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Pac-12 Women's Basketball Weekly Release - Feb. 23, 2022

Feb 23, 2022
Washington State Athletics

COMPLETE RELEASE (PDF)

PAC-12 RUNDOWN

  • Winners of 15 in a row and unbeaten in Pac-12 play (14-0), No. 2 Stanford clinched its second consecutive and 25th overall regular-season conference championship with Friday’s win at Oregon State. This weekend, the Cardinal will attempt to finish unbeaten in conference for the eighth time overall and first since 2012. No other school has gone through its Pac-12 slate undefeated. Oregon (2020), California (2013) and Washington (1990) have all gone 17-1.
  • Stanford has clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas. Its 4.5-game lead in the standings is the largest among all conferences. The Cardinal has won 29 consecutive games against Pac-12 opponents, including the postseason, which is the third-longest active streak in the country (Princeton, Ivy - 37; Jackson State, SWAC - 31).
  • Beyond Stanford, seed Nos. 2-12 are all up in the air and will be determined during the final week of the regular season.
  • The Cardinal (No. 1 seed - Spokane Region), Wildcats (No. 2 seed - Wichita Region) and Ducks (No. 4 seed, Greensboro Region) appeared in the NCAA Selection Committee’s most recent in-season, top-16 reveal on Feb. 10. A No. 1 seed for Stanford would be the program’s 12th and the 18th for a current league member all-time (USC - 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986; Washington - 1990; Colorado - 1995). A No. 2 seed for Arizona would be a program best. The Wildcats were a No. 3 in 1998 and 2021. 
  • With the shift to a 68-team field this season, ESPN’s Charlie Creme has six Pac-12 teams in the NCAA Tournament in his latest Bracketology (No. 1 seed Stanford, No. 2 seed Arizona, No. 5 seed Oregon, No. 9 seed Utah, No. 10 seed Colorado, No. 10 seed Washington State), and Oregon State as the first team out. At least half of the conference has earned berths in each of the past four NCAA Tournaments, including a league-record seven in 2017.
  • Winners of eight of its last 10 and selected as ESPN’s Team of the Week, Washington State is tied for second in the conference standings and has tied its 1990-91 squad’s program records for overall wins in the NCAA era (18) and Pac-12 wins (10). WSU tied for fourth in the league in both 1989-90 and 1990-91, but has not finished in the top half since, topping out at No. 6 of 10 in 1994-95 and 1995-96 (tied). The Cougs have already guaranteed themselves a winning Pac-12 record for just the second time in program history (1990-91).
  • Two of five Pac-12 schools in the top 30 of the NET, Utah (No. 25) and Colorado (No. 30) are in strong positions to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011 (Utah) and 2013 (Colorado), respectively. The Utes feature the nation’s 10th-best scoring offense (78.3) and have been outside the NET top 25 just twice since daily updates began on Dec. 5. Coming off a weekend road sweep in Los Angeles, Colorado is back on the NET top 30 for the first time since mid-January. The Buffs have won four of five, with the only loss coming at No. 2 Stanford, following a 1-6 mark from Jan. 14 - Feb. 4.
  • Speaking of the Mountain schools, they’ll host Oregon State and Oregon squads coming off some grueling stretches to end the season. Last weekend, the Beavers wrapped up a streak of five consecutive games against AP Top 25 opponents, something that had not happened in the Pac-12 since at least 1999-2000 and only the fourth time it had happened in Division I since 2017-18 (regular season games only). Oregon has had one of the busiest schedules in the country since the start of February, playing nine games since Feb. 1, a number that is tied for the most among all teams nationally and more than any other Power 5 program.

NATIONAL AWARDS CANDIDATES

WADE TROPHY
Watch List
Cameron Brink
, Stanford 
Haley Jones, Stanford
Charlisse Leger-Walker, Washington State
Charisma Osborne, UCLA
Nyara Sabally, Oregon

NAISMITH TROPHY NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Midseason Team
Cameron Brink
, Stanford 
Haley Jones, Stanford
Charisma Osborne, UCLA
Cate Reese, Arizona

Watch List
Lexie Hull, Stanford
Taylor Jones, Oregon State
Charlisse Leger-Walker, Washington State
Nancy Mulkey, Washington
Alissa Pili, USC
Nyara Sabally, Oregon
Sam Thomas, Arizona

NAISMITH DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Watch List

Cameron Brink, Stanford 
Nancy Mulkey, Washington

WOODEN AWARD NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Late Season Top 20
Cameron Brink
, Stanford
Haley Jones, Stanford
Charisma Osborne, UCLA

