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UCLA Women's Basketball Hosts Clemson In Home Opener On Nov. 24
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  11/22/2004

Nov. 22, 2004

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Bruins Welcome Clemson for Home Opener on Wednesday -- UCLA (1-1) will host Clemson (1-1) in the Bruins' home opener on Wednesday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins lost their season opener to TCU, 65-60, in the first round of the Miami, FL Jam on Nov. 19 before rebounding to best Gardner-Webb in a second round matchup, 89-48, on Nov. 21.

Listen Live -- The Clemson game will be broadcast live on XTRA Sports 690/1150 am, with Dave Marcus and Michael Sondheimer calling the action. It will also be available on the internet at uclabruins.com.

UCLA In Home Openers -- UCLA is 22-8 all-time in home openers. The Bruins won last year's home opener against UNLV, 61-51, and have won the last three in a row.

Looking Ahead -- The Bruins will take the floor in the next games against teams which advanced to post-season play a year ago (Texas and Purdue were in the NCAA tournament; Clemson and Pepperdine played in the NWIT). UCLA remains at home on Sunday, Nov. 28 to play against No. 4 (AP) Texas at 2 pm.

Scouting Clemson -- Clemson opened the 2004 season with a 62-55 win over Western Carolina. The Tigers then lost the second game of their homestand, 67-62, to Appalachian State on Sunday, Nov. 21. Junior College transfer Reggie Maddox, a 5-9 junior guard, led the Tigers with 11 points in each contest. Clemson blocked 17 shots in their two opening games, with 6-4 junior center Amanda White credited with a total of six. Clemson went 17-12 last season and tied for fifth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tigers advanced to the NWIT and lost to Charlotte in the first round.

The Series with Clemson -- Clemson won the only previous meeting between the two schools, posting a 79-62 win in a meeting at the 1994 Great Alaska Shootout.

Bruins Split At Miami Jam in Florida -- UCLA dropped its opening game of the season, 65-60, to TCU in the first round of the Miami, FL Jam on Nov. 19. The Bruins were held scoreless for over seven minutes in the second half and fell behind 55-40 with 10:29 to play. UCLA, who led by a point at the half, got as close as four points in the final seconds of play, but could not recapture the lead. Lisa Willis led the way for the Bruins with 15 points. Noelle Quinn, who was suffering from dehydration during the game, added 14.

UCLA bounced back with an 89-48 win over Gardner-Webb in the second round of the Miami Jam. UCLA grabbed the lead early and enjoyed a 43-24 advantage at halftime. Quinn poured in 20 points on 9-12 shooting to pace the Bruins. Willis added 16, and Amanda Livingston had 12 points.

Exhibition Recaps:
Bruins Race Past West Coast All-Stars --
UCLA jumped out to a 17-0 lead over the West Coast All-Stars and never looked back in posting a 93-45 win. Noelle Quinn led five Bruins in double figures with 22 points. She added eight assists, eight rebounds and five steals. Amanda Livingston (14 points), Lisa Willis (13), Lindsey Pluimer (10) and Shaina Zaidi (10) joined Quinn in double figures. Pluimer added 12 rebounds for her second straight double-double.

Bruins Lose To Former Teammates -- With point guard Nikki Blue limited to just nine minutes due to a sprained right ankle, UCLA lost its exhibition opener against Love and Basketball, 73-60. Noelle Quinn led all players with 18 points and added six rebounds and five assists. Freshman forward Lindsey Pluimer recorded a double-double in her first collegiate game with 12 points and 11 boards, and Lisa Willis had 12 points and seven rebounds. Love and Basketball, boasted an All-Bruin starting lineup of Michelle Greco (17 points, six assists), Natalie Nakase (four points, four steals), Gennifer Arranaga (two points), Marie Philman (nine points, five rebounds) and Sandra VanEmbricqs (six rebounds).

Blue, Quinn Earn National Honors -- Guards Nikki Blue and Noelle Quinn have been selected to several pre-season watch lists for national honors, including the pre-season Naismith Award list, the Wade Trophy Watch List and the Wooden Award All-America Watch List. Blue and Quinn were also named to the pre-season All-Pac-10 Conference team. Blue received honorable mention honors in the AP Pre-Season All-America list.

