Nov. 26, 2002
At Las Vegas Tournament - The Bruins travel this weekend to play in the Lady Rebel Shootout in Las Vegas. The Bruins will open the tournament against Northwestern State of Louisiana on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Bruins will play either host UNLV or Texas El Paso. The consolation game of the tournament is at 1:30 pm, and the championship game is scheduled for 4:00 pm. Both of UCLA's games will be broadcast over the internet at www.uclabruins.com and over the airwaves on KBET 850 am. UCLA then returns home to open up the home slate with a game versus St. Mary's on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7:00 pm.
Northwestern State finished second in the Southland Conference last season and advanced on to play in the NWIT after posting a 22-7 record. The Lady Demons opened the season with a 65-59 win Monday night at Texas A&M. Angela Davidson recorded a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Four players were named to the pre-season all-conference team - senior guard La'Terrica Dobin (led the nation last season in assists, 8.62), Davidson (last year's conference Player of the Year), senior guard Anna Means and junior forward Katrina Swanigan. The game will be the first meeting ever between the two schools.
UNLV finished 23-8 last season and advanced to the NCAA tournament. Senior guard Constance Jinks returns after averaging 17.0 ppg last season. The Lady Rebels opened the season with a 68-56 win over St. Mary's. UNLV plays at Cal Poly SLO on Wed., Nov. 27 UCLA holds a 5-0 advantage in the all-time series with UNLV.
Texas-El Paso was 3-25 last season, but has nine new players on the roster. Junior college transfer Vaida Zagurskyte, a guard, averaged 23 points in two exhibition wins. The Lady Miners opened the season with a two-game road trip, posting a 65-49 win at Denver (Nov. 22) and then losing 63-60 at Kansas (Nov. 24). The Bruins have never met UTEP.
Coach Olivier Returns to Vegas - UCLA head coach Kathy Olivier returns home to her alma mater, UNLV (Class of 1982), this weekend at the Lady Rebel Shootout. Olivier not only finished her playing career at UNLV (she averaged 16.3 points as a junior and 20.2 points as a senior), she also began her coaching career there as a grad assistant.
UCLA Splits Season-Opening Set in Hawaii - The Bruins split a pair of games in Hawaii over the weekend. UCLA lost to Hawaii 70-66 (Nov. 23) and defeated Sacramento State 106-43 (Nov. 24). Michelle Greco and Lisa Willis led the Bruins against Hawaii with 20 and 18 points, respectively. Against Sac State, Nikki Blue paced the Bruins with 24 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. Greco (19), Willis (14) and Pitts (12) also scored in double figures. Greco and Willis each were selected to the all-tournament team.
The Bruins went over the century mark in scoring for the first time since a 1999 game at Cal State Fullerton (108-75), and the margin of victory (+63) was UCLA's greatest since defeating UC Santa Barbara by the same margin on Dec. 15, 1984. True freshmen players scored 56 of the Bruins points in the win over Sac State.
Bruins Wrap-Up Exhibition Play With Win Vs. West Coast All-Stars - The UCLA women's basketball team closed exhibition play with a 90-76 win over West Coast All-Stars on Sunday, Nov. 17. Michelle Greco, with 26 points, and Julia Pitts, with 23 points, led the way for the Bruins. Greco added nine rebounds, five assists and three steals while Pitts added 14 rebounds.
Love and Basketball Game Recap - The Bruins fell just short in the 2002-03 exhibition opener to Love And Basketball, 77-74. Michelle Greco led UCLA by scoring 12 points. Freshmen Julia Pitts, Nikki Blue and Lisa Willis totaled 11 points apiece. UCLA led the game at halftime, 42-40, but Love And Basketball started the second half on a 15-4 run and went on to post the win.
Jones Rejoins Squad - Two-sport athlete Whitney Jones is a starting midfielder and first-team all-conference selection for the UCLA women's soccer team. The soccer Bruins lost to Texas A&M in the third round last weekend, and Jones is expected to join the basketball team this week. She was UCLA basketball's leading scorer in 2002 with a 9.5 per game average and the top returning rebounder with a 5.2 average.
Greco Named To Pre-Season All-Conference Team - Michelle Greco was selected by the media to the Pre-Season All-Conference team for the second consecutive year. She was joined by Stanford's Nicole Powell, USC's Ebony Hoffman, Washington's Loree Payne and Oregon's Shaquala Williams.
Pac-10 Pre-Season Polls - The Pac-10 media selected the Bruins to finish seventh in the conference race this season in a pre-season poll. Stanford was the near unanimous choice to finish first, followed by Washington (two first-place votes), Oregon, USC, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon State, California and Washington State.
The Pac-10 women's basketball coaches picked UCLA to finish eighth in the conference. Stanford was the near unanimous choice to finish first, followed by Washington, Oregon (one first-place vote), USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, UCLA, California and Washington State.
Greco Named Pre-Season All-American - Michelle Greco was selected to the Women's Basketball News Service pre-season All-America second team, joining Stanford's Nicole Powell (first team) as the only two Pac-10 honorees.
Blue Earns Pre-Season Honors - Freshman guard Nikki Blue was selected by Women's College Hoops.com as one of 21 "Freshmen of Impact" for 2002-03 and was also named to the Women's Basketball News Service pre-season All-Freshman team.
Oren Set To Return Sunday - Freshman guard Ortal Oren will sit out the third of a three-game suspension on Saturday and is eligible to return on Sunday. She had to sit out the first three regular season games this year for playing on a club team in Israel with players the NCAA considered to be professionals.
Pac-10 Tournament Notes - The 2002-03 season will conclude with the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament to be played at the HP Pavilion in San Jose,CA on March 7-10. All conference schools will participate in the tournament, with the winner receiving the conference's automatic bid to the 2003 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.
Greco Aims For Record Books - Senior guard Michelle Greco will look to keep climbing the UCLA scoring charts in 2002-03. She entered the season ranked No. 15 on the career points chart and is now ranked 13th with 1,197 points. She needs just 25 points to break into the Top 10. In addition, Greco looks to challenge Denise Curry's long-standing career free throw percentage mark of .818. Greco's career free throw percentage currently stands at .817 (228-279).
Upcoming Special Events - The UCLA men's and women's basketball teams will hold toy drives at home games on Dec. 17 and Dec. 21.