Feb. 28, 2003
UCLA Hosts Oregon at 2 p.m. on Saturday - UCLA (16-10, 11-6 in the Pac-10) will face Oregon (12-14, 8-9) in the Pac-10 TV game of the week starting at 2 p.m. The five Bruin seniors - Michelle Greco, Natalie Nakase, Jalina Bradley, Natalie Jarrett and Melissa Maurin - will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.
With 16 wins this season, the Bruins have surpassed the victory total of the last two seasons (6 wins in 2000-01 and 9 wins in 2001-02) combined.
Oregon defeated USC on Thursday 75-70.The Bruins bested Oregon State 82-71 on Thursday and clinched the #4 seed in next week's Pac-10 tournament. The Bruins could still finish in a tie for second place in the conference standings with a win over Oregon and losses by both Arizona and Washington. However, the Bruins would lose the tie breakers to either team and still end up with the #4 seed.
Coach's Challenge - The UCLA-Oregon game will also be the site for a special event to help raise money for the Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA. If 5,000 or more fans attend this game, UCLA head coach Kathy Olivier will donate $1,000 to the Mattel Children's Hospital. Ticket prices for this game will be half-price.
Radio/TV Broadcast Info - Saturday's game will be aired on the internet and on KTDD (1350 am) and KBET (850 am). Tony Luftman will call the action. The Saturday game will also be televised live on Fox Sports Net.
Bruin Team Notes - Michelle Greco is one of 13 players selected to the State Farm Wade Trophy Watch List as a National Player of the Year Candidate ... Greco ranked 23rd in the nation in scoring entering the week ...Greco's two steals against Oregon State moved her into a tie for third place in the Pac-10 record books with 280 career steals (her eight steals in the home Stanford game tied her for the eighth-best performance in school history) ...Greco added 28 points at Cal for her conference-best 12th 20-point game this year and became just the seventh player in school history to score over 1,600 career points ...She has 35 career 20-point games and needs one more to tie Ann Meyers for fifth on UCLA's all-time list ... Nikki Blue had her ninth 20-point game of the season when she scored 23 in the loss at Stanford ... Blue set a UCLA freshman scoring record with 35 points in the loss at Washington (old mark 33 by Maylana Martin vs. Washington in 1997) ... Blue's total of two 30-point games this season lead the Pac-10 ... With her 17 points in the home win over Oregon State, Blue moved past Ann Meyers and into fifth on the all-time Bruin freshman scoring charts ... Greco has made 53 of her last 62 (86%) free throws (she set a school record with 32 straight earlier this season) ... The Bruin senior is on track to finish among the all-time UCLA leaders in 11 stat categories ... Bruin freshmen are accounting for 42% of the team's scoring ... UCLA is averaging 74.18 points per game (30th in the nation entering the week) this season after scoring at a 59.0 clip in 2001-02 ... UCLA has set a school mark with 130 made three-point shots this season ... The Bruins were ranked 13th in the nation in steals (12.88/g) entering the week ...UCLA is one of only two teams in the Pac-10 to post a winning road record in conference play (5-4) ... Lisa Willis' 41 made three-pointers rank second on the all-time freshman list (No. 1 is Michelle Palmisano with 48 in 1993) ... Only seven opponents have shot over 45.1% against the Bruins (at Hawaii, Baylor, at Arizona, at Washington, Stanford, at Stanford and at USC - all losses) ... The Bruins have held opponents under .450 shooting in all 16 wins ... UCLA is shooting 42% from the field this season after registering just a 34% mark last year ... Free throw shooting is also improved (71% from 64%) ...The Cardinal, at Stanford, became just the fifth opponent (all losses - Baylor, Arizona, Stanford, at Washington) this season 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 at Oregon ... The 6-0 conference start was the best Bruin start in the conference since it won its first six to begin 1999-2000.
Series Info - Oregon leads the series with UCLA by a 19-17 margin. The Bruins posted a 93-68 victory earlier this season in Eugene for its first win at Oregon since the 1997-98 season. Nikki Blue led the way with 26 points and the Bruin team shot a season-best tying 55.4% from the field.
About The Opponent - Forward Cathrine Kraayeveld returned to the Oregon starting lineup (last start was Dec. 22 due to injury) last week and averaged 12 points and eight boards against the Washington schools. She led the Ducks in the win Thursday over at USC with 19 points. Freshman Carolyn Ganes entered the week as the Ducks' leading scorer at 11.7. Andrea Bills was tops on the boards at 6.6 (6th in Pac-10) heading into this week's action.
Bruins Best Beavers - The Bruins completed a sweep of the season series with Oregon State for the first time since the 1999 season with a 82-71 win in Pauley. Nikki Blue led six Bruins in double digits. UCLA snapped a 10-all tie with a 10-0 run and jumped out to a 20-10 lead on its way to a 42-32 halftime lead. OSU cut the lead to four midway through the second half, but the Bruins pulled away down the stretch.
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 UCLA's game against Baylor on Dec. 19.
Head Coach Kathy Olivier - Now in her 10th season, Kathy Olivier, who currently owns a 146-138 overall record, has steadily built the program to reflect her own positive, upbeat and outgoing personality.
In 2002, she directed a team which lost its top two scorers during the season to the second round of the Pac-10 tournament and a win over Sweet Sixteen team BYU. In 2001, Olivier guided a team which was playing without eight of its top nine scorers from the previous season to a winning home record in Pac-10 play and wins over three nationally-ranked teams. In 2000, she saw her team reach the NCAA tournament for a school record third straight season. The squad also set a Bruin home attendance record by averaging over 3,700 fans. Maylana Martin was 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 ever 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. 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.