UCLA Women's Basketball Team Hosts Arizona Schools Friday, Sunday
Jan. 3, 2006
Bruins Return Home -- The UCLA women's basketball team (7-6, 2-2 in the Pac-10) will return home to host Arizona (5-7, 1-2) on Friday, Jan. 6 at 7 pm in Pauley Pavilion. Arizona hosts Wisconsin-Green Bay on Jan. 3 before heading to Los Angeles. On Sunday, Jan. 8 at 2 pm, UCLA welcomes ninth-ranked Arizona State (12-1, 3-0), the Pac-10 leader which enters the week having won its last nine games.
On Air -- All of UCLA's games in 2005-06 will be audio broadcast live on UCLA All-Access via UCLABruins.com. Play-by-play announcer Dave Marcus will begin coverage with The Bruins Countdown Show starting five minutes before the hour. The Arizona State game will also be broadcast live on 690 am.
In addition, the Bruins' next five home games will be available on live streaming video on UCLA All-Access via UCLABruins.com. The subscription fee for UCLA All-Access is $6.95/month.
Where UCLA Ranks Nationally -- In this week's national stats, UCLA ranked in the Top 30 in four statistical categories - scoring average (11th - 79.4), field goal percentage (28th - .459), assists average (15th-18.0) and steals (T30th - 11.7). Lisa Willis ranked 16th in scoring (20.0) and T-7th in steals (4.0). Nikki Blue is ranked T19th in assists (5.8).
By The Numbers -- UCLA ranks 11th in the nation in scoring offense (79.4) ... Lisa Willis is 16th in the nation in scoring (20.0) and tied for seventh in steals per game (4.0) ... Nikki Blue is tied for 19th in the nation in assists (5.8) ... The Bruins have led at the half and have outshot the opponent in all seven wins this season ... UCLA has won all six games this season in which it has outrebounded the opponent ... Five of UCLA's six losses this year have been by single-digit margins ... In those five games, the Bruins lost by a combined total of 34 points (6.8 average) ... UCLA's combined margin of victory in the seven wins is 160 points (22.9 points/ game) ... With 10 points against Pepperdine, Nikki Blue became only the 10th UCLA woman to score over 1,500 career points (she now has 1,559) ... Blue passed Bruin assistant coach Trisha Stafford-Odom for 30th place on the Pac-10 career scoring charts after scoring 15 against Oregon. Stafford-Odom, who played at Cal, had 1,530 career points. Blue now has 1,559 and is 23 points away from tying for 28th place with Anette Mollerstrom of Oregon State, 1993-96 ... Lisa Willis has moved into third on the Pac-10 career charts with 213 three-point shots made and is now tied for first with USC's Tammy Story (1989-92) on the Pac-10 career steals list with 309. She needs just one more to set a new Pac-10 record ... Blue is also moving up the Pac-10 career steals chart, checking in at No. 4 with 291 ... Ortal Oren has hit 5-8 three-point shots in her last seven games ... Chinyere Ibekwe is shooting 11-for-15 from the field in her last five games ... UCLA is 4-1 at home this season and 6-1 in games played in Los Angeles.
About Arizona -- Senior guard Natalie Jones leads the Wildcats in scoring with a 14.3 average, which is good for 10th in the Pac-10. She also ranks fifth in free throw shooting (.842) and third in steals (2.67). Sophomore guard Ashley Whisonant ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in assists (4.0). Junior guard Joy Hollingsworth is seventh in the conference in three-point shots made with 12.
The Series With Arizona -- UCLA lead the series, which dates back to 1977, by a margin of 36-18. The Bruins dropped both matchups to the Wildcats last season and have lost three of the last four meetings. Arizona handed UCLA a 76-73 defeat in Tucson on Feb. 10. Nikki Blue's last-second shot from just inside the half court line bounced off the rim at the buzzer, and the Wildcats came away with the win. Blue led UCLA with 20 points. The Wildcats bested the Bruins, 84-73, in Pauley on Jan. 16. Arizona broke open a close game with a 20-4 run early in the second half. Lisa Willis scored 24 for UCLA. Noelle Quinn injured her knee while attempting a shot in the lane late in the first half of the game and would be forced to sit out the remainder of the 2004-05 season.
About Arizona State -- The Sun Devils enter the week leading the Pac-10 in scoring margin (+15.9), field goal percentage (.481), rebounding defense (.291), rebounding margin (+7.8), assists (20.23) and turnover margin (+4.46). The nine-game winning streak is the best in the 10-year tenure of head coach Charli Turner-Thorne. The Sun Devils' lone loss came at the hands of North Carolina (79-72) on Nov. 25 in Mexico. Senior post Kristen Kovesdy ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in rebounding (7.0) and second in field goal percentage (.590).
