Pac-12 women's basketball looks to build on strong start

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Samuel Marshall

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OREGON retained the No. 1 national ranking in the Associated Press poll, bolstered by its historic defeat of Team USA, despite the game being an exhibition. Five Pac-12 teams continue to be ranked, three in the top 10, including No. 3 STANFORD and No. 7 OREGON STATE. UCLA is just out of the top 10 at No. 11, followed by No. 19 ARIZONA STATE ... The Beavers advanced to the semifinals of the Preseason WNIT and host 18th-ranked DePaul for a chance to get to the title game, which is scheduled for Sunday ... The Pac-12 led all conferences with the most national player of the year candidates, placing at least nine on all three national watch lists, led by 2019 Wade Trophy and Wooden Award winner Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, and as many as 11. The Ducks, Stanford and Oregon State each had multiple candidates. UCLA and ARIZONA were also represented on all three lists ... A combined 19 different Pac-12 student-athletes were appeared on the Basketball Hall of Fame/WBCA Starting Five watch list, the most of any conference ... OSU swept the Pac-12 weekly honors with Mikayla Pivec taking Player of the Week nods after opening the season with a pair of double-doubles and a 17-rebound outing. Her teammate Taylor Jones was voted the Freshman of the Week ... Nine of ESPN.com’s Top 25 Players of the 2019-20 campaign are from the Pac-12 ... Ionescu needs just four points to reach the 2,000-point plateau and two assists to get to 800 for her career. She is looking to become the first player in NCAA history with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists. She would be just the second student-athlete in league history to dish 800 assists ... Pac-12 teams went 17-5 in the opening weekend of the 2019-20 campaign.

Ducks Claim Historic Win; Pac-12 teams Take on Team USA: On a collegiate tour tune-up as it prepares to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the USA Women’s National Team made stops at Oregon, Stanford and Oregon State. The Ducks provided the most talked about result, becoming the first college team since 1999, and only the second ever, to defeat the Red, White and Blue. Led by Sabrina Ionescu’s 30-point outing, the Ducks won by a 93-86 margin, holding off the best team in the world as they made a late push.

Team USA opened at Stanford where it led early on and trailed just 68-62 going into the final quarter before the national team took control for good and won, 95-80. Junior Kiana WIlliams knocked down five of the team’s 10 threes, tying for the team scoring lead with 17 points. Oregon State fell to the Americans by a score of 81-58, losing the rebounding battle by just five (35-30). Redshirt junior Destiny Slocum led the way with 15 points and five assists.

All three teams continue to be ranked in the top 10 of the national polls.

Pac-12 Leads With the Most National POY Candidates: The Pac-12 led the way on all three national player of the year watch lists, with as many as 11 earning a spot on at least one list. Nine from the Conference were selected preseason candidates for the Wade Trophy and John Wooden Award, including 2019 winner Sabrina Ionescu. Oregon had the most candidates with three. Oregon State and Stanford both had multiple candidates, and Arizona and UCLA each had a representative. On the Naismith Award watch list, the Pac-12 led the way with 11, with four Ducks being cited, the most of any team in the country. A Bruin was also added. The list of names on each of the watch lists are on page 4.

A Pac-12 student-athlete has won the Wade Trophy and Wooden Award in two of the last three years, with Washington’s Kelsey Plum nabbing the honors in 2017. Sweeping the national player of the year honors that season, Plum is the only one from the Conference to claim the Naismith Award.

ESPN.COM Top 25 Players of 2019-20: Over one third of the student-athletes named to ESPN.com’s Top 25 Players of 2019-20 are from the Pac-12. Altogether, nine from the Pac-12 were listed in the top 20, led by Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu. Oregon had three recognized in the top 10 and Oregon State’s Destiny Slocum came in at No. 9. Spots Nos. 8-15 were all occupied by a Pac-12 student-athlete except one. Five different schools were also represented on the list.

