UCLA Women Face Bowling Green In NCAA First Round

March 14, 2006

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Bruins to Meet Nationally-Ranked Bowling Green in 1st Round NCAA Matchup -- Coach Kathy Olivier's 21st-ranked (AP) / 23rd-ranked (USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll) UCLA women's basketball team (20-10, winners of eight of its last nine games) was selected as the #5 seed in the Cleveland, OH Regional and will play 23rd-ranked (AP)/21st-ranked (USA Today/ESPN) Bowling Green State University (#12 seed, 28-2 record and champion of the Mid-American Conference) in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The game will take place on Sunday, March 19 at approximately 11:30 am Pacific time at Mackey Arena on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. The winner will advance to play the winner of the Purdue (#4 seed, 24-6) and Missouri State (#13 seed, 17-14) game on Tuesday, Mar. 21 in Mackey Arena. UCLA enters the NCAA tournament for the first time since a 2004 tournament appearance, when it lost at Minnesota in the first round.

Bruins' Pac-10 Tournament Win Earns Automatic Bid to NCAA Tournament -- The Bruins (Pac-10 Tournament champions and the third place Pac-10 regular season finisher) earned the Pac-10 Conference's automatic bid to the 2006 NCAA tournament with an 85-76 overtime win over Stanford in the title game on March 6. UCLA swept past California, Arizona State and Stanford on consecutive days in the State Farm Pac-10 Tournament played in San Jose, CA. UCLA earned a second win in the season series over all three teams during the conference tournament and heads to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in school history.

On Air -- All NCAA Tournament games involving UCLA in 2005-06 will be audio broadcast live on UCLA All-Access via UCLABruins.com. Play-by-play announcer Dave Marcus and color commentator Michael Sondheimer will begin coverage with The Bruins Countdown Show starting five minutes prior to the tip-off. The subscription fee for UCLA All-Access is $6.95/month at UCLABruins.com. ESPN is providing television coverage (ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN Full Court, ESPNU) of all 63 games in the 2006 NCAA women's basketball tournament.

Five Bruins Have Experience in NCAA Play -- Five of the current members of the Bruin team played in the 2004 NCAA Tournament contest against the University of Minnesota. Nikki Blue scored 33 points in that game to set a school record for most points in an NCAA tournament game. Lisa Willis and Noelle Quinn each scored 15 points. Amanda Livingston and Ortal Oren also played in the game. Current Bruins Shaina Zaidi, Emma Tautolo, Julia Pitts, Consuelo Lezcano, Brittany Ringel were members of that team but did not see action at Minnesota.

UCLA's NCAA Tournament History -- The Bruins have been in eight previous NCAA Tournaments. The last appearance came in the 2003-04 season, in which the Bruins lost to Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. UCLA's tournament history includes -- 2004 (#10 seed in the Mideast), 2000 (#10 seed in the Mideast), 1999 (#3 seed in the West), 1998 (#7 seed in the Midwest), 1992 (#5 seed in the Midwest), 1990 (#10 seed in the West), 1985 (#6 seed in the West). In 1999, the Bruins achieved their best NCAA tournament performance to date and advanced to the West Regional final before losing to Louisiana Tech.

UCLA's all-time Tournament record is 7-8 (3-1 at home; 2-4 away; 2-3 at neutral sites). Coach Kathy Olivier has posted a 4-4 NCAA tournament mark (2-0 at home, 0-2 away, 2-2 at neutral sites). During Olivier's first of three seasons as an assistant coach at USC, the Trojans, led by sophomore Cheryl Miller, won the 1984 NCAA title, and in 1986, they reached the championship game.

