Blue, Quinn, Willis Named Finalists For Kodak/WBCA All-America Team

March 14, 2006

UCLA's acclaimed Triple Threat guard combo of Nikki Blue (Bakersfield, Calif.), Noelle Quinn (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Lisa Willis (Long Beach, Calif.) has been selected as finalists for the Kodak/WBCA All-America team. The Triple Threat comprised half of the Region 8 team; the trio was joined by Stanford's Candice Wiggins and Brooke Smith and USC's Eshaya Murphy.

A total of 48 finalists were selected by WBCA member coaches in each of the eight WBCA geographical regions. Those players are now in the running for selection to the 10-member Kodak/WBCA All-America Team, which will be announced at the Kodak/WBCA All-America Team Press Conference at the Westin Copley Place on April 1, 2006 at 9:45 a.m. (ET) in Boston, Mass.

This is the second consecutive year Blue has been a finalist for the All-America team. This is the first honor for both Quinn and Willis. All three players also earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors and were selected to the Pac-10 All-Tournament team. They are the highest-scoring three-guard combo amongst the teams in the 64-team NCAA Tournament field and the second-highest scoring trio on any team, regardless of position. Only Georgia (49.8) has three players with a higher scoring average than the Triple Threat's 48.5 ppg average. All three Bruins have scored 1,000 career points, making UCLA one of just four teams in the NCAA field (joining Georgia, Middle Tennessee and North Carolina) who have three or more players with 1,000 career points.

Blue is the Pac-10's assist leader and ranks 12th in the nation in assist per game with a 5.9 average. She also averages 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game and ranks first in the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage (.446) and fourth in steals per game (2.20). Blue, a nominee for the Lieberman Award honoring the nation's top point guard and a mid-season finalist for the Naismith Trophy, has made her way into the UCLA and Pac-10 record books, ranking fifth on the UCLA scoring list and 18th on the Pac-10 scoring chart with 1,772 points. She also ranks second on UCLA's career assist list and eighth in the Pac-10 chart with 591 career assists and second on the Pac-10 steals list (324). Blue will be participating in the WBCA All-Star Challenge on Apr. 1.

Quinn, a junior, ranks in the Top 4 in the Pac-10 in scoring (3rd, 18.3 ppg), rebounding (2nd, 8.2 rpg) and assists (4th, 3.93 apg) and ranks 31st in the nation in scoring. She has scored 20 or more points in nine of the last 14 games and in 13 games overall this year. Quinn, a mid-season nominee for the Naismith Trophy, is averaging 21.3 points and 8.9 rebounds while shooting 55.2% (122-of-221) from the field in those 14 games. On the year, she has produced 10 double-doubles and earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors three times to bring her career total to eight, tying the Conference record for most career Player of the Week awards. Quinn was also a standout in the classroom, earning first-team Academic All-District honors with a 3.26 GPA in Sociology.

Willis, the all-time Pac-10 steals leader (368) and UCLA's all-time leader in three-point field goals made (248), was selected the 2006 Pac-10 Tournament Most Outstanding Player. She set or tied Tournament records for steals (19 in three games), steals average (6.3) and three-point field goals made (11 in three games). She scored 27 points with six steals in the semifinal win over Arizona State and 20 points and six steals in the win over Stanford in the championship game. Willis averages 17.7 points per game to rank fourth in the Pac-10 and 45th nationally. Her steals average of 3.7 per game ranks fifth nationally. She now ranks ninth on UCLA's all-time scoring list with 1,639, aided undoubtedly by 14 20-point games this season.

The finalists are:

Region I
Megan Duffy, University of Notre Dame, Sr., G, 5-7
Candice Dupree, Temple University, Sr., F, 6-2
Cappie Pondexter, Rutgers University, Sr., G, 5-9
Khara Smith, DePaul University, Sr., F/C, 6-2
Ann Strother, University of Connecticut, Sr., G, 6-3
Barbara Turner, University of Connecticut, Sr., F, 6-0

Region 2
Monique Currie, Duke University, Sr., G, 6-0
Lindsey Harding, Duke University, Jr., G, 5-8
Tamara James, University of Miami, Sr., F, 5-9
Crystal Langhorne, University of Maryland, So., F, 6-2
Erlana Larkins, University of North Carolina, So., F/C, 6-1
Ivory Latta, University of North Carolina, Jr., G, 5-6

Region 3
Seimone Augustus, Louisiana State University, Sr., G, 6-1
Sherill Baker ,University of Georgia, Sr., G, 5-8
Sylvia Fowles, Louisiana State University, So., C, 6-6
Tasha Humphrey, University of Georgia, So., F, 6-3
Candace Parker, University of Tennessee, Fr., F, 6-4
Armintie Price, University of Mississippi, Jr., G, 5-9

Region 4Emily Christian, Tennessee Tech University, Sr., C, 6-1Ryan Coleman, Eastern Michigan University, Sr., G, 5-8Jillian Robbins, University of Tulsa, Jr., F, 6-1Casey Rost, Western Michigan Univ., Sr., G, 5-9Lindsay Shearer, Kent State University, Sr., F, 6-1Zane Teilane, Western Illinois University, Sr., C, 6-7

Region 5
LaToya Bond, University of Missouri, Sr., G, 5-7
LaToya Davis, Texas Tech University, Sr., F, 6-1
Erin Grant, Texas Tech University, Sr., G, 5-8
Tiffany Jackson, University of Texas, Jr., F, 6-3
Courtney Paris, University of Oklahoma, Fr., C, 6-4
Sophia Young, Baylor University, Sr., F, 6-1

Region 6
Melanie Boeglin, Indiana State University, Sr., G, 5-6
Jessica Davenport, Ohio State University, Jr., C, 6-5
Katie Gearlds, Purdue University, Jr., G/F, 6-1
Kari Koch, Missouri State University, Sr., G, 5-9
Liz Shimek, Michigan State University, Sr., F, 6-1
Crystal Smith, University of Iowa, Sr., G, 5-6

Region 7
Ambrosia Anderson, Brigham Young University, Sr., F, 6-1
Leilani Mitchell, University of Idaho, Jr., G, 5-5
Mandy Morales, University of Montana, Fr., G, 5-9
Aarica Ray-Boyd, Louisiana Tech University, Sr., G, 6-0
Kim Smith, University of Utah, Sr., F, 6-1
Tasha Williams, Louisiana Tech University, Sr., G, 5-7

Region 8
Nikki Blue, UCLA, Sr., G, 5-8
Eshaya Murphy, USC, Jr., G, 5-11
Noelle Quinn, UCLA, Jr., G, 6-0
Brooke Smith, Stanford University, Jr., C, 6-3
Candice Wiggins, Stanford University, So., G, 5-11
Lisa Willis, UCLA, Sr., G, 5-11

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