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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Spotlight on the Pac-12: Early Conference Play Sees Some Unexpected Thrillers

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Photo Caption: Until No. 4 Stanford gave its tall, speedy sophomore guard Toni Kokenis (White, No. 31) the defensive assignment on Oregon State freshman Ali Gibson (Black, No. 14) in the second-half of last Saturday’s game in Palo Alto’s Maples Pavilion, the Beavers threatened to upset the 12-time Pac-10 (now Pac-12) defending champs. Instead, behind eight assists and an outstanding defensive effort by Kokenis, not to mention a game-high 33 points plus 16 boards from Naismith watch-lister Nneka Ogumike plus 20 points and 10 rebounds from little sister Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford pulled out a come-from-behind, 67-60, win to keep its conference record perfect and preserve a 70-game winning streak at Maples.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Stanford Photo/Bob Drebin




By Morris Phillips
Correspondent

The first two weeks of Pac-12 conference play had plenty of close games and dramatic wins.  But for sheer audacity and shock value, last weekend’s face-off between Oregon State and Stanford outranked them all.

On Saturday, No. 4 Stanford and unheralded Oregon State found themselves in the same neighborhood, both literally and competitively, to just about everyone’s surprise.  The Cardinal entered the contest with their pertinent numbers at 60 and 70—60 consecutive wins against Pac-12 conference competition and 70 straight wins at Maples Pavilion. 

Oregon State on the other hand had dropped 34 of their last 39 conference games and was just trying to get its reclamation project back on track after a difficult double overtime loss to Washington State on New Year’s Eve.  Oh, did we mention that OSU had never won at Maples Pavilion (0-26) and had dropped 23 straight in its series with Stanford, the last win coming in January 2001?

So what could explain the Beavers’ big opening 20 minutes in which they shot 65 percent (15-of-23) from the floor while holding the Cardinal to just 36.4 percent from the field and a miserly 25 percent (one-for-four) from the arc, and led Stanford 35-31 at the half?  Were the Cardinal preoccupied with the beginning of winter quarter classes on Monday morning or was Oregon State literally growing—by leaps and bounds—on Stanford’s home floor?

Probably a little of both, but only OSU’s growth was obvious.  Coach Scott Rueck had his Beavers go right at Stanford, attacking the paint off the dribble for layups and assists executed by vest pocket point guard Earlysia Marchbanks and freshman freight train Ali Gibson.

So good was Rueck’s strategy and Gibson’s effectiveness that Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer was forced to deliver a pointed reminder to her team at the half.

“I think this is a wake-up call for our team,” VanDerveer said.  “Our team needs to get the memo that teams are going to be aggressive.  People want a banner like we have a couple of them.”

It’s not the first time this season VanDerveer has issued such warnings.  In Stanford’s lone loss of the season, a 58-68 tumble at Connecticut in late November, she complained about her team’s lack of aggressiveness in the face of the Huskies’ pressure at both ends of the floor. 

The Cardinal appeared to get the message when they raced past Tennessee, 97-80, a few weeks back, behind Nneka Ogwumike’s 42 points and 17 rebounds.

Perhaps, in some respects, Stanford has had things a bit too easy of late. On Thursday, the were able to sail past Oregon in a fast-paced game in which the Ducks managed to shut down the middle and force the Cardinal to beat them from the outside. Stanford did so—and handily—in a 93-70 walk-over in which the Cardinal attempted a school-record 42 three-pointers—but made just 14 (33.3 percent) of them. 

But bad habits and unaggressive play resurfaced on Saturday, and this time around, Stanford came precipitously close to failing to get away with it. At the half, as the Cardinal headed to their locker room trailing (for just the third time this season) by four, 31-35, Oregon State was the clear aggressor, while the Cardinal appeared tentative—with the notable exception of Ogwumike.
 
“At halftime, we were feeling it, ‘We can actually do this, we can pull it off,” Gibson said.  “To the 6- or 7-minute mark we were feeling good about it.”

Having gotten an earful from VanDerveer at halftime, Stanford was determined to take OSU and Gibson’s good feeling away.  The biggest adjustment put Stanford’s most athletic guard, Toni Kokenis, on Gibson. The Beavers’ confident freshman found her lane to the basket cut off by Kokenis and she managed just three of her team-high 16 points after halftime. 