Bruins in the Pre-Season Polls -- UCLA is ranked No. 22 by Lindy's Magazine and No. 25 by Street and Smith's, which also chose Noelle Quinn as a high honorable mention All-American and Nikki Blue as an honorable mention All-American. The Bruins opened as the "26th" team in both the AP and the USA Today pre-season polls.

The Bruins are slated to play No. 2 (AP) Texas, No. 7 Stanford, No. 10t Ohio State, No. 16 Purdue and No. 24 Arizona.

Coaches and Media Pick Bruins To Finish Third In Pac-10 -- The Pac-10 women's basketball coaches picked UCLA to finish third in the conference, with one first-place vote, in the annual pre-season poll. Stanford, with eight first-place votes, was the solid choice to finish first. The Cardinal were followed by Arizona (one first-place votes), UCLA, Arizona State, Oregon, Washington, USC, California, Oregon State and Washington State.

The Pac-10 media also selected UCLA to finish third (122 points). Stanford, with eight first-place votes and Arizona, with seven first-place votes, were picked to repeat as co-champions with 140 points each. Arizona State was fourth (100), followed by Washington (83), Oregon (78), USC (61), Oregon St. (45), California (34) and Washington St. (22).

San Jose to Host Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament -- The 2004-05 season will conclude with the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament to be played once again this season at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA on March 4-7. All conference schools will participate in the tournament, with the winner receiving the conference's automatic bid to the 2005 NCAA tournament. The team that finishes the regular season atop the Pac-10 standings, based on the results of the double round robin play, is the conference champion.

Scouting The Longhorns -- Texas (1-1 after a win over Penn State and a loss to Georgia) will host Tennessee on Thanksgiving day before heading West. UCLA and Texas have met eight times previously, and each team has won four games. Texas snapped a four-game UCLA winning streak with an 89-58 win last season in Austin.

Texas finished the 2004 season with a 30-5 record, losing in the NCAA West Regional semifinals. Four starters return for coach Jody Conradt, now in her 28th season at UT. Three averaged in double figures last season -- sophomore forward Tiffany Jackson (13.0 p, 7.5 r), senior forward Heather Schreiber (12.9 p, 5.8 r) and senior guard Jamie Carey (10.7 p). Junior guard Nina Norman averaged 9.5 points and 4.1 assists.

2004-05 Outlook -- Coach Kathy Olivier welcomes back 11 letterwinners, including three starters, and adds three talented newcomers. The Bruin "triple threat" returning starters are leading scorer and rebounder Noelle Quinn, assist leader and No. 2 scorer Nikki Blue, along with Pac-10 steals leader and No. 3 scorer Lisa Willis. Seven of the 11 letterwinners saw action in at least 18 games last season, including five players with starting experience from a year ago.

The team rebounded from a 4-6 Pac-10 start last season to capture seven of the last eight conference games and finish in a tie for third place. That third place finish marked the fifth time in the last seven seasons that the Bruins have wound up among the top four teams in the conference. A win over Arizona State in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament helped to secure an NCAA bid.

Junior guard Blue and sophomore guard Quinn were each named to the first-team All-Pac-10 team. Junior guard Willis was selected to the honorable mention all-conference team after leading the league in steals and three-point shots. Quinn was also selected as the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, the fourth Bruin to be so honored.

Senior center Sissy Pickett offers some veteran spark in the middle. Junior Julia Pitts, who started nine games last season and averaged 3.9 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, is still working her way back to full health from a second knee surgery in two years and is expected to redshirt. Juniors Emma Tautolo and Ortal Oren will look to expand their roles at forward and guard, respectively. Junior volleyball standout Brittany Ringel is expected to be back in action on the hardwood in December following volleyball season.

Sophomores Amanda Livingston, Consuelo Lezcano and Shaina Zaidi each return with a year of experience under their belts. Livingston saw action in all 30 games last season and had one start while averaging 4.0 points and 2.2 rebounds. Lezcano saw action in eight games and showed outstanding promise. Zaidi was in action for nine games last season and provides another solid ballhandling option.

