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WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT | 1998 NCAA WOMEN'S FINAL FOUR

The First Look

March 09, 1998|GREG SANDOVAL

UCLA (19-8) vs. Michigan (19-9)

4 p.m. Friday

Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Winner plays on Sunday against winner of Alabama-UNC Greensboro.

* Starting lineups: UCLA--Maylana Martin, soph, forward; Marie Philman, soph, forward; Janae Hubbard, soph, center; Erica Gomez, soph, guard; Tawana Grimes, sr guard. Michigan--Molly Murray, soph, forward; Pollyanna Johns, sr, center; Anne Lemire, jr, guard; Stacey Thomas, soph, guard; Anne Thorius, fr, guard.

* Key Reserves: UCLA--Melanie Pearson, soph, f/g; Aisha Veasley, sr, forward. Michigan--Akisha Franklin, sr, guard; Tiffany Willard, sr, forward.

* UCLA at a glance: The Bruins are a transition team that likes to play at a fast tempo. Gomez paces UCLA's attack, and Bruin Coach Kathy Olivier said she must play well for them to be successful. On defense, the Bruins try to trap and change their formations often. They will press but are more apt to use a variety of zones. After 13-14 records the last two seasons, UCLA tied its wagon to four precocious sophomores, led by Martin and Gomez. Ranked 24th in the preseason, the Bruins lost their first three games and went 5-4 into Pacific 10 play. After losing its opener to Arizona, UCLA won nine of its next 11 games.

* Michigan at a glance: The Wolverines work the ball inside to Martin, the Big Ten's leader in shooting percentage (62%). They can also score from outside with Murray leading the Big Ten in three-point shooting percentage (40.8%). Not since 1990 have the Wolverines earned an NCAA bid.

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