Jan. 15, 2001
Next Up -- UCLA will host Arizona State (10-6, 2-2) on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA leads the series by a count of 35-9 and has won the last seven meetings. Last year, the Bruins won 56-47 in Pauley and 76-55 in Tempe.
ASU, which is coming off of an 83-70 win over Washington State on Saturday, is led by junior guard Amanda Levens, who averages 14.3 points per game. Six-two center Melody Johnson adds 14.2 points and a team-best 6.4 boards a game.
UCLA will host Arizona (14-2, 4-0 with a game at USC on Thursday) on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Bruins lead the series with the Wildcats, 33-11, and have won the last four meetings. UCLA beat Arizona 80-66 in Pauley and 79-68 in Tucson last season. In the Pauley win last year, Michelle Greco had a perfect day shooting, making all seven field goal attempts and all eight free throw attempts for 22 points, plus six steals.
The Wildcats are led by 6-4 center Elizabeth Pickney, who averages 15.8 points and 6.4 rebounds. Freshman forward Veranda James tops the team in rebounding with a 8.4 mark. Senior guard Reshea Bristol has won Pac-10 Player of the Week honors the last two weeks (Jan. 2 and 8). Arizona enters the week having won its last seven games. Its two losses have come to nationally-ranked teams from Notre Dame and Auburn.
Radio -- The ASU contest will be broadcast on KACD 850 am and on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. The Arizona game will be aired live on XTRA 1150am and on the internet.
Looking Ahead -- UCLA will go on the road for games at Oregon State (Jan. 25) and at Oregon (Jan. 27).
This Week's Headlines -- Natalie Nakase matched her career high with 11 points, and Malika Leatham pulled down a career-best nine rebounds in the win over USC ... The Bruins played before a crowd of 4,010 vs. the Women of Troy ... With 23 points against USC, Michelle Greco now has seven games this season in which she scored at least 20 points ... She has 10 career 20-point games ... Whitney Jones and Kristee Porter started together at the forward positions for the second straight game against USC ...The Bruin win over USC was its sixth in the last seven series meetings ... Greco's free throw streak ended in the USC game at 20 straight ... UCLA leads the league in steals (11.36 spg) and is forcing its opponents to commit 23.1 turnovers per game, most in the Pac-10.
Greco Atop Pac-10 Conference In Scoring -- Junior guard Michelle Greco continues to lead the Pac-10 Conference in scoring with an 19.1 points per game average. She also ranks first in free throw percentage with a .884 mark (38-43), fourth in steals (2.23 per game) and fifth in three-point goals made (1.69 per game). Her free throw streak ended at 20 straight following a miss in the USC game.
Bruins Nab Conference Lead In Steals -- The Bruins enter the week leading the Pac-10 Conference in steals with an average of 11.36 picks per game (159 total). Three Bruins are ranked amongst the conference's Top 10. Michelle Greco, the Bruin leader, is ranked fourth with an average of 2.23 (29). Freshman Gennifer Arranaga and redshirt sophomore Natalie Nakase are tied for ninth with identical averages of 1.86 (26 total).
Porter, Jones Become Two-Sport Starters -- Volleyball All-American Kristee Porter and soccer standout Whitney Jones became two-sport starters recently as new additions to the UCLA women's basketball starting lineup. Porter, who also competes for the track and field team, made her first hoops appearance Dec. 18 against Old Dominion and contributed 10 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. She made her first career start against fourth-ranked Georgia, scoring 11 points and grabbing eight boards. Jones joined the team a few days after playing in the NCAA Soccer championship game and saw her first action in the Bruins' win over Long Beach State Dec. 10. In her basketball debut, she scored two points and grabbed three boards. She made her first start of the year at Washington State and scored eight points with four rebounds and four steals.
Bruins Face One of Nation's Toughest Schedules -- Seven non-conference games (Duke, Utah, BYU, San Diego, Old Dominion, Pepperdine and Georgia) were played against teams which earned bids to the 2000 NCAA tournament, and another two were played against WNIT teams (New Mexico, Long Beach State). In Pac-10 play, the Bruins will face NCAA tournament teams Oregon, Arizona and Stanford, as well as WNIT teams from Arizona St. and USC. UCLA currently has the 21st-toughest schedule in the nation.
