Sr., (11.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.3 apg.)
G #10 Jessica Cheeks, 5-9, Sr., (10.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.5 apg.)
G #24 Tiffany Hicks, 5-4, Sr., (2.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.7 apg.)
F #5 Megan Gnekow, 5-11, So., (8.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.6 apg.)
F #32 Ebony Hoffman, 6-2, Sr., (16.5 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.8 apg.)

A GLANCE AT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: University of Southern California enters Sunday's game against Oregon State with a 5-5 overall record and 2-0 mark in the Pac-10. Three of USC's losses on the season have come at the hands of teams ranked in the top-15, including a 72-69 loss against top-ranked Connecticut on Dec. 7. The Women of Troy topped Oregon 69-55 in Eugene on Friday behind senior forward Ebony Hoffman's 25 points and 10 rebounds. On the season Hoffman leads the squad in scoring and rebounding with 16.5 points and 8.9 boards per game. Senior guards Rometra Craig and Jessica Cheeks are adding 11.2 and 10.0 points, respectively. USC is averaging 68.3 points per game, compared to its opponents' 65.3 clip. The Women of Troy have managed to hit just 62-percent of their free throws on the season, ranking last in the Pac-10.

BEAVERS AND WOMEN OF TROY SERIES NUMBERS: USC leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 26-13, but the Beavers have won six of the last 10 games. Until last season's dominating 87-44 victory by the Women of Troy, the previous four meetings between the squads had been decided by a combined nine points. Head coach Judy Spoelstra has an all-time record of 8-9 against USC.

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST USC: In its ugliest game of the season, Oregon State dropped an 87-44 contest to wrap up regular season action at USC on Mar. 1, 2003. The Beavers were unable to get things going offensively and USC spurted to a 44-19 halftime advantage. The Women of Troy scored 20 points off 15 Beaver turnovers before intermission. USC led by as many as 48 points in the contest and finished the game with a 46-15 edge in points scored off turnovers. Hollye Chapman led the Beavers with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting while Leilani Estavan added 11 points. Four Women of Troy reached double figures in scoring led by Aisha Hollans' 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting. The 43-point loss was the 15th worst in program history and the largest of the season for the Beavers.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: How Oregon State enters Sunday's game stacked up statistically with USC:

	                OSU	USCPoints per game	        66.2	68.3Points allowed per game	61.2	65.3Field goal percentage	45.7	40.33-pt field goal percent	40.2	32.5Free throw percentage	66.7	62.4Rebounds per game	35.2	38.7Assists per game	16.3	14.2Steals per game	         8.8	11.2

FOX SPORTS NET: Sunday's Oregon State-USC game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net. Ann Schatz and Kathy Nelson will announce the action. The game is the first of four scheduled television contests for Oregon State on the year.

LOOKING BACK AT UCLA: Oregon State had six players reach double figures in scoring as the Beavers used torrid field goal shooting to roll past UCLA, 82-68, on Friday night. OSU buried 62-percent of its field goals (29-for-47) in the game and knocked down 8-of-12 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. UCLA started the game hot, taking a 27-16 lead 11 minutes into the contest, but the Beavers used a 24-8 run to close out the half and take a 40-36 advantage into the lockerroom. An 11-0 OSU run to open the second frame put the game out of reach. Shannon Howell reached double figures in scoring for the third straight game with a team-high 22 points and four assists, while Leilani Estavan finished with 13 points including a 3-for-3 clip from 3-point range. Mandy Close and Krystal Turner both buried 5-of-6 field goals in the game for 12 and 11 points, respectively. Brina Chaney and Hollye Chapman added 10 points each. Sophomore guard Nikki Blue led the Bruins with 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Oregon State's 82 points scored were its most of the season.

LOOKING BACK AT CALIFORNIA: Four players reached double figures in scoring as Oregon State broke a seven-game Pacific-10 Conference road losing streak with a 70-67 victory against California on Monday. Hollye Chapman recorded her ninth career double-double with 18 points and a season-best 11 rebounds. Junior guard Jessica Jones sparked the Beaver offense, scoring eight straight points to help the OSU garner the lead for good with just over eight minutes remaining in the closely contested game. Jones finished with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting, while Shannon Howell added 12 points and Krystal Turner pitched in 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. California's Nihan Anaz led all players with 20 points. Oregon State held a commanding 39-28 rebounding edge.

LOOKING BACK AT No. 9 STANFORD: Junior transfer Shannon Howell made her first appearance in a Beaver uniform a memorable one, leading all players with 32 points on 10-of-24 field goals, but Oregon State dropped its Dec. 27 Pacific-10 Conference opener to No. 9 Stanford by an 88-65 margin. Both squads exchanged baskets to open the game but the Cardinal capitalized on a 20-0 run over a six-minute span to take a 28-7 advantage and never looked back. Oregon State scored six straight points to close out the half but Stanford went into the lockerroom with a 49-26 lead. Howell became the first OSU player since Felicia Ragland in 2001 to score 32 points in a game - 24 of which came in the second half. Senior guard Leilani Estavan's two assists helped her become the first player in Oregon State history to score 900 points and dish out 500 assists in her career. The balanced Stanford attack saw five players reach double figures in scoring with Sebnem Kimyacioglu's 24 points leading the way. All-American Nicole Powell missed the game while recovering from a sprained ankle. Stanford held a commanding 47-22 rebounding edge.

