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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Spotlight on the Pac-12: Cal Gives Cardinal a Scare, But Stanford Continues to Dominate

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Photo Caption: Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike (White, No. 13), this week’s Full Court Pac-12 Spotlight Player, registered a career-high 27 points and 18 rebounds lead the Cardinal to a 74-71 overtime victory over local rival California at Maples Pavilion on to save the Cardinal in overtime from a near-upset by local rival California on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Stanfordphoto.com/Don Feria




By Morris Phillips
Correspondent

The Pac-12 may be new—in name, if not in substance—but the lack of drama on the women’s basketball front is certainly not. Once again, this shapes up as the nation’s least suspenseful conference. 

Factor in two new schools, add a high profile coach and sprinkle in impressive recruiting classes for several conference teams and still, nothing changes. Stanford trumps all. No one can beat the Cardinal, and no one can steal their headlines, let alone create compelling storylines of their own.

Last Saturday, the Golden Bears and their first-year coach Lindsay Gottlieb got their shot to change the order of things, only to suffer a gut-wrenching 74-71 overtime loss at Stanford’s Maples Pavilion. Still, it was the closest Pac-12 women’s basketball ever gets to excitement.

Coming into the game, California (15-6, 6-3) had won six straight, moved into second place in the conference race, and neutralized the bad taste of their trio of narrow, non-conference losses to ranked opponents.

Gottlieb has seen her Bears realize two important objectives thus far this season: First, establishing a consistent, powerful style of play, and second, installing rookie sensation Brittany Boyd as the team’s starting point guard. 

“Brittany’s growth stands out the most,” Gottlieb said. “Whether you can calculate her demeanor, her consistency to get stops on defense, she’s becoming a factor.  There’s no question that she’s a kid that going to make things happen.”

When you hand a freshman the keys to the car, there’s no way you can avoid the bumps in the road. Cal turns the ball over too much (16.6 turnovers per game) and they are just a slightly above-average Division I team in terms of assist-to-turnover ratio (ranking 91st of 336 DI teams).

Factor in Cal’s inability to take advantage of their frequent trips to the free-throw line—the Bears’ 61.3 percent from the stripe places them 316th of 336 DI teams in free-throw percentage—and it’s easy to see how the Golden Bears have dropped six winnable games.

Still, Gottlieb remains committed to Boyd and Boyd —- who briefly considered leaving her hometown of Berkeley when former Cal coach Joanne Boyle bolted to Virginia —- remains committed to Gottlieb and the Bears.

“Now that we’ve instilled the basic concepts, we have to let her go a little bit and be Brittany,” Gottlieb said. “Being able to play fast and go one-on-one is part of that.”

Boyd Heads to the Hoop
Photo Caption: Cal freshman Brittany Boyd (Gold, No. 15) has earned the confidence of first-year coach Lindsay Gottlieb as well as a spot in the starting line-up with her speed and defensive energy. Boyd, who averages 10 points, 4.7 assists, and 2.6 steals per game, had a career game on Saturday, leading the Golden Bears to a near-upset of No. 5 Stanford, posting a career- and team-high 19 points, pulling down seven boards, and grabbing three steals. Boyd also handed out four assists but coughed up seven turnovers, the one area that needs significant improvement.
Photo Credit: Courtesy GoldenBearSports.com



Stanford (18-1, 9-0) probably expected to see Boyd in attack mode on Saturday since Ali Gibson and Oregon State established that method for giving the Cardinal problems with their near-perfect first half in a surprisingly close 67-60 loss in early January. When you’re trying to pull the upset of a college career, there’s no time to be cute. Force the issue in the paint, hopefully shoot a high percentage and get to the line, and don’t let Stanford’s superior rebounding and transition offense be the story.

Sure enough, Boyd did her part early, scoring 14 of her team-best 19 points in the first half as the Bears kept within striking distance of the Cardinal.  Boyd admitted afterward that seeing the endless line of championship banners in the rafters of Maples Pavilion got her fired up.

Only a hiccup in the final minutes before halftime allowed the Cardinal to take a nine-point lead at the break.  Gottlieb had implored her team from the first day of practice to establish an identity and stick to it and early on against Stanford she was seeing that identity play out.

“Heading into March, we want to be one of the teams that is on the upswing,” she said. “I’ve seen growth and that they are playing with purpose.  We play a power game, we play we an inside game, we go around you, we go through you.”