The Series With Arizona State -- UCLA lead the series, which dates back to 1977, by a count of 39-17. Arizona State won all three meetings last season, two by two-point margins. The Sun Devils ousted the Bruins from the Pac-10 Tournament (3/5/05) by a score of 73-71. Nikki Blue scored a career-best 36 points in that contest, and Lisa Willis added 25. The Sun Devils dealt the Bruins a 80-59 setback in Tempe (2/12/05) despite a 32-point effort by Blue. ASU captured the game at Pauley (1/15/05) by a score of 44-42, snapping a Bruin 10-game home court winning streak. Blue led UCLA with 12 points. ASU enjoyed a 19-13 lead at the half and built their lead to as many as 11 in the second half. UCLA battled back and had a chance to tie, but Blue's last-second shot in the lane failed to drop.
Jan. 1 - Bruins Fall at Stanford -- No. 16 Stanford cruised to a 91-68 win over the Bruins. Lisa Willis led the Bruins with 20 points, and Nikki Blue added 13. The Bruins shot 47% in the first half to match Stanford's percentage, but still trailed, 44-31. UCLA never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
Dec. 30 - Bruins Drop First Pac-10 Game At Cal -- The Bruins scored a season-low 58 points and shot a season-low 32.3% from the field in a 65-58 loss at Cal. Lisa Willis led UCLA with 17 points and eight rebounds and also added six steals. Noelle Quinn was the only other Bruin in double-figures, scoring 11. The Bruins trimmed the Cal lead to five with 3:41 to play, but a banked three-point shot by Ashley Walker more or less put an end to the Bruins' comeback hopes, and the Bears hit 8-10 free throws down the stretch.
Blue, Willis Up For Senior CLASS Award -- Senior guards Nikki Blue and Lisa Willis are amongst 30 players up for the 2005-06 Bayer Advantage Senior CLASS Award. The award is given annually to the nation's senior player-of-the-year for NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball.
Trebilcock To Transfer - UCLA announced Nov. 30 that guard Ashlee Trebilcock had been granted her release, which would allow her to transfer at the end of the 2005 Fall quarter. She had appeared in all four Bruin games to date and was averaging 17.8 minutes, 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds.
What's Returning ? -- 99% of the total field goals made; 100% of the games started; 99% of the minutes played; 98% of the rebounds pulled down; 100% of the three-point field goals made; 99% of the assists handed out; 100% of the steals made; 98% of the blocked shots made.
Blue, Quinn Garner Pre-Season Honors -- Nikki Blue was selected to the first team and Noelle Quinn to the third team by the Women's Basketball News Service. Blue was selected as one of 25 candidates for the State Farm Wade Trophy for Division IA Player of the Year. Blue and Quinn were among 30 players chosen to the pre-season Wooden Award watch list. Blue (third time) and Quinn (second time) were also selected to the pre-season All-Pac-10 team.
Pre-Season Prognosticators -- The Bruins were picked No. 16 by the Lindy's Magazine, No. 21 by ESPN.com and No. 22 by the Women's Basketball News Service. In the pre-season Pac-10 polls, the media picked the Bruins to finish second with two first-place votes, and the coaches selected UCLA to finish fourth.
The Triple Threat -- Coach Kathy Olivier returns one of the nation's finest backcourts with its 'Triple Threat' of Blue, Quinn and Willis. The threesome combined to average 50.2 points, 19.0 rebounds, 10.5 steals and 11.9 assists a game in 2004-05. Blue and Willis ranked fourth and fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring last season. Quinn was on track to join them until she was sidelined by a knee injury in mid-January. The pair ranked first and second in the conference in steals. Willis ranked sixth in the nation in steals and Blue checked in at 11th. Willis ranked No. 1 in the Pac-10 in three-point field goals made and tied for 25th in the nation. Blue was second in the conference in assists and 12th in the nation in that category. Quinn, who had been selected Pac-10 Player of the Week three times earlier in 2004-05, saw her season end early when she landed awkwardly on her knee while driving the lane for a shot against Arizona. She underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left knee a few days later and sat out the remainder of the year. The Bruins went 5-7 the rest of the way.
Willis Wins Gold -- Lisa Willis, the school's all-time three-point shot leader, earned a gold medal as a member of the USA team at the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey this past summer. Willis totaled 13 points, including three three-pointers in the gold medal game against Serbia-Montenegro. She also had 13 points and grabbed five rebounds in the semifinal win over Russia. Willis scored eight points in the quarterfinal round win over Taiwan. She totaled eight points and five steals in a win over China. The senior had eight points in the opening round win over the Czech Republic.
Bruins Enjoy Summer in Australia -- The Bruins spent June 24-July 2 in Australia and went 3-1 on its tour. Noelle Quinn and Lisa Willis each scored 22 points to lead the way for the Bruins in a 87-57 win over Sutherland. Willis scored 34 points in the overtime win against the Junior National team. Willis had 21, Lindsey Pluimer added 19 and Quinn totaled 16 in a 83-70 win over Bankstown. Quinn led the Bruins with 27 points in a 81-72 loss to Townsville. Willis and Quinn each averaged 20-plus points per game in Australia, with Willis leading the way with a 22.5 ppg average. Quinn averaged 20.5 ppg.