UCLA's All-Time NCAA Tournament Results

2004-05 #10 seed in the Mideast
1st Rd. - Minnesota 92, UCLA 81 - at Minneapolis, MN

1999-2000 #10 seed in the Mideast
1st Rd. - George Washington 79, UCLA 72 - at Notre Dame, IN

1998-99 #3 seed in the West
1st Rd. - UCLA 76, Wisconsin-Green Bay 69 - at UCLA
2nd Rd. - UCLA 87, Kentucky 63 - at UCLA
Reg. semi. - UCLA 77, Colorado State 68 - at Los Angeles Sports Arena
Reg. final - Louisiana Tech 88, UCLA 62 - at Los Angeles Sports Arena

1997-98 #7 seed in the Midwest
1st Rd. - UCLA 65, Michigan 58 - at Tuscaloosa, AL
2nd Rd. - Alabama 75, UCLA 74 - at Tuscaloosa, AL

1991-92 #5 seed in the Midwest
1st Rd. - UCLA 93, Notre Dame 72 - at UCLA
2nd Rd. - UCLA 82, Texas 81 - at Austin, TX
Reg. semi. - SW Missouri State 83, UCLA 57 - at Boulder, CO

1988-90 #10 seed in the West
1st Rd. - Arkansas 90, UCLA 80 ot - at Fayetteville, AR

1984-85 #6 seed in the West
1st Rd. - UCLA 78, Washington 62 - at Seattle, WA
Reg. semi. - Georgia 78, UCLA 42 - at UCLA

1982-83 #6 seed in the West
1st Rd. - Oregon State 75, UCLA 62 - at Willamette, OR College

About Bowling Green -- The Falcons finished the season by winning their last 19 straight games to post a record of 28-2. BGSU won the Mid-American Conference regular season with a 16-0 record and captured the Conference tournament title as well. Six-one junior forward Ali Mann (14.6 ppg this season) was named Most Valuable Player in the Tournament. She was joined on the all-tournament team by 5-11 junior forward Liz Honegger (13.2 ppg this season) and 5-8 sophomore guard Kate Achter (10.9 ppg this season). BGSU led the MAC in scoring defense with a mark of 55.7 per game and three-point shots made (182/ 6.07 per game). Bowling Green's last loss was in overtime to Kentucky (a #5 seed in the NCAA tournament) on Jan. 2.

The Series With Bowling Green -- This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

The Series With Purdue/Missouri State -- The series between UCLA and Purdue is tied at 1-1. UCLA won the last game played in the series, which took place on Dec. 5, 2004 in Pauley Pavilion, by a score of 70-64. Noelle Quinn scored 23 points in the contest and was joined by three other Bruins in double figures. Purdue bested the Bruins the season before in a game played at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN on Dec. 13, 2003 by a score of 58-57. In that game, Lisa Willis made two free throws to give UCLA a two-point lead with 8.6 seconds remaining, but Purdue's Beth Jones hit a three-pointer with 1.8 seconds on the clock to win the game. Willis scored 18 points in the game, and Nikki Blue had 20.

Missouri State, formerly known as Southwest Missouri State, leads the series with UCLA by a count of 1-0. The lone meeting took place on March 26, 1992 in the NCAA Midwest Regional Final played in Boulder, CO. The Bears won that game by a score of 83-57.

UCLA vs. the Rest of the NCAA Field -- UCLA has posted a record of 9-9 this season against teams in the NCAA tournament field. The Bruins have wins over California (2), Georgia, Pepperdine, Stanford (2), Arizona State (2), Washington and losses @ Baylor, vs. BYU, @ Oklahoma, @ Stanford, @ California, @ Arizona State, @ Washington, USC (2).

UCLA's Pac-10 Tournament Summary --

2006 - San Jose, CA
#3 UCLA 80, #6 California 63 (Quinn - 18 pts., 10 reb.; Blue 11 assists; Willis 7 steals); #3 UCLA 60, #2 Arizona State 59 (Willis 27 pts., 6 steals; Quinn 16 pts., 10 reb.); #3 UCLA 85, #1 Stanford 76 ot (Quinn 22 pts., 8 reb.; Willis 20 pts, 6 steals)

UCLA's All-Tournament team selections: Lisa Willis (MVP), Nikki Blue, Noelle Quinn

