This Week in Pac-10 Women's Basketball

Dec. 12, 2005

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12 (Mo)

OREGON at Saint Mary's, 7 p.m.
Eastern Washington at WASHINGTON, 7 p.m. (FSN NW)

13 (Tu)
Portland State at OREGON STATE, 7 p.m.

15 (Th)
(15/12) ARIZONA STATE at Fresno State, 7 p.m.
OREGON at Idaho State, 7:05 p.m.

16 (Fr)
Cal State Fullerton at (24) USC, 5 p.m. (Sports Arena)

17 (Sa)
ARIZONA at Fresno State, 2 p.m.
Rice at (11/11) STANFORD, 2 p.m.
South Alabama at OREGON STATE, 7 p.m.
(22/25) UCLA at UC Santa Barbara, 7 p.m.

All times are local to site.

AP; USA Today/ESPN/WBCA (as of 12/5)
STANFORD - 11/11
UCLA - 22/25
USC - RV/24


Through one month of regular season play, the Pac-10 has all 10 teams sitting above the .500 mark, the only conference among the 'big six' (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC), to have all of its teams owning a winning record ... Three squads (ARIZONA STATE, OREGON and OREGON STATE) have just one loss on the year, while four teams (CALIFORNIA, STANFORD, WASHINGTON and WASHINGTON STATE) only show up in the loss column twice.

With Pac-10 play scheduled to begin next Tues., Dec. 20, teams are working on last-minute adjustments to prepare themselves for league action ... Three teams tinkered with their lineups this past week, proving beneficial for all ... With FR G Jené Morris out for virtually both of Cal's games last week, JR G Sarah Pool stepped into her starting role to average 18.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 9.5 apg and 2.5 spg ... Pool came into last week averaging 3.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg and 4.3 apg ... Washington SR G Kristen O'Neill came off the bench for the first time this season, draining 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting against Michigan ... Prior to Friday's game, O'Neill had averaged just 4.3 points in her last three games ... Washington State FR C Sabrina Shired earned her first career start against No. 14 Minnesota last weekend, tallying 16 minutes in the game.

This week's look at who's hot: ARIZONA SR G Natalie Jones put up huge numbers in the Wildcats' loss to 9/8 Maryland on Sun., Dec. 11 ... Following her career-high 29-point output against the Terrapins, Jones is averaging 20.3 points in her last four games, while averaging 6.3 rebounds from her guard position ... Arizona State's Kristen Kovesdy has come on as of late, averaging 15.3 ppg in her last three efforts ... Almost without saying, UCLA JR G Noelle Quinn has been heating things up this season, but bested her season average by four points last week, averaging 21.0 points on 17-of-31 shooting ... As a team, the Oregon Ducks have put up big numbers in their past two games, including a 102-point effort against Prairie View A&M on Sat., Dec. 10.

Perhaps it's the excitement of the 'sixth-man,' as the Pac-10 has drawn almost 64,000 fans to its home games this season, but whatever the case may be, the Conference teams are loving it as they have posted a 31-5 overall mark when playing at home ... Washington is riding an eight-game home winning streak dating back to last season at Bank of America Arena, while California has posted 18 consecutive home non-conference victories at Haas Pavilion ... The Sun Devils are perfectly comfortable at home at Wells Fargo Arena, owning a 5-0 record this season, including two big wins over 17/20 Vanderbilt and 21/21 New Mexico.

When facing the Top-10 teams in the nation, the Pac-10 has found the number seven to be a very fateful number, just not the kind of fate they are looking for ... In three contests against some of the better opponents in the country, the Conference has lost by scores of - you guessed it - seven: On Fri., Nov. 25, Arizona State lost to then-No. 7/8 North Carolina, 79-72, on Fri., Dec. 2 Washington lost to then-No. 5/5 Baylor, 81-74 and on Sun., Dec. 4, Stanford was defeated by then-No.2/1 Tennessee, by a score of 74-67.

