Jan. 6, 2003
UCLA Hosts USC Sunday - UCLA (9-4, 4-0 in the Pac-10) and USC (6-8. 1-3) will renew their cross-town rivalry on Sunday, Jan. 12 at Pauley Pavilion at 12:00 pm in a Lexus Gauntlet Trophy matchup.
UCLA won its fourth straight Pac-10 game and moved into sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 on over the weekend with a pair of wins over the Washington schools. On Friday, the Bruins registered a 72-46 win over Washington. Sunday, the Bruins bested Washington State, 93-51. The Trojans split a pair of games last week, beating WSU, 92-44, and losing to Washington in overtime, 83-81.
Radio/TV Broadcast Info - Fox Sports Net TV will air the game live at noon, and it will be radio broadcast on KTDD (1350 am) and KBET (850 am), as well as on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. Tony Luftman and Stacey Nuveman will call the action with Michael Sondheimer.
Lexus Gauntlet Trophy - This weekend's meeting with USC will mark the first women's basketball match in the year-long Lexus Gauntlet Trophy competition. The Lexus Gauntlet Trophy will be awarded to the institution that wins the most head-to-head competitions in all sports between the schools. Currently, the Trojans lead the Bruins, 20-15. For more information on the Trophy and current point standings, go to the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy page.
Series Info - The Bruins trail in the series with USC, 24-32. The Trojans have won the last three meetings, but the teams are 4-4 in the last eight contests. UCLA has won four of the last five matchups in Pauley Pavilion.
About The Opponent - USC is 6-8 (1-3 in the Pac-10) after its loss to Washington on Sunday. The Women of Troy have one game at UCSB prior to Sunday's matchup. Ebony Hoffman leads USC (fourth in the Pac-10) with a 15.8 scoring mark and a 9.6 rebounding average (fourth).
Bruin Team Notes - UCLA is averaging 79.2 points per game this season (ranked 16th in the nation) after scoring at a 59.0 clip in 2000-01 ... In the last five games, the Bruins are averaging 80.5 points and giving up just 53.6 points per game ... Only one opponent (Baylor) this season 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 ... This is the best Bruin start in the conference since it won its first six conference games to begin the 1999-2000 season ... The Bruins have held opponents under .450 shooting in all nine wins ... The Bruins lead the Pac-10 in steals (13.23) and turnover margin (+6.38).
Bruins In Pac-10 Standings - Michelle Greco entered the week ranked first in the conference in scoring with a 19.2 average. She also ranked first (tied) in steals (2.92) and was seventh in free throw percentage (.779) .
Nikki Blue was ranked ninth in scoring entering the week with her 14.3 mark and 10th (t) in assists (3.69).
Lisa Willis ranked in three categories - three-point FG percentage (seventh, 43.1%), three-point FG made (third-tied, 1.92) and steals (fourth-tied, 2.15).
Jamila Veasley ranked seventh (tied) in blocked shots with a 1.00 average.
As a team, the Bruins topped the standings in steals with a 13.23 average and rank second in scoring offense with 79.2 points per game. UCLA is also among the leaders in turnover margin (first, +6.38), assist/turnover ratio (third, 1.00), and field goal percentage (second, 4.57), field goal percentage defense (third, .391).
Freshmen Make Big Contributions - The Bruin freshman class of Nikki Blue, Lisa Willis, Julia Pitts, Emma Tautolo and Ortal Oren has accounted for 43% of UCLA's scoring load so far this season. Blue ranks second behind scoring leader Michelle Greco at 14.3 points per game and is first on the team with 48 assists and third in rebounding with a 5.2 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 with 25 treys (43% from beyond the arc) and averages 9.2 points. Tautolo and Oren average 2.8 and 4.6 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 of PDF). 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 with a torn ACL and a torn LCL in her left knee. Pitts suffered the injury in the first half of the UCLA's game against Baylor on Dec. 19 and had surgery on Dec. 30.
Greco, Blue Earn Pre-Season Honors - Senior guard Michelle Greco was selected by the media to the pre-season all-conference team for the second consecutive year. She was also named 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. Freshman 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.
Game Time Change - The tip-off time for the January 26 home game against California has been changed from 2:00 pm to 12:00 pm.
Bruins Turnover Washington State - UCLA scored 46 points off 33 WSU turnovers and bested the Cougars, 93-51. Michelle Greco led the Bruins with 23 points and a career-high tying seven steals. Lisa Willis added 15 points and five steals off the bench. An early 12-0 Bruin run erased a one-point Cougar lead, and the Bruins took a 53-20 halftime lead and stormed to their fifth-straight win.
Bruins Shut Down Washington - UCLA limited Washington to 24% shooting and dealt the Huskies a 72-46 setback. Lisa Willis led UCLA with 17 points. The Huskies missed 17 of their first 20 shots, and the Bruins pulled away for their third-straight Pac-10 win.
PLAYER BIO UPDATES -
#00 Ortal Oren - 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 and had two rebounds. Career Highs: Points - 9, last vs. Wash. State, 1-5-03; Rebounds - 2, vs. St. Mary's, 12-3-02; Assists - 2, vs. St. Mary's, 12-3-02; Steals - 3, last vs. Wash. State, 1-5-03.
