Bruin Women's Hoops To Host Utah in Home Opener Friday

Nov. 13, 2000

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Next Up
The UCLA women's basketball team will host Utah in the regular season home opener on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:00 pm in Pauley Pavilion. Utah was 23-8 last season and advanced to the NCAA first round, where it lost to Illinois. The series with Utah is tied at 1-1. The teams have not met since the 1990-91 season.

UCLA In Season Openers
The Bruins are 19-7 all-time in home season openers. Last season, the Bruins bested Texas, 84-77 in overtime to kick off the home schedule. Michelle Greco's basket in the final seconds of regulation sent the game into the extra period.

UCLA Hosts Love And Basketball In Exhibition Sunday
UCLA will host Love and Basketball, a local AAU team, in an exhibition game Sunday, Nov. 19 in Pauley Pavilion at 2:00 pm. Love and Basketball is coached by former UCLA women's basketball assistant coach Colleen Matsuhara.

Looking Ahead
UCLA next regular season game will be on Saturday, November 25th, at BYU. The Cougars were 22-9 last season, placed second in the Mountain West conference and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to finish with a 22-9 overall mark.

Bruins Face One of Nation's Toughest Schedules In 2000
Seven non-conference games (Duke, Utah, BYU, San Diego, Old Dominion, Pepperdine and Georgia) will be played against teams which earned bids to the 2000 NCAA tournament. The Bruins will also face NCAA tournament teams from the Pac-10 in Oregon, Arizona and Stanford as well as WNIT teams from Arizona State and USC. A local matchup with Long Beach State and a trip to Colorado are also on tap.

Bruins Drop Season Opener to #5 Duke
The Bruins lost their regular season opener, 80-52, in the first round of the Women's Sports Foundation Classic in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Michelle Greco led UCLA with a game-high 22 points. Stacy Robertson, Malika Leatham, Natalie Nakase and Jalina Bradley each made their first career starts for the Bruins.

Bruins Lose at New Mexico
The Bruins dropped a 75-54 decision to the host team in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic consolation game. Michelle Greco led all scorers in the game with a career-high 28 points and was named to the all-tournament squad.

Bruins Best Slovakia In Exhibition Game
The Bruins won their exhibition opener, 69-68, over Slovakia on Nov. 6 in Pauley Pavilion. Michelle Greco poured in 25 points to take high scoring honors in the game, including 21 in the second half which helped the Bruins battle back from a 33-30 halftime deficit. Jalina Bradley added 14 points and scored UCLA's final eight points in the game. Malika Leatham led UCLA on the boards with nine rebounds.

Bruins Picked To Finish Fifth In Pac-10
The Pac-10 women's basketball media picked UCLA to finish fifth in the conference in a pre-season poll. Stanford was the media's No. 1 choice, followed by Oregon, USC, Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State, Washington, California, Oregon State and Washington State.

A Look at UCLA
Six letterwinners, including three who have earned All-Pac-10 honors in past seasons return. Guards LaCresha Flannigan (All-Conf. in 1999), Michelle Greco (hon. mention All-Conf. in 2000) and Nicole Kaczmarski (Pac-10 all-freshman in 2000) offer the most experience of the returners for the Bruins. Sophomore guard Natalie Nakase came off the bench in 11 games last season. Forward Natalie Jarrett missed the start of the 2000 season while recovering from knee surgery and appeared in eight games overall. Guard Jalina Bradley, who missed 12 games with a stress fracture of the foot, saw limited action in nine games. Volleyball All-American Kristee Porter will also return to the team after redshirting last season.

Newcomers include three freshmen and three players from the Texas junior college ranks. Shalada Allen (Kilgore College) and Malika Leatham (Blinn College) will help solidify the Bruin post position. Stacy Robertson (Kilgore College) is a very capable perimeter shooter. Freshmen Jamila Veasley (Valley Christian HS) and Whitney Jones (San Clemente HS and also a member of the UCLA soccer team) will see action in the Bruin frontcourt. Gennifer Arranaga is a guard from Centennial HS in Corona, CA.

Head Coach Kathy Olivier
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 school record third straight season. The squad also set a Bruin 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 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 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.

Multi-Sport Stars Will Join Team In December
Two of UCLA's finest athletes will join the Bruin squad in December - three-sport standout Kristee Porter and two-sport athlete Whitney Jones. Porter is a star player on the UCLA volleyball team, earning all-district and all-conference honors her first two seasons and All-America honors in 1999. She has set numerous UCLA and Pac-10 records in just three seasons. Porter also competes in the triple jump for the UCLA women's track and field team and qualified for the Pac-10 Championships on that event. Jones is a starting midfielder for the highly-ranked UCLA women's soccer team in just her first season and currently has two assists in 18 games played.