It's finals time for eight Pac-10 squads, as Arizona, Arizona State, California, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State are preparing for and/or finishing exams this week ... Oregon and Oregon State concluded their finals last week.


ARIZONA (4-3, 0-0)
SR G Natalie Jones had a monster game, but it was not enough as Arizona fell to 9/8 Maryland, 92-67, on Sun., Dec. 11 in College Park ... Jones was 10-of-19 from the field, including 3-of-8 from downtown, to pour in a career-high 29 points, while picking up five rebounds, four assists and five steals in the Wildcat loss ... JR G Joy Hollingsworth chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds ... UA is now 4-3 on the year, with two non-conference games remaining before Pac-10 play ... The team will play at Fresno State on Sat., Dec. 17 at 2 p.m., followed up with a road contest at UC Santa Barbara on Mon., Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. ... The `Cats pace the Pac-10 in turnover margin, wrecking havoc for opponents as they have turned the ball over 167 times through just seven games played (23.9 tpg) ... SO G Ashlely Whisonant is in the giving spirit, averaging over five assists per game (5.14) to rank second in the Pac-10 ... Having started in just three games last season, Whisonant has flourished in the starting lineup, ranking third on the team with 105 points, for a 15.0 ppg average ... FR G Malia O'Neal has been cleared by the NCAA to play, the team announced last Thursday.

ARIZONA STATE (7-1, 0-0)
Arizona State sits in first place in the Pac-10 with a 7-1 record, having defeated No. 18 New Mexico, 73-61, on Tues., Dec. 6 in Tempe ... The Sun Devils used an 18-point, seven-rebound performance from SR F Kristen Kovesdy to secure the win ... FR G Danielle Orsillo came off the bench to drop in 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while notching four rebounds in just 18 minutes ... Orsillo has been solid in her reserve role, playing in all eight games, averaging 6.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg and 12.6 mpg ... She has also been consistent from the line, knocking down 15-of-17 free throws (.882) ... Kovesdy, who set the ASU single-season field goal percentage record in 2004-05 with a .613 percentage, has picked up right where she left off, leading the Pac-10 with a .603 clip on 41-of-68 shooting ... SR F Amy Denson has been on a tear as of late, averaging 10.8 points in her last four games, highlighted by an 18-point effort against Western Kentucky on Sat., Dec. 3 ... The Sun Devils are averaging 81.0 ppg, and have outscored their opponents by an average of 23.5 ppg ... The team has jumped out on its opponents early, outscoring them 175-110 in the first half ... The Sun Devils return to action on Thurs., Dec. 15, when they take on Fresno State in a 7 p.m. tip.

CALIFORNIA (8-2, 0-0)
California extended its win streak to four games, as it picked up two victories last week, including a 78-57 defeat of San Jose State on Thurs., Dec. 8 and a 94-48 rout over South Carolina State just two days later to improve to 8-2 on the year ... With regular starter FR G Jené Morris playing just two minutes against SJSU and not playing at all against SCSU, JR G Sarah Pool was phenomenal in her absence ... Pool came into the week averaging 3.1 ppg, 4.3 apg and 2.4 rpg, while shooting just 33.3 percent from the field, 27.8 from downtown ... In the span of two games however, she averaged 18.0 ppg, 9.5 apg, 6.0 rpg and 2.5 spg ... Pool posted back-to-back double-doubles, the first of her career, while hitting a career high 22 points against the Spartans, on 5-of-5 shooting from long range ... She also handed out a career-high 11 assists against the Bulldogs ... FR F Ashley Walker continues to make her presence felt down low, leading the league in blocked shots with 22 total, good enough for a 2.20 average per game ... The Bears have the week off to prepare for Pac-10 action, as they open Conference play on Tues., Dec. 20 at Washington.

