Jan. 31, 2003
Los Angeles, CA - Bruin Women's Basketball Ready for Second Place Showdown in Seattle
UCLA to Meet No. 25 Washington on Saturday - UCLA (12-7, 7-3 in the Pac-10) will square off with Washington (16-3, 8-2 entering the week) on Saturday at 1 p.m. UCLA defeated Washington State on Thursday by an 86-70 score. It was the fourth conference road win of the season for the Bruins. Nikki Blue led the way with 26 points. Washington, ranked No. 25 in this week's AP poll, handed USC a 94-76 setback on Thursday. Giuliana Mendiola topped the Huskies with 22 points. In the first meeting of the two teams this season, the Bruins defeated UW, 72-46 on January 3. Lisa Willis led the Bruins with 17 points in the win over the Huskies.
Radio/TV Broadcast Info - The game will be broadcast live on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. and also aired on the radio at KTDD (1350 am) and KBET (850 am). Tony Luftman and Stacey Nuveman call the action.
UCLA (12-7, 7-3) probable starters - No. Name Pos. Ht. Cl. PPG RPG 1 Natalie Nakase G 5-2 Sr.R 4.1 3.3 ast 10 Whitney Jones F 5-10 Jr. 7.4 4.8 20 Michelle Greco G 5-9 Sr.R 19.2 4.8 32 Nikki Blue G 5-8 Fr. 16.1 5.4 35 Jamila Veasley F 6-1 Jr. 2.8 4.8
Off the Bench 00 Ortal Oren G 5-9 Fr. 3.3 1.1 5 Melissa Maurin G 5-6 Sr. 0.3 1.0 13 Gennifer Arranaga G 5-6 Jr. 6.1 2.6 14 Natalie Jarrett F 6-0 Sr. 1.7 1.4 21 Jalina Bradley G 5-7 Sr. 2.1 1.5 40 Lisa Willis G/F 5-11 Fr. 7.5 3.1 44 Emma Tautolo F/C 6-2 Fr. 2.8 1.3 54 Sissy Pickett C 6-7 So. 2.6 1.5 55 Krystle Johnson F/C 6-4 So. 2.1 1.2 *11 Julia Pitts F 6-2 Fr. 10.0 5.9 *Pitts is out for the year with an injured knee
Bruin Team Notes - Michelle Greco, with 265 career steals, ranks seventh in Pac-10 history in the category ... Greco's eight steals in the Stanford game tied her for the eighth-best performance in school history ... She made her first nine free throw attempts against Cal to extend her consecutive made free throw streak to 32 and set a school record ... She has made 36 of her last 38 free throws ... The old record of 24 in a row was set by Denise Curry in the 1979 and 1980 seasons ...UCLA is averaging 76.2 points per game this season after scoring at a 59.0 clip in 2001-02 ... Only four opponents this season have shot over 45.1% against the Bruins (Hawaii, Baylor, Arizona and Stanford, all losses) ... UCLA is shooting 43% from the field this season after registering just a 34% mark last year ... Free throw shooting is also improved (70% from 64%) ... The Bruins have held opponents under .450 shooting in all 12 wins ... Stanford became just the third opponent (Baylor, Arizona) this season which has managed to produce more assists than turnovers versus the Bruin defense ... The Bruins shot a season-best 55.4% in the wins over both Cal State Northridge and Oregon ... The 50% shooting percentage in the win at Washington State marked the third time this season that the Bruins had reached that mark in Pac-10 play (Oregon 55.4%, WSU 54.4) ... The 6-0 conference start was the best Bruin start in the conference since it won its first six conference games to begin the 1999-2000 season ... The Bruins entered the week leading the Pac-10 in steals (12.94), three-point field goal defense (.296) and turnover margin (+6.22) ... The crowd of 6,172 at the USC game was the ninth-best home crowd in school history in Pauley.
The Series - The Bruins trail in the series with Washington, 23-12. UCLA won the first meeting, 72-46 on Jan. 3.
Bruins shoot past Washington State - The Bruins used 50% shooting and 26 points from Nikki Blue to pave the way for an 86-70 win over Washington State. Blue hit 12 of her 17 shots from the field and led the Bruins in rebounding with six and steals with four. The freshman was joined in double figure points by Michelle Greco, 16, and Gennifer Arranaga, 12.