Bruins Win School's First Pac-10 Tournament Title/ Willis Named MVP -- The Bruins captured the first Pac-10 Tournament title in the school's history with wins over Cal, Arizona State and Stanford. Lisa Willis was named the Most Valuable Player in the Tournament, Nikki Blue was selected to the All-Tournament team for the fourth straight year, and Noelle Quinn joined them on the All-Tournament team. Quinn set a tournament record with 23 field goals. Lisa Willis tied a tournament record with 11 made three-point shots and set a record with 19 steals in the three games. Her steals average of 6.3 also was a record. Nikki Blue set a tourney mark with 11 assists in the win over California. Her tournament assists average (8.3) also set a tournament mark. The UCLA-Stanford game set a school record for most points in a tournament game (161). The Bruins set a tournament record with 20 steals in the game against California and their total of 52 for the three games in the tournament were a record.

Olivier Gets Career Win #200 -- Head coach Kathy Olivier earned her 200th career victory with a 60-59 win over Arizona State in the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament. In 13 seasons at UCLA, she holds a 201-174 record. Olivier is just the fourth head coach to win 200 games at a Pac-10 school, joining Tara VanDerveer (Stanford), Chris Gobrecht (Washington/USC) and Joan Bonvicini (Arizona).

Triple Threat Earns Pac-10, Kodak/WBCA All-Region 8 Honors -- Nikki Blue, Lisa Willis and Noelle Quinn each earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors and were named as finalists for the WBCA/Kodak All-America team as three of the six Region 1 honorees. Blue became the fifth player in Pac-10 history to earn four first-team All-Pac-10 selections, joining Lisa Leslie of USC, Tanja Kostic of Oregon State, Nicole Powell of Stanford and fellow Bruin Maylana Martin. It was the second first-team selection for both Willis and Quinn.

Bruins Finish Third In Pac-10 Regular Season -- With wins in five of their last six games, UCLA finished the regular season in third place in the Pac-10 Conference with a 12-6 league record. UCLA's 12 Pac-10 wins are the third-most in school history, and its No. 3 seeding in the Pac-10 Tournament was UCLA's highest in the Tournament's five-year history.

Blue Selected to Play in WBCA All-Star Challenge -- Senior Nikki Blue is one of 17 Division I senior players voted into the All-Star Challenge by Division I WBCA-member head coaches. The Challenge takes place on April 1st in Boston, site of this year's Final Four.

Blue, Quinn Named to Naismith Trophy Mid-Season List -- Senior Nikki Blue and junior Noelle Quinn were amongst 30 mid-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless. The Trophy is presented annually to the National Player of the Year. UCLA was one of just six schools to have two or more players on the mid-season list.

Quinn Ranks in Top Four in Pac-10 Scoring, Rebounding, Assists -- Junior Noelle Quinn is averaging a career-best 18.3 points per game this season and 17.1 points per game for her career. She begins the NCAA tournament ranked third in Pac-10 scoring (18.3), second in rebounding (8.2) and fourth in assists (3.93). She has 1,250 career points and joined teammates Nikki Blue (1,772) and Lisa Willis (1,639) in the Bruin women's 1,000-point club. UCLA has had three 1,000-point scorers on one team just one other time - in 2000 with Maylana Martin, Janae Hubbard and Marie Philman. Quinn has scored 20 points or more in nine of the last 14 games and is averaging 21.3 points (298) and 8.9 rebounds (125) while shooting 55.2% (122-221) from the field in those 14 games. She has had seven double-doubles in that span and the team has won 11 of the those last 14 games.

All-Time Pac-10 Steals Leader Willis Ranks 5th In Nation -- With her first of four steals against Arizona on Jan. 6, senior Lisa Willis became the Pac-10's all-time leader in the category, moving past USC's Tammy Story (1989-92). She now totals 368, and her average of 3.7 steals per game entering the NCAA tournament leads the Pac-10 this season and was ranked fifth in the nation as of March 6. Willis now ranks ninth in the Top 10 on UCLA's all-time scoring list with 1,639 points and has held the school's three-point field goals record since last season with 248 and counting.