Coach Olivier welcomes two outstanding newcomers to the team. All-Everything forward Lindsey Pluimer (San Clemente HS) was regarded by several publications as one of the top recruits in the nation. She averaged 24.6 points per game as a senior and was named to McDonald's and Parade All-America teams. She was selected CIF Southern Section II-A Player of the Year the past three seasons. Guard Lauren Pedersen (Brea Olinda HS) averaged 14.7 points as a prep senior. She led her team to the CIF Southern Section II-A championship and the Division II Southern California regional semifinals. Pedersen was selected CIF Southern Section II-A Player of the Year the past three seasons.

Point guard Stephanetta Bingley (El Camino HS in Oceanside, CA) will walk on to the team and provide additional depth at the point guard position.

Challenging Schedule Ahead For Bruins -- Once again, UCLA's schedule will be a challenging one. A year ago, TCU ranked fourth in the nation in scoring offense (78.1) and eighth in field goal percentage defense (35.5%). Ohio State led the nation in field goal percentage (50.9). Purdue ranked second in the NCAA in three-point shooting percentage (39.1). In addition, the Bruins will face the usual Pac-10 Conference foes.

Player Bio Updates

#00 Ortal Oren -- Scored nine in the win over Gardner-Webb ... Had eight points in the opener against TCU ... Saw action in 28 games last season and averaged 3.2 points and 1.5 rebounds ... Had a career-best of 11 points against Fresno State.

#3 Shaina Zaidi -- Scored five points in the win over Gardner-Webb ... Had 10 points off the bench in the exhibition game against West Coast All-Stars ... Saw action in nine games last season and had a best of three points against Oregon State.

#5 Stephanetta Bingley -- Saw her first action in the exhibition game against the West Coast All-Stars ... Walked on to the team during the pre-season and will provide additional depth in the Bruin backcourt.

#11 Julia Pitts -- Expected to redshirt after undergoing knee surgery during each of her first two seasons as a Bruin ... Saw action in 18 games and was a starter in nine games last season ... Averaged 3.9 points and 2.8 rebounds per game ... Scored 13 points against both Fresno State and Cal State Northridge ... Her season came to an early end when she had knee surgery on Feb. 12, 2004 to repair torn meniscus in her left knee.

#14 Lindsey Pluimer -- Had eight points and seven rebounds in the win over Gardner-Webb ... Led the Bruins with nine boards and three blocks against TCU ... Had 10 points and 12 rebounds in the exhibition win over West Coast All-Stars ... Totaled 12 points and 11 rebounds in the exhibition opener against Love & Basketball ...McDonald's, Parade Magazine and Street and Smith's High School All-American selection ... Led her San Clemente High School team to four straight CIF Southern Section I-A titles ... Named to the first-team all-state squad by Cal-Hi Sports ... Three-time CIF Southern Section I-A Player of the Year ... Averaged 24.6 points, 4.3 assists, 2.7 steals, 4.8 blocks and 10.3 rebounds as a senior.

#20 Lauren Pedersen -- Scored five points in the win over Gardner-Webb ... Had three rebounds against TCU ... Had six points on a pair of three-point shots in the exhibition win over West Coast All-Stars ...Second-team all-state selection by Cal-Hi Sports ... CIF Southern Section Division II-A Player of the Year in 2004 at Brea Olinda High School ... Helped her team to the CIF Southern Section Division II-A championship as a senior ... Averaged 14.7 points as a senior.

#21 Brittany Ringel -- Starter at outside hitter on the volleyball team ... Expected to join the basketball squad in December following the completion of the volleyball season.

#22 Consuelo Lezcano -- Had three points and five rebounds in the win over Gardner-Webb ... Had four points in the loss to TCU ...Saw action in eight games last season ... Averaged 2.0 points and 0.5 rebounds a year ago ... Had a best of six points vs. Oregon State.

#31 Amanda Livingston -- Scored 12 points and had five assists in the win over Gardner-Webb ... Had 10 points and three assists in the loss to TCU ...Saw action in all 30 games last year ... Had bests of 13 points and five rebounds at Arizona State ...Had 12 points at Washington State ... Averaged 4.0 points and 2.2 rebounds last season.

