Women's Basketball Opens New Year At No. 23 UCLA

Dec. 31, 2004


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Sunday, Jan. 2, 2005
OSU at No. 23 UCLA
2 p.m. PST, Los Angeles, CA
(Pauley Pavilion)


Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2005
1 p.m. PST, Los Angeles, CA
(Lyon Center)


OREGON STATE BEAVERS (4-7 overall; 0-2 Pac-10)
G #24 Mandy Close, 5-11, Jr., (10.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.1 apg.)
G #33 Shannon Howell, 5-9, Sr., (18.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.3 apg)
F #12 Casey Bunn, 6-0, So., (6.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.4 apg.)
F #31 Anita Rivera, 6-0, Jr., (4.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.7 apg.)
F #42 Kim Butler, 6-1, Jr., (10.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 bpg.)

UCLA BRUINS (7-3 overall; 1-0 Pac-10)
G #32 Nikki Blue, 5-8, Jr., (10.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.6 apg.)
G #40 Lisa Willis, 5-11, Jr., (14.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.4 apg.)
G #45 Noelle Quinn, 6-0, So., (18.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.6 apg.)
F #14 Lindsey Pluimer, 6-3, Fr., (10.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.9 apg.)
F #31 Amanda Livingston, 6-1, So., (6.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 apg.)

USC WOMEN OF TROY (6-4 overall; 0-1 Pac-10)
G #2 Jamie Hagiya, 5-4, So., (4.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.0 apg.)
G #11 Brynn Cameron, 5-10, Fr., (10.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.3 apg.)
F #5 Megan Gnekow, 5-11, Jr., (8.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.3 apg.)
F #33 Rachel Woodward, 6-1, Sr., (9.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.7 apg.)
F #50 Chloe Kerr, 6-3, So., (6.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.3 apg.)

A GLANCE AT No. 23 UCLA: No. 23 ranked UCLA enters Sunday's game against Oregon State with a 7-3 overall record and 1-0 mark in the Pac-10. The Bruins are a perfect 4-0 in Pauley Pavilion on the season, knocking off a pair of teams ranked in the Top 15 (No. 4 Texas, No. 14 Purdue). Four UCLA players are averaging double figures in scoring, led by sophomore Noelle Quinn's 18.9 points and 7.1 rebounds. Quinn has reached double figures in scoring in 31 straight games and UCLA is 7-0 on the year when she has scored 20 or more points. Junior guards Lisa Willis and Nikki Blue are averaging 14.6 and 10.9 points per game, respectively. UCLA is averaging 71.6 points per game while holding its opponents to 62.0 points per outing. The Bruins have won eight consecutive home games dating back to last season.

BEAVERS AND BRUINS SERIES NUMBERS: UCLA leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 25-16. In her tenure as head coach at OSU, Judy Spoelstra has a 7-11 record against the Bruins but the Beavers have won six of the last nine outings. UCLA has won eight of the last 10 games played in Pauley Pavilion.

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST UCLA: It was all UCLA from the start, as the Bruins opened an early 12-2 lead and never looked back en route to a 91-58 victory against Oregon State on Jan. 31, 2004. OSU missed 15 of its first 18 shots from the field and UCLA took a 40-17 lead into the locker room at the half. In a bright spot for the Beavers, walk-on Bailey Stokes buried her first career field goal attempt with a 3-pointer from the top of the key late in the game. Shannon Howell led the Beavers with 14 points, while Brina Chaney added nine points and a matched her career-best with four assists. Freshman Noelle Quinn led UCLA with a career-high 24 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Sophomores Nikki Blue and Lisa Willis added 23 and 21 points, respectively. OSU shot 36-percent from the field while UCLA finished with a 44-percent clip.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: How Oregon State enters the week stacked up statistically with UCLA and USC:

	                  OSU	UCLA	USCPoints per game	         66.2	71.6	67.7Points allowed per game	69.1	64.8	63.6Field goal percentage	42.3	41.6	37.63-pt field goal percent	31.4	33.1	31.3Free throw percentage	69.5	69.0	65.9Rebounds per game	         36.7	38.0	39.3Assists per game	         12.4	14.9	13.4Steals per game	         9.4	12.2	12.9

FAST FACT: Sunday's game against UCLA pits the top two scorers in the Pacific-10 Conference. Oregon State senior guard Shannon Howell is averaging 18.9 points per game with 208 total, while UCLA sophomore Noelle Quinn is averaging 18.9 points per game with 189 total points.

