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February 1, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 5

PAC-12.jpegIt’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day — a time when asked to celebrate women in athletics and how they’ve influenced you. But what makes the celebration remarkable this go-round is it’s also the 40th year of the Title IX legislation.
I would have thought after 40 years that more opportunities would have been provided to women in sports. It’s good to catch a women’s basketball game on television nearly six times a week, but reading that high school girls still receive 1.3 million fewer participation opportunities than boys is discouraging.
Personally, I’m not big on celebrations. Meaning and intentions tend to get lost in annual build up. But I would like to celebrate women like Billie Jean King, Laurel Richie and Tara VanDerveer for the work they’ve done on creating awareness and change in women’s sports. A nod also goes to the Pac-12 women’s basketball players over the years who’ve continued to create change and influence youths, like Kate Starbird, Adia Barnes, and Giuliana Mendiola.
Yet, the best way to honor the work done before me is to continue covering the sport. Let’s get to it with this week’s rankings. Lots of movement, but not enough to declare the finish. Here’s the complete Pac-12 schedule for the week.
Ranking (Last Week) Team (Record): Comment
1. (1) Stanford (18-1, 9-0): Plays Game of the Week at ASU, 6 p.m. (PST) on ROOT.
2. (2) California (15-6, 6-3): If were soccer, would get points for taking Cardinal to OT.
3. (5) ASU (15-5, 6-3): Deja Mann my kind of PG. Doesn’t score a lot, hurts when does.
4. (3) USC (11-9, 5-4): F Briana Gilbreath day-to-day with knee injury, but no tear.
5. (4) Colorado (14-4, 3-4): G Chucky Jeffery couldn’t nail third-straight winning shot.
6. (7) OSU (13-7, 4-5): Overall record above .500 for first time since 2008-09 season.
7. (9) UCLA (10-10, 5-4): G Markel Walker in double figure rebounding past 7 games.
8. (6) WSU (10-11, 4-5): Needs to sweep the LA schools to remain in Pac-12 race.
9. (10) Oregon (11-10, 3-6): G Amanda Johnson back, out 11 games with thumb injury.
10. (12) Utah (10-10, 3-6): Homecoming as 3 coaches and 3 players have Oregon ties.
11. (11) Washington (11-8, 3-6): Plays at USC on ROOT Sport at 1 p.m. Sunday.
12. (8) Arizona (13-8, 2-7): Coach Niya Butts questioning team’s mental toughness.
The Players of the Week:
Pac-12: Stanford sophomore F Chiney Ogwumike.
WCC: BYU senior C Kristen Riley.
Big Sky: Eastern Washington senior PG Chene Cooper.
WAC: Fresno State sophomore PG Ki-Ki Moore.
My Golden Apple: The achievements are minor to a Stanford or even Washington, but EWU’s sweep of the Montana schools was historic in being a first. At the center was 5-foot PG Chene Cooper, who averaged 15.5 points on 47 percent shooting from the field. She also averaged 8.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds. Cooper (Lakes High) scored her 1,000th-career point against Montana State.
Play it Back: USC squeaked a nonconference game into the schedule, defeating UC Santa Barbara 50-39 on Tuesday. Freshman F Alexyz Vaioletama had a career-high 15 rebounds in the win. USC hosts Washington on Super Bowl Sunday, which school be a fun battle in the paint to watch. The Trojans also say they’re feeling better after the three-game losing streak. Coach Michael Cooper said in a teleconference call on Tuesday that the team was previously playing for Jacki Gemelos, who suffered a fifth knee injury, and now needs to find another reason to play. Here’s Vaioletama and Cassie Harberts talking about the team.



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