Head Coach Kathy Olivier -- Having just completed her seventh season (entered the 2000-01 season with a 115-85 overall record) as UCLA head coach, Kathy Olivier has steadily built the program to reflect her own positive, upbeat and outgoing personality. In 2000, she saw her team reach the NCAA tournament for a third-straight season, a school record. The squad also set a school home attendance record by averaging over 3,700 fans. Maylana Martin became 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 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 and an unprecedented second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance for the program. 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
#1 Natalie Nakase -- Ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in assists (4.0) average) and ninth in steals (1.86 per game) ...Starter in all 14 games ... Tied her career best with 11 points in the win over USC ... Added five assists and three steals vs. the Trojans. ... Set a career-high with 11 points at Washington State, playing all 40 minutes ... Grabbed a career-high tying three rebounds at Washington ...Recorded then career-highs in points (seven) and assists (seven) at Colorado and matched the exact totals in the next game vs. Long Beach ...Bested the scoring total with nine points against Old Dominion ...Also set a career high in rebounds at ODU with three ... Made a career-best six steals vs. Long Beach ... Handed out six assists at BYU ... Made her first career starts in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic against Duke and New Mexico ... Had five assists against New Mexico ... Added three assists versus Duke ... Matched her then-career high with three points in each contest ...Saw action in 11 games off the bench last season ... Knows the system well. Career Highs: Points - 11, last vs. USC, 1-14-01, Rebounds - 3, last at Washington, 1-4-01, Assists - 7, last vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Steals - 6, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00.
#4 Kristee Porter -- Volleyball first-team All-American who saw her first action with the 2000-01 Bruin hoopsters at Old Dominion Dec. 18 ... Had eight points and seven rebounds in the win over USC ... Credited with a career-best four steals at Washington State ... Set a career-high with 12 points in the Pac-10 opener at Washington ... Scored a then career-best 11 points versus fourth-ranked Georgia and grabbed eight rebounds in her first career start ... Recorded 10 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots in her season debut at ODU, all career-highs at the time ...Scored nine with four boards at Ohio State ...Led the team in rebounding against Pepperdine, pulling down eight boards and scoring nine points with three blocked shots ...Saw action in four games during the 1999 season and redshirted last year ... Also a member of the track team and has scored at the Conference championship meet in the triple jump. Career Highs: Points - 12, at Washington, 1-4-01, Rebounds - 9, at ODU, 12-18-00, Assists - 1, last vs. Georgia, 12-30-00, Blocks - 5, at ODU, 12-18-00 , Steals - 4, at Wash. State, 1-6-01.
#5 Melissa Maurin -- Second-year student who walked on to the team ... Has seen action in four games ... Played at Don Lugo High School in Chino, CA ... Came off the bench in the New Mexico game to see her first action, but did not score in five minutes of play ... Did not score in two minutes against Utah ... Younger brother Ty is a midfielder on the UCLA men's soccer team.
#10 Whitney Jones -- Starting midfielder on the soccer team who began practice on Dec. 6 and played for the first time vs. Long Beach State (2 points, 3 rebounds) ... In just her second game, she scored 11 points on 3-4 fg shooting at ODU ...Had three boards at Ohio State and against Pepperdine ...Recorded a career-best three steals vs. Pepperdine and scored six points ...Pulled down a career-best six rebounds in just 14 minutes of play in the Pac-10 opener at Washington ... Started her first game at Washington State and had eight points, four steals and four rebounds ... Made her second career start in the win over USC and grabbed five boards ... Helped lead the Bruin soccer team to the NCAA Championship game for the first time in school history ...League Player of the Year last season at San Clemente High School ... Holds the school record for points in a game, steals in a season and single-season field goal percentage ... Team advanced to the CIF finals her junior season. Career Highs: Points - 11, at ODU, 12-18-00, Rebounds - 6, at Washington, 1-4-01, Assists - 2, last at Washington, 1-4-01, Steals - 4, at Wash. State, 1-06-01.
#13 Gennifer Arranaga -- Rated ninth in the conference in steals (1.86 per game) ...Has appeared in all 14 games off the bench ... Credited with a career-high six steals versus Georgia ... Pulled down a career-high five rebounds and scored 11 points with two steals at Colorado ...Poured in a career-high 13 points vs. USD ... Had six points and four rebounds at BYU ... Scored nine points with four steals and three rebounds against Utah ...Had seven points and three steals off the bench in the opener against Duke in her first game action as a Bruin ... Outstanding athlete who helped her Centennial High School team to a pair of league titles ... Served as team captain her last two prep seasons ... Advanced to the finals of the 100-meter event at the CIF meet as a prep freshman. Career Highs: Points - 13, vs. San Diego, 11-28-00, Rebounds - 5, at Colorado, 12-2-00, Assists - 2, at BYU, 11-25-00, Steals - 6, vs. Georgia, 12-30-00.
