Pac-12 Play Tips off this Week; Seven Teams Ranked

Washington Athletics

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Seven Pac-12 women’s basketball teams are ranked in the Associated Press poll for the first time ever, tied for the most of any conference, and another three more are receiving votes. CALIFORNIA enters the writer’s poll for the first time this season after upsetting a top-20 team last week ... Cal and UTAH are two of just eight undefeated teams remaining in the country ... With seven teams in the top 25 and another three knocking on the door, the Pac-12 campaign is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing in league history with five top-25 tilts this week alone. Tipping off the league slate are WASHINGTON STATE and No. 9/XX WASHINGTON on Tuesday in Seattle on Pac-12 Network ... 2016 NCAA Final Four participants UW and No. 22/XX OREGON STATE face off in a highly-anticipated matchup, which also happens to be the only regular-season meeting between the teams this season ... As the countdown continues towards Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer’s 1,000th-career win, No. 13/XX STANFORD travels to face head coach Charli Turner Thorne’s No. 18. ARIZONA STATE on Sunday. Turner Thorne and VanDerveer are the Pac-12’s winningest coaches and longest-tenured coaches ... Cal’s Kristine Anigwe, who tied the single-game Conference scoring record two weeks ago, was voted Pac-12 Player of the Week after putting up back-to-back 30-point games. She was also named ESPNW National Player of the Week ... OSU’s Mikayla Pivec was selected the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.

For the first time ever, seven Pac-12 teams are ranked in the Associated Press poll, it was announced on Dec. 26. The Conference still boasts two undefeated teams. Only eight teams in the nation have not logged a loss yet. Among the Pac-12 teams that are ranked are California , which appears in the poll for the first time this season at No. 21.

    Joining Cal are Washington (9), UCLA (10), Stanford (13), Arizona State (18), Colorado (20) and Oregon State (22). In addition, three more teams are receiving votes, including Utah, the other undefeated Pac-12 team, USC and Oregon.

In the latest ESPN Bracketology dated Dec. 12, ESPN’s Charlie Creme believes 10 Pac-12 teams would receive NCAA Tournament berths, if the season ended today. That is, by far, the most of any conference in the country with the SEC and ACC tying for seven each in the bracketology.

    The Pac-12 currently has the No. 2 RPI in the country with 11 of 12 teams in the top 100.

Washington Huskies Kelsey Plum and Chantel Osahor have been leading the nation in scoring and rebounding for more of the season. Plum is averaging a nation’s best 30.2 points per game, while Osahor is grabbing 14.2 rebounds per game.

    As a team, UW’s 149 makes from long range are the most of any team in the country from that distance.

    Also tops in the country is Arizona State, who is limiting opponents to just 21.2 percent shooting from three-point range for the best defense behind the arc in the nation.

One of the most prolific scorer’s in Pac-12 history, Washington’s Kelsey Plum broke the Pac-12’s all-time scoring record in just the 11th game of her senior campaign, surpassing 2014 WNBA Rookie of the Year Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford. The fastest in league history to 2,000-career points, she is only the third player in Conference history to score at least 2,500 points, having scored over 700 points in each of her three seasons. Her name in the top five all-time is among elite company, with two WNBA Rookies of the Year, two No. 1 WNBA picks, four WNBA first-round picks, two WNBA Most Valuable Players and a pair of WNBA Champions occupying the four other spots.

    1. Kelsey Plum, WASH (2014-present)    2811
    2. Chiney Ogwumike, STAN (2011-14)    2737
3. Candice Wiggins, STAN (2005-08)    2629
4. Nnemkadi Ogwumike, STAN (2009-12)    2491
5. Lisa Leslie, USC (1991-94)    2414

Plum’s total scoring is impressive, but it does not end there. Entering the season, Plum was averaging 23.3 points per game for her career, which would have been good enough for the Pac-12 record. She already owns the record for career free throws made and is shattering the mark previously held by former Oregon State standout Tanja Kostic (1993-96, 608). Plum is the only player in league history to make over 700 free throws in a career.

Plum is not the only one breaking records. Oregon State’s Sydney Wiese topped four-time Stanford All-American Candice Wiggins in the three-point category. Wiese will become the first player in Conference history to make 300-career threes.

    1. Sydney Wiese, OSU (2013-present)    298
    2. Candice Wiggins, STAN (2005-08)    295
3. Ashley Corral, USC (2009-12)    291

California’s Kristine Anigwe, last year’s USBWA National Freshman of the Year, netted 50 points to tie the Pac-12’s all-time single-game scoring record on Dec. 8 against Sacramento State, making her only the second player in Conference history to score 50 points. Anigwe was 19-for-23 from the floor in that game, also going 12-for-19 from the free throw line.

