Jan. 9, 2001
Next Up -- UCLA will host USC (5-7, 0-2) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. The game will be televised live by Fox Sports Net. USC leads the series by a count of 29-23, but UCLA has won five of the last six meetings. Last year, the Bruins won 82-62 in Pauley and lost to USC at the Sports Arena, 73-69.
Like the Bruins, the Trojans lost both games last week to the Washington schools, 79-78 at WSU and 91-79 in triple overtime at Washington. The Trojans are second in the Pac-10 in blocked shots (4.6 per game) and right behind the Bruins in second place in steals (10.7). Aisha Hollans, a freshman guard, is the leading scorer on the USC team with a 13.7 mark in six games. Ebony Hoffman, a freshman center, is the leading rebounder with a 7.6 mark and scores at a 10.3 clip.
TV / Radio -- The USC contest will be televised on Fox Sports Net. and aired on KCKC (1350) and KBET (850) am and on the internet at www.uclabruins.com.
Looking Ahead -- UCLA will remain at home next week for games with Arizona State on Thursday (7 p.m.) and on Saturday versus Arizona (4 p.m.).
This Week's Headlines -- Whitney Jones made her first career start at Washington State (1/6) ... Natalie Nakase scored a career-high 11 points at Washington State (1/6) ... Kristee Porter scored a career-best 12 points at Washington (1/4) ... Michelle Greco sat out the Washington State game due to illness ... The Bruin team leads the Pac-10 in steals ... Michelle Greco has made 20 straight free throws and is closing in on the school record of 24 straight ... Greco remained the Pac-10 conference's leading scorer
Greco Atop Pac-10 Conference In Scoring, Eyes School FT Mark -- Junior guard Michelle Greco leads the Pac-10 Conference in scoring (stats through games of 1/7/01) with an 18.8 points per game average. She also ranks first in free throw percentage with a .912 mark (31-34), second in three-point goals made (1.83 per game) and fourth in steals (2.17 per game). She has made her last 20 straight free throws to approach the school record of 24 held by Denise Curry, set over two seasons from 1978-80.
Bruins Nab Conference Lead In Steals -- The Bruins entered the week leading the Pac-10 Conference in steals with an average of 11.38 picks per game. UCLA now has 148 steals. Michelle Greco, the Bruin leader, is ranked fourth with an average of 2.17 (26). Freshman Gennifer Arranaga ranks sixth in the Pac-10 with an average of 2.08 per game (25 total). Natalie Nakase also has 20+ steals, totaling 23 on the season.
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 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 has the 15th-toughest schedule in the nation and the 13th-toughest non-conference schedule.
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 sixth in the Pac-10 in assists (3.9) average) ...Starter in all 13 games ... Set a career-high with 11 points at Washington State, playing all 40 minutes of the game ... 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 those numbers with nine points against Old Dominion ...Also set a new 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, at WSU, 1--6-01, 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 ... 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 also 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 ... 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 fifth in the conference in steals (2.08 per game) ...Has appeared in all 13 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 leads the conference in free throw percentage (.912, 31-34) and has made 20 consecutive free throws, four shy of the school record held by Denise Curry ...Rates fourth in the conference in steals with a 2.17 per game mark ... Has led UCLA in scoring in 11 of its 13 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) ...Had 19 points, all in the second half, at Washington in the Pac-10 opener ... Scored her sixth 20-point game of the season versus fourth-ranked Georgia with 22 points and also grabbed six boards ... Recorded her fifth 20-point game of the season by scoring 20 at Ohio State ...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 last season 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 13 games ... 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 matched her career-high in rebounds with eight 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 and grabbed three rebounds 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 - 8, last vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Blocks - 5, vs. LBSU, 12-10-00, Steals - 3, vs. Duke, 11-10-00.
#33 Shalada Allen -- 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 scored 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 -- 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. UCLA 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.
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.