In the second half, Cal fell behind by as many as 14 points with 8:17 remaining, but even at that juncture, they were benefiting from an off-shooting night for Stanford. The Cardinal shot just 36 percent for the game and missed 17 of their 20 three-point attempts. Stanford’s All-American candidate Nneka Ogwumike was on her way to a rare six-for-18 shooting performance, hindering the Cardinal’s ability to pull away.

In the final minutes, Cal staged a furious rally, scoring the final nine points of regulation to force overtime.

Likely the big finish in regulation sapped the Bears as they missed eight of their nine field goal attempts in overtime.  Laysia Clarendon missed a pair of threes, either of which would have gotten Cal even in the final minute.  And while Cal posts Gennifer Brandon and Talia Caldwell had battled evenly with Nneka Ogwumike, neither had gotten a handle on Ogwumike’s sister Chiney.  The sophomore showed why Stanford—winners of 74 straight at home and 66 consecutive games against Pac-12 competition—is so hard to beat by picking it up the slack with a career-best performance of 27 points and 18 rebounds.

“Once they doubled me, that left one other person open, and clearly Chiney can take care of business,” Nneka Ogwumike said.  “That’s how we work. … This is something we’re going to see in the (NCAA) tournament.  Teams can pick their poison.”

Cal battled, but couldn’t seal the deal, needing some magic in the final minutes of overtime.  At least the loss was a departure from their previous ones in that they couldn’t depend on their superiority on the boards and instead had make shots and get stops.  Stanford’s defense was outstanding as well as they kept Cal out of the paint in the second half and didn’t resort to fouling when Cal did penetrate.  In a battle of nationally-relevant, youthful teams, Stanford was more efficient and just a little bit better than Cal.
 
Gottlieb commended her team in defeat, but clearly she doesn’t want the NCAA committee evaluating her team based solely on a slew of high-profile losses.

“I asked them to come in here with an extra special effort—-that’s what you need when you’re playing the No. 4 team in the country—-and they gave that effort today.  Obviously we came up one possession short,” she said.

“I definitely think (Cal) is a top-25 team,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.  “They took us right to the brink.”

So is the Battle of the Bay now a true rivalry?  Yes and no.  Cal iss probably the closest thing in the Pac-12 to real competition for Stanford as things stand currently. But the numbers don’t lie: Cal has lost 39 of 42 to Stanford, and while the Cardinal appear to be coasting to a 12th straight conference crown, the Bears are just trying to get over the hump.

Summing Up the Past Week’s Results



Games of Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012

  • Utah 51 @ Arizona State 59
  • Oregon 83 @ UCLA 62
  • Oregon State 65 @ USC 61 (OT)
  • Washington 47 @ No. 4 Stanford 65



Games of Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012

  • Colorado 56 @ Arizona 54
  • Washington State 55 @ California 60



Games of Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012

  • Arizona State 63 @ Washington State 46
  • USC 67 @ Colorado 69
  • UCLA 65 @ Utah 60
  • Arizona 48 @ Washington 77



Games of Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012

  • California 71 @ No. 4 Stanford 74 (OT)
  • Arizona State 57 @ Washington 53
  • Oregon 60 @ Oregon State 67
  • Arizona 68 @ Washington State 78
  • USC 55 @ Utah 63



Games of Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012

  • UCLA 62 @ Colorado 54



Editor’s Note: Full Court’s Pac-12 correspondent Morris Phillips away a week ago to cover the Pro Bowl. We’re taking this opportunity to bring our readers up-to-date on the Pac-12 women’s basketball action that took place in his absence, as well as the results in the immediate past week, and will then hone in on the highlights of last weekend’s games.

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



  • Oregon 60 @ Oregon State 67

    With senior forward Amanda Johnson finally back from a broken thumb after missing seven weeks, Oregon (11-10, 3-6) held a four-point lead late in their Civil War battle with Oregon State last Saturday.  In the late stages of a game, Oregon coach Paul Westhead’s “system” figures to force opponents into leg-weary missed shots and cause mental lapses.

    But on this Saturday, just the opposite was true, as Oregon State responded with an 11-0 run and held on for a 67-60 win in Corvallis.

      Johnson picked her team up with 16 points, nine rebounds in 21 minutes, but Westhead had to spot rest his star player in the final minutes of her first game back.  And while Johnson was on her game, freshman breakout star Liz Brenner (0-for-4) and starting shooting guard Ariel Thomas (2-for-11) were not.  Consequently, the final minutes played out as a microcosm of Oregon’s season which resembles an expensive speedster that just can’t seem to hit on all cylinders simultaneously.

