This Week in Pac-10 Women's Basketball
Dec. 26, 2005
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
December28 (We) (14/11) STANFORD at Boston College, 2 p.m.
29 (Th) *WASHINGTON STATE at ARIZONA, 7 p.m.Series: 21-17 (ARIZ) Last Meeting: 89-60 (ARIZ)*WASHINGTON at (11/10) ARIZONA ST., 6 p.m.(FSN NW and FSN AZ)Series: 26-12 (WASH) Last Meeting: 69-48 (ASU)Cincinnati at OREGON STATE, 4 p.m.
30 (Fr) *USC at (14/11) STANFORD, 7 p.m.Series: 32-8 (STAN) Last Meeting: 73-69 (STAN)*UCLA at CALIFORNIA, 7 p.m.Series: 30-9 (UCLA) Last Meeting: 73-61 (UCLA)OREGON at Colorado, 7 p.m.
31 (Sa) *WASHINGTON at ARIZONA, 4 p.m. (FSN NW)Series: 25-15 (WASH) Last Meeting: 64-60 (WASH)*WASHINGTON STATE at (11/10) ARIZONA ST., 2 p.m.Series: 26-12 (ASU) Last Meeting: 59-40 (ASU)
January1 (Su) *USC at CALIFORNIA, 2 p.m.Series: 25-13 (USC) Last Meeting: 103-69 (USC)*UCLA at (14/11) STANFORD, 1 p.m. (FSN)Series: 34-6 (STAN) Last Meeting: 81-68 (STAN)
*conference gameAll times are local to site.
THIS WEEK IN THE POLLSAP (12/26); USA Today/ESPN/WBCA (12/20)ARIZONA STATE - 11/10STANFORD - 14/11UCLA - RV/RVUSC - RV/RVWASHINGTON - RV/RV
CONFERENCE WEEKLY NOTES (12/26)
PAC-10 PLAY UNDERWAY: Conference competition started off with a bang last week as eight teams went head-to-head, with ARIZONA and ARIZONA STATE playing in traditional rival action ... UCLA, USC and WASHINGTON came away from the week unblemished, as each team picked up two respective wins ... The Sun Devils are 1-0 in league play, as well ... CALIFORNIA went on the road and split a good series with the Washington schools, defeating WASHINGTON STATE, 53-47, on Thurs., Dec. 22.
STANFORD STOPPED in SEATTLE: Washington upset No. 10/11 STANFORD, 77-72, at Bank of America Arena on Thurs., Dec. 22, its first win over a Top-10 opponent since defeating then-No. 6 Stanford on Feb. 13, 2003 ... For as dominant as the Cardinal have been throughout the years, the Huskies have certainly had their fair share of wins against the Bay Area foe ... Dating back to the 1986-87 season when the Pac-10 began sponsoring women's basketball, UW has notched 12 wins over Stanford, four more than any other team in the league ... In addition, nine of those wins have come on the Huskies' home court at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
RECORD STEALING: UCLA SR G Lisa Willis has steadily moved her way up the Pac-10 career steals charts, and with 15 steals in just two games last week, the Long Beach, Calif., native sits at No. 3 on the all-time Conference list with 301 steals ... Willis needs just eight to tie the record, nine to break ... Teammate SR G Nikki Blue has also been a thief in the backcourt over her career ... Blue has 282 steals, good enough to rank sixth on the Conference charts.
WHO'S GOT THE HOT HANDS: This week's look at who's hot: UCLA SR G Lisa Willis and Washington JR G Cameo Hicks continue to light up the court night after night ... Willis tied her career-high with 31 points in the 79-64 win over OREGON STATE on Thurs., Dec. 22 ... Willis scored 16 of her 31 in the final 4:22 of the game, turning a close three-point game into a 15-point victory ... Hicks averaged 19.5 ppg last week, shooting 55.6 percent from the field (10-for-18) in the win over the Cardinal ... USC JR G Shay Murphy scored in double figures in both Trojan victories over OREGON and Oregon State last week ... Murphy nailed four 3-pointers, while picking up 13 points over the Beavers ... Sun Devil SR F Kristen Kovesdy led the team in scoring in both of their games last week, averaging 15 points on 13-of-25 shooting from the field.