#14 Natalie Jarrett -- Starter in 10 games ... Recorded a career-high tying nine points and grabbed four rebounds vs. Pepperdine ...Had nine points and five boards in 20 minutes of play against Utah ... Came off the bench to grab a team-leading seven rebounds against New Mexico ... In the opener against Duke, she had a team-high and career-best seven rebounds ...Appeared in eight games last season ... Saw her first action on Dec. 17 at Cal State Fullerton ... Missed the first six games of the 1999-2000 season while recovering from off-season knee surgery ... Had best of six points vs. Washington last season. Career Highs: Points - 9, last vs. Pepperdine, 12-28-00, Rebounds - 7, last at UNM, 11-11-00, Blocks - 1, last vs. Pepperdine, 12-28-00, Steals - 2, last vs. Pepperdine, 12-28-00.
#20 Michelle Greco -- Leading scorer for UCLA and the Pac-10 ... Also rates first in the conference in free throw percentage (.884, 38-43) ...Rates fourth in the conference in steals with a 2.23 per game mark and fifth in three-point FG made (1.69 average) ... Has led UCLA in scoring in 12 of its 14 games (only times she did not lead was when she injured an ankle early in the first half against Utah and when she did not play due to illness at Wash. State) ...Scored 23 points vs. USC, including 15 in the second half, to go along with four assists and three steals ... It was her seventh 20-point game of the season ... Had 19 points, all in the second half, at Washington in the Pac-10 opener ... Scored 22 points versus fourth-ranked Georgia and also grabbed six boards ... Recorded her fifth 20-point game of the season with 20 at Ohio St. ...Scored a career-high 34 points to key the Bruin win over Long Beach, including 25 in the second half ... Led UCLA with 15 points and recorded a season-high five assists at Colorado ... Had 18 points vs. San Diego ... Had 22 points and five steals in the season opener against Duke ... Named to the all-tournament team of the Women's Sports Foundation Classic in New Mexico ...Scored a then career-high 28 points against New Mexico despite leaving the game with a sprained right ankle with over five minutes to play ... Re-aggravated the ankle five minutes into the contest with Utah and did not score in 17 minutes of play ...Returned to action at BYU and scored a team-high 24 points ... Matched her career-best with eight boards at BYU ... Last year, she was selected to the honorable mention all-conference team ... Starter in six games in 1999-2000 and for a total of nine for her career entering the current season ... Third in the Pac-10 last season in steals (2.2) and hit 86% of her free throws ... Ranked second on the team in assists in each of her first two seasons ... Scored a then career-best 26 points at Stanford last year. Career Highs: Points - 34, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Rebounds - 8, last at BYU, 11-25-00, Assists - 7, last vs. WSU, 1-9-00, Steals - 7, last at Stanford, 2-3-00.
#21 Jalina Bradley -- Starter in 11 games ... Had a team-best 11 points in a starting role at Washington State ... Scored nine points at Ohio State ...Recorded 10 points against Old Dominion ...Had seven points and a career-high three steals in the win over Long Beach ... Scored 10 points on 4-6 shooting and had career-highs in rebounds (five) at Colorado ... Led the Bruins against Utah with career-highs in points (12) and assists (five) ...Made her first career start in the season opener against Duke and scored eight points ...Played in nine games last season ... Missed 12 games in mid-season after fracturing her right foot ... Had a high game of four points vs. Washington ... Hit all four of her free throws last season. Career Highs: Points - 12, vs. Utah, 11-17-00, Rebounds - 5, at Colorado, 12-2-00, Assists - 5, vs. Utah, 11-17-00, Steals - 3, last at WSU, 1-06-01.
#32 Malika Leatham -- Starter in all 14 games ... Totaled 13 points and a career-best nine rebounds in the win over USC ... Scored 10 points in the conference opener at Washington ... Had nine points and six rebounds against Pepperdine ...Pulled down a team-high five rebounds and scored six points at Ohio State ...Had four points and seven boards in just 14 minutes while battling foul trouble at ODU ...Scored a career-high 16 points and blocked a career-best five shots in the win over Long Beach ... Also had eight rebounds vs. the Beach ... Posted then career-bests in points (12) and rebounds (8) vs. San Diego ... Pulled down a team-best six boards at Colorado ... Scored seven points at BYU before fouling out ...Had eight points and five rebounds against Utah ...Started both games in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic, battling foul trouble in both contests ... Transfer from Blinn Junior College in Texas ... Ranked eighth in Region XIV in rebounding last season ... Second on her team with 46 blocked shots ... Scored a career-best 20 points vs. Western Texas as a freshman. UCLA Career Highs: Points - 16, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Rebounds - 9, vs. USC, 1-14-01, Blocks - 5, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Steals - 3, vs. Duke, 11-10-00.