    Afterward, Oregon point guard Nia Jackson conceded the Ducks needed their breakneck pace and took responsibility for failing to provide it.

    “We weren’t running as much as we should have,” Jackson stated. “I should have got the pace going a little bit faster.”

    While the OSU’s Gill Coliseum crowd may not have been cognizant of the various strengths and weaknesses Oregon’s running game, they certainly noticed the Ducks’ critical gaffe in the final seconds. The Beavers’ Sage Indendi went to the line for a one-and-one with 38 seconds remaining and the Beavers up seven.  With three Ducks lined up to rebound and all four remaining OSU players playing it safe in the backcourt, Indendi missed the front end of the one-and-one.  The ball bounded into the lane and lay almost motionless until Johnson picked it up and flipped it to a referee standing out of bounds.

    But the ball was deemed live and Johnson was assessed a turnover, scrapping Oregon’s final shot at a comeback.

    Oregon State (13-7, 4-5) employed a zone defense to slow the Ducks’ fast break, which was clearly smart strategy, but the largest home crowd for the Beavers since 2007 had to be wondering why OSU would try to get into a long-range shooting contest with the smaller Ducks, especially when the Beavers, who trailed by as many as five in the finally six minutes of the game, missed 21 of their 28 three-point attempts. But in the final minutes, Indendi, Alyssa Martin and Ali Gibson each hit a big three to swing the tide in favor of Oregon State.

    “I don’t think we came into the game and thought we would just launch threes and hope they’d go in (although) I think throughout the game a lot of us got confident in our shot,” said Gibson, whose career-best 23 points led Oregon State. It was the third straight game in which Gibson has scored in double figures, helping the Beavers to shake off a three-game losing streak by winning three of their last five conference games.

    The big finish on Saturday had Coach Scott Rueck looking forward to a bright horizon for the Beavers.

    “We’ve got a great class coming, we’re building a foundation, but I don’t want to wait till then, I want to win now. I want (the team) to experience this. I think we can. I think we’ve got that ability,” Rueck said.


  • Arizona State 57 @ Washington 53

    Quietly but forcefully, Arizona State (15-5, 6-3) has won five straight and moved into a tie for second place in the conference. No surprise, the Sun Devils have done it by playing shut-down defense, allowing no team to score better than 53 points in the streak. Currently, the Sun Devils rank 13th in Division I in scoring defense for the season, allowing opponents an average of 51.9 points a game.

      But according to interim head coach Joseph Anders, the difference lately has been at the offensive end where junior guard Deja Mann has provided cohesion.

    “Our team is really beginning to know who we are and play that way,” Anders said.  “There’s nothing like confidence.  We’ve been able to play off of each other in our offensive sets and Deja’s been a big part of that.”

    In their narrow road win in Seattle, the Sun Devils’ defense seemingly stretched to the free-throw line as well as Washington missed eight-of-11 attempts from the line down the stretch of a game so close it saw 17 lead changes.

    It was just the bit of luck ASU needed to stretch its dominance over the Huskies to 14 wins in their last 15 meetings.

    Kim Brandon led the Sun Devils with 16 points and six boards, three steals and a block, but five turnovers. Mann added 12 points, seven of them in the critical stretch run, in addition to dishing out four assists.

    Washington center Regina Rodgers led all scorers with 20 points on 6-13 shooting, turning it into a double-double with 12 rebounds, also a game high. Mercedes Wetmore and Jazmine Davis added 12 apiece, with Davis tacking on six boards and three assists, but giving away five turnovers.


  • Arizona 68 @ Washington State 78

    Arizona (13-8, 2-7) saw the bottom fall out of its conference title hopes as it picked up its fourth straight conference loss Saturday, falling 68-78 on the road at Washington State. An overtime loss to Utah at home, 65-60, started the slide into the conference basement two weeks ago which steadily worsened until hitting its nadir on Saturday with the loss to the Cougars.

    “We have been struggling the last six games,” Arizona coach Niya Butts conceded. “The good thing is there is a lot of basketball left to play.”

    The Wildcats have missed guard Candice Warthen, who was playing well in non-conference action before an injury sidelined her for the first half of conference play.  Warthen is back, but at nowhere near the level she was performing in December.

    That’s actually the good news; the bad news is that Arizona’s unforced turnovers are driving Butts crazy. The Wildcats turn the ball over 16 times per game on average and hold one of the league’s worst turnover margins, at -0.83 per game.