Marchbanks added 12 points and four assists for the Beavers, and Alyssa Martin also posted 12 points and three assists for the losing side.

On the other end, the Beavers’ inability to get defensive rebounds in the face of the Ogwumike sisters’ dominance of the boards unraveled their upset bid.  Stanford controlled the boards to the tune of 45-27, with Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike combining to pull down 26 rebounds, including 12 off the offensive glass. The result: A 19-5 Cardinal advantage in second-half points meant Stanford didn’t have to pay the price of their uncharacteristically poor shooting night (24-of-66, or 36.4 percent from the field, and two-of-eight, or 25 percent, from the arc). 

A Chiney Ogwumike layup off a fast-break that began off her sister’s defensive rebound at the other end, tied the game at 35-all less than three minutes into the second period. With the Cardinal defense buckling down for the remainder of the second half, holding the Beavers scoreless for a span of more than six minutes, Nneka Ogwumike launched the decisive 12-0 Stanford run with a pair from the charity stripe with seven-and-a-half minutes remaining, and highlighted the surge with an offensive rebound and put-back at the 4:26 mark.

By the time Oregon State’s Thais Pinto finally staunched the hemorrhaging nearly two minutes later, the score stood at 63-49, Stanford, and the game was out of reach.

“Stanford is who they are. They finished this game the way champions finish games,” Rueck conceded.

Nneka Ogwumike finished with 33 points, 16 rebounds, and two blocks, in the process becoming only the fourth player in Stanford history to compile 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career. 

Her sister Chiney added a double-double of 20 points and 10 boards.

Future Stanford opponents no doubt took notice of the other eight Stanford players not named Ogwumike who combined to miss 15 of 20 shots and commit eight turnovers.

Summing Up the Week’s Results

Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012

  • Colorado 67 @ Washington 75
  • Utah 43 @ Washington State 60
  • Oregon 70 @ Stanford 93
  • Oregon State 56 @ California 73
  • UCLA 66 @ Arizona 74
  • USC 60 @ Arizona St. 48

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012

  • UCLA 64 @ Arizona State 48
  • Utah 49 @ Washington 36 (OT)
  • Oregon 67 @ California 90
  • Oregon State 60 @ Stanford 67
  • Colorado 57 @ Washington State 56
  • USC 72 @ Arizona 67

A Closer Look at Last Week’s Pac-12 Action

USC 60 @ Arizona State 48
USC 72 @ Arizona 67

With three wins and a narrow loss to Stanford, USC looks poised to put its uneven play during the non-conference portion of their schedule to bed.  The Trojans picked it up over the weekend with wins at Arizona State (60-48) and Arizona (72-67) behind impressive efforts from seniors Briana Gilbreath and Ashley Corral.
 
Corral posted 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists against ASU as the Trojans managed to overcome 32-percent shooting with great defense and commanding effort on the backboards.

Gilbreath logged 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists in USC’s win over Arizona Saturday, in which the Women of Troy overcame a five-minute scoring drought late in the second half by hitting eight-of-10 free throws in the final three minutes.

The Trojans haven’t missed a beat since their loss of senior Jackie Gemelos to yet another knee injury, plugging freshman Alexyz Voiletama into her starting role.  Also, sophomore Cassie Harberts and junior Christina Marinacci have assumed more prominent scoring roles along with providing the much-needed interior toughness that had long been lacking in USC’s game.

While Gemelos’ loss has been a downer for the Trojans, Stephanie Gilbreath’s emergence has been an emotional plus for the team.  Briana’s older sister was injured the first three years of her college career with a series of knee injuries not unlike those that have afflicted Gemelos, but returned last season to play in 13 games.  This season, Gilbreath has gotten regular minutes as a reserve and contributed 10 points in Saturday’s win over Arizona. 

“It helps a lot because we haven’t done this in a while,” Stephanie Gilbreath said of USC’s weekend sweep.  “We always come out here and lose maybe one, and sometimes two, so this helps a lot.”