Veteran Guards To Return In December
UCLA is also expected to regain the services of guards Nicole Kaczmarski and LaCresha Flannigan by mid-December. Kaczmarski, a Pac-10 All-Freshman guard a year ago, is taking the fall quarter of school off for personal reasons. She is expected to return to UCLA by December 16. Flannigan, a first-team All-Pac-10 performer as a sophomore, is academically ineligible to participate with the team during the first quarter of school. She could also return to the team as early as Dec. 16.

The 1999-00 Bruins Highlights

  • The Bruins advanced to the NCAA tournament for a school record third straight time
  • The Bruins won at least 18 games in back-to-back-to back seasons for the first time since they did it in the 1979 (24)-80 (18)-81 (29) seasons.
  • The team set a home attendance record by averaging over 3,700 fans per game
  • Maylana Martin became the second-leading scorer in school history
  • Janae Hubbard and Marie Philman joined the 1,000-point club
  • Martin became just the third player in Pac-10 history to be named all-conference in four straight seasons

UCLA Finishes 2000 with 18-11 Record and School's Third Straight NCAA Appearance
Coach Kathy Olivier's UCLA women's basketball team advanced to the NCAA tournament for a third straight year last season, a first for the Bruin program, and its seventh overall trip to the Big Dance. The 18 wins also marked the first time the Bruin program had won as many as 18 games in three straight seasons (26 in 1999, 20 in 1998) since the 1979 (24), 1980 (18) and 1981 (29) seasons.

Player Bio Updates

#1 Natalie Nakase - Played a team-high 31 minutes against Slovakia in the Bruins' first exhibition and tallied five assists and two steals...Made her first career starts in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic against Duke and New Mexico ... Saw action for 31 minutes against both teams... Had a career best five assists against New Mexico ... Added three assists versus New Mexico ... Matched her career high with three points in each contest... Saw action in 11 games off the bench last season ... Knows the system well.

#4 Kristee Porter - Volleyball All-American who is expected to join the team in mid-December... 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.

#5 Melissa Maurin - Second-year student who walked on to the team... 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... Younger brother Ty is a midfielder on the UCLA men's soccer team.

#10 Whitney Jones - Starting midfielder on the soccer team who is expected to join the team in mid-December... 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.

#13 Gennifer Arranaga - Had eight points and five rebounds in the Bruins' exhibition opener... 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 the past two seasons... Advanced to the finals of the 100-meter event at the CIF meet as a prep freshman.

#14 Natalie Jarrett - Had eight points and six rebounds against Slovakia in the Bruins' exhibition opener... In the opener against Duke, she had a team-high and career-best seven rebounds... Came off the bench to grab a team-leading seven rebounds against New Mexico... Appeared in eight games last season... Saw her first action on Dec. 17 at Cal State Fullerton... Missed the first six games of the season while recovering from off-season knee surgery... Had best of six points vs. Washington last season.

#20 Michelle Greco - Recorded a game-high 25 points, including 21 in the second half, with six rebounds and two steals against Slovakia... Scored a career-high 28 points against New Mexico despite leaving the game with a sprained right ankle with over five minutes to play... 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... Has now scored an average of 16.2 in her 11 career starts (178 points)... 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 career-best 26 points at Stanford last year.

#21 Jalina Bradley - Totaled 14 points and scored the Bruins' last eight points of the game to beat Slovakia... Made her first career start in the season opener against Duke and scored a career-high 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.

#23 Nicole Kaczmarski - Granted permission to miss the first quarter of school for personal reasons... Expected back in mid-December... Selected to the first-team All-Pac-10 freshman team... Led the team with 36 made three-point shots, including a school record seven treys at Washington State last season... Hit her last 19 straight free throws of the season to approach the school record of 24... Last season ranked second in the Pac-10 in free throw shooting (.841) and ninth in three-point shooting (.356).

#30 Kelly Tiao - Freshman who walked on to the team... Played in high school at Cerritos, CA High.

#32 Malika Leatham - Pulled down a team-best nine rebounds against Slovakia... 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.

#33 Shalada Allen - Scored eight points with five boards and a team-high three steals vs. Slovakia... Came off the bench to scored six points and grab five rebounds versus Duke... Scored six and had two rebounds before fouling out in a starting role against New Mexico... 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.

#35 Jamila Veasley - Saw two minutes of action against Slovakia and pulled down one rebound... Came off the bench in both games in the 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.

#42 Stacy Robertson - Had two points in 15 minutes of play against Slovakia... Started the Duke game but was held scoreless ... Came off the bench to score three points vs. New Mexico... 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.

#45 LaCresha Flannigan - Academically ineligible for the first quarter and could rejoin the Bruin team in mid-December... Has 28 career starts... 1999 All-Conference selection.

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