EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon women’s basketball team will participate in the 10th annual 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament beginning on Wednesday.
The Ducks (13-16, 4-14) enter the tournament as the ninth seed, and will play fourth-seed Arizona (19-10, 10-8) at 2:15 p.m., Wednesday at the Galen Center in first round action.
If Oregon wins its first-round game on Wednesday, the Ducks would advance to the quarterfinals and play the winner of the No. 5 USC/No. 8 Washington State game on Thursday at 5:15 p.m.
The Wildcats swept the regular-season series against the Ducks this year for the first time since 2004, including Saturday’s regular-season finale as UA came away victorious, 88-65, at Matthew Knight Arena.
The Ducks have an all-time record of 4-9 at the Pac-10 Tournament, and have advanced to the semifinals on two occasions in 2002 and 2005.
Oregon and Arizona have met just once in Pac-10 Tournament play with Arizona defeating Oregon, 64-57, in first round action on March 3, 2006. Oregon’s No. 9 seed is also the program’s lowest in Pac-10 Tournament history.
On Sunday, Oregon held its annual banquet honoring the 2011, six-member senior class. Junior guard Nia Jackson, who has missed UO’s last eight games due to injury, was named the program’s Most Valuable Player after leading the Pac-10 in scoring average (17.0 ppg), assists (5.7 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9).
Senior guard Kristi Fallin took home the Most Improved Award after finishing the year averaging 7.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game while knocking down 47 three-pointers.
Sophomore guard Laura Stanulis was the Green & Gold Award recipient for contributions on and off the floor.
For the second consecutive year, junior forward Amanda Johnson was named Harry Ritchie Scholar-Athlete award recipient. Johnson was recently named to the 2010-11 Capital One Academic All-America® women’s basketball first team. The junior from Santa Rosa, Calif., is just the second student-athlete in program history to be chosen as a first team academic All-American.
Along with Johnson, Ellyce Ironmonger, Fallin and Stanulis were each honored as scholar athletes.
The Pacific Life Pac-10 Basketball Tournament enters its 10th season with the women’s portion splitting its time between Galen Center and Staples Center, the first time in the history of the event the women’s teams will have the opportunity to play in an NBA/WNBA venue, joining the men’s event for the semifinal and championship games.
Stanford is the four-time reigning champion, winning the title seven times overall. ASU won the tournament crown in the inaugural season in 2002, and UCLA upset the Cardinal in 2006 to win the championship.
With a new bracket this season, the first-round games tip off at Galen Center with #3 Arizona State and #10 Oregon State on Wednesday, March 9 at 12 p.m. PT, followed by #4 Arizona and #9 Oregon at 2:15 p.m. PT; #5 USC vs. #8 Washington State at 5 p.m. PT; and #6 California taking on #7 Washington at 7:15 p.m. PT.
The winners of the Arizona State/Oregon State and California/Washington matchups play at 3 p.m. PT on Thursday, March 10 to kick off quarterfinal action, while the winners of the Arizona/Oregon and USC/Washington State games play at 5:15 p.m. PT.
The Tournament moves over to Staples Center where top-seeded Stanford and second-seeded UCLA will take on the quarterfinal winners at 12 p.m. PT and 2:30 p.m. PT, respectively, on Friday, March 11.
The championship game is slated for Saturday, March 12 at 11:30 a.m. PT. Both the semifinal and title games will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net.
Tickets for the four-day event are still available for purchase by visiting www.pac-10.org/hoopstix.
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