Utah 43 @ Washington St.  60
Colorado 57 @ Washington St.  56

Washington State dropped a pair of high-profile non-conference games to end December, but they’ve rebounded with wins in three of their first four Pac-12 contests.  The Cougars racked up an easy (60-43) win over the Utes on Thursday, but dropped a real heart-breaker at home to Colorado on Saturday.

Jazmine Perkins’ buzzer-beater, which bounced off the front of the rim in the 57-56 loss to the Buffs was the only thing standing between the Cougars and a 4-0 start, which would have been their best conference opening since 1978.

“We struggled to find points tonight and that happens,” Coach June Daugherty said of the loss to Colorado. “It’s part of basketball. I’ve got good shooters, they’re going to rest up, get back in the gym on Tuesday and they’ll be absolutely fine.”

In order to continue their ascent in the standings, the Cougs will need to fix their rebounding deficiencies in a hurry.  WSU briefly led Colorado by 11 points in the second half, only to see the Buffs surge behind sound offensive rebounding.  Colorado grabbed four of their 18 offensive rebounds in a 14-3 run that pulled them even with Washington State with 5:32 remaining.

In addition, the Cougars’ top scorers, Sage Romberg and April Cook, struggled with their shooting so much that Daugherty sat both for long stretches against Colorado in hopes of finding some offense off her bench.

The Cougs get cellar-dweller Washington this week, but then their schedule gets real tough real fast with trips to the Bay Area and Los Angeles and home games against the Arizona schools.

Colorado 67 @ Washington 75
Colorado 57 @ Washington St.  56

Like the Cougars, the Buffs split their two conference contests last week, with both games coming on the road. For Pac-12 newcomer Colorado, wins in two of its first three conference road tests can be nothing but a confidence builder. Now they need word to get back to their Boulder campus in hopes of fielding big crowds for this week’s home games against Cal and Stanford this week.

Linda Lappe’s crew did pass one test already: Coming off their first loss of the season at Washington on Thursday, the 13-1 Buffs responded by bumping WSU with a renewed commitment to defense and rebounding.

“It was the first time we’ve had to do it all year and our coaching staff and myself included [were] really interested to see how our team was going to respond,” said Lappe, adding that the question for her was “[if] we were going to let the loss on Thursday night affect us or if we were going to get our swagger back and get our confidence back and really get back to Colorado basketball.  And a part of that is playing defense and rebounding.  And if we don’t do those two things, we’re in trouble.”

The Buffs have also started to answer questions about who would fill the void inside to compliment do-everything guard Chucky Jeffrey. Senior Julie Seabrook (6-3) produced double-digit scoring in all three Pac-12 contests and 6-2 freshman Jen Reese is also becoming a factor off the bench. Reese had 12 points and 12 rebounds in the win at Washington State.


Oregon State 56 @ California 73
Oregon 67 @ California 90

California had a nervous week leading into home contests against the Oregon schools while saddled with a 0-2 conference start. The Bears figured to be in the NCAA mix as one of the top two or three teams in the conference, but opening-week losses to USC and UCLA put all of that in question. 

At the top of Coach Lindsay Gottlieb’s list of things to correct was probably the same thing that was at the bottom of the list and in the middle: Fix the team’s shooting.

Beating Oregon State by 17 (73-56) and Oregon by 23 (90-67) last week to even the conference ledger, Gottlieb showed that a lot of arms and hands are functioning properly, but for the Bears—the league’s most gifted team outside of Stanford—the pressure doesn’t ease. 

On Thursday, Cal visits Colorado, the team that ended the Golden Bears’ 2010-11 season with an 81-65 loss in the last spring’s postseason WNIT, and then closes the weekend at Utah. Until the Bears start winning road games—they’ve dropped their last six Pac-12 road contests dating back to last season—the pressure figures to remain.

UCLA 66 @ Arizona 74
UCLA 64 @  Arizona State 48

The two axioms applicable to UCLA—(1) the Bruins are pretty good, and (2) the Bruins figure to take their lumps—were both in play last week in Arizona.  After a tough loss to Arizona, 74-66, the Bruins bounced back, knocking off Arizona State, 64-48. 