#33 Shalada Allen -- Pulled down three boards in just four minutes of action against USC ...Had four points and five rebounds at Washington State ... Recorded six rebounds in just 12 minutes of play at ODU ...Pulled down a career-high seven rebounds vs. Long Beach State ... Recorded a UCLA-high 14 points with three boards and two steals at Colorado ...Did not play against Utah due to a sprained thumb ...Returned to action at BYU and came off the bench for two points and three rebounds ... Scored six and had two rebounds before fouling out in a starting role against New Mexico ... Came off the bench to score six points and grab five rebounds versus Duke ... Scored eight points with five boards and had a team-high three steals vs. Slovakia ...Transfer from Kilgore Junior College in Texas ... Ranked 10th last season in Region XIV in both scoring and rebounding ... Scored a career-best 36 points against TVCC. UCLA Career Highs: Points - 14, at Colorado, 12-2-00, Rebounds - 7, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Assists - 2, at Washington, 1-4-01, Steals - 3, vs. Duke, 11-10-00.
#35 Jamila Veasley -- Had four points and four rebounds in 25 minutes of play in the win over USC ... Matched her season-best with six points and had a career-best eight rebounds, including five offensive boards, vs. Long Beach ... Had a season-best six points at BYU, including a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line ... Had four rebounds against Utah ...Came off the bench in both games in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic ... Grabbed six rebounds vs. New Mexico ... Four-time all-league selection in high school ... First-team all-CIF the last two seasons ... Named co-MVP of her league ... Her sister, Aisha, played at UCLA from 1995-98. Career Highs: Points - 6, at BYU, 11-25-00, Rebounds - 8, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Assists - 1, last vs. Utah, 11-17-00, Steals - 2, last vs. LBSU, 12-10-00.
#42 Stacy Robertson -- Matched her career-high in rebounds with three vs. Pepperdine ...Scored five points in just seven minutes at Ohio State ...Hit her first three-pointer of the season vs. San Diego and scored a career-high six points ...Came off the bench to score three points vs. New Mexico ... Started the Duke game but was held scoreless ... Transfer from Kilgore Junior College in Texas ... Named to the 10-player JC All-Region XIV and all-conference teams last season ... Ranked third in the Region in three-point shooting ... Ranked 12th in the Region in scoring. Career Highs: Points - 6, vs. San Diego, 11-28-00, Rebounds - 3, last vs. Pepperdine, 12-28-00, Assists - 1, last vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Steals - 2, at BYU, 11-25-00.
UCLA Hands Trojans Loss In Pauley -- The Bruins used a 16-1 run to rally from a 33-42 second half deficit and earn their sixth win in the last seven meetings over the Women of Troy by a score of 65-53. Michelle Greco scored 15 of her game-high 23 points in the second half to key the rally. Natalie Nakase matched her career-high with 11 points and Malika Leatham grabbed a career-high nine boards for the Bruins.
Washington State Deals Bruins Defeat -- Washington State handed the Bruins a 74-52 setback in Pac-10 play in Pullman. The Cougars used an 11-0 run to take a 34-27 lead at the half. Natalie Nakase and Jalina Bradley led UCLA with 11 points each. Michelle Greco sat out the game due to illness.
Washington Bests Bruins in Conference Opener -- Washington jumped out to a 35-18 halftime lead, holding the Bruins scoreless for nine minutes, and swept past UCLA 73-54 in Seattle in the Pac-10 opener for both teams. Michelle Greco led UCLA with 19 points, all in the second half. Kristee Porter scored a career-best nine points and shared team-high rebound honors with Whitney Jones who also had six.
#4 Georgia Runs Past Bruins -- Georgia led 39-23 at the intermission, went on to score the first 10 points of the second half and never looked back in handing the Bruins an 89-55 loss in Pauley. Michelle Greco recorded her sixth 20-point game of the season with 22 to lead UCLA.
Bruins Pressed Into Loss To Pepperdine -- Pepperdine's full-court press forced 18 UCLA turnovers in the second half and helped erase a four-point halftime deficit, winning 78-56. The Waves used a 13-2 run to open the first half to capture the lead. UCLA then cut the lead to two, at 41-39, but Pepperdine scored 11 of the next 12 points to take a 52-40 lead it would not relinquish. Michelle Greco led the Bruins with 11 points, all in the first half.