OREGON (6-1, 0-0)
Oregon, through seven games played, is riding a +27.1 scoring margin, having taken care of their last opponent, Prairie View A&M, 102-36, on Sat., Dec. 10 in the Papé Jam ... Oregon's last 100-point game came against seventh-ranked UCLA on Feb. 4, 1999, in a 106-79 victory ... With the win, the Ducks are now 8-0 all-time in the Papé Jam, dating back to 1998 ... The 13 points allowed by UO in the first half was the third lowest total by an opponent in school history ... Five Oregon players scored in double-digits, led by SO C Gabrielle Richards' 16 points and nine rebounds ... SR F/G Kedzie Gunderson added 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting, while picking up four boards and two assists ... The Ducks lead the Conference in 3-point field goal percentage at a .407 clip (33-of-81), guided by SR G/F Brandi Davis, who has knocked down 9-of-20 (.450) and SR G Chelsea Wagner, who has hit 11-of-25 (.440) ... The duo rank third and fourth respectively in the Pac-10 ... Oregon takes on Saint Mary's (Calif.) in Moraga on Mon., Dec. 12, the first time the Ducks have left the state of Oregon to play all season ... The team will have one final tune-up before Pac-10 play, taking on Idaho State on Thurs., Dec. 15.

OREGON STATE (4-1, 0-0)
Oregon State, following its week off for finals, returns to the court on Tues., Dec. 13 for a matchup with Portland State at Gill Coliseum, tip-off at 7 p.m. ... The Beavers will also host South Alabama on Sat., Dec. 17 at 2 p.m., before taking on the Los Angeles schools for the first round of Pac-10 action ... OSU is 4-1 on the year, its only loss coming at the hands of 25/22 Utah, in a nine-point deficit (62-53) on Thurs., Dec. 1 ... The Beavers' defense has proven stingy through its first five games, only allowing opponents a 52.0 scoring average, good enough to rank second in the Pac-10 ... In comparison, at this time last year, OSU was 10th in the league, having given up 516 points, for a 73.7 average ... Oregon State trio SR G Anita Rivera, SO F Tiffany Ducker and SR G Mandy Close all rank in the Top-10 in the Conference in minutes played at first, sixth and eighth, respectively ... Their time on the floor is getting them comfortable in head coach Lavonda Wagner's new system, as the three account for 53 percent of the team's points.

STANFORD (4-2, 0-0)
Stanford has been off for finals, but returns to action on Sat., Dec. 17 when the team will take on Rice in its last non-conference game before Pac-10 play ... Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Maples Pavilion ... Sitting at 4-2 on the year, the Cardinal are ranked No. 11 in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN coaches poll (as of Dec. 5) ... Stanford is known for its deadly three-point shooters, and SR G Krista Rappahahn has begun to heat up from the outside, helping the Cardinal as they lost three huge perimeter threats from last season who knocked down 148 threes ... Rappahahn leads the Conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.577) and is tied for first in 3-point field goals made (15-of-26) ... Stanford is doing a good job of taking care of the ball, not bad for a team who had question marks at the point guard position prior to the season ... The team has 108 assists to 87 turnovers, a 1.24 ratio that paces the Pac-10.

UCLA (5-3, 0-0)
UCLA went 1-1 this past week, picking up a 95-56 rout over Pepperdine on Thurs., Dec. 8, while losing by just five to 16/19 Oklahoma, 83-78, in Norman on Mon., Dec. 5 ... JR G Noelle Quinn scored 24 points in 28 minutes in Thursday's win over the Waves, tying her season-high ... It was Quinn's 17th career 20-point game and improves the Bruins to 16-1 when she scores 20 points or more ... SR G Lisa Willis added 20 points against Pepperdine, her fifth 20-point game of the season to lead the league ... SR G Nikki Blue dropped 33 points on the week to bring her career total to 1,506, propelling her into the Top-35 in the Pac-10 record books ... UCLA paces the Conference in scoring offense, averaging an even 83.0 ppg, which also puts them in the Top-10 in the nation ... Named to the 2004-05 All-Freshman Team, SO F Lindsey Pluimer is showing her skills the second time around, giving the Bruins good production in the post ... Pluimer has started all eight games, averaging 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds ... She has also been getting to the line and more importantly, knocking down her free throws, at 19-of-21 (.905) on the season, good enough to rank second in the league ... The Bruins are off for finals week, and will return to action Sat., Dec. 17 when they take on UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m.