In the loss, the Bruins led 60-54 with 10 minutes remaining, but disappeared, scoring just six more points and letting the Wildcats off the hook.

In the win, UCLA opened the second half with a pair of big runs and ran away from the Sun Devils.

With all the upheaval of a new coach, a critical injury to leading returning scorer Jasmine Dixon and an incredibly challenging schedule, the Bruins haven’t had it easy. The win over Arizona State snapped a string of six losses in seven games, but things don’t get any easier in the near future.

The Bruins host cross-town rival USC on Saturday and given the Trojans’ struggles with UCLA over the last couple of years, there couldn’t be a bigger game on either team’s schedule.  After that, the Bruins get the remainder of what figures to be the league’s toughest schedule with only one game each against the Oregon schools, Colorado and Utah.

In the midst of the schedule gauntlet, sophomore Thea Lemberger has emerged as a go-to scorer, averaging 18 points a game in conference, including 22 in the win over ASU.

Colorado 67 @ Washington 75
Utah 49 @  Washington 36 (OT)

Washington is looking for some growth under new coach Kevin McGuff and they got some—and a much-needed win—last week in Seattle.  The Huskies handed Colorado its first loss of the season behind 27 points from freshman Jazmine Davis. 

Then UW pushed Utah to overtime, only to collapse in a 49-36 loss.

The Huskies led by small margins for most of the game, though the Utes rallied enough in the last four minutes of the opening half to carry a 21-19 edge into the break. The Huskies reclaimed the momentum, and the lead, a little more than three minutes into the second half, and still led by three, 32-29, in the painfully low-scoring affair as the clock ticked down to the final 10 seconds of regulation.

But with just six ticks remaining, Utah guard Janita Badon, who finished with a game-high 16 points, eight rebounds, two assists, four steals, surpassing the 1,000-career-point mark in the process, ripped the nets with a three-pointer that tied the score at 32 and sent the game to extra minutes.

Utah totally dominated the overtime period, scoring the first 11 points out of the box and outscoring the Huskies, 17-4, in the five-minute span.

The Huskies played most of the second half and all of the overtime without center Regina Rogers. Rogers, a fifth-year senior who leads the conference with a field-goal shooting percentage of .650, was already threatening a double-double, notching 10 points on a perfect five-of-five from the fieldand pulling down eight boards, in 26 minutes, before a hamstring contusion sent her to the bench for the rest of the game. Rogers has been vulnerable to hamstring problems; a similar injury kept her out of action for 11 games early last year.

It wasn’t just the loss of Rogers’s personal production that hurt the Huskies. Before Rogers’ injury, the Huskies were displaying the growing offensive chemistry between the super-quick Davis (team-high 15 points, three rebounds, but six turnovers) and the powerful Rogers.  Without Rogers’s presence in the paint, Davis found her paths into the lane detoured by Janita Badon and the Utes’ posts, Taryn Wicijowski (nine points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, but six turnovers) and Michelle Plouffe (12-point, 11-board double-double, plus three assists, two blocks and four steals).

The loss snapped a seven-game home winning streak for the Huskies, whose 9-5 record is still their best season start since 2006. McGuff may be seeing the run of nine straight NCAA appearances he compiled at the helm of Xavier ending, but that doesn’t mean he is ready to start making excuses.

“[Utah] found a way to win,” said McGuff. “We didn’t do things to close out the game.”

“Bottom line, for us to win this game we have to do things like get a tough rebound or make free throws,” McGuff continued. “We did neither, which left us vulnerable.”


UCLA 66 @ Arizona 74
USC 72 @ Arizona 67


Arizona envisions itself as a conference contender, but last week they added a loss to USC to the one they picked up a week earlier at the hands of in-state rival Arizona State. As any Pac-12 follower knows, one with hopes of a conference title can ill afford to lose a home game to anyone other than Stanford.
 
On Thursday, the Wildcats got the better of UCLA, 74-66, in their first win against the Bruins since 2007 (and first win at home against UCLA since 2005). Davellyn White recorded a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds in the victory, getting significant help from fellow guards Reiko Thomas (15 points) and Shanita Arnold (10 points, nine assists). The Arizona defense held the Bruins to just 34.2 percent from the floor and 28.6 percent from the arc, while the Wildcats, who bounced back twice from six-point deficits to seize the victory, netted 45.3 percent (24-of-53) of their own shots, including 37.5 percent (six-of-16) from downtown. Though the Wildcats lost the battle of the boards, they kept the margin close (40-43).