A GLANCE AT USC: University of Southern California enters the week with a 6-4 overall record and 0-1 mark in the Pac-10. The last three games for the Women of Troy have been decided by three points or less. Freshman guard Brynn Cameron is the lone USC player averaging double figures in scoring with 10.2 points per game. The balanced squad has six players averaging more than 7.0 points per outing. Five different players are averaging more than 4.3 rebounds per game, led by Meghan Gnekow's 5.9 clip. USC is averaging 67.7 points per game while holding the opposition to 63.6 points.

BEAVERS AND WOMEN OF TROY SERIES NUMBERS: USC leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 26-15, but the Beavers have won eight of the last 12 games. OSU head coach Judy Spoelstra has an all-time record of 10-9 against USC.

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST USC: Four players reached double figures in scoring as Oregon State used a big second half to knock off USC by a 73-66 margin on Jan. 29, 2004. Leilani Estavan had 14 second half points and the Beavers shot 58-percent from the floor to take control of the game. OSU seniors Estavan, Brina Chaney and Hollye Chapman combined to score 43 points. Estavan led the squad with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting and dished out four assists, while Chaney finished with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Chapman broke the 1,000 point scoring barrier with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Mandy Close also reached double figures with 10 points. Ebony Hoffman led the Women of Troy with 19 points and seven rebounds. OSU held a 38-33 advantage at halftime and led by as many as 13 points with just under eight minutes remaining.

LOOKING BACK AT CALIFORNIA: Junior guard Mandy Close scored 21 points, but Oregon State was unable to overcome a fast start by University of California, and the Golden Bears recorded a 77-71 victory on Dec. 29 in Gill Coliseum. OSU shot just 29-percent in the opening half, allowing Cal to take a 34-28 lead into the locker room. Close buried 8-of-16 field goals, pulled down five rebounds and dished out three assists for the Beavers. Senior guard Shannon Howell shot just 2-of-13 from the field and managed only four points. Casey Bunn finished with 11 points and senior guard Jessica Mellinger matched her career-high with seven assists. Freshman Tiffany Ducker just missed a double-double with a career-best nine rebounds and nine points. Senior Leigh Gregory led Cal with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting, while fellow senior Kiki Williams tallied her first career double-double with 16 points and 10 boards.

LOOKING BACK AT No. 5 STANFORD: Oregon State was hampered by poor shooting as No. 5 ranked Stanford University rolled to an 83-45 victory in the Dec. 27 Pacific-10 Conference opener for both squads. The Beavers managed just 30-percent shooting in the contest compared to the Cardinal's 52-percent clip. OSU senior guard Shannon Howell, who entered the game leading the nation in scoring with 22.9 points per game, was held to a career-low two points on just 1-of-14 shooting. Junior guard Mandy Close led the Beavers in scoring with 13 points and matched her career-best with four steals, while junior post Kim Butler chipped in 10 points. Stanford had three players reach double figures in scoring with Brooke Smith's 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting leading everyone. Stanford held a 50-31 rebounding edge.

IT'S BEEN A WHILE: The last time Oregon State dropped back-to-back games at the start of Pacific-10 Conference action was during the 1999-00 campaign. OSU opened the conference skein with a loss at No. 24 ranked Oregon and then dropped a game against Stanford in Gill Coliseum.

DEFENSE WINS GAMES: Oregon State is 0-7 on the season when allowing its opponent to score 70 or more points. The Beavers have scored 70-plus in seven of their first 11 games on the year, but just two of those games have been victories.