USC (5-3, 0-0)
USC played three games in the span of six days and came out ahead with two victories to improve to 5-3 on the season ... The Women of Troy took care of Loyola Marymount, 59-53, on Tues., Dec. 6, as well as Cal State Northridge on Fri., Dec. 9 by a score of 97-69 ... In Sunday's matchup with No. 4/4 Ohio State, USC scored the equalizer two times in the second half, but could not hang on as the Buckeyes pulled away, 68-57 ... SO G Camille LeNoir led USC in scoring against both LMU and OSU, notching a season-high 15 points in Sunday's game, while finishing the three-game week with six 3-pointers ... The Women of Troy were hot from downtown draining nine 3-pointers against the Buckeyes, and 25 all week ... The squad ranks first in the Pac-10 in 3-point field goals made (57) ... The 11 treys dropped on Cal State Northridge were a Conference season-high ... FR C Nadia Parker came off the bench in a solid seven-minute, four-point outing, putting good defensive pressure on OSU All-American, Jessica Davenport ... USC has a Fri., Dec. 16 outing against Cal State Fullerton at 5 p.m., before heading into league play next week.

WASHINGTON (6-2, 0-0)
Washington rebounded from its 0-2 road trip the previous week, to post an 82-60 win over Big Ten foe, Michigan, on Fri., Dec. 9 at Bank of America Arena ... The Huskies are now 6-2 on the season and undefeated at home (4-0) in 2005-06, but hold an eight-game home winning streak dating back to last season ... UW will be tested with its final non-conference game before Pac-10 play on Mon., Dec. 12 when Eastern Washington visits Seattle ... SR G Kristen O'Neill came off the bench for the first time this season against Michigan and it proved beneficial for both O'Neill and the team ... Having averaged just 4.3 points in her last three games (all in the starting lineup), O'Neill broke through to drain 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-5 from long range ... JR G Cameo Hicks knocked down eight field goals to add 17 points, her sixth double-digit effort of the season ... SO G Dominique Banks chipped in nine points and five rebounds, as well ... The Huskies are giving themselves great second-chance opportunities, leading the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (19.25 orpg) ... UW has had 45 second-chance points in its previous three games.

Washington State, riding a four-game winning streak, headed out to Minnesota to play the 14th-ranked Golden Gophers, but could not pick up the victory as it was defeated, 83-57, on Sat., Dec. 10 ... FR G Katie Appleton led the team with 13 points, hitting three treys, while picking up four rebounds ... JR F Kate Benz added 12 points and eight boards, while going 6-for-6 from the free throw line ... FR C Sabrina Shired made her starting debut, playing 16 minutes, grabbing two rebounds ... The Cougars are off for finals week and will return to the court on Tues., Dec. 20 when they will take on Stanford in the first round of Pac-10 play ... The Cougars, led by rebounder extraordinaire Benz, continue to put on a clinic on the boards, owning a +8.6 rebounding margin to lead the Pac-10 ... Benz paces the Conference in rebounding with a 12.3 average, as well as defensive rebounds, with an 8.5 average ... Appleton has not been shy as a shooter, despite just eight collegiate games under her belt, and is tied for first in the Pac-10 in 3-point field goals made (2.50 pg) ... She has knocked down 20 of her 52 attempts, good enough for a .385 percentage to rank tenth in the league.


REMEMBERING POLKEY: On Mon., Sept. 26, 2005, the University of Arizona and entire Pac-10 family lost a wonderful player and person in Shawntinice 'Polkey' Polk. Despite her numerous Conference and All-America honors, her teammates, coaches and friends will no doubt miss her warm smile and sense of humor much more than any dominating performance she could put together on the court. For more information on the Arizona endowment for a Shawntinice S. Polk women's basketball scholarship, please call (520) 621-9366 or 621-8110.

