Jan. 28, 2003
UCLA Begins Road Trip at Washington State on Thursday - UCLA (11-7, 6-3 in the Pac-10) will begin the second round of conference play by travelling to play at Washington State (0-17, 0-9) on Thursday at 7 p.m.. The Bruins will square off with Washington (15-3, 7-2 entering the week) on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Bruins swept the Northwest schools in the first round of play, defeating UW, 72-46 on January 3 and Washington State, 93-51 on January 5. Lisa Willis led the Bruins with 17 points in the win over the Huskies. Michelle Greco had 23 to pace the attack against the Cougars.
Radio Broadcast Info - The games will be broadcast live on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. and also are aired on the radio at KTDD (1350 am) and KBET (850 am). Tony Luftman and Stacey Nuveman will call the action.
Bruin Team Notes - Michelle Greco made her first nine free throw attempts against Cal to extended her consecutive made free throw streak to 32 and set a school record ... The old record of 24 in a row was set by Denise Curry in the 1979 and 1980 seasons ... Greco's eight steals in the Stanford game tied her for the eighth-best performance in school history ... UCLA is averaging 75.6 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 11 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 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.
About The Opponents - UCLA leads in the overall series with Washington State, 27-6, and has won the last four meetings, including a 93-51 decision at home on Jan. 5. The Bruins trail in the series with Washington, 23-12. UCLA won the first meeting, 72-46 on Jan. 3.
Bruins Fall in Final Seconds to No. 5 Stanford - Nicole Powell's shot with 2.3 seconds remaining broke a tie and gave Stanford a 80-78 win in Pauley. Michelle Greco, who led UCLA with 28 points, had converted two free throws with 27 seconds remaining to set the stage for Powell's game-winning shot. Greco added eight steals in the game to tie for the eighth-best performance in school history.
Bruin Shooting Woes Lead to Cal Win - The Bruins shot a season-low 29% and dropped a 69-61 decision to Cal in Pauley. Michelle Greco led UCLA with 23 points and hit her first nine free throws in the contest to set a school record with 32 straight. Cal opened up an 18-point (58-40 at 5:40 to play) second half lead which the Bruins narrowed to five in the final minute, but could get no closer.
Bruins In Pac-10 Standings (entering the week) -
*Michelle Greco enters the week ranked first in the conference in scoring with a 19.3 average. She also ranks first in steals (3.11) and is second in free throw percentage (.838).
*Nikki Blue is 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 ranks 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 ranks sixth in blocked shots with a 0.83 average.
*Natalie Nakase ranks fourth (tied) in assist / turnover ratio at 1.64.
As a team, the Bruins top the standings in steals with a 12.94 average, three-point field goal defense (.296) and turnover margin (+6.22). UCLA is 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 average 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).
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.