USF Women's Basketball Hosts 2005 odwalla Classic

LaShaunte Stephens and the Dons host Rider Friday at 7:00 PM
LaShaunte Stephens and the Dons host Rider Friday at 7:00 PM

Nov. 21, 2005

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SAN FRANCISCO HOSTS THIRD ANNUAL ODWALLA CLASSIC: USF returns to the City to host the 2005 odwalla Classic over the Thanksgiving weekend. The Dons welcome Iowa, Oklahoma and Rider to the Hilltop for the popular event now in its third year. San Francisco hosts the Broncs in the second game on Friday, following the Iowa/Oklahoma game scheduled for a 5:00 PM tip. USF has never faced any member of this year's tournament field. The Dons captured the inaugural event with a thrilling win against Kentucky and fell in the championship game to Oakland (82-65) last season. USF looks to bounce back after a rugged opening weekend at the 2005 Subway Classic, with losses against No. 17 Minnesota (80-62) and Long Island (61-46).

Dominique Carter NAMED 2005 WCC NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Sophomore guard Dominique Carter headlines a talented group of returning starters for USF this season. The top returning scorer in the West Coast Conference (15.3), Carter earned 2005 WCC Newcomer of the Year honors and is the third Don in four years to earn top frosh/newcomer of the year accolades, joining Toni Russell (2001) and Joy Hollingsworth (2002). Carter averaged 15.3 points per game on .470 shooting, to go along with 4.6 rebounds per game. With 427 points on the year, Carter is the most prolific frosh scorer in the Green and Gold since USF Hall-of-Famer Brittany Lindhe poured in 447 points (15.4 ppg) during the 1995 campaign, helping the Dons advance to their first of three consecutive NCAA berths.

ANOTHER SENIOR MOMENT FOR Leeane Jensen: While cats reputedly have nine lives they are completely useless on the basketball court, but senior center Leeane Jensen, who enters her sixth season with USF, will be a force in the middle for the Dons this season. After missing all of the 2003-04 season with a medical condition, Jensen returned to average 6.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game and appeared in all 28 games last year with 15 starts. Jensen ranked eighth among WCC leaders in rebounding (5.9) and was fourth in blocked shots (0.9) during league play as a junior.

Mary Hile-Nepfel ENERGIZED FOR 19TH YEAR: After missing more than half of the 2004-05 season with an illness, Mary Hile-Nepfel is fully recovered, healthy and energized for her 19th season as head coach and 23rd season associated with the university as an All-American player and coach. Hile-Nepfel earned her milestone 250th victory when the Dons defeated Denver November 21, 2004 in the Rockies. Hile-Nepfel earned another honor when she was named one of 75 "Legends of the Hilltop" celebrating the top athletes in the history of Dons athletics for the 150th anniversary of USF.

USF ON THE RADIO AND THE NET: USF women's basketball returns to the airwaves and cyberspace for the 2005-2006 season and all games will be available live at and at KUSF 90.3 FM. Join George Devine for the play-by-play in his 10th year behind the microphone courtside. USF women's basketball is in its 10th season on the radio and in cyberspace. Other features available on include GameTracker, courtesy of with live play-by-play and live streaming video of all home games not carried on commercial television, courtesy of Yahoo Broadcast.

GAME #3 - Rider - 2005 odwalla Classic: The Broncs enter the 2005 odwalla Classic 0-1 after a season opening road loss at Maine (70-35). Rider posted a 9-20 overall record last season, 6-12 during MAAC play, good for a sixth place finish. The Broncs, who return six letter-winners and two starters, struggled offensively last season, averaging 57.0 points per game on .364 from the field and allowed opponents to connect for 66.4 points on .420 from the floor. Rider advanced to the 2005 MAAC Tournament quarterfinals last season before bowing out to Niagra. Junior guard Kara Borel is the top returning scorer for the Broncs, averaging 8.3 points, a team-high 7.2 rebounds to go along with 2.4 assists per game. Head coach Tori Harrison is in her second season on the sidelines. A team captain at Louisiana Tech, Harrison played in two Final Fours and scored 1,868 career points.