“We played a lot better down the stretch than we played in a while,” said head coach Niya Butts. “Our team faced adversity tonight, and we got the win.

Though the Wildcats continued to get dynamic play from Davellyn White, who once again registered a double-double with a game-high 23 points plus 13 boards in Saturday’s 72-67 loss to visiting USC, they couldn’t finish off the Trojans.

But once again, though White was a beast on the boards, the ‘Cats’ team-wide rebounding faltered, though not drastically, as the Trojans won the battle of the boards, 43-39.

White again got major contributions from Thomas, who pitched in 16 points, to which she added four rebounds, three assists and three steals, as well as from forward, Erica Barnes, who put up 17 points to go with eight rebounds. But USC also had a balanced scoring effort that saw five Trojans finish in double digits, as Brianna Gilbreath led the way with 17 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two blocks, two steals) and Christina Marinacci, Cassie Harberts, Ashley Corral, and Stefanie Gilbreath all pitching in 10 apiece.

The critical difference was bench points, where the USC relievers pitched in 19 points to just two for the Arizona bench.

That puts Arizona at 1-2 in conference play. UA isn’t where it would like to be, but the signs are still encouraging.

“We had a stretch we’re not proud of.  There were good moments; we just ran out of time.  Davellyn Whyte gave us a great effort.  We weren’t rebounding well but she was a monster on the boards,” Arizona coach Niya Butts said.

“Last game I had 10 rebounds,” Whyte said.  “Coach Butts challenged me to get even more and I took that challenge.  We didn’t rebound (in the second half).  To make it in the second half, we needed cleaner points.  If we get rebounds, score, make our layups and get fewer turnovers then no one can stay with us.”

Tough talk aside, the Wildcats miss guard Candice Warthen.  The sophomore, considered to be Arizona’s second-best player, has missed the last seven games with a foot injury and no timetable has been set for her return.

Oregon 70 @  Stanford 93
Oregon 67 @ California 90

Oregon, which lost its conference opener to Washington State a week ago (47-75), has one conference win under its belt (88-86 over Washington), but after a rough weekend in the Bay Area, they have to be wondering where the next win will come from.

The Ducks lost to Stanford and Cal by 23 points each and they were embarrassed on the glass against the Bears, 63-28.  So ineffective was Oregon’s rebounding against Cal, they actually had fewer rebounds (28) than Cal had offensive rebounds (29).

There’s no question leading scorer Amanda Johnson’s absence hurts—she missed her seventh consecutive game with a fractured thumb—but she wasn’t averaging 30 points and 20 rebounds prior to the injury.
 
The Oregon run-and-gun system, which Coach Paul Westhead installed to good effect at the Phoenix Mercury, is so physically demanding and has thus far under Westhead, enjoyed so little success at the collegiate level, you can’t help but wonder how long the experiment will continue.  The Ducks don’t have significant superiority in talent or conditioning as compared to their opposition.  Without either of those things going for them, the Ducks’ season could turn dismal quickly.

USC 60 @ Arizona State 48
UCLA 64 @  Arizona State 48

Arizona State is the only conference team to open its Pac-12 slate with three straight home games, but much to interim head coach Joseph Anders’s dismay, the schedule didn’t yield a 3-0 start.  Though the Sun Devils delivered, 60-45, in their conference opener against in-state rival Arizona on New Year’s Eve, awful shooting doomed the Sun Devils in losses to USC and UCLA last week. ASU scored just 48 points in both outings. 

What’s frustrating is ASU’s nationally-ranked defense is good enough to support a mediocre offense, but not one that’s destitute.

Against UCLA, the Sun Devils shot 26 percent over the final 34 minutes of the game.  Against USC, they shot 30 percent for the game, bad enough that they let the Trojans—who managed just 32-percent shooting along with 20 turnovers themselves—off the hook.

