Friday, March 21, 2003

Women: West Regional team capsules



1. LSU (27-3)

Southeastern Conference

Coach: Sue Gunter

Top players: G Seimone Augustus, F Aiysha Smith, G Temeka Johnson

Comments: LSU upset Tennessee in the SEC Tournament final to earn a No. 1 seed. The Tigers, who equaled their best conference record in school history, are led by Augustus, the SEC Freshman of the Year.

2. Texas (22-5)

Big 12 Conference

Coach: Jody Conradt

Top players: F Stacy Stephens, F Heather Schreiber, G Jamie Carey

Comments: Conradt guided the Longhorns to their first Big 12 title and her 11th championship overall. Carey, a top shooter, transferred from Stanford, where she played in 1999-2000.

3. Stanford (26-4)

Pacific-10 Conference

Coach: Tara VanDerveer

Top players: F Nicole Powell, G Kelly Suminski, F Azella Perryman

Comments: Powell, the Pac-10 MVP, is a leader and has talent around her. Stanford excels at free throw shooting (second in the nation) but struggles against the full-court press.

4. Ohio State (21-9)

Big Ten Conference

Coach: Jim Foster

Top players: G Caity Matter, G Kim Wilburn, F Courtney Coleman

Comments: Foster, who took the Ohio State job after 11 years at Vanderbilt, led the Buckeyes to the conference tournament final. OSU is one of the best-shooting teams in the country. Wilburn is an outstanding freshman point guard.

5. Louisiana Tech (29-2)

Western Athletic Conference

Coach: Kurt Budke

Top players: C Cheryl Ford, F Trina Frierson, G Amber Obaze

Comments: The Techsters take the nation's longest active winning streak (27 games) into the tournament. Budke, who took over for legend Leon Barmore, was named WAC Coach of the Year, and Ford repeated as Player of the Year.

6. Minnesota (23-5)

Big Ten

Coach: Pam Borton

Top players: G Lindsay Whalen, G Corrin Von Wald, C Janel McCarville

Comments: The Gophers finished in a second-place tie in the Big Ten with their highest win total. Whalen was the Big Ten's player of the year in 2002.

7. Arkansas (21-10)

SEC

Coach: Gary Blair

Top players: F Shameka Christon, G India Lewis, G Dana Cherry

Comments: The Razorbacks tie their best streak of NCAA appearances with three. They are 14-0 when they hold the opposition to fewer than 60 points. Christon, who had 33 points against LSU in the SEC Tournament, plays her best in front of big crowds.

8. UW-Green Bay (27-3)

Horizon League

Coach: Kevin Borseth

Top players: G Kristy Loiselle, G Sara Boyer, C Chandra Johnson

Comments: The Phoenix, making their fifth trip to the NCAAs in six years, posted their best win total in their 16 Division I seasons. They are the nation's top 3-point shooting team.

9. Washington (22-7)

Pac-10

Coach: June Daugherty

Top players: G Giuliana Mendiola, G Loree Payne, F Andrea Lalum

Comments: Mendiola (17.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 5.4 apg) is the first Husky to be named Pac-10 Player of the Year. She sprained her ankle in the Pac-10 Tournament but seems to be OK. Payne is the top 3-point shooter in school history.

10. Cincinnati (23-7)

Conference USA

Coach: Laurie Pirtle

Top players: C Debbie Merrill, G Valerie King, G K.B. Sharp

Comments: TCU denied Cincinnati a second straight C-USA Tournament title, beating the Bearcats in overtime. Merrill (17. 4 ppg, 8.3 rpg), King and Sharp are the first trio of players to make the all-conference first team.

11. Tulane (19-9)

C-USA

Coach: Lisa Stockton

Top players: C Teana McKiver, F Gwen Slaughter, G Delacey Joseph

Comments: The Green Wave have size, speed and experience as they roll into their ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament. McKiver and Slaughter, a pair of 6-foot-3 post players, were named to the All-Conference USA team.

12. Pepperdine (22-7)

West Coast Conference

Coach: Mark Trakh

Top players: F Keani Christianson, F Nicole Funn, G Shanell Law

Comments: The Waves repeated as West Coast champs with a team that has no stars but plenty of depth. They lost to UConn 109-48 and Stanford 91-58. They lost to Villanova in the NCAA Tournament's first round last year.

13. Weber State (21-8)

Big Sky Conference

Coach: Carla Taylor

Top players: G Julie Gjertsen, C Crystal Howe, G Karsen Muller

Comments: The Wildcats won the Big Sky to return to the NCAA Tournament for the second year. They were outclassed by Kansas State in their biggest nonconference test.

14. Western Michigan (20-11)

Mid-American Conference

Coach: Ron Stewart

Top players: F Kristin Koetsier, G Casey Rost, G Maria Jilian

Comments: The Broncos, fourth in the nation in scoring, upset Toledo and Ball State to claim their first MAC Tournament title since 1985. They were 1-7 in games decided by 10 points or fewer during the regular season.

15. Hampton (23-8)

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Coach: Patricia Bibbs

Top players: G LaShondra Dixon, F Nicole Brathwaite, G Lynetta Sullivan

Comments: The Pirates defeated Delaware State in the MEAC final thanks to Brathwaite's proficiency inside and the 5-5 Dixon's ability to make dazzling plays from most everywhere on the floor.

16. Southwest Texas (18-13)

Southland Conference

Coach: Suzanne Fox

Top players: C Tori Talbert, G Julie Brooks, F Aleise Johnson

Comments: Talbert, the Southland Player of the Year, was the driving force on the surprising Bobcats, who used solid defense and rebounding to take the conference championship. This is their second NCAA appearance.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel




UC BEARCATS
Gonzaga 74, UC 69
Referee to Machock: 'You're out'
Bobbitt wastes last shot
UC football staff set for 2003

XAVIER
Muskies planning to seize moment
Near upsets get XU's attention
Coach's intensity bringing out best in rookie Boothe

OTHER NCAA TOURNAMENT
Wildcats trying to keep their focus on IUPUI
Harper visits IUPUI
Daugherty: Crenshaw torn about playing during war
Satellite viewers at CBS' mercy
Three upsets and four that were close
East: Midgley shoots, California advances
Midwest: Tulsa upends Dayton; Wisconsin moves on
South: Okafor, UConn bounce BYU
West: Superior 'Zona handles exhausted Catamounts
NCAA Tournament at a glance

WOMEN'S REGIONAL TEAM CAPSULES
East | Mideast | Midwest | West

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Players to decide on new All-Star format next week

NFL
Smith may return to Redskins

PREP SPORTS
Crusaders set sights on another crown
Boys state tournament goes as planned
High school hoops schedules

HORSE RACING
Favored Lion Tamer draws outside spot
Pins not all-access passes to Derby

GOLF
Tiger's spot not affected by mediocrity

PLAN YOUR DAY
Friday's sports on TV, radio