BE UP AT THE BREAK: Oregon State is 0-6 on the year when trailing at the half. The Beavers are out-scoring their opponent 371-351 in the opening half of action, but have been outscored 409-357 in the second 20 minutes.

IMPRESSIVE LEADER: Junior guard Mandy Close has reached double figures in scoring in four straight games and has led the team in scoring in back-to-back contests. Close hit 8-of-10 field goals for 21 points against California on Dec. 29 after tallying 13 points against No. 5 Stanford on Dec. 27 in the Pac-10 opener. Close leads the Beavers with 17.0 points and 2.5 steals per game during conference action - the next closest player on the squad is averaging 7.5 points per game. The 5-11 Bozeman, MT, native has reached double figures in scoring during six games on the season. She has also pulled down four or more rebounds nine times on the year. After 11 games, Close ranks second on the team in scoring (10.8 ppg) and third in rebounding (4.1 rpg).

STEPPING UP: Senior guard Jessica Mellinger matched her career-high with seven assists against California on Dec. 29. Mellinger is leading the Beavers in assists during Pac-10 games (8) and is tied for the team-lead with an average of 30 minutes played per game.

OUCH: Senior guard Shannon Howell entered Pacific-10 Conference action as the leading scorer in the nation with 22.4 points per game. Howell managed just 3-for-27 shooting (.111) after the opening weekend of conference play. Despite averaging just 3.0 points per game in Pac-10 games, Howell continues to lead the conference in scoring with 18.9 points per outing.

HOWELL HIGHLIGHTS: Senior guard Shannon Howell finished with a season-high 36 points and career-high seven steals at University of Florida on Dec. 12. Howell has reached double figures in scoring in eight of Oregon State's 11 games this season and has scored 20-plus points on six occasions. She has now scored 20-plus points 13 times and has reached double figures in scoring in 23 of her 33 career games at Oregon State. The 5-9 All-America candidate scored a career-high 40 points at Washington (Jan. 17, 2004) and scored 32 points in her Oregon State debut at No. 9 ranked Stanford (Dec. 27, 2003).

PRESEASON PAC-10 POLLS: Oregon State was tabbed to finish in eighth place in the Pac-10 Preseason Media Poll and was picked to finish ninth in the Preseason Coaches Poll. Stanford was picked to repeat as conference champion in both polls. OSU has finished higher than selected in the preseason polls the past five seasons.

HOME-SWEET-HOME: Oregon State has won at least eight games in Gill Coliseum during each of the last six seasons. The Beavers finished the 2003-04 season with a 9-5 record on Ralph Miller Court.

IN GILL: The Beavers have won 88 of their last 137 (.642) games played at Gill Coliseum. Over the last 11 seasons OSU is 103-52 in the friendly confines of Gill.

NON-CONFERENCE RECORD: Oregon State has an all-time non-conference record of 249-133 dating back to the 1976-77 season for a .652 percentage.

PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT: The Pac-10 Conference plays host to the fourth annual State Farm Women's Basketball Tournament, March 4-7, 2005, at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. This year marks the third year the tournament has been held at that site. A total of nine games will be played, with the champion earning the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Arizona State won the inaugural tournament in 2002, while Stanford has won the last two.

ON THE BENCH: Mary Kincaid, a 14-year coaching veteran, was promoted from her position of operations director to assistant coach in September after the departure of Todd Corman. Heath Alexander enters his third year as assistant coach after being elevated in status with the departure of Corman, while Jualeah Woods, who holds the longest tenure on staff, returns for her fifth year at OSU and serves as the director of recruiting. Bruce Henderson joins the Beavers as director of operations, after serving the past six years as an assistant coach at Portland State University.

HEAD COACH Judy Spoelstra: Judy Spoelstra has a record of 131-142 while in her 10th season at the helm for Oregon State. Spoelstra has recorded a 229-210 overall record during her 16 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 four 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 of 2003, 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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