Of course, college teams can’t fill holes in mid-season but if they could Anders would be in the market for a pass-happy point guard.  Arizona State is blessed with plenty of options on the baseline but they need someone to deliver the ball on a timely and consistent basis.

Utah 43 @ Washington State 60
Utah 49,  Washington 36 (OT)

Utah boasts top talent, just not enough of it, at this point, to take advantage of Pac-12 competition.  The Utes have relied almost exclusively on their starters and fatigue has shown in conference play in which they’ve been outscored in the second half of every game.  The Utes did get a reprieve at Washington where they missed 26 of 28 shots in the second half, but forced overtime where they turned the tables, outscoring the Huskies, 17-4, in the extra five minutes.

“They proved their resiliency tonight,” Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said.  “Against Washington State (previously) we had a moment where we felt and looked like we had been defeated, and I reminded them that we’ve been in worse situations than this and that we were going to be okay.  They believed in each other, they believed in what we do, and their resilience shows their true character and I love coaching them.”

Now Levrets needs the love for his team to rub off on the rest of the campus as they could use uncharacteristically large crowds for this week’s upcoming games against Cal and Stanford.

Full Court Spotlight Pac-12 Rookie of the Week: Ali Gibson, Oregon State

Gibson obviously had Oregon State’s visit to Stanford circled on her calendar.  The freshman from Woodbridge, Calif. came right after the Cardinal in a 13-point first half in which she barged her way into the paint repeatedly for layups and assists.  The 5-11 guard, with her size and quickness, figures to be a difference maker for the Beavers for the next three years.  It wasn’t until Stanford turned to Toni Kokenis—a player with similar size and speed—that they managed to put the brakes on the OSU freshman.

Full Court Spotlight Pac-12 Player of the Week: Nnemkadi Owgumike, Stanford

Owgumike carried Stanford—again.  A familiar refrain no doubt, but the 6-2 senior, who earned the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s (USBWA) National Player of the Week Award two weeks ago after putting up 42 points and pulling down 17 boards to lead Stanford to a 97-80 win over No. 6 Tennessee, did it all this week when most of her teammates seemed incapable of getting much done in her place. Owgumike registered 32 points, 15 rebounds, two blocks and two steals against Oregon and two days later logged 33 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks against Oregon State.  Her ability to jump, post up and score in the block are simply done at a WNBA-level of proficiency.  It’s likely that this website will simply have to choose lesser players in the weeks to come to keep from honoring Owgumike in this spot every week.

Current Standings



PAC-12 Women’s Basketball Standings
(As of January 11, 2012)
Rank School Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
1 Stanford 4-0 1.000 13-1 .929
2 USC 3-1 .750 8-6 .571
3 Washington State 3-1 .750 9-7 .563
4 Colorado 2-1 .667 13-1 .929
5 California 2-2 .500 11-5 .688
6 UCLA 2-2 .500 7-8 .467
7 Arizona 1-2 .333 12-3 .800
8 Arizona State 1-2 .333 10-4 .714
9 Utah 1-2 .333 8-6 .571
10 Oregon State 1-3 .250 10-5 .667
11 Washington 1-3 .250 9-5 .643
12 Oregon 1-3 .250 9-7 .563
Source: Pac-12.org



Five Pac-12 Games to Watch, 1/12 – 1/18/2012

@
CALIFORNIA
2-2
11-5

COLORADO
2-1
13-1




The Bears are carrying their six-game losing streak in conference road games like a gigantic monkey on their backs.  Their visit to Boulder won’t be pleasant unless they break the streak and avenge their season-ending loss from last year’s WNIT.

When: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, 6:00 p.m. PST, 7:00 p.m. MST, Coors Events Center, Boulder, Colo.

@
ARIZONA STATE
1-2
10-4

OREGON STATE
1-3
11-5



These teams had impressive non-conference campaigns, but are struggling thus far in conference play. Now they’re staring at each other and only one team can reverse its recent slide.

When: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, 7:00 p.m. PST, Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, Ore.

@
STANFORD
4-0
13-1

UTAH
1-2
8-6



The Utes don’t figure to stop Stanford’s 10-game win streak but they do have talent.  Can they put it together for 40 minutes?  One thing’s for sure: the Cardinal are about as vulnerable as they’re going to get right now.