Watch List
Mya Hollingshed
, Colorado
Lexie Hull, Stanford
Taylor Jones, Oregon State
Charlisse Leger-Walker, Washington State
Te-Hina Paopao, Oregon
Alissa Pili, USC
Nyara Sabally, Oregon

DAWN STALEY AWARD
Late Season Watch List

Jayda Curry, California
Haley Jones, Stanford

NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME AWARDS
Watch Lists

Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year
Gina Conti
, UCLA
Dru Gylten, Utah
Te-Hina Paopao, Oregon

Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year
Taylor Chavez
, Arizona
Lexie Hull, Stanford
Charlisse Leger-Walker, Washington State (Late Season Top 10)
Charisma Osborne, UCLA (Late Season Top 10)
Sydney Parrish, Oregon

Cheryl Miller Small Forward of the Year
Haley Jones
, Stanford (Late Season Top 10)
Sam Thomas, Arizona

Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year
Cameron Brink
, Stanford (Late Season Top 10)
Taylor Jones, Oregon State
Alissa Pili, USC
Nyara Sabally, Oregon (Late Season Top 10)

Lisa Leslie Center of the Year
Francesca Belibi
, Stanford
Nancy Mulkey, Washington
Bella Murekatete, Washington State

SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Finalists

Lexie Hull, Stanford
Sam Thomas, Arizona

Top 30 Candidates
Dru Gylten
, Utah

CONFERENCE NOTEBOOK

STUNNING SUCCESS OF LATE

  • In a first for the Conference, the Pac-12 is coming off a season in which its top two regular-season finishers – Stanford and Arizona – met for the national championship. The 2021 title game was just the seventh time in women’s basketball history that two teams from the same league met for a championship and was the first to feature two schools from west of the Mississippi River since 1986 (Texas vs. USC).
  • Since the 2015-16 season, the Pac-12 leads all conferences in Final Four appearances (6), NCAA Tournament wins (70) and NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.707). 
  • In addition to the aforementioned success over the past seven seasons, the Pac-12 also leads all conferences in Final Four appearances since 2012-13 with eight. Those eight appearances have been spread across six different programs - Arizona (2021), California (2013, Oregon (2019), Oregon State (2016), Stanford (2021, 2017, 2014), Washington (2016) - which is two more than any other conference. Simply put, in an amazing display of depth, half of the Pac-12 has appeared in a Final Four in the past eight NCAA Tournaments. The ACC has had four different programs make the Final Four over the same span, the Big East three, the SEC two, and the Big Ten, Big 12 and American each one.
  • Against nonconference opponents in the regular season since 2015-16, the Pac-12 leads all leagues with an .793 winning percentage (672-175), ahead of the Big 12 (.786), SEC (.771), ACC (.766) and Big Ten (.725). 
  • Not including the pandemic-impacted season of 2020-21, which featured inconsistent nonconference scheduling, the Pac-12 owns two of the three best regular-season, nonconference winning percentages in women’s college basketball since 1999-00.
    • 1. Big 12 - 2011-12 - .861 (99-16)
    • 2. Pac-12 - 2016-17 - .848 (117-21)
    • 3. Pac-12 - 2019-20 - .839 (115-22)
  • In the first year using the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) for women’s basketball, four of the top 10 teams in the final NET rankings for 2021 were from the Pac-12 in Stanford (No. 1), Arizona (No. 7), UCLA (No. 8) and Oregon (No. 10), a total double any other league. The Pac-12 was also the nation’s top-rated conference by RPI in three of the final five seasons (2016, 2017, 2020) that metric was used by the committee.

NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN

  • Pac-12 programs signed 35 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period, 21 of whom are in the espnW HoopGurlz Top 100 (60.0 percent), including six in the top 10. Six of the nation’s top 14 classes have been put together by Conference programs, including each of the top three and five of the top eight - No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Oregon State, No. 5 Stanford, No. 8 Arizona and No. 14 Washington.
  • In available data dating back a dozen years, no conference has finished a recruiting cycle with as many programs (five) boasting top 10 classes according to espnW HoopGurlz. Since 2007, only one other conference has signed as many top-10 individuals (six) in the espnW HoopGurlz rankings (SEC - 2019).
  • Pac-12 programs also signed three top-10 classes in each of the previous three years, totals which led or tied for the national lead each cycle. The Conference’s 15 total espnW HoopGurlz top-10 recruiting classes from 2016-21 were the most in the country.
  • Rosters for the 2022 McDonald’s All American Games were revealed on ESPN on Tuesday, Jan. 25, and of the 24 women selected to play in the showcase, nine have signed National Letters of Intent to join Pac-12 programs next season, the highest total among all conferences (Oregon/Oregon State/Stanford/UCLA - 2; Arizona - 1). The McDonald’s All American Girls Game is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29 at 3:30 p.m. PT on ESPN2.
  • The regular signing period for the Class of 2022 runs from April 13 - May 18, 2022.