2,000-Point Milestone: Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu needs just four points to reach 2,000 for her career. She is looking to become the fourth Duck ever to reach the threshold and the second since the Pac-12 began sponsoring women’s sports in 1986-87. Other Pac-12 student-athletes within reach of 2,000-career points are fellow Duck Ruthy Hebard and Washington State’s Borislava Hristova, who would become the first Cougar to achieve the milestone. There have been 20 players in Pac-12 history to score 2,000 points.

More Records in Sight for Ionescu: Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu has already set several triple-double records and is looking to become the first with 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds. She also has her sights set on the Pac-12’s all-time assists record which is currently owned by WNBA standout Jordin Canada, who dished out 831 during her career at UCLA from 2015-18. Canada is the only player in league history to collect 800 assists while Ionescu is just two away from that threshold. When Canada broke the all-time mark in 2018, she broke a record which had stood for 27 years.

19 Named to National Positional Awards Watch Lists: A combined 19 from the Pac-12 were named to the Basketball Hall of Fame/WBCA Starting Five watch lists, which is the most for any conference. At least one Pac-12 student-athlete was on each of the lists. The Conference had the most candidates for any league for the Ann Meyers Drysdale (5), Cheryl Miller (5) and Nancy Lieberman Awards (4), and tied for the most for the Katrina McClain Award (3). Nine (out of 12) different league schools are represented across the five lists, tying with the ACC (out of 15) for the most school representation for a conference. Both Oregon and STANFORD lead Pac-12 teams with four candidates each, tying for second most in the country. ARIZONA, OREGON STATE and UCLA each had multiple nominees, as well, while USC, UTAH, WASHINGTON and WASHINGTON STATE each had a candidate on one of the lists. Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu is a two-time winner of the Liberman Award and teammate Ruthy Hebard was the 2018 winner of the McClain Award.

Road to New Orleans: Teams across the country will be focused on getting to New Orleans this season, the site of the 2020 NCAA Women’s Final Four on April 3 and 5. To get to New Orleans, teams will have to go through regional sites in Greenville, S.C., Fort Wayne, Ind., Portland, Ore., and Dallas, Texas. Oregon State hosts the Portland Regional for the second year in a row from March 27-March 30, 2020, with specific dates to be announced. The first and second round of the tournament will take place on 16 campus sites with the top-16 seeds hosting, March 19-22, 2020.. The top 64 teams will learn their fates in the broadcast of the annual selection show on Monday, March 16, 2020.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

 

Tuesday, Nov. 12    
ARIZONA at Chicago State   6 p.m. CT
Wednesday, Nov. 13    
Utah State at #1 OREGON Live Stream 6 p.m. PT
Weber State at WASHINGTON Live Stream 10 a.m. PT
Thursday, Nov. 14    
Wisconsin at COLORADO Live Stream 7 p.m. MT
#18 DePaul at #7 OREGON STATE Live Stream 7 p.m PT
Northern Colorado at #3 STANFORD Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Long Beach State at #11 UCLA Live Stream 11 a.m. PT
USC at UC Riverside   7 p.m. PT
Saturday, Nov. 16    
Texas Southern at #1 OREGON Live Stream 2 p.m. PT
South Dakota at UTAH Live Stream 12 p.m. MT
Sunday, Nov. 17    
ARIZONA at #22 Texas Longhorn Network 2 p.m. ET
#19 ARIZONA STATE at Minnesota Big Ten Network 3 p.m. CT
UC Riverside at CALIFORNIA Live Stream 5 p.m. PT
COLORADO at Wyoming   1 p.m. MT
#7 OREGON STATE vs. TBD (WNIT)   1:30 p.m. PT
Gonzaga at #3 STANFORD Live Stream 5 p.m. PT
Monday, Nov. 18    
USC at UCSB   7 p.m. PT
Eastern Washington at UTAH Live Stream 7 p.m. MT

 

* Game times local to site; Live streams of matchups available at pac-12.com.
 
 
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