BALANCE IS BEAUTIFUL: Oregon State boasts a 7-1 record on the season in games that at least three Beaver players reach double figures in scoring. OSU's 82-68 victory against UCLA on Friday marked the first time this season that six players reached double figures in scoring. Four players reached double figures in scoring against California on Monday night.

PUTTING POINTS ON THE BOARD: Oregon State's 82 points scored against UCLA on Friday were its most points scored in 18 games, dating back to a 100-86 victory against Washington on Feb. 20, 2003.

PAC-10 PROMISE: Oregon State's 2-1 start to Pacific-10 Conference play is its best since a 2-1 start to open the 2001-02 season. The Beavers have started conference action with a 3-1 mark just once (1999-00) during head coach Judy Spoelstra's tenure.

DID YOU KNOW: Senior post Hollye Chapman has led Oregon State in assists in three straight games. Chapman ranks second on the team with 29 dishes on the year.

FAST FACT: Oregon State has had at least one player break the 20-point barrier in scoring during five of its last six games.

INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore guard Ebony Young will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her left knee during the second half of the Dec. 19 game at Cincinnati. Sophomore guard Casey Bunn continues to be sidelined while resting a sprained foot, her return to the OSU line-up is questionable. The 6-0 guard from Stayton, OR, has missed seven games on the year with a stress reaction that flared up against Arkansas on Nov. 28.

QUICK HITS: Oregon State is 8-0 on the season when leading or tied at halftime...senior post Krystal Turner leads the Pacific-10 Conference with a .667 field goal percentage...senior post Brina Chaney leads the Pac-10 with 2.36 blocked shots per game...Beaver head coach Judy Spoelstra earned career victory No. 200 when OSU topped USC in last season's Pac-10 opener...OSU has held a two-game winning streak on four occasions this season...four different Oregon State players have scored 20-plus points on the year.

TOP NOTCH: With two assists against No. 9 Stanford on Dec. 27, senior guard Leilani Estavan became the first player in Oregon State history to dish out 500 assists and score 900 points in her career. Estavan enters Sunday's game against USC with 505 career assists - just 44 dishes shy of the school record - and 927 points scored.

WOW: Junior transfer Shannon Howell became eligible for game action on Dec. 24 - one week earlier than expected. Howell, a 5-9 guard, buried 10-of-24 field goals and 9-of-9 free throws for a career-best 32 points in 33 minutes of action against No. 9 Stanford last Saturday. A two-year starter at University of Nebraska, Howell's previous career-high in scoring was 18 points. Howell's 32 points during her Beaver debut were the most points scored since OSU All-American guard Felicia Ragland poured in 32 points against Arizona State in 2001. Howell finished with 12 points and seven rebounds against California on Monday before reaching double figures in scoring for a third straight game with 22 points against UCLA on Friday.

PRESEASON PAC-10 POLLS: Oregon State was tabbed to finish in eighth place in both the Pac-10 Preseason Coaches Poll and Media Poll. Stanford was picked to repeat as conference champion. The Beavers have finished in the Pac-10's top-5 the past two years - despite being picked to finish seventh in the preseason polls. OSU has finished higher than selected in the preseason polls the past four seasons.

STREAKS TO WATCH: Senior guard Leilani Estavan has started every game for the Beavers over the last two seasons. Estavan also closed out the 2000-01 campaign with eight straight starts, giving her a current streak of 82 consecutive appearances in the starting five.

IN GILL: The Beavers have won 82 of their last 124 (.661) games played at Gill Coliseum. Over the last 10 seasons OSU is 98-45 in the friendly confines of Gill.

ON THE BENCH: Assistant coach Todd Corman enters his third year on the Beaver bench after spending 10 seasons as the head coach at Loyola Marymount University and more recently, six years at the helm of Albertson College. Jualeah Woods holds the longest tenure on staff, returning for her fourth year at OSU and serving as director of recruiting. Heath Alexander enters his second year as an assistant coach after spending the 2001-02 season as director of operations. Mary Kincaid, a 14-year coaching veteran, returns for her second year as operations director.

HEAD COACH Judy Spoelstra: Judy Spoelstra has a record of 118-124 in her nine seasons at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 216-192 overall record in 15 seasons as a collegiate head coach, her first six being at Montana State. She picked up career win No. 200 against USC on Dec. 27, 2002. Spoelstra has led the Beavers to three consecutive postseason tournament appearances in the WNIT. At the conclusion of the 1999-00 season, Spoelstra was named Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year. In September, Spoelstra was inducted into the Montana State University Hall of Fame as part of the 1992-93 MSU women's basketball team that won the Big Sky Championship.

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