THE CONFERENCE OF TRIPLE-DOUBLES

  • Stanford’s Haley Jones put together the Pac-12’s 54th all-time triple-double with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a 77-55 victory over Portland on Nov. 16 and first since UCLA’s Charisma Osborne had 18 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists against USC on Feb. 26, 2021.
  • Per ESPN Stats & Info, a Pac-12 player has now had a triple-double in 11 consecutive seasons, the longest streak by a conference in DI history. Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu is the NCAA record holder in career triple doubles with 26, which is 17 more than second-place Chastadie Barrs of Lamar (9).

OTHER PERFORMANCES OF NOTE

  • In a 69-66 victory over then-No. 4 Indiana on Nov. 25, Stanford’s Cameron Brink had 21 points, a career-high 22 rebounds, five assists and five blocks. It is just the third 20-point, 20-rebound, five-assist, five-block performance in women’s college basketball since 1999-2000 and the first against a ranked team (Jasmine Joyner, Chattanooga - Jan. 9, 2016 vs. Furman; Anna Strickland, Houston Baptist - March 10, 2016 vs. Lamar).
  • UCLA beat San Jose State, 112-33, on Dec. 5 behind 32 points from IImar’I Thomas and a career-high 31 from Natalie Chou, the third time since 1999-00 that two Pac-12 players from the same team scored 30+ in a game. Washington State’s Lia Galdeira and Tia Presley each had 31 in a 107-100 victory over Oregon on March 6, 2014 and Arizona beat the Ducks, 119-112, on Jan. 16, 2010 behind 36 points from Davellyn Whyte and 32 from Ify Ibekwe.
  • Utah freshman Gianna Kneepkens poured in 29 points off the bench against No. 21 BYU on Dec. 4. Tied for the ninth-best scoring output for a Pac-12 player off the bench since 1999-00, it’s the best since Minyon Moore had 32 as a sub for USC against Washington State on Feb. 17, 2017.
  • Arizona State’s Jade Loville put up 34 points in a 79-60 win at San Diego on Dec. 18, the highest total for a Pac-12 player in a nonconference road game since Aari McDonald had 44 for Arizona in an 83-58 win over then-No. 22 Texas on Nov. 17, 2019. Loville’s 34 points are the most for a Pac-12 player in a game this season.
  • Also on Dec. 18, Stanford’s Haley Jones put up 18 points, 19 rebounds and six assists in a 74-63 victory over then-No. 7 Tennessee in Knoxville, becoming the ninth player this century with 15 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in an AP top-10 matchup. Three of those nine performances are from the Cardinal, including Cameron Brink in the aforementioned game against then-No. 4 Indiana (21 points, 22 rebounds, five assists). Jones is only the second player of the nine to have that line in a true road game, joining Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike, who had 21 points, 19 rebounds and five assists in a 73-60 win for the then-No. 1 Cardinal at No. 10 Tennessee on Dec. 22, 2012.
  • At Washington Sate on Jan. 2, Jones put together her fourth double-double of the season with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting (.714) and 16 rebounds to go along with three assists. One of four players in the country this season to have a game with 24 points, 16 rebounds and three assists, she is the only one to do it while shooting 70.0 percent from the floor, and the only one to do it on the road. It was the eighth 24-point, 16-rebound, three-assist performance by a Pac-12 player in a true road game since 1999-00 and just the second done while shooting at least 70.0 percent. Oregon’s Jillian Alleyne had 29 points on a perfect 11-for-11 shooting, 20 rebounds and three assists in an 84-72 win at Arizona on Jan. 31, 2014.

WATCH LIST WATCH

LEARNING FROM THE BEST

  • Eleven of the 12 current Pac-12 head coaches have guided programs to postseason play, with nine earning Division I NCAA Tournament berths, including seven advancing to the Elite Eight (Barnes, Turner Thorne, Graves, Rueck, VanDerveer, Close, Gottlieb). 
  • Five of the Conference’s head coaches have led a team to the Final Four in Arizona’s Adia Barnes, Oregon’s Kelly Graves, Oregon State’s Scott Rueck, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer and USC’s Lindsay Gottlieb, who took California in 2013.
  • Of the country’s 15 active NCAA head coaches who have led a Division I team to the Final Four (including Rutgers’ C. Vivian Stringer, who is taking a leave of absence in 2021-22), five are from the Pac-12, which is tied with the SEC for the most among all leagues. 
  • However, the Pac-12’s five have all coached a team from their own Conference in a national semifinal, while only two of the SEC’s five have done so (Dawn Staley – South Carolina; Gary Blair – Texas A&M).