BAWSI CELEBRATES 110th ANNIVERSARY: The Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative, founded by former General Manager of the San Jose CyberRays, Marlene Bjornsrud and international soccer star, Brandi Chastain, is honoring the first-ever intercollegiate women's basketball game that took place on San Francisco's Page Street Armory on April 8, 1896 between Stanford and California. The game, in which the Cardinal pulled off a 2-1 victory, was played in front of a women-only crowd of 700. BAWSI, Stanford and Cal will celebrate this milestone of women's sports on Sat., Jan. 14, 2006, with a lunch reception, featuring Cal athletics director Sandy Barbour as the speaker. The two Bay Area rivals will take to the floor at Maples Pavilion, with a much-higher expected final score, immediately following the luncheon. More information can be found at, or by calling (650) 725-2876.

KATRINA ASSIST: Stanford assistant head coach, Charmin Smith, has launched the Katrina Assist Pledge Program to assist the disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast earlier this fall. Both Stanford and California have teamed up on the project where fans can pledge money for each assist recorded during the season. Funds raised through this program will be donated to Peninsula Habitat, the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity International. For more information and a pledge brochure, please visit or

KATRINA RELIEF: Over 1.5 million has been raised by Pac-10 member institutions for the relief efforts of Hurricane Katrina, including specific contributions from the women's basketball programs. Along with the Katrina Assist Pledge Program created by Stanford, and joined by Cal, Washington State has adopted the Petry family: Randy and Danel, daughter Jennifer (23) and son Jeremy (20) of Slidell, La., a town roughly 30 miles northeast of New Orleans. The Cougars have also participated in clothing and food drives in the local Pullman community.

ESPN's MEMORABLE MOMENTS: Beginning Mon., Jan. 9, 2006, through the National Championship game on Tues., April 4, 2006, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will count down the 25 most memorable moments from the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament's 25-year history. A 30-second vignette will air during 25 women's basketball telecasts in ranking order, starting with No. 25 in early January. The No. 11-25 moments have been released, but No. 1-10 have yet to be announced. Sitting at No. 22 on ESPN's list is Stanford's 66-65 win over Virginia to claim its second national championship in 1992. The vignette is scheduled to air on Mon., Jan. 30 in ESPN2's 7 p.m. timeslot.'s TOP FIVE: Three of the best players in the country make the Pac-10 Conference their home, according to In preseason rankings, the site named UCLA SR G Nikki Blue the No. 2 point guard in the nation, while teammate JR G Noelle Quinn was named the No. 5 shooting guard in the land. SO G Candice Wiggins of Stanford was rated as the No. 5 wing player in the country. In addition, Bruin SR G Lisa Willis was named the Best Defender in the nation, according to basketball guru, Nancy Lieberman.

PRESEASON ACCOLADES: It comes as no surprise that numerous Pac-10 players garnered preseason All-America honors. SR G Nikki Blue of UCLA and SO G Candice Wiggins of Stanford were both named preseason State Farm Wade Trophy, Wooden Award, WBNS, and All-Pac-10 nominees. Wiggins was also named to the Street & Smith's Terrific 10 All-America team prior to the season. Bruin JR G Noelle Quinn was honored as a preseason Wooden Award nominee, WBNS and All-Pac-10 selection. Also selected to the preseason All-Pac-10 team: Stanford's JR C Brooke Smith and Arizona State's JR F Emily Westerberg.

NCAA COMMITTEE CONTACT: Washington Associate Athletic Director Marie Tuite is currently in her fourth year as a member of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee. The 10-member committee selects and seeds the 64-team field NCAA Tournament. Media members wishing to speak with Tuite should contact Erin Rowley in the University of Washington Media Relations Office at 206-543-2230.

PAC-10 MEDIA SERVICES: All Pac-10 press releases can be found online by accessing Statistical information and standings are also available on the site, as well as Pac-10 Player of the Week and 2006 Pac-10 Tournament information.

WEEKLY E-MAIL LIST: If you would like to receive the weekly Pac-10 women's basketball release via e-mail, provide Bri Niemi [] of the Pac-10 office with your e-mail address.