    “We’re throwing the ball out of bounds with no pressure on us.  We’re dribbling the ball off our foot,” Butts said.


  • USC 67 @ Colorado 69
    USC 55 @ Utah 63

    By now USC (10-9, 5-4) has cemented its reputation as the league’s quintessential up-and-down team, but the Trojans seemed to take that label to a whole new level in Salt Lake City on Saturday.

    Needing a win to maintain a share of second place, the Trojans shot out to a 17-0 lead over Utah, holding the Utes scoreless for the first nine-plus minutes of the game. But then USC let Utah right back in it—-courtesy of a 16-2 run—-and things were near even at the half.

    The Women of Troy were playing their first game without senior Briana Gilbreath, who injured her knee in USC’s previous game at Colorado.  Her absence showed on the defensive end in the second half as Utah used a pair of damaging runs to take control.

    It was the third loss in a row for the Women of Troy, who had dropped a heart-breaker two days earlier, falling 67-69 in the final seconds at Colorado as Gilbreath fouled the Buffs’ Chucky Jeffrey with 1.2 seconds remaining in a tie game. Jeffrey converted both free throws and USC failed to get a shot off before the final buzzer. Good thing Utah (10-10, 3-6) coach Anthony Levrets is incredibly positive and possesses a sharp sense of humor.  Right now, 20 games into his second season as a Division I head coach, he needs all of his resources fully functioning.

    “We are incredibly injured right now.  We are down to nine healthy bodies,” Levrets said quite succinctly.

    The Utes weren’t very deep to begin with, then the latest round of injuries hit, making Utah even more prone to incredible peaks and valleys.  Against USC on Saturday, held Utah scoreless for the first eight-and-a-half minutes of the game, while running out to a 17-0 lead. The Utes then responded with a 21-4 run to tie things up at 21 all with under a minute remaining in the half.

    USC’s Alexyz Vaioletama made the last bucket of the period to leave the Trojans with a two-point edge, 23-21, heading into the break.

    USC ran the lead up to nine points (32-22) in the first four minutes of the second frame. But Utah’s Michelle Plouffe, who had been held scoreless in the opening half, knocked down a jumper at the 13:46 mark of the second period, which she quickly followed with a trey and a put-back, for the first seven points of a 13-0 Utah run, that gave the Utes their first lead of the game two minutes later.

    By the time Ashley Corral finally broke the USC drought, draining a trey at the 10:10 mark, the Trojans had completely squandered their lead and the Utes held a five-point (41-36) advantage.

    USC’s Christina Marinacchi tied the score at 43 apiece 40 seconds later, converting the rare four-point play as she knocked down the free-throw after being fouled in the process of draining a trey off a feed from Corral. But Plouffe answered with a three of her own, to make it 46-43, Utah, and launch yet another Ute run, this one 7-0, giving the Utes a 50-43 lead they would never relinquish.

    Plouffe finished with a game-high 21 points, all of them after halftime, to which she added seven boards, two steals, a block and an assist. Iwalani Rodriques added 14 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Janita Badon chimed in with a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards. Badon also handed out five assists but gave them all back with five turnovers. Taryn Wicijowski also logged a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Utes.

    Ariya Crook led USC with 17 points and six rebounds. Corral contributed 11 points, shooting just four-of-14 from the field, but landing three-of-nine from long distance; Corral added a team-high nine rebounds but coughed up five turnovers, also a team-high. Cassie Harberts chipped in 10 points for the Women of Troy, who have now all but quashed their postseason hopes.

    It’s likely the injuries will take their toll on Utah this Thursday at Oregon where the Ducks will speed things up and test the Utes’ depth and their defense, currently ranked second in the conference in points allowed.


  • UCLA 62 @ Colorado 54

    Colorado (15-5 4-5) coach Linda Lappe knows her team and she didn’t like what she saw headed into overtime against UCLA last Sunday.

    “UCLA had a lot of momentum, and they were happy to go into overtime,” Lappe said. “In talking to our team, I didn’t get that same feeling.  I don’t think our team looked at it as an opportunity.”

    The Buffs certainly had an opportunity—-to stretch their win streak to three and grab a share of third place in the conference—-but failed to take advantage as they fell to the Bruins, 54-62 in overtime.

    Just like their fellow conference newcomer, Utah, Colorado has Pac-12-level talent, but at this point, probably not enough of it.