#1 Natalie Nakase - Starter in 71 straight games ... Ranked sixth in assist / turnover ratio (1.62) ... Her 5.00 assist - turnover ratio in Pac-10 games ranks No. 1 ... Credited with six assists in the 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 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 - Came off the bench and grabbed a rebound in the win over WSU ... Saw action but did not score in the win at Oregon ... Scored her first point of the year on a free throw in the win over Cal State Northridge ...Had three rebounds in six minutes of action against Sac State. Career Highs: Points - 6, vs. Washington State, 3-8-01; Rebounds - 3, v. Sac St., 11-24-02; Assists - 1, vs. Oregon State; Steals - 2, at OSU, 1-24-02.
#10 Whitney Jones - Starting midfielder on the soccer team who joined the team on Nov. 25 ... Has hit 25 of her last 40 shots (63%) from the field ... Is averaging 12.5 ppg and 6.3 rpg in Pac-10 games ... Had 11 points and three steals versus WSU ... Had 10 points and tied her career best with four assists in the 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 at Oregon, 12-27-02; 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 13 games ... 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 ... Named to the all-tournament team at the UNLV Lady Rebel Shootout after scoring 13 points against Northwestern State and 12 against UNLV ... 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 - Had four points in the 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 ... Came off the bench against Sac State for three points and four rebounds ... Played in seven games off the bench. 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 (19.2) and tied for fist in steals (2.92), seventh in free throw percentage (.779) ... Has 63 career double figure scoring games and 29 career 20+ scoring games ... Had 23 points and a career-high tying seven steals against WSU ... Scored 14 points in the win over Washington ... Totaled 29 points in the win at Oregon State ... Scored 11 points with a season-high tying 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 ... Named the UCLABruins.com Student-Athlete of the Week for Dec. 16-22 after her performances against Baylor and Northridge and again for Dec. 23-29 after the wins at Oregon ... 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 ... Made a season-high 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 ... Moved into UCLA's Top 10 in career scoring, steals and free throws made and could move into the Top 10 this season in field goals made and attempted ... Selected a 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 State, 11-18-01; Rebounds - 9, last at Michigan State, 11-18-01; Assists - 7, last vs. Washington State, 1-9-00; Steals - 7, last at Washington State, 1-5-03.
#21 Jalina Bradley - Has scored in each of the last five games ... 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 13 games ... Has 26 assists in her last five games ... Entered the week ninth in the Pac-10 in scoring (14.3) and 10th in assists (3.69) ... Had eight points, seven boards and five assists against UW ... Had 12 points and seven rebounds in the win at Oregon State ... Tied her career-high with 26 points in just 23 minutes at Oregon and added five assists ... Was two rebounds and two assists shy of a triple-double against CSUN, scoring 10 points with a team-best eight boards and eight assists ... Scored a career-best 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 ... Nearly had a triple-double against Sac State, scoring 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 - 26, last at Oregon, 12-27-02; Rebounds - 12, vs. Sac State, 11-24-02; Assists - 9, vs. Sac State, 11-24-02; Steals - 4, at Pepperdine, 12-14-02.
#35 Jamila Veasley - Starter in the first 13 games ... Credited with a team-best and career-high three blocked shots in the win over WSU ... Entered the week ranked seventh in the Pac-10 in blocks / game (1.00) ... Pulling down an average of 7.0 rebounds per Pac-10 game (t-8th) ... Had seven points, two blocks and team-high 10 rebounds in UW win ... Established new career highs in points (12), assists (3), field goals made (6) and minutes played (37) in the win at Oregon ... Also 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 third (tied) in the Pac-10 in made three-point shots (25), seventh in three-point FG% (43.1%) and fourth (tied) in steals (2.15) ... Her 25 made three-pointers rank her fifth on the all-time school list for a season (record is 48 by Michelle Palmisano, 1993) ... Has seven double figure games and has made at least one three-point shot in 11 of the 13 games ... Scored 15 points in the win over WSU and added three assists and five steals ... Had team-high 17 points in win over UW ... Had two blocks and two steals in a solid defensive effort at Oregon State ...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, vs. Sac State, 11-24-02; Assists - 3, vs. Washington State, 1-5-03; Steals - 5, vs. Washington St., 1-5-03.
#44 Emma Tautolo - Has come off the bench in all 13 games ... Totaled six points in the win over Washington State ... Scored four points against St. Mary's ... Had two points and two boards in the win over Northwestern 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 six games ... Scored five points and had four rebounds in the win over Washington State ... Scored four points in nine minutes against CSUN ... Scored six points on 3-4 shooting in the win over St. Mary's ... Had four points and three boards against Sac State. Career Highs: Points - 13, vs. Washington State, 2-1-02; Rebounds - 6, at Arizona, 2-14-02; Steals - 2, vs. Washington State, 2-1-02.
#55 Krystle Johnson - Has played in 11 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.