ONLINE COLUMNS: Visit for weekly columns on Pac-10 women's basketball by long-time women's basketball writer Dick Rockne of the Seattle-Post Intelligencer and Fox Sports Net color analyst Mary Murphy. The weekly online column is posted every other Wednesday afternoon, beginning Dec. 14, 2005 through Mar. 1, 2006.

MARCH MADNESS, PAC-10 STYLE: For the third straight year, at least one Pac-10 institution has been selected to host NCAA March Madness. The University of Arizona and McKale Center (14,545) will host the 2006 NCAA First and Second Rounds. Last season, Washington hosted NCAA First and Second Rounds, while Arizona State University was the site of the NCAA West Regional. The 2006 First and Second Rounds will be conducted at eight predetermined sites. Arizona will host games on Sat., March 18 and Mon., March 20. Tickets for First and Second Rounds are available by calling the UA Ticket Office at (520) 621-2287 or by logging onto www.

Mar. 3-6, 2006 • HP Pavilion at San Jose

The fifth annual State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament returns to the San Francisco Bay Area, March 3-6, 2006, at HP Pavilion at San Jose.

Fans can purchase tickets by calling Ticketmaster at (408) 998-8497 or their local Ticketmaster charge by phone number. Online purchases may be made by logging on to or In addition, tickets may be purchased through the Conference's 10 member institutions' ticket offices. The cost of all-session ticket booklets is $85 each, plus handling.

The State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament made its debut in 2002 and was held on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, Ore. The Conference's premier women's sporting event moved to its current home, HP Pavilion at San Jose, in 2003. The winner of the 10-team tournament receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. The tournament seeds and Conference Champion are determined by the 18-game regular-season Pac-10 schedule.

Fri., Mar. 3
Game 1: No. 7 Seed vs. No. 10 Seed, 6 p.m.
Game 2: No. 8 Seed vs. No. 9 Seed, 8:15 p.m.

Sat., Mar. 4
Game 3: No. 3 Seed vs. No. 6 Seed, 11 a.m.
Game 4: No. 2 Seed vs. Winner 7/10, 1:15 p.m.
Game 5: No. 1 Seed vs. Winner 8/9, 5 p.m.
Game 6: No. 4 Seed vs. No. 5 Seed, 7:15 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 5
Game 7: Game 3 win vs. Game 4 win, 3 p.m. (FSN)
Game 8: Game 5 win vs. Game 6 win, 5:30 p.m. (FSN)

Mon., Mar. 6
Game 9: Championship Game, 7:30 p.m. (FSN)

TICKETS: • • (408) 998-8497

CELEBRATORY MODE: The Pac-10 Conference and NCAA are celebrating the anniversaries of several athletic milestones, including those specific to women's sports. The Conference of Champions®, in 2005-06, is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Pac-10 and 20 years of Pac-10 women's sports achievement. In addition, the NCAA is recognizing 25 years of Division I women's basketball, commemorating this accomplishment with a 25th Anniversary Team consisting of five student-athletes and one coach to be revealed at the 2006 championship. Fans can vote for their favorite Pac-10 alums, and current coach, by going to and voting for Stanford's Jennifer Azzi and Val Whiting, USC's Cheryl Miller and current Cardinal coach, Tara VanDerveer.

PRESEASON PICKS: Stanford was the unanimous pick for Conference Champion, according to both preseason coach and media polls. The two groups agreed on Nos. 1, 5, and 8 through 10, but the rest of the positions were up for grabs. Here are the two polls, according to Pac-10 coaches and Pac-10 media members, respectively: 1. Stanford, 2. USC, 3. Arizona State, 4. UCLA, 5. Oregon, 6. Arizona, 7. Washington, 8. California, 9. Washington State and 10. Oregon State; 1. Stanford, 2. UCLA, 3. USC, 4. Arizona State, 5. Oregon, 6. Washington, 7. Arizona, 8. California, 9. Washington State, 10. Oregon State.

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