LAST MEETING: First Meeting


CAL POLY UP NEXT: USF concludes its three-game homestand Tuesday, November 29 when Cal Poly visits the Hilltop for a 7:00 PM contest. The two teams squared off against each other last season at Mott Gym with the Dons hanging on for a wild 61-56 win December 5, 2004, improving to 7-0 against the Mustangs. Sophomore Dominique Carter led USF with a double-double, 17 points and 13 rebounds. Cal Poly finished 11-16 last season, 5-13, good for ninth place in the Big West.

Dominique Carter SPARKS DONS OFFENSE: Sophomore guard Dominique Carter made a tremendous impact for USF in her first season on the Hilltop and scored a team-high 427 points (15.3) and ranked third among West Coast Conference leaders. A two-time WCC Player of the Week, Carter is the leading returning scorer in the league this season and is was tabbed as one of the conference's top six players in the preseason coaches poll. Carter poured in a career-high 30 points in a double overtime win at Pepperdine (2/3/05), the highest single-game tally since Carey Sauer (1999-04) scored 32 at Portland (1/18/03). The Tracy native led the Dons with 21 double-digit scoring nights, including a team-best five contests with 20 or more points. Carter struggled offensively at the 2005 Subway Classic, averaging 5.0 points on .444 (4-9) shooting to go along with 2.5 rebounds.

JENSEN PICKING UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF: Senior center Leeane Jensen returns for her sixth-year after winning an appeal with the NCAA. Despite missing the entire 2003-04 season with an injury, Jensen showed little signs of rust for USF as a junior averaging 7.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game during West Coast Conference play. Jensen scored a season-high 13 points in 13 minutes against Marist (12/28/04) and recorded her first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Gonzaga (2/17/05). Jensen averaged 4.5 points and 2.5 rebounds at the 2005 Subway Classic, hosted by No. 17 Minnesota.

LaShaunte Stephens READY FOR THE DONS: Sophomore guard LaShaunte Stephens turned in a solid first season for USF, ranking fourth on the team and second among returners in scoring, averaging 6.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Stephens poured in a career-high 18 points in the opening round of the 2005 West Coast Conference Tournament against Santa Clara (3/3/05) and scored 16 points, including 11 straight late in regulation in a win against San Diego (2/12/05). Stephens also reached double figures with a 12-point outing against Long Beach State (12/9/04). In the 2005 Subway Classic, Stephens averaged 6.0 points.

Nickie Warren SUCCESSFUL IN GREEN AND GOLD DEBUT: Junior forward Nickie Warren made the most of her first action for USF after sitting out all of 2004-05 after transferring from Boston College. A Bay Area native, Warren averaged 1.6 points and 1.8 rebounds per game for the Eagles as a sophomore in the demanding Big East. Warren earned Subway Classic All-Tournament honors, averaging a team-high 10.5 points on .600 (9-15) shooting and pulled down 4.5 rebounds.

Lisa Olden READY FOR SECOND SEASON WITH DONS: Sophomore center Lisa Olden showed much promise for USF in her first season in the Green and Gold. Olden scored 10 points and pulled down eight rebounds in a win against Saint Mary's (1/27/05) and turned in a career-high 17 points at Loyola Marymount (2/5/05). Olden averaged 4.7 points to go along with 3.8 rebounds per game. Olden averaged 7.0 points, including 11 off the bench against No. 17 Minnesota (11/19/05), to go along with 3.0 rebounds.

Mary Hile-Nepfel COLLECTS WIN #250: USF's 62-59 road victory at Denver (11/21/04) gave USF head coach Mary Hile-Nepfel her 250th career victory, all coming at her alma mater. In her 18th season on the Hilltop, Hile-Nepfel is one of just three coaches in USF athletic history to reach the milestone, joining Steve Negoesco (544) of men's soccer and baseball's Dante Benedetti (373). All three coaches are USF alums and all were named "Legends of the Hilltop".

USF VERSUS THE TOP-25: USF's lost its first top-25 game this season at No. 17 Minnesota in the first round of the 2005 Subway Classic, 80-62. The Dons may play a second nationally elite team when No. 22 Oklahoma competes in the 2005 odwalla Classic. San Francisco played a pair of top-25 opponents last season, falling at No. 25 New Mexico (63-52) and fell at home to No. 2 Stanford (80-51). USF's last victory against a top-25 opponent came with a 66-60 victory against No. 19 Oregon (1/2/00) at War Memorial Gym.

