The NCAA West Regional women's basketball tournament will be played tonight and Saturday night at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion.
In tonight's semifinals, USC (22-7) will meet Ohio State (24-4) at 7 and Cal State Long Beach (31-2) will face Mississippi (25-4) at 9. Winners advance to the championship game at 7 Saturday.
USC, making its ninth straight postseason appearance, is led by sophomore Cherie Nelson, who is averaging 20.5 points and 11.7 rebounds a game, and junior Monica Lamb, who had 29 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocked shots in last week's 81-69 win over Western Kentucky.
Junior Tracey Hall, averaging 16 points and 9.7 points to lead the Buckeyes, was selected the Big 10 Conference player of the year for the second straight season. Ohio State has been in five of the last six NCAA playoffs.
All-American senior Cindy Brown tops Cal State Long Beach in scoring with a 27.3 average and in rebounding with 9.8. Sophomore guard Penny Toler, averaging 21.6 points, was named the most valuable player of the Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. tournament this season. The 49ers are in the NCAA tourney for the sixth year in a row.
Mississippi, also in the tournament for the sixth straight season, and Long Beach have never played each other. Alisa Scott, averaging 14.4 points, is the team's top scorer, and Cynthia Autry is averaging a team-leading 7.2 rebounds and 12.4 points.
The Pepperdine baseball team, which has won 11 of its last 13 games including a three-game sweep of Gonzaga last week, will play host to the University of San Francisco in a three-game conference series this weekend at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
The Waves, 19-6-2 overall and 5-1 and in first place in the West Coast Athletic Conference, will meet the Dons (10-14, 4-3) in a single game at 2:30 p.m. Friday and in a noon double-header on Saturday.
Pepperdine Coach Dave Gorrie said his team has "a great chance to put some distance between ourselves and the rest of the league this weekend. Our guys realize that, and they also want to maintain a high national ranking." This week the Waves were ranked No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 7 by Baseball America.
The Waves are batting .326, and Rick Hirtensteiner is hitting .380. Ruben Gonzalez leads the team in home runs with 8 and has knocked in a team-high 31 runs.
Glenn Bassett, UCLA men's tennis coach, observed a milestone last week but was probably not crazy about the way his team chose to celebrate it. Last week's 5-1 loss to undefeated and No. 1 USC was the 500th dual match for Bassett's Bruins in 21 years of coaching at his alma mater.
Bassett's career record is 440-54-2, an .882 winning percentage.
UCLA, 13-4 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-10 Conference, will try to get back on the winning track when it plays host to Wichita State at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the campus Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins, after winning their first eight matches, have lost four of their last nine.
The No. 2 Pepperdine men's volleyball team, 12-5 overall and 7-2 in the Western Intercollegiate Volleyball Assn., will play three conference matches this week and next.
The Waves, who lost to No. 1 UCLA but defeated USC last week, will travel to Loyola Marymount at 7:30 tonight and play host to Hawaii at 7:30 p.m. Friday and at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Pepperdine will entertain Ohio State in a non-conference match at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Firestone.
Coach Rod Wilde, whose Waves were outlasted by UCLA in five games but came back to defeat USC in four, said that Pepperdine could have beaten the Bruins "if we had limited our mistakes.
"I was encouraged by how the team fought back after losing the first two games, but we fell too far behind in the fifth game and could not quite recover."
The UCLA men's swim team, though it finished fifth in the Pac-10 Conference championships, qualified four more swimmers for the NCAA championships, April 2-4 at the University of Texas. The qualifications brought Bruin totals to 14 swimmers and divers Todd Watkins, a junior, and Scott Upper, a freshman.