Bruins In Pac-10 Standings (entering the week) - *Michelle Greco entered the week ranked first in the conference in scoring with a 19.3 average. She also ranked first in steals (3.11) and was second in free throw percentage (.838). *Nikki Blue was ranked fourth in scoring entering the week with her 15.6 mark, seventh in assists (3.50) and seventh in steals (1.94). *Lisa Willis ranked in three categories - three-point FG percentage (seventh, 38.2%), three-point FG made (fifth-tied, 1.61) and steals (10th-t, 1.78). *Jamila Veasley ranked sixth in blocked shots with a 0.83 average. *Natalie Nakase ranked fourth (tied) in assist / turnover ratio at 1.64. As a team, the Bruins topped the standings in steals with a 12.94 average, three-point field goal defense (.296) and turnover margin (+6.22). UCLA was also amongst the leaders in scoring offense (2nd,75.6 ppg), field goal percentage (4th, .429), scoring margin (4th, +9.1), assist/turnover ratio (3rd, 0.91) and field goal percentage defense (4th, .404).
Freshmen Make Big Contributions - The Bruin freshman class of Nikki Blue, Lisa Willis, Julia Pitts, Emma Tautolo and Ortal Oren entered the week having accounted for 42% of UCLA's scoring load so far this season. Blue began the week ranked second behind scoring leader Michelle Greco at 15.6 points per game and was first on the team with 63 assists and in rebounding with 96 (5.3 average). Pitts, prior to her injury, averaged 10.0 points per game and led the team in rebounding with a 5.9 average. Willis is UCLA's top three-point shooter and began the week with 29 treys (38% from beyond the arc) and an average of 7.6 points. Tautolo and Oren entered the week averaging 3.0 and 3.8 points, respectively.
Greco Aims For Record Books - Senior guard Michelle Greco will look to keep climbing the UCLA scoring charts in 2002-03 (see charts, pg. 3). She entered the season ranked No. 15 on the career points chart with 1,158 and has moved into the top-10. In addition, Greco looks to challenge Denise Curry's long-standing career free throw percentage mark of .818. Greco entered the season with a career free throw percentage mark of .813 (218-268). She could end her career ranked in the all-time top 10 in eleven categories.
Pitts Out For Season - Freshman forward Julia Pitts will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL in her left knee. Pitts suffered the injury in the first half of the UCLA's game against Baylor on Dec. 19. Greco On CLASS Award Watch List - Michelle Greco has been selected to the CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) Award Players to Watch List. The award honors the top senior in the nation who best exemplifies great achievement on the court and in the classroom. Ten finalists for the CLASS Award will be selected in February, with balloting being conducted in March. The male and female award winner will each be announced during the respective men's and women's NCAA Final Four weekends.
Head Coach Kathy Olivier - Now in her 10th season, Kathy Olivier, who entered the year with a 130-128 overall record, has steadily built the program to reflect her own positive, upbeat and outgoing personality.
In 2002, she directed a team which lost its top two scorers during the season to the second round of the Pac-10 tournament and a win over Sweet Sixteen team BYU. In 2001, Olivier guided a team which was playing without eight of its top nine scorers from the previous season to a winning home record in Pac-10 play and wins over three nationally-ranked teams. In 2000, she saw her team reach the NCAA tournament for a school record third straight season. The squad also set a Bruin home attendance record by averaging over 3,700 fans. Maylana Martin was just the third player to ever earn All-Pac-10 honors in four straight seasons. Olivier became just the second coach at UCLA and the 11th ever in the Pac-10 to earn victory number 100, which came against San Diego State.
In 1999, she led her Bruin team to the school's first ever Pac-10 conference title. The team totaled the most wins (26) since the 1981 season and advanced further in the NCAA tournament (Regional final) than any previous UCLA team. The team put together back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since the 1970's. In addition, the 1999 Bruin team finished with its highest ranking ever (No. 7) in the USA Today poll. In 1998, she guided UCLA to what was then its best finish ever (tie for second) in the Pac-10, its best winning percentage in the last 17 seasons and the first 20-win season since 1992.
PLAYER BIO UPDATES - #00 Ortal Oren - Played in seven games ... Totaled nine points and three steals in 17 minutes of play against Washington State ... Had five points versus Washington ... Scored nine points and had three steals in the win over CS Northridge ... Played for the first time this season against St. Mary's. Career Highs: Points - 9, last vs. Wash. St., 1-5-03; Rebounds - 2, last at Wash. St., 1-30-03; Assists - 2, vs. St. Mary's, 12-3-02; Steals - 3, last vs. Wash. St., 1-5-03.