    The original record was set nearly 28 years ago on March 10, 1989 by USC’s Cherie Nelson against the Golden Bears. Since then, the record was only threatened twice (USC’s Tina Thompson, 49 points, Jan. 27, 1996; Cal’s Alexis Gray-Lawson, 47 points, Jan. 23, 2010), until Anigwe tied the mark.

So far this season, there have been five instances of triple-double performances by four players this season. It ties for the most occurrences in a season in the Pac-12, which came in 2014. That season, former Cal standout Brittany Boyd had three triple-doubles, Colorado’s Lexy Kressl achieved the feat once, as did  Oregon State’s Ruth Hamblin, who is the only player in Conference history to record a triple-double with points, rebounds and blocks.

    This season, Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu has posted a pair of triple-doubles, with Washington’s Chantel Osahor, UCLA’s Jordin Canada and OSU’s Sydney Wiese each recording one.

In a span of 16 days over three games, Oregon freshman Sabrina Ionescu has recorded triple-double performances twice, not only tying her for the most in the nation this season but also making her just the third player in Pac-12 history to post multiple triple-doubles in a career and in a season.

    Stanford’s Nicole Powell, who is serving as the Ducks’ assistant coach under Kelly Graves, notched three triple-doubles during the 2001 and 2002 campaign to set the season record. She also has the career record with six. California’s Brittany Boyd had three triple doubles in 2014, the only ones of her career, tying her with Powell for the season record and putting her second on the career list.

    Four players this season have posted triple-doubles, including Washington’s Chantel Osahor, UCLA’s Jordin Canada and Oregon State’s Sydney Wiese, in addition to Ionescu.

In her 31st season on the bench at Stanford, Hall of Famer Tara VanDerveer has accumulated a 989-227 record in her 37+ years as a collegiate head coach and an 836-175 mark on The Farm, nearing the 1,000-win mark. Only the late Pat Summitt of Tennessee has won 1,000 women’s basketball games and three coaches in men’s and women’s basketball in total have reached the milestone. VanDerveer’s teams have won 20 or more games 31 times, including each of the last 15 seasons. In 2013, she became just the fifth college women’s basketball coach to win 900 career games.

WASHINGTON’s Kelsey Plum’s and OREGON STATE’s Sydney Wiese’s impact on their respective programs can be seen in the NCAA’s active career leaders list. Plum leads all active players in career points and is out in front by nearly 700 points, and is the leader in made free throw attempts with over 700, nearl7 200 in front of the next player. Plum’s effectiveness at the free throw line is not just getting there, but also making them, currently boasting the best career free throw percentage (88.3). She is also tops in field goals made and free throw attempts. Her career scoring average is second among the active leaders, about a point behind the leader.

    Wiese is tied for first in career three-pointers made and ranks in the top five in total assists, three-point field goals per game and three-point percentage.

    In fact, the top three career active leaders in three-point percentage are all from the Pac-12 with OREGON’s Lexi Bando leading the way (46.1), followed by STANFORD’s Karlie Samuelson (42.0) and Wiese.

    UCLA’s Jordin Canada’s career assists average is also in the top five among the active players.

Pac-12 teams have already recorded six keys wins this season. Most recently, California upset then-No. 20/21 Oklahoma in Las Vegas. Arizona State defeated then-No. 19/23 Florida to claim the ASU Classic title on Dec. 4. The Sun Devils overcame a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit to win the game. Earlier that same week on Nov. 30, USC upset then-No. 25/19 Texas A&M in College Station. Over the Thanksgiving week, Oregon defeated then-No. 24/19 Michigan State by 33 points on Nov. 22, three days after Colorado took down then-No. 15/19 Kentucky at home. ASU has anotherher big win, defeat-No. 15/18 Kenucky in Lexington. The Sun Devils took a late lead in the fourth quarter then needed overtime to clinch the win.


Tuesday, December 27    
Ark.-Pine Bluff at #22/15 Oregon State Live Stream 6 p.m.
Portland State at Arizona Live Stream 7 p.m.
Washington State at #9/9 Washington P12N 7 p.m.
Wednesday, December 28    
Yale at #13/14 Stanford Live Stream 2 p.m.
Thursday, December 29    
#21/18 California at Arizona Live Stream 7 p.m.
Friday, December 30    
#13/14 Stanford at #18/19 Arizona State P12N 3 p.m.
#20/RV Colorado at USC Live Stream 6 p.m.
Utah at #10/10 UCLA Live Stream 7 p.m.
#9/9 Washington at Oregon Live Stream 3 p.m.
Washington State at #22/15 Oregon State Live Stream  4 p.m.
Sunday, January 1    
#13/14 Stanford at Arizona Live Stream 1 p.m. 
#21/18 California at #18/19 Arizona State P12N 2 p.m.
Utah at USC Live Stream 12 p.m.
#20/RV Colorado at #10/10 UCLA Live Stream 2 p.m.
Washington State at Oregon Live Stream 2 p.m.
#9/9 Washington at #22/15 Oregon State P12N 12 p.m.
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