DISHIN' IT OUT: Pac-10 squads could certainly point to the holiday season for their recent success in the giving department, but whatever the case may be, coaches are hoping the assists don't slow down ... Heading into Conference play last week, five league teams ranked in the Top-30 in the nation in assists per game: 4. Arizona State, 14. Stanford, t23. Oregon State, t27. Oregon and 29. California ... Individually, UCLA SR G Nikki Blue paces the Pac-10 in assists, averaging almost six per game, at 5.91, but what's more is that some underclassmen are making waves and dishing out the assists, boding well for what is to come ... USC SO G Camille LeNoir ranks fourth in the Conference with a 4.36 apg average, while Arizona SO G Ashley Whisonant is fifth with a 4.30 apg mark ... FR G Alexis Gray-Lawson of California is averaging 3.92 assists per game, good enough to rank seventh in the Pac-10 ... The Stanford tandem of SO G Candice Wiggins and FR F Jillian Harmon round out the Top-10, both tied for ninth with a 3.67 apg average.
TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES (12/26)
ARIZONA (4-6, 0-1): SO G Ashley Whisonant averaged 17.5 ppg last week, but Arizona could not come away with either win as it dropped a non-conference contest with UC Santa Barbara, 86-63, on Mon., Dec. 19 and a 83-59 Conference game with traditional rival, Arizona State, on Thurs., Dec. 22 ... The Wildcats are 4-6 overall, 0-1 in the Pac-10 ... SO F Ché Oh recorded 10 points and four rebounds in Monday's game ... Against the Sun Devils, Whisonant dropped 20 points, her third 20-point game of the season, while JR G Linda Pace added a career-high tying 10 points, as well as six boards and three blocks ... UA is averaging over 10 steals per game, at 10.10, good enough to rank sixth in the Conference ... The team will take on Washington State on Thurs., Dec. 29, as well as Washington on Sat., Dec. 31, both of which will be played at McKale Center, the latter of which will be televised on FSN NW and FSN AZ.
ARIZONA STATE (10-1, 1-0): Arizona State extended its winning streak to seven games, as the Sun Devils defeated Texas-San Antonio, 78-64, on Mon., Dec. 19, as well as taking care of Arizona, 83-59, on Thurs., Dec. 22 in Tucson ... With the win, ASU earned its first win on the Wildcat's home court since 2001 ... The seven-game winning streak also ties the best such streak in head coach Charli Turner Thorne's 10-year career ... Arizona State is 10-1 overall, 1-0 in the Pac-10, headed into the height of first-round Conference play ... SR F Kristen Kovesdy shot 52 percent from the field last week, notching 30 points, 15 rebounds and four assists ... Kovesdy tied for the team lead in scoring in both games, while only committing one turnover on the week ... RS JR G Jill Noe scored 13 points against the Wildcats, while dishing out five assists and grabbing two steals ... As a team, the Sun Devils shot 53.8 percent for the game and out-rebounded the Wildcats, 33-26 ... Arizona State is shooting 49 percent from the floor on the season, good enough to pace the Pac-10 ... The team is also leading the league in turnover margin, with a +4.45 mark through 11 games played ... The Sun Devils will take on Washington, winners of four in a row, on Thurs., Dec. 29 at 6:30 p.m. MT, and will follow that up with a Sat., Dec. 31 contest with Washington State, tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m.
CALIFORNIA (9-3, 1-1): California split the Washington road series, earning a 53-47 win over Washington State on Thurs., Dec. 22, after dropping a 62-55 decision to Washington on Tues., Dec. 20 ... The Golden Bears are 1-1 in league play, as well as 9-3 overall ... The freshman tandem of G Alexis Gray-Lawson and C Devanei Hampton scored 41 of the team's 55 points against the Huskies, as Gray-Lawson recorded 21 on 9-of-15 shooting from the field ... She also added five assists and six steals in her Pac-10 debut ... Hampton was equally as impressive, showing no fear in her first Conference opener, picking up 20 points, five rebounds, two steals and one block ... Only three other players scored, all of which fouled out of the game ... Against the Cougars, Hampton led the team with 15 points, while Gray-Lawson added 14 and FR F Ashley Walker also pitched in 14 points and six rebounds ... FR F Shantrell Sneed returned to the lineup, after having missed the previous four games with a left knee sprain ... Sneed played 17 minutes on the week ... Cal leads the league in scoring defense, as opponents are averaging just 53 points per game against the Bears ... It will be a test of offense vs. defense as the Pac-10's scoring leader, UCLA, travels to Berkeley for a Fri., Dec. 30 matchup ... Cal will also take on USC on Sun., Jan. 1, tip-off at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.