#1 Natalie Nakase - Starter in 77 straight games ... Entered the week ranked fourth-tied in assist/turnover ratio (1.64 entering the week) ... Her 2.70 assist/turnover ratio (entering the week) in Pac-10 only games ranks No. 1 ... Had a season-best eight assists in the win at Washington State ... Has hit 12 of her last 14 free throws entering the Washington game ... Had seven points at Arizona ... Had seven points in the win over USC ... Credited with six assists in the home win over WSU and moved into 10th place on the school's all-time list for assists ... Had six assists with four boards in the win over Oregon ... Had eight points and six assists vs. Baylor ... Scored eight points in the win over St. Mary's ... Hit four-straight free throws in the final 30 seconds to clinch the win over Northwestern State ... Had eight assists in the two games in Hawaii. Career Highs: Points - 24, at Washington State, 1-6-02; Rebounds - 8, last at Washington State, 1-6-02; Assists - 11, vs. Arizona, 1-19-02; Steals - 8, vs. Oregon, 2-23-01.
#5 Melissa Maurin - Grabbed a rebound in the home win over WSU ... Saw action but did not score in the win at Oregon ... Scored her first point of the year versus Cal State Northridge ...Had three rebounds in six minutes of action against Sac State. Career Highs: Points - 6, vs. Washington St, 3-8-01; Rebounds - 3, v. Sac St., 11-24-02; Assists - 1, vs. Oregon St.; Steals - 2, at OSU, 1-24-02.
#10 Whitney Jones - Starting midfielder on the soccer team who joined the hoops team on Nov. 25 ... Entered the week averaging a team-best 6.6 rpg in Pac-10 games ... Tied for first in Pac-10 games-only with a 3.67 offensive rebounds per game mark ... Has converted nine of her last 10 free throws entering the Washington game ... Had nine points and a team-best 10 rebounds to match her career-high in the game against Stanford ... Had 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds at Arizona ... Scored nine points with five boards in 40 minutes of action at ASU ... Had eight points, five rebounds and three steals vs. USC ... Had 11 points and three steals in the home WSU game ... Had 10 points and tied her career best with four assists in the home Washington win ... Tied her career highs with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Oregon for her fourth career double-double ... Made her first start in the Northridge win ...Shared the team lead in rebounds with eight in the Pepperdine game ... Scored 10 points off the bench in the win over UNLV ... Saw her first action of this season against Northwestern State. Career Highs: Points - 24, last at Oregon, 12-27-02; Rebounds - 10, last vs. Stanford, 1-24-03; Assists - 4, last vs. Washington, 1-3-03; Steals - 5, last at Oregon, 1-26-02.
#11 Julia Pitts - Starter in the first eight games of the season ... Suffered two torn ligaments in her left knee in the first half against Baylor and will miss the remainder of the season ... Had surgery on Dec. 30 ... At the time of her injury, she led the Pac-10 with a .674 shooting percentage ... Had team-high 20 points at Georgia ... Had 16 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Northwestern State. Career Highs: Points - 20, at Georgia, 12-6-02; Rebounds - 11, vs. Northwestern State, 12-1-02; Assists - 4, at Georgia, 12-6-02; Steals - 2, at Georgia, 12-6-02.
#13 Gennifer Arranaga - Has come off the bench in the first 19 games ... Had 12 points at Washington State ... Totaled seven points in the Stanford game ... Had four points, three assists and four rebounds at Arizona ... Sparked the Bruins vs. USC with nine points, five rebounds and two assists ... Had six points, four assists and four boards in the win over WSU ... Scored eight points vs. Baylor ... Totaled 10 points, three assists and six rebounds at Georgia ... Named to the all-tournament team at the UNLV Lady Rebel Shootout after scoring 13 points against Northwestern State and 12 against UNLV ... Had nine points and five boards in the win over St. Mary's ... Had eight points and four assists against Sac State. Career Highs: Points - 21, vs. Stanford, 2-24-02; Rebounds - 8, vs. Stanford, 2-24-02; Assists - 6, vs. Oregon State, 12-22-01; Steals - 6, vs. Georgia, 12-30-00.
#14 Natalie Jarrett - Played in 12 games ... Had four points in the win at Washington State ... Had four points in the home win over WSU ... Scored six points in nine minutes of play against CS Northridge and also added two boards and a career-high tying two steals ... Had two points and three rebounds in the win over Northwestern State ... Had three points and four rebounds against Sac St. Career Highs: Points - 9, last vs. Stanford, 2-24-02; Rebounds - 7, last at New Mexico, 11-11-00; Blocks - 2, last at ASU, 2-16-02; Steals - 2, last vs. CSUN, 12-21-02.
