Now is the time in the basketball season that thoughts turn to March Madness and the various tournaments held across the country.  The Pac-10 is no exception.  Everyone at World Financial Group (WFG) can’t wait for the Women’s Tournament of the WFG-sponsored Pac-10 to start next month.  But before that happens, there’s still plenty regular season left.  This weekend proves to be no different.

But before we get to this week’s games, let’s review last week’s action.  Arizona State hosted games against the Oregon schools and won both of them.  Oregon State was victorious against Arizona, but Arizona held Oregon to only 44 points.  California swept the Washington schools.  Stanford also visited the state of Washington but could only win against Washington (Washington State won their game).  Finally, USC claimed victory over UCLA in a “Battle for Los Angeles”.

Two WFG-sponsored Pac-10 teams find themselves in the top ten in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Top 25.  But what makes this week unique is that both schools occupy the same spot in both polls!  California is the higher ranked at number three.  Stanford isn’t far behind them at number six.  But there’s love for one more Pac-10 team in the AP poll.  Arizona State received votes and, hopefully, may make the top 25 this week.  We at World Financial Group have our fingers crossed for you.

So, what does the Pac-10 hold for Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend?  Four game lead off the action on Thursday, February 12.  All four of these games will tip off at 7 PM local time:

  • The Arizona Wildcats will travel to Los Angeles and take on the UCLA Bruins.  Arizona won their last game while UCLA hopes to end a three game skid.  The Wildcats have improved upon last year’s free throw percentage, scoring 70.8% of the time from the “charity stripe”, compared to 65.2% last year.  The Bruins lead the Pac-10 in steals with an average of 11.0 a game and they rank 25th in the NCAA for that category.  Maybe World Financial Group can sponsor the free throw line.
  • The Arizona State Sun Devils will pay a visit to the USC Trojans.  Both of these teams are working on winning streaks of nine and one games, respectively.  Sun Devil senior guard Briann January was hot to start February with 14 points against Oregon.  Trojan junior center Moniquee Alexander led her teammates with 13 rebounds against UCLA. 
  • The Washington Huskies will cross state lines to the north and play the Oregon State Beavers.  The Huskies has dropped their last ten games while Oregon State lost their last one.  Washington junior guard/forward Sami Whitcomb went 10 for 12 at the free-throw line against Stanford.  Oregon State sophomore center Alex Mitchell recorded her first double-double of the season against Arizona. 
  • The Washington State Cougars visit Eugene to play the Oregon Ducks.  Both teams hope to end their losing streaks of two and three games, respectively.  Washington State senior guard Katie Appleton recently joined the 1,000 career point club against Stanford.  Oregon junior guard Taylor Lilley had to miss most of the game against ASU due to a concussion, but scored seven points in 12 minutes before leaving.

Unfortunately for WFG sports fans, there are no games on Friday, February 13th, for any Pac-10 team.  Whether it is by design or coincidence remains to be seen.  But Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14th, sees:

  • The California Golden Bears visit Palo Alto to take on Stanford.  Both of these teams are neck and neck in the Pac-10 standings and are also nationally ranked.  California senior forward/center Ashley Walker joined a very exclusive club last week by becoming the second lady Golden Bear to earn her 1,000th career rebound.  Cardinal junior forward/center Jayne Appel scored 24 points in 25 minutes against Washington last week.  This game tips off at 8 PM local time with national coverage provided by FSN.
  • Arizona State pays a visit to UCLA for a 2 PM game
  • Washington plays Oregon in Eugene also at 2 PM with coverage provided by CSN NW
  • Washington State takes on Oregon State in Corvallis at 7 PM local time

Sunday, February 15 sees one game.  Arizona will take on USC at noon with TV provided by FSN. 

And Pac-10 Player of the Week honors go to USC senior guard Camille LeNoir.  This Los Angeles native recorded her seventh double digit game in eight games.  Her 19 points included three shots from behind the three point arc.  If WFG can’t sponsor the free throw line, how about the three point arc?  That’s something to consider.  Regardless, high fives all around to Camille from your friends at World Financial Group!

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