#32 Nikki Blue -- Had four assists and three steals in the win over Gardner-Webb ... Had seven assists versus TCU ...Sat out the exhibition game against West Coast All-Stars due to an ankle injury ... Limited to nine minutes against Love & Basketball due to the injury ...Starter in all 29 games last season ... Named to the pre-season Wooden Award All-American and Wade Trophy Watch Lists ...Earned honorable mention pre-season All-America acclaim from Street & Smith's Magazine ...Selected to the All-Pac-10 first-team in 2004 for the second straight season ... Scored a school NCAA tournament best 33 points against Minnesota ... Ranked seventh in the Pac-10 in scoring, 12th in rebounding, third in assists, second in steals and sixth in assist/turnover ratio.

#40 Lisa Willis -- Had 16 points and eight rebounds in the win over Gardner-Webb ... Registered a team-high 15 points in the opener against TCU ...Only player to start all 30 games last season ... Her season total of 100 steals ranked third on the all-time school list ... Her average of 3.3 steals ranked 11th in the nation ... Set a school record with 70 made three-point shots ... Honorable mention All-Pac-10 ... Ranked first in the Pac-10 in steals and three-point shots made, seventh in three-point shooting percentage and defensive rebounds, 10th in scoring and 15th in rebounding.

#44 Emma Tautolo -- Had three points in the win over Gardner-Webb ... Scored two points against TCU ...Appeared in 24 games last season ... Averaged 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds ... Had career-best of 10 points in the win over Illinois last season.

#45 Noelle Quinn -- Led the Bruins with team-high totals of 20 points, six assists and nine rebounds against Gardner-Webb ...Had 14 points against TCU despite suffering from dehydration ... Totaled 22 points in the win over West Coast All-Stars ... Led all players with 18 points against Love & Basketball ...Named to the pre-season Wooden Award All-American and Wade Trophy Watch Lists ...Earned High Honorable Mention pre-season All-America acclaim from Street & Smith's Magazine ...Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and first-team all-conference selection ... Ranked sixth in the Pac-10 in scoring, fifth in rebounding; ninth in assists and offensive rebounding, fourth in steals and defensive rebounds and seventh in assists/turnover ratio ... Set a freshman school record with six straight 20-point games ... Recorded the fourth triple-double in school history with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists at California.

#54 Sissy Pickett -- Had four points and two rebounds in the win over Gardner-Webb ... Played in the opener against TCU, but did not score ...Saw action in 11 games last season ... Averaged 1.5 points and 0.5 rebounds ... Had six points in the win over Cal State Northridge ... Career 77% free throw shooter.

Head Coach Kathy Olivier -- Entering her 12th season as UCLA head coach, Kathy Olivier has energized the program to reflect her own positive, upbeat and outgoing personality. The former standout player at Cal State Fullerton and UNLV has helped to produce two Pac-10 Players of the Year, three Pac-10 Freshman Players of the Year and a Pac-10 team championship. She is the only current Pac-10 coach to have as many as three freshmen named first-team All-Conference performers. From 1998-2000, she guided UCLA to a school-best three-straight NCAA tournament appearances and had the Bruins in the NCAA tournament again last season. Her teams have finished among the top four in the Pac-10 conference in five of the last seven seasons.

Interest in UCLA women's basketball has taken off to new levels under coach Olivier. The only six regular season crowds in school history of over 7,000 fans have come out to support the Bruins during her tenure. Her 2000 squad attracted a school record average of over 3,700 fans per game. Her 1999 Pac-10 championship squad drew a school record crowd of 9,530 for a home win over USC.

While her teams favor a running style on offense, defense has always been an Olivier strong point. Six of the all-time school top 10 marks for lowest opponent field goal percentages belong to Olivier-coached squads.

Quoting the Coach --
"I can't wait for the start of the season," says coach Olivier. "The excitement from our finish last season has not gone away. We jelled as a team about midway through the season and came on strong in the final 10 games to secure an NCAA bid. It was fun to watch the team grow more comfortable with their roles and start to enjoy consistent success. Now, we feel that there is an opportunity to build on it and have a really special season in 2004-05."

"We will miss the experience of Gennifer Arranaga, Jamila Veasley and Whitney Jones, but we do add two outstanding recruits who I think will fit in well. "

"Once again, we are playing a high-quality pre-season schedule which includes a number of games with teams which went on to the post-season. There is no better way to prepare for the challenge of competing in the Pac-10. I think the league will be even deeper than it was a year ago. The conference tournament will once again be one of the nation's most exciting events."


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