#20 Michelle Greco - Entered the week ranked first in the Pac-10 in scoring average (19.3) and steals (3.11), second in free throw percentage (.838) ... Has 68 career double figure scoring games and 32 career 20+ scoring games (Anita Ortega is 6th with 34 20+ games) ... Ranks seventh all-time in the Pac-10 in steals ... Totaled 16 points in the win at Washington State ... Recorded her first career double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds in the loss to Cal ... Made her first nine free throw attempts versus Cal to give her 32 straight and a school record total (old mark - 24 held by Denise Curry, 1978-80) ... Totaled 28 points against Stanford and was credited with a career-high eight steals ... Scored 14 points at Arizona ... Harassed into just six points against ASU for her lowest point total since not scoring against Utah in the 2000-01 season after getting injured early in the first half of that game ... Did, however, pull down nine rebounds against the Sun Devils ... Led the team in scoring (28), rebounding (seven), assists (three) and blocks (one) in the win over USC and was subsequently named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the first time in her career ... Had 23 points and seven steals in the home win against WSU ... Scored 14 points in the home win over Washington ... Totaled 29 points in the win at Oregon State ... Scored 11 points with six assists in the win at Oregon ... Led all players with 22 points in just 19 minutes against CSUN ... Had 16 points, four assists and three steals against Baylor ... Scored 31 points in the loss to Pepperdine for her third career 30-point game ... Had 12 points, eight boards and four assists at Georgia ... Had six assists in the win over St. Mary's ... Named MVP of the Las Vegas Shootout after scoring 26 points in the win over UNLV and a team-best 18 points in the win over Northwestern State ... All-tournament selection at the Hawaii Tournament ... Had 19 points and four steals versus Sac State and 20 points at Hawaii ... Selected to the Senior CLASS Award Players to Watch List ...Four-time UCLABruins.com Student-Athlete of the Week (Dec. 16-22, Dec. 23-29, Jan. 6-12, Jan. 21-26) ... Pre-season all-conference performer for the second consecutive year ... Named to the Women's Basketball News Service pre-season All-America second team. Career Highs: 36, at Michigan St., 11-18-01; Rebounds - 10, vs. Cal, 1-26-03; Assists - 7, last vs. Washington St., 1-9-00; Steals - 8, vs. Stanford, 1-24-03.
#21 Jalina Bradley - Has played in 15 games ... Came off the bench to give the Bruins a second-half spark at Arizona ... Scored four points with three boards against CSUN ... Had three points at Georgia ... Had two points and three boards in the win over Northwestern State ... Off the bench for eight points and five rebounds against Sac State ... Played in nine games. Career Highs: Points - 14, at Stanford, 12-28-01; Rebounds - 8, last at Oregon State, 1-24-02; Assists - 6, at Washington State, 1-6-02; Steals - 5, vs. Stanford, 3-2-02.
#32 Nikki Blue - Starter in the first 19 games ... Has 44 assists in her last 11 games ... Entered the week ranked first on the team in rebounds (96) and assists (63) and second in scoring (15.6 ppg) ... Fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring (15.6), 17th in rebounding (5.3), seventh in assists (3.50), seventh in steals (1.94) ... Had 26 points in the win at Washington State ... It was her sixth 20-point game of the season ... She led the team in rebounding for the sixth time of the season with six boards at WSU ... Scored 17 points with a career-high five steals versus Cal ... Had 16 points, six rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes against Stanford ... Sat out the final 17 minutes of the first half against the Cardinal due to foul trouble ... Had a team-high 19 points at Arizona ... Recorded a career-high 30 points (scoring 19 of the last 21 Bruin points in the game) and added nine rebounds and three steals in the 60-58 win at ASU ... Scored 12 points versus USC ... Had eight points, seven boards and five assists in the home win against UW ... Had 12 points and seven rebounds in the win at Oregon State ... Totaled 26 points in just 23 minutes at Oregon and added five assists ... Against CSUN, scoring 10 points with a team-best eight boards and eight assists ... Scored 26 points in the Baylor game ... Scored 14 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had a season-high four steals at Pepperdine ... Scored 11 points with three assists and three steals at Georgia ... Scored 24 points, all in the second half, against St. Mary's ... Had 15 points with seven boards and four assists in the win over Northwestern State ... Against Sac State, totaled 24 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, along with three steals ... Named one of 21 "Freshmen of Impact" by Women's College Hoops.com. Career Highs: Points - 30, at Arizona State, 1-16-03; Rebounds - 12, vs. Sac State, 11-24-02; Assists - 9, vs. Sac State, 11-24-02; Steals - 5, vs. Cal, 1-26-03.