Blue Continues To Climb UCLA Charts, Passes Meyers in Assists -- Senior Nikki Blue continues to pass some big names on UCLA's all-time charts, moving ahead of Ann Meyers, Michelle Greco and Anita Ortega in recent weeks to fifth on the scoring chart with 1,772 career points. With 591 assists, Blue moved past Meyers into second place on the assists list, and she is also moving up the rebounds list, charting at 14th with 607 career boards. Nationally, Blue ranks 14th (as of Mar. 6) with a 5.7 assists per game mark. She remains third on UCLA's list for career steals with 324 and has now moved into sole possession of second on the Pac-10 career chart behind teammate Lisa Willis.

Quinn, Pluimer Earn Academic All-District Honors -- Junior Noelle Quinn and sophomore Lindsey Pluimer were selected to the CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District 8 women's basketball team. Quinn, who holds a 3.26 GPA in Sociology, was selected to the first team and was eligible for the national Academic All-American ballot. Pluimer, a 3.67 student, received third-team honors and was one of just two underclassmen selected to the All-District 8 teams.

By The Numbers (Team) -- UCLA has been even or won the battle of the boards in 12 of the last 14 games (only Cal +1, in the last regular season matchup and Arizona State +6, in the Pac-10 Tourney, have beaten the Bruins on the boards in that stretch in which the team has posted a 11-3 record) ... The Bruins have limited the last nine opponents to a combined .396 shooting percentage (214-540) from the floor ... With 12 Pac-10 victories, the Bruins tied for the third-most conference wins in school history ... UCLA last had 12 wins in the 2002-03 season and has won more than 12 conference games only in the 1997-98 (14) and 1998-99 (15) seasons ... UCLA finished with a 10-2 (.833 winning percentage) home record, its best home record since the 1980-81 team went 15-2 (.882 winning percentage) ... Entering the tournament, the combined record (as of 3/8) of the opponents UCLA has lost to this season is 211-81, .722 (counting USC twice) ... The Bruins led at the half in each of their first 17 wins this season, before overcoming halftime deficits against both Arizona State and Stanford in the Pac-10 Tournament ... Twelve of the Bruins' 20 wins have come in Los Angeles (2-0 at LMU Tournament, 10-2 in Pauley Pavilion, 0-1 at USC), with the five true road wins coming at Clemson, Washington State, Arizona, Oregon State and Oregon ... UCLA has won 15 of the 18 games this season in which it has outrebounded/tied the opponent ... In the 20 games UCLA has won, the Bruins have shot .488 from the field (623-1277), while opponents have shot .399 in the games (484-1211) ... In the 10 losses, the Bruins have shot .404 from the field (269-666), while the opponents have shot .464 (294-633) ... Seven of UCLA's 10 losses have been by a single-digit margin. In those seven games, the Bruins lost by a combined total of 41 points (5.9 average) ... UCLA's combined margin of victory in the 20 wins is 300 points (15.0 points/game) ... In their 20 wins this season, the Bruins averaged 81.1 points (1622) per game, and in their 10 losses, they averaged 72.5 points (725) per contest ... UCLA entered the NCAA tournament ranked seventh in the nation in scoring offense (78.2), 18th in field goal percentage (.459), eighth in assists (17.53).

By The Numbers (Players) -- With 1,250 career points, Quinn has moved up to No. 13 on UCLA's all-time scoring list ... Nikki Blue is only the seventh UCLA woman to score over 1,700 career points (1,772), the fourth to record 500 assists (591) and the third to reach 300 steals (324) ... Blue has moved into 18th on the all-time Pac-10 scoring list and has moved past Anita Ortega for fifth place on UCLA's all-time scoring list with 1,772 points ... Blue needs 42 more points to move into fourth place and move past Natalie Williams ... Lisa Willis' 10th point at home versus USC moved her into the all-time Bruins top 10 in scoring, and she currently has 1,639 points, good for ninth place.

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