When: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, 6:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. MST, Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

@
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
3-1
8-6

UCLA
2-2
11-5



USC has dropped four straight to their cross-town rivals in recent years and they can’t expect to overcome their non-conference showing without capturing winnable games down the stretch.  With the Bruins struggling, this one falls into that category even though it will be played in the cozy—and loud—John Wooden Center.

When: Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, 2:00 p.m. PST, John Wooden Center, Los Angeles, CA

@
WASHINGTON
1-3
9-5

WASHINGTON STATE
3-1
9-7



This rivalry seems headed in another direction with the Cougs surging and the Huskies rebuilding.  Coach Kevin McGuff’s squad looks to disrupt the order of things with what would be a noticeable upset.

When: Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, 7:30 p.m. PST, Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, Wash.

Pac-12 Game of the Week

@
STANFORD
4-0
13-1

COLORADO
2-1
13-1



The second of Stanford’s two games in its inaugural trip to the Rocky Mountains could prove to be the game of the week. The Buffs aren’t likely to upset the reigning conference champs, but at 2-1 in conference play and boasting the same 13-1 overall record as the Cardinal (albeit against more modest competition), if it’s going to happen, Colorado is in as good a position as any team in the Pac-12 to make it so. The game will also be a test of the Cardinal’s road-worthiness and overall conditioning (typically a Stanford strong point), played, as it will be, a mile above sea level.

When: Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, 3:00 p.m. PST, 4:00 p.m. MST, Coors Events Center, Boulder, Colo. (Root TV)

 

 

Originally published Wed, January 11, 2012


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NCAA DIVISION I TOP 25 COACHES' POLL
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Week: February 7, 2012
RANK SCHOOL RECORD LAST WEEK'S RANK PRESEASON RANK AP RANK POINTS
1 Baylor (31) 24-0 1 1 1 775
2 Notre Dame 23-1 2 2 2 743
3 Connecticut 21-2 3 4 3 710
4 Stanford 20-1 4 5 4 685
5 Duke 19-3 6 8 5 650
6 Miami (FL) 20-3 7 7 6 604
7 Kentucky 21-3 5 15 7 584
8 Maryland 20-3 10 10 8 534
9 Wisconsin-Green Bay 20-0 9 24 9 530
10 Ohio State 21-2 11 NR-RV
(61)
10 483
11 Tennessee 17-6 8 3 11 476
12 Delaware 20-1 13 NR 12 434
13 Georgetown 18-5 15 11 14 379
14 Texas A&M 16-5 16 6 15 378
15 Nebraska 19-3 18 NR 13 309
16 Rutgers 17-4 14 12 17 372
17 Louisville 17-6 12 9 20 276
18 Gonzaga 21-3 19 NR-RV
(70)
19 234
19 Purdue 19-5 17 21 16 222
20 Georgia 18-6 20 12 21 202
21 Penn State 18-5 21 14 18 176
22 DePaul 17-7 23 18 NR-RV
(38)
92
23 Georgia Tech 16-6 22 NR-RV
(18)
22 104
24 South Carolina 18-5 NR-RV
(13)
NR 24 46
25 Vanderbilt 18-5 NR-RV
(23)
NR-RV
(19)
NR 45
Dropped Out: No. 24 North Carolina, No. 25 Kansas.
First-place votes: Total first-place votes received (if any) are indicated in parentheses following school name.
Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure (22-2) 34; North Carolina (17-6) 19; California (17-6) 18; Florida Gulf Coast (21-2) 16; Middle Tennessee (19-5) 15; Texas-El Paso (20-2) 8; Texas Tech (16-6) 5; Brigham Young (21-4) 4; Fresno State (19-4) 4; St. John's (15-8) 4; Princeton (15-4) 3; Oklahoma (15-7) 2; West Virginia (17-6) 2; Kansas State (15-7) 1.
Rank remains unchanged since last week
Ranking has risen since last week.
Ranking has dropped since last week.
Credit: Courtesy Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The weekly Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll, sponsored by USA Today and ESPN, is based on voting by a Board of Coaches made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions all of whom are WBCA members.