TOP TALENT THRIVES OUT WEST

  • Pac-12 schools have signed 31 espnW HoopGurlz top-25 recruits since 2016, the second-highest total among all leagues (ACC – 36). 
  • But since 2016, the Pac-12 leads all conferences with 13 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Americans. Arizona’s Aari McDonald and Stanford’s Kiana Williams landed on the 10-member team in 2021, giving the Conference multiple WBCA All-Americans for the third consecutive season and fifth in the past six.
  • The Conference also boasts a NCAA-high 16 U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) first-, second- and third-team All-Americans since 2016, one more than the Big Ten (15) and two ahead of the SEC (14).

PAC-12 IN THE PROS

  • Two first-round picks highlighted five overall selections from the Pac-12 in the 2021 WNBA Draft. The Conference has had multiple first-round selections in each of the past five drafts and at least four overall picks in the past eight drafts, active streaks which lead all leagues by three years. The SEC has had multiple first rounders in two consecutive drafts and the Big 12 has had at least four total selections in the past two.

#OLYMPIANSMADEHERE


CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
#2 Stanford 14-0 23-3
#25 Oregon 10-5 18-9
Washington State 10-5 18-8
#12 Arizona 9-5 19-5
Utah 7-6 16-9
Colorado 7-7 18-7
Oregon State 6-7 13-10
UCLA 6-8 11-11
Arizona State 4-7 12-11
USC 4-11 11-14
California 2-8 11-10
Washington 1-11 6-14
Oregon forfeit win over UCLA and California’s forfeit win over Arizona State reflected in Conference standings per Pac-12 policy, not overall records per NCAA policy.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (Full Schedule)

Wednesday, Feb. 23    
#25 Oregon at Colorado P12N 6 p.m. PT
Thursday, Feb. 24    
USC at Arizona State P12N 4 p.m. PT
Oregon State at Utah P12N 4:30 p.m. PT
UCLA at #12 Arizona P12N 6 p.m. PT
Washington at California P12N 7 p.m. PT
Washington State at #2 Stanford P12N 8 p.m. PT
Saturday, Feb. 26    
Oregon State at Colorado P12N 11 a.m. PT
UCLA at Arizona State P12N 11 a.m. PT
USC at #12 Arizona P12N 11 a.m. PT
#25 Oregon at Utah P12N noon PT
Washington State at California P12N noon PT
Washington at #2 Stanford P12N noon PT

PAC-12 PERFORMANCE AWARDS PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA

  Player of the Week Freshman of the Week
Nov. 15 Cate Reese, ARIZ Jayda Curry, CAL
Nov. 22 Nyara Sabally, ORE Jayda Curry, CAL
Nov. 29 Cameron Brink, STAN Jayda Curry, CAL
Dec. 6 Natalie Chou, UCLA Gianna Kneepkens, UTAH
Dec. 13 Charlisse Leger-Walker, WSU Jenna Johnson, UTAH
Dec. 20 Haley Jones, STAN Jayda Curry, CAL
Dec. 27 Evelien Lutje Schipholt, CAL Gianna Kneepkens, UTAH
Jan. 3 Haley Jones, STAN Kiki Iriafen, STAN
Jan. 10 Jaylyn Sherrod, COLO Rayah Marshall, USC
Jan. 17  Cameron Brink, STAN Jenna Johnson, UTAH
Jan. 24 Charisma Osborne, UCLA Gianna Kneepkens, UTAH
Jan. 31 Cameron Brink, STAN Gianna Kneepkens, UTAH
Feb. 7 Cameron Brink, STAN Jayda Curry, CAL
Feb. 14 Jordyn Jenkins, USC Gianna Kneepkens, UTAH
Feb. 21 Johanna Teder, WSU Rayah Marshall, USC
Feb. 28    

NATIONAL WEEKLY HONORS

Week of Award - Recipient
Dec. 19 USBWA National Player of the Week - Haley Jones, Stanford
Jan. 11 USBWA National Player of the Week - Jaylyn Sherrod, Colorado
Feb. 8 Naismith Trophy National Player of the Week - Cameron Brink, Stanford