OREGON (8-3, 0-2): After winning its previous seven games by an average of 24 points, Oregon took to the road to face the LA schools, but came away empty-handed, losing 82-63 to UCLA on Tues., Dec. 20, while dropping a 72-48 decision to USC on Thurs., Dec. 22 ... The Ducks had four players score in double digits against the Bruins, led by JR F/C Carolyn Ganes' 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting ... SR G Chelsea Wagner chipped in 11, nine of which came from downtown ... JR G Cicely Oaks made her starting debut for the Ducks in the game against UCLA ... She got the nod again as well against USC two days later ... Oaks averaged 8.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in her new role ... The Women of Troy were able to shut down Ganes in Thursday's action, as she was 0-for-3 from the field, notching just two points, after having averaged 16.5 ppg in her last four outings ... UO has a non-conference game with Colorado on Fri., Dec. 30, slated for a 7 p.m. tip-off in Boulder ... The Ducks don't then return to action until Thurs., Jan. 5 when they take on California at McArthur Court.
OREGON STATE (6-3, 0-2): Oregon State opened Pac-10 play on the road, but could not come away with a win as the team was defeated, 72-62 by USC on Tues., Dec. 20 and 79-64 by UCLA on Thurs., Dec. 22 ... The Beavers are now 6-3, 0-2 in the Conference ... After having committed only 116 turnovers all year, the second-lowest total in the Conference, OSU was forced into 43 turnovers in two games, bringing its season average to 17.7 tpg ... Despite the miscues, the Beavers still hold a +1.22 turnover margin and a 0.98 assist to turnover ratio, both of which rank them seventh and fifth in the Pac-10, respectively ... SR G Mandy Close had a team-high 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting against the Bruins ... She also recorded 16 points, five assists, three rebounds and three steals against the Women of Troy ... SR F Kim Butler scored 14 in both contests, bringing her season average to 17.6 ppg, good enough to rank second in the league ... Oregon State has one non-conference contest with Cincinnati on Thurs., Dec. 29 in Corvallis, tip at 4 p.m. ... The Beavers are then off until Thurs., Jan. 5, when Stanford plays at Gill Coliseum.
STANFORD (6-3, 1-1): Stanford went on the road to open up the first round of Pac-10 play, splitting the series with a 76-56 win over Washington State on Tues., Dec. 20 and a 77-72 defeat by Washington on Thurs., Dec. 22 ... The Cardinal are now 6-3 overall, 1-1 in league action ... FR G Rosalyn Gold-Onwude is starting to see her minutes increase at the point in head coach Tara VanDerveer's rotation ... Gold-Onwude played 19 minutes in the win over the Cougars, picking up one bucket, three assists and a steal ... More importantly, she spells SO G Candice Wiggins, allowing her to play more as the two-guard, where she notched 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting ... Wiggins also scored 13 against Washington, including nine from downtown ... JR C Brooke Smith recorded her second double-double of the season with a 24-point, 10-rebound game against the Huskies ... Smith also scored 17 in Tuesday's win, shooting 8-of-13 from the floor ... Stanford struggled in drawing fouls last week, only making it to the line five times against WSU, eight against Washington ... Further, the squad is shooting a school-low 64.2 percent from the free throw line ... The worst free-throw shooting by a Cardinal team on record was in 1978-79, when Stanford went 64.8 percent from the charity stripe ... Stanford looks to rebound from its loss with a Wed., Dec. 28 game at Boston College ... The team will also head back cross-country to return to Pac-10 play, facing USC at home on Fri., Dec. 30 and UCLA on Sun., Jan. 1., televised on FSN.
