February is ending. Which means March will start very soon. With March comes spring and everything associated with the season: flowers in bloom, allergies, baseball and, of course, March Madness. And the sports nuts at World Financial Group haven’t forgotten that women’s basketball plays a very important part in March Madness and can’t wait to experience it.
In last week’s hoop action, California and Stanford won easily against the Oregon universities. USC swept both Washington and Washington State. UCLA lost against Washington, but was able to beat Washington State. Arizona State beat Arizona to determine who was tops in the Grand Canyon State. And in non-conference action, Oregon State visited UC Santa Barbara and won 70-61, their tenth non-conference win of the year.
The polls have some disagreement between them. According to the Associated Press, Stanford is at 3, California is at 4 and Arizona State (with a 12 game win streak going) is at 24. But over at the ESPN/USA Today poll, Stanford is at 4, California is at 6 and ASU only received votes to come in around 28. If it were up to WFG, they’d be in the poll outright, along with all the great Pac-10 teams.
Anyway, Thursday, Feb. 26 sees two Pac-10 contests (all times are local):
- The Washington Huskies travel to Arizona State to play the Sun Devils. Washington hopes not to extend their current losing streak to a second game. Washington’s defense held UCLA to 29.8% shooting and 23 turnovers. ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne became the thid coach in Pac-10 history to lead her squad to 20+ victories five years in a row. This game tips off at 6:30 p.m.
- The Washington State Cougars visit the Arizona Wildcats. Both teams hope to halt losing streaks of three and one game, respectively. WSU senior center Ebonee Coates was a rebounding machine last week, grabbing 13 of them against USC. Arizona sophomore forward Ify Ibekwe leads the Pac-10 in rebounds, averaging 11.5 a game. The hardwood sees action starting at 7 p.m.
On Friday, Feb. 27, World Financial Group sports fans will be following these games:
- The California Golden Bears visit the USC Trojans. Both teams hope to build on their respective two game win streak. California coach Joanne Boyle has led her team to three straight 20+ win seasons. USC defense showed strength against the Washington schools, forcing 21 turnovers against Washington and 24% shooting in the first half. The hoops start to fly at 7 p.m.
- The Stanford Cardinals will play the UCLA Bruins in LA. The Cardinals have won their last nine while UCLA won its last game. Stanford freshman forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 15 points last week against Oregon off the bench. UCLA sophomore guard Doreena Campbell had 24 points against Washington State, including 10 from the charity stripe. This game also tips off at 7 p.m.
The last day of February (the 28th) sees three WFG Pac-10 sponsored games:
- The Oregon Ducks travels to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers. Both teams hope to end their respective two game losing streaks. OSU senior center Tiffany Drucker contributed four steals in the loss to Stanford. Oregon had a pair of 10 point scorers last week in sophomore forward Ellie Manou and junior guard Taylor Lilley. This battle for Oregon starts at 7 p.m.
- Washington versus Arizona at 1 p.m.
- Washington State versus Arizona State at 4 p.m.
Sunday, March 1 sees hoop action with:
- California versus UCLA at Noon with television coverage by FSN
- Stanford versus USC also at Noon
The Pac-10 Player of the Week award goes to California’s senior forward Ashley Walker. Ashley is currently the Pac-10’s leading scorer with 1,977 points and California’s career leading rebounder with 1,029. This is also her 8th career Player of the Week award; one shy of the all-time record. Way to go Ashley from your friends at World Financial Group!