#35 Jamila Veasley - Starter in the first 19 games ... Had a season-best four steals at Washington State ... Had three steals vs. California ... Had six points and six rebounds against Stanford ... Credited with a team-best and career-high three blocked shots in the home win over WSU ... Entered the week ranked sixth in the Pac-10 in blocks/game (0.83) ... Had seven points, two blocks and a team-high 10 rebounds in the UW win ... Established new career highs in points (12) and assists (3) at Oregon ... Added eight rebounds and shot 6-8 from the field ... Had a team-best six boards vs. Baylor ... Pulled down six boards at Georgia ... Recorded a career-best 12 rebounds against St. Mary's ... Tied for team-high honors with five boards against UNLV ... Scored seven points against Hawaii. Career Highs: Points - 12, at Oregon, 12-27-02; Rebounds - 12, vs. St. Mary's 12-3-02; Assists - 3, at Oregon, 12-27-02; Steals - 5, vs. Arizona State, 1-17-02; Blocks - 3, vs. Washington State, 1/3/03.
#40 Lisa Willis - Entered the week ranked fifth-tied in the Pac-10 in made three-point shots (1.61/g), seventh in three-point FG% (38.2 %) and 10th (tied) in steals (1.78) ... Her 30 made three-pointers rank third on UCLA's all-time single-season frosh list (record is 48 by Michelle Palmisano, 1993; second is Nicole Kaczmarski, 2000, with 36) ... Has seven double figure games and has made at least one three-pointer in 16 of the 19 games ... Tied for the team lead in rebounding with six boards (ties her career high) at Washington State ... Scored 15 points in the home win over WSU and added three assists and five steals ... Had team-high 17 points in the home win over UW ...Scored 10 points with four boards, two steals and a block at Oregon ... Scored 11 points on 4-6 shooting (3-3 from beyond the arc) with four boards and two steals against CSUN ... Had 12 points on four three-pointers at Georgia ... Came off the bench with 18 points (3-4 three-point shots) against Hawaii and 14 (3-6 three-pointers) against Sac State ... All-tournament selection at the Hawaii Tournament. Career Highs: Points - 18, at Hawaii, 11-23-02; Rebounds - 6, last at Wash. St., 1-30-03; Assists - 3, vs. Washington St., 1-5-03; Steals - 5, vs. Washington St., 1-5-03.
#44 Emma Tautolo - Has come off the bench in all 19 games ... Scored six points in the Cal game ... Had seven points in the Stanford game ...Totaled six points in the home win over Washington State ... Came off the bench with nine points and five rebounds against Hawaii and six points on 3-3 shooting versus Sac State. Career Highs: Points - 9, at Hawaii, 11-23-02; Rebounds - 5, at Hawaii, 11-23-02; Assists - 2, vs. Northwestern State, 11-30-02; Steals - 1, last vs. St. Mary's, 12-3-02.
# 54 Sissy Pickett- Has seen action in eight games ... Had two points and three boards at Arizona ... Scored five points and had four rebounds in the home win over Washington State ... Scored four points in nine minutes against CSUN ... Scored six points in the win over St. Mary's ... Had four points and three boards against Sac St. Career Highs: Points - 13, vs. Washington St., 2-1-02; Rebounds - 6, at Arizona, 2-14-02; Steals - 2, vs. Washington St., 2-1-02.
#55 Krystle Johnson - Has played in 15 games ... Scored a season-best eight points with two blocks in the win over Cal State Northridge ... Gave the Bruins a solid 10-minute effort in the win over UNLV ... Had five points and a career-best five rebounds against Sac State. Career Highs: Points - 15, vs. Washington, 2-3-02; Rebounds - 5, vs. Sac State, 11-24-02; Assists - 1, last at Georgia, 12-6-02; Steals - 1, vs. Arizona, 2-14-02.
Early Recruiting Class Ranked In Top 10 - Blue Star Report (No. 7) and All Star Girls Report (No. 6) have ranked Kathy Olivier's 2002 early signing period recruiting class among the top 10 in the nation. On November 14, coach Olivier announced the signing of Noelle Quinn of Bishop Montgomery High School (Torrance, CA), forward Amanda Livingston of Troy High School (Fullerton, CA), center Consuelo Lezcano of Marathon High School in Florida and guard Shaina Zaidi from Marlborough High in Los Angeles.