UCLA (7-4, 2-0): After suffering a 90-81 overtime loss at UC Santa Barbara on Sat., Dec. 17, UCLA regained its focus to pick up two wins in Pac-10 action, including an 82-63 win over Oregon on Tues., Dec. 20, followed up by a 79-64 defeat of Oregon State just two days later ... The Bruins are now 7-4 overall, 2-0 in the Conference ... SR G Lisa Willis continues to put on an offensive clinic for her opponents ... Willis tied her career-high with 31 points against the Beavers, while notching nine steals, which tied for the fourth-best single-game total in UCLA history ... With a three-point game up for grabs, Willis scored 16 of her 31 points in the final 4:22 of the game, guiding the Bruins to their fourth-straight win over OSU ... In UCLA's win over Oregon, Willis recorded nine points, six steals, three rebounds, three assists and one block ... Willis leads the Pac-10 in scoring with a 20.3 per game average ... The Bruins, who average over 80 points per game, scored a UO opponent season-high 82 points on 51.5 percent shooting from the field ... The Ducks had come into the game ranked second in the nation in field goal percentage defense ... SR G Nikki Blue recorded nine assists in both UCLA games last week ... Blue also picked up 15 points and six rebounds against Oregon ... The Bruins hit the road to play at California on Fri., Dec. 30, followed by a Sun., Jan. 1 contest at Stanford ... The 1 p.m. tip-off with the Cardinal will be televised by FSN.
USC (8-3, 2-0): USC, winners of its last three, picked up two Conference victories last week with a 72-62 come-from-behind win over Oregon State on Tues., Dec. 20, as well as a 72-48 rout of Oregon on Thurs., Dec. 22 ... The Women of Troy sit at 8-3 overall, 2-0 in league play ... JR G Shay Murphy scored in double figures in both games last week ... Murphy finished with 13 points, six rebounds and three steals against the Beavers, and followed that performance up with a 17-point, three-board effort against the Ducks ... The 24-point victory over UO was USC's most decisive win over the Ducks since an 83-55 win in the 1991-92 season ... The Trojans came into last week tied for 22nd in the nation, averaging 7.0 three's a game ... Behind SO G Brynn Cameron's six treys from downtown, USC hit 11 against the Beavers, as well as five from behind the arc against UO ... On 7-of-16 shooting, Cameron broke out for her first double-digit performance on the year, having sat out the beginning of the season with a hip injury and yet to return full-speed since ... This bodes well for the Trojans, coming into the height of league play with the school's top single-season 3-point shooter ... USC returns to action against Stanford on Fri., Dec. 30, followed by a Sun., Jan. 1 contest with California.
WASHINGTON (9-2, 2-0): Washington solidified its belief that it will contend for a league title with two big home wins against California, 62-55, on Tues., Dec. 20, and a 77-72 upset win over No. 10/11 Stanford two days later ... The two wins extends UW's home winning streak to 11 dating back to last season, while the Cardinal defeat was its first over a Top-10 opponent since defeating then-No. 6 Stanford on Feb. 13, 2003 ... JR G Cameo Hicks made seven of her last eight shots of the game (all of which came in the second half) to guide the Huskies to the win, despite being down by as many as 13 late in the game ... Hicks had 23 points on the evening, her fourth 20-point game and ninth double-figure scoring game of the season ... Washington is 14-4 in its last 18 games, dating back to last season, and playing with much improved confidence compared to this time last season ... Next up, UW will be tested with a road series featuring a solid Arizona State team ... The Huskies and Sun Devils will face off on Thurs., Dec. 29 in Tempe, followed by a game with Arizona on Sat., Dec. 31 in Tucson.
WASHINGTON STATE (6-4, 0-2): Washington State was down by as much as 14 in the first half against California on Thurs., Dec. 22 and rallied to take a second-half lead, but could not hang on as the Cougars lost, 53-47 at Beasley Coliseum ... WSU also lost to No. 10/11 Stanford on Tues., Dec. 20, 76-56 ... The Cougars are now 6-4 on the year, 0-2 in Pac-10 play ... FR G Amanda DuRocher returned to the lineup after fracturing her right wrist just a short two weeks ago, scoring 11 points in both games, knocking down six 3-point field goal attempts on the week ... SR F Keisha Moore was just two points shy of a double-double in Tuesday's game, picking up 11 rebounds and eight points ... SR G Charmaine Jones had a team-high 13 points against Cal, as well as seven rebounds and three assists ... The Cougars have a big road series this weekend, taking on Arizona on Thurs., Dec. 29 and Arizona State on Sat., Dec. 31.
CONFERENCE SEASON NOTES
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 www.bawsi.org, 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 www.gostanford.com or www.calbears.com.
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.
ESPN.com's TOP FIVE: Three of the best players in the country make the Pac-10 Conference their home, according to ESPN.com. 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 www.pac-10.org. 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 [firstname.lastname@example.org] of the Pac-10 office with your e-mail address.
ONLINE COLUMNS: Visit www.pac-10.org 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.