    The Buffs started the season 11-0 overall and looked like a contender. Now that reality has set in, Colorado is down, but not out.  The second half of their conference schedule is favorable with five home games and a home-and-home with the Oregon schools.

    If they can take advantage, they may be able to alter current projections that have just two Pac-12 schools getting NCAA tournament bids.

    Lappe certainly has a firm grasp on the one thing that would certainly catch the tournament selection committee’s eye.

    “Somebody’s going to have to beat Stanford, or beat Cal,” Lappe said.  “We can’t just beat up on three through 12.”


  • Arizona State 63 @ Washington State 46

    Washington State (10-11, 4-5) lost a bunch of momentum when sharpshooter Ireti Amojo was lost for the season with a knee injury.  Coach June Daugherty feels her team is starting to make adjustments—-getting scorers Sage Romberg and Jazmine Perkins into primary offensive roles—-but she probably wishes those adjustments would have kicked in a bit sooner—say during the Cougars’ home loss to Arizona State Thursday of last week, for example.

    Now the Cougars are staring at a challenging second-half schedule that puts them on the road in five of their next seven league games.  Also, Washington State gets USC and UCLA twice in the coming weeks and, for all their ups and downs this season, the Trojans and Bruins figure to be a touch more formidable down the stretch than Cougars.


  • Washington 47 @ No. 4 Stanford 65
    Arizona 48 @ Washington 77
    Arizona State 57 @ Washington 53

    Two weeks ago, Washington (11-8, 3-5) competed at Stanford for the first 20 minutes, but not so much after that.  The telling numbers in the 18-point loss to Stanford: Just one assist but 21 turnovers for the Huskies, proving that new coach Kevin McGuff has some work to do in getting his team to function cohesively on offense.

    The Huskies split a pair of home games with the Arizona schools over the weekend, but after blowing out visiting Arizona, 77-48, blew a chance to sweep by failing to make plays down the stretch in a narrow loss to Arizona State.  Again, McGuff has a lot to work on including getting his team to team to knock down free throws late in a winnable game.

      And one more issue: Freshman guard Jazmine Davis can score with the best of them, but she may not be the best candidate to direct UW’s offense. So going forward, McGuff must also figure out an issue that confounds basketball coaches from the girls’ high school level to the NBA: How do you integrate a smaller guard who can score, but who isn’t a playmaker, without limiting the team on the offensive and defensive ends?


  • UCLA 62 @ Colorado 54

    UCLA (10-10, 5-4) has played 805 minutes of basketball this season, but it’s the last five that currently make all the difference. The Bruins outscored Colorado 16-8 in overtime on Sunday to capture their third win in four games, including the road sweep of the Bruins’ just completed, first-ever Pac-12 snow trip.  Now—like singer Toni Braxton—the Bruins can breathe again, holding a share of third place in the conference.

    Given the Bruins’ murderous schedule, which new coach Cori Close inherited from departed coach Nikki Caldwell, a .500 record at this point is a real victory.  Now, the Bruins can focus on the second half of conference play, in which they only have four home games. Still, UCLA could catapult themselves into postseason contention if they can take advantage of the Washington schools this coming week at home and repeat the feat on the road on the final weekend of the Pac-12 regular season.



Full Court Pac-12 Spotlight Rookie of the Week: Liz Brenner, Oregon



Oregon's Liz Brenner Defends
Photo Caption: Oregon’s Liz Brenner of Portland’s Jesuit High was a three-sport letterwoman, earning All-State honors in volleyball, basketball and softball, in addition to her 11 titles as a racquetball world champion. She began her collegiate athletic career on the Ducks’ Volleyball squad, earning Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honor. In December, Paul Westhead came trolling for an interior presence and arranged for the 6-1 Brenner, who had cut Westhead’s eye while he was recruiting her club teammate Shoni Shimmel, to join the basketball squad in the volleyball off-season. In the month since Brenner joined the team as a forward, she has made an immediate impact, leading the team with 16 points in their loss at USC and notching her first double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds in a win over UCLA.
Photo Credit: Courtesy UO Media Services/Eric Evans



We previously opined that coach Paul Westhead needed to find a big-time scorer/rebounder under his Christmas tree, preferably sometime before next Christmas.  Instead, Westhead visited Oregon volleyball coach Jim Moore’s office and cut a deal to acquire Liz Brenner for the second half of the basketball season.