A SOLO YOUTH MOVEMENT: For the first time in memory, USF's roster has just one freshman on it, but Shay Rollins is expected to be a case of quality over quantity. Rollins enjoyed a strong debut in the 2005 Subway Classic, averaging 6.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in her first two collegiate contests. In her first game, the Bay Area product scored eight points and dished out two assists against No. 17 Minnesota (11/19/05). Rollins averaged 25.3 points per game as a senior at Encinal High School and led the league in scoring, finishing with 624 points in her final prep campaign.

Mary Hile-Nepfel: USF women's basketball legend Mary Hile-Nepfel prepares for her 19th season as the head coach at the University of San Francisco and her sixth season as sole head coach of the Dons. Hile-Nepfel was named sole head coach following the 1999-2000 season, taking charge of a program she directed to national prominence with her husband Bill Nepfel for 13 seasons. After missing more than half of the 2004-05 season with an illness, Hile-Nepfel is fully recovered, healthy and energized for her 23rd season associated with the university. Hile-Nepfel earned her milestone 250th victory when the Dons defeated Denver November 21, 2004 in the Rockies USF's first female All-American, first inductee in the USF Hub Flynn Hall of Fame and the first woman honored with a retired number, Hile Nepfel was recognized as one of 75 "Legends of the Hilltop", honoring the top figures in Green and Gold history on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the University of San Francisco. Hile-Nepfel was one of four women's basketball legends honored along with players Valerie Gillon and Brittany Lindhe and her husband, Bill Nepfel. Just prior to the opening of the 2005-06 season, Hile-Nepfel was appointed as an interim Assistant Athletic Director and Senior Women's Administrator (SWA), following the departure of her mentor, Sandee Hill, who retired after nearly three decades of distinguished service on the Hilltop.

Jennifer Katsuyama LIKELY TO MISS ENTIRE 2005-06 SEASON: Junior guard Jennifer Katsuyama will likely miss the entire 2005-06 season due to a knee injury. The knee was injured in a game last season at Loyola Marymount (2/5/05). Katsuyama averaged 5.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and ranked second on the team in assists with 2.4. During West Coast Conference play, Katsuyama 7.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists and scored a career-high with 15 points against the Lions.

Kasia Kurzatkowska TO MISS ENTIRE 2005-06 SEASON: Junior center Kasia Kurzatkowska tore her ACL during a preseason practice and will miss the entire 2005-06 campaign.

Leeane Jensen AND Jenni Jones NAMED TEAM CO-CAPTAINS: With only two seniors on the roster, USF looked to its veterans for leadership and selected both - sixth-year center Leeane Jensen and forward Jenni Jones - as team captains for the 2005-06 season. The Dons have seven upper-classmen on the roster, but two are not expected to play this season due to injury - junior guards Jennifer Katsuyama and Charmaine Ramos and two are transfers - junior center Kasia Kurzatkowska and junior forward Nickie Warren.

FOUR INDIVIDUALS MAKE "LEGENDS OF THE HILLTOP" LIST: Four individuals with ties to the University of San Francisco women's basketball program were recognized as "Legends of the Hilltop", honoring the top 75 figures in Green and Gold history on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the University of San Francisco. Three USF Hall of Fame players - Valerie Gillon (1993-96), Mary Hile (1977-81) and Brittany Lindhe (1994-99) were honored along with former co-head coach Bill Nepfel (1987-00). All four honorees have a connection with the Dons three consecutive West Coast Conference Tournament Championships and subsequent NCAA berths (1995-97), highlighted by a trip to the 1996 Sweet-16. A two-time WCC Tournament MVP, Gillon ranks ninth in scoring (1,188) and 10th in rebounds (652) despite playing just three seasons on the Hilltop. Hile-Nepfel finished her career as the most prolific scorer in USF Basketball history (men or women), pouring in 2,324 points and currently is the all-time coaching wins leader, entering the 2005-06 season with 261 in 18 years at the helm. The only four-time All-WCC First Team selection in league history, Lindhe left the Hilltop ranked second in scoring with 1,619 career points. Nepfel served as co-coach for the Dons and compiled 196 victories in 13 seasons, beginning in 1987-88.




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