The freshman, who was named to the Pac-12’s All-Freshman team in volleyball is having a similar impact on the hardwood, helping the Ducks survive without injured senior Amanda Johnson.  Now that Johnson is back, Brenner has established herself as an integral part of the Ducks’ offense, giving Oregon a presence in the paint.

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



Chiney Ogwumike was the nation’s top recruit two years ago, but she joined a Stanford team that already had a full arsenal of offensive options. So early on, Owgumike became one of the nation’s top garbage players, adept at creating scoring opportunities for herself through offensive rebounding, put-backs and steals, as she used her long arms to disrupt opponents’ passing lanes.

Now as a sophomore, Chiney is an All-American in training, learning from her sister, Nneka, and taking advantage when opponents double her older sibling. Already the backdoor connection between Chiney and Stanford’s freshman point guard Amber Orrange looks to be almost unfair in its undeniable effectiveness.

On an off-night for her high-flying sister, Ogwumike carried Stanford last week with 27 points, 18 rebounds in the Cardinal’s overtime win over California.

Current Standings



PAC-12 Women’s Basketball Standings
(As of January 30, 2012)
Rank School Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
1 Stanford 9-0 1.000 18-1 .947
2 Arizona State 6-3 .667 15-5 .750
3 California 6-3 .667 15-6 .714
4 USC 5-4 .556 10-9 .526
5 UCLA 5-4 .556 10-10 .500
6 Colorado 4-5 .444 15-5 .750
7 Oregon State 4-5 .444 13-7 .650
8 Washington State 4-5 .444 10-11 .476
9 Washington 3-6 .333 11-8 .579
10 Oregon 3-6 .333 11-10 .524
11 Utah 3-6 .333 10-10 .500
12 Arizona 2-7 .222 13-8 .619
Source: Pac-12.org



Five Pac-12 Games to Watch, 2/2 – 2/8



@ Arizona State Jewel Button
NO. 4 STANFORD
9-0
18-1

ARIZONA STATE
6-3
15-5



Everybody knows it’s been a long time since Stanford has stubbed its toe in conference play (66 straight wins against Pac-12 competition) and this may be the best shot anyone has at sending the Cardinal to the podiatrist. The Sun Devils are strong defensively, are currently playing well and at home they may have some success slowing the Cardinal, who haven’t shot the ball at their usual high standards of late.

When: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, 9:00 p.m. EST/7:00 p.m. MST/6:00 p.m. PST, Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz. (FSN)

@
WASHINGTON STATE
4-5
10-11

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
5-4
10-9



USC is too good to lose as frequently as they have so far. True, they’ve suffered more than their fair share of injuries, but that’s part of the game, and like anybody else, they have to make things right on the court.  The Cougars are struggling, so there’s no excuse for the Women of Troy not to right their ship on Thursday.

When: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, 10 p.m. EST/7:00 p.m. PST, Galen Center, Los Angeles, Calif.

@
COLORADO
4-5
15-5

OREGON STATE
4-5
13-7



Two of the Pac-12 real comers —- this season or next —- face off to see who can maintain momentum.  Julie Seabrook has been a consistent force for the Buffs, while freshman Ali Gibson is coming off three double-digit offensive games for OSU.  In this one, people are starting to get excited about the Beavers in Corvallis so the Gill Coliseum crowd could be a factor for OSU.

When: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, 10:00 p.m. EST/8:00 p.m. MST/7:00 p.m. PST, Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, Ore.

@
UTAH
3-6
10-10

OREGON
3-6
11-10



This coaching clinic matches youthful, enthusiastic Anthony Levrets against the curmudgeonly, braniac Paul Westhead.  The difference is Levrets’ Utes are thin and Westhead’s Ducks are getting healthy and gaining momentum. A big weekend for one of these teams could propel them up the seedings in the Pac-12 conference tournament in March.

When: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, 10:00 p.m. EST/8:00 p.m. MST/7:00 p.m. PST, Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Ore.

Cal Jewel Button @ Arizona State Jewel Button
CALIFORNIA
6-3
15-6

ARIZONA STATE
6-3
15-5



These two teams are currently tied for second place in conference and see each other only once before the conference tournament.  So it’s likely that the result of this game will carry significant weight on NCAA Selection Monday.  The key could be Cal’s ability to generate quality scoring opportunities against one of the nation’s best defenses.

When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, 4:00 p.m. EST/2:00 p.m. MST/1:00 p.m. PST, Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz.

 

 

Originally published Thu, February 02, 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.