Fifth NCAA Appearance For Cougs, Florida Up First | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Fifth NCAA Appearance For Cougs, Florida Up First

BYU's women's basketball team is one of 64 teams headed to this year's NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament as the automatic qualifier from the MWC. As one of 16 teams playing in the Midwest Region at Iowa State University, the Cougars 22-8, will play Florida, 18-10 on Sat. Mar. 16 in a 6:06 p.m. CT tip off.

Tip off: BYU (22-8) vs Florida (18-10) 6:06 p.m.(CT) Arena: Hilton Coliseum

Radio/Internet Available For BYU vs Florida Game

Saturday's game between BYU and Florida can be heard locally in Utah on KOVO Radio, 960 AM. Fans can also listen to the game by logging on at

The game is also available on ESPN Fullcourt.

BYU's Probable Starters

Pos. # Name Ht. Yr. PPG RPG

F 21 Jennifer Leitner 6-1 Jr 12.1 8.6

F 31 Lisa Osguthorpe 6-0 Sr 5.0 3.4

F 51 Danielle Cheesman 6-2 Fr 8.5 4.1

G 11 Erin Thorn 5-10 Jr 17.3 4.0

G 22 Stacy Jensen 5-6 Sr 9.9 2.8

Cougar Players Off The Bench

Pos. # Name Ht. Yr. PPG RPG

F/G 12 Melanie Pearson 6-1 Sr 11.0 3.5

F 23 Chanell Rose 6-0 Jr 3.0 2.4

F 45 Lisa Hansen 6-5 Jr 2.9 2.4

G 25 Kali Taylor 5-11 Fr 1.2 0.3

F 20 Brittany Larson 6-0 Jr 1.6 0.9

G 05 Amy Lewis 5-6 Jr 0.5 0.4

Quickie BYU Stats

l Shooting from the field - .449 (773-1721)

l Shooting from the free-throw line - .749 (388-518)

l Shooting from the three-point arc - .408 (241-590)

l Averaged 72.5 points per game

Cougars In NCAA - History

6 The Cougars earned the right to be in the 2002 NCAA Women's Basketball National Championship after a decisive 61-46 victory over UNLV in the championship game of the MWC last Saturday.

6 This is BYU's fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament.

6 The team's last appearance came in 1999-2000 when they lost in the first round to Oklahoma, 81-86.

6 In this year's field of 64, there are eight teams the Cougars played this season.

Year Record @ NCAA First Round

1999-00 21-8, 104 0-1 (lost to Oklahoma 81-86 @ Purdue)

1992-93 24-5, 13-1 0-1 (lost to UCSB 79-88 in Santa Barbara)

1984-85 19-1, 11-1 0-1 (lost to Long Beach State 85-112 )

1983-84 18-8, 9-1 0-1 (lost to USC 72-97 in Los Angeles)

Total NCAA Appearances: Four, with a 0-4 record in First Round Action

Last Game Recap

BYU's women's basketball team won its first Mountain West Conference Championship crown with a 61-46 victory over UNLV. The Cougars advanced into the title game after wins over Wyoming (82-69) and New Mexico (71-58). All-American Erin Thorn led all scores in the wins over the Cowgirls and the Lobos with 28 and 22 points respectively. Melanie Pearson came off the bench for her team high 15 points in the UNLV game. In each of the tournament games at least three Cougar players scored in double figures. The BYU defense stifled all three teams holding Wyoming to 39 percent shooting, New Mexico to 30 percent and UNLV to 31 percent. The Cougars also stopped the league's leading scorer and Player of the Year Linda Frohlich to just 11 points in the title game.

Cougars Enjoy Record Performances At MWC Champs

6 Thorn- 8 treys in a game, vs Wyoming 3/6/02

6 Thorn- 13 3-pt field goals att. in a game, vs Wyoming 3/6/02

6 Thorn- 60 points, for 2002 tournament, in three games

6 BYU- 82 points, vs Wyoming 3/6/02

6 BYU- 12 3-pt field goals made, vs Wyoming 3/6/02

6 BYU- 23 assists, vs Wyoming 3/6/02

6 BYU- 15-point margin of victory, vs UNLV 3/9/02

Thorn Tournament MVP

All-American Erin Thorn was named the MWC Championship MVP after her stellar performances in the annual tournament.

Erin Thorn and Jennifer Leitner also named to All Tournament Team.

Four Cougs Garner All-Conference Team

Erin Thorn - First Team

Jennifer Leitner - Second Team

Stacy Jensen - Third Team

Melanie Pearson - Third Team

Leitner/Pearson/Thorn Pick Up MWC Player of the Week Honors

Jennifer Leitner's stellar performance against Utah on Sat. Feb. 23 that included her eighth double-double of the year with a team high 18 points and 12 rebounds garnered her the weekly honor for Feb. 25.

Melanie Pearson picked up the honor for the week of Jan. 28 after her 28-point performance in the conference game at Utah where the Cougars defeated the Utes 77-65.

Erin Thorn picked up the weekly MWC honor for the week of Dec. 17 after her strong performance in the University of Denver Pioneer Classic. Thorn picked up a season, career record 9-three pointers in the game against Arkansas Pine Bluff. The nine treys were a new school record for treys in a game for both men's and women's teams.

MWC Preseason Media Poll

Team (1st place votes) Points

1. Colorado State (9) 105

2. Utah (5) 96

3. BYU 81

4. UNLV 68

5. New Mexico 62

6. Wyoming 40

7. San Diego State 35

8. Air Force 14

Thorn/Leitner/Pearson Honored At Pioneer Classic

In the only tournament the Cougar team participated this season, BYU's All-American Erin Thorn was named MVP at this year's University of Denver Pioneer Classic. Jennifer Leitner and Melanie Pearson were named to the All-Tournament Team. In that tournament, the Cougars beat Arkansas Pine-Bluff 90-50 and also defeated the University of Denver 81-67.

BYU Notes

This is BYU's fifth appearance in the women's basketball NCAA Championships. The Cougars come into the national tournament on a six-game winning streak and have one 12 of their last 14. All-American Erin Thorn continues to be the team's leading scorer with an average of 17.3 points a game. The team's leading rebounder is junior forward Jennifer Leitner who's averaging 8.6 boards a game. She's also averaging 12.1 points a game. Senior guard Stacy Jensen leads in the assist category tallying 131 to date. Jensen is also a main contributor in scoring with an average of 9.8 points a game. Senior transfer Melanie Pearson continues to come off the bench to score in double digits, tallying 11.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Freshman Danielle Cheesman is contributing 8.5 points and 4.1 boards a game.

Injury Update

Sophomore forward Heather Cheesman was hit in the head during practice on Jan. 24. She suffered a bruised spinal chord and after a stay in the hospital she's at home recuperating and is also doing rehabilitation to strengthen her back and neck. Chessman will not return to action this season.

2001-02 Season Highlights


4 Points - 94 vs Washington State 11/24/01

4 Field Goals Made - 36 vs Washington State 11/24/01

4 3 PT Field Goals Made - 20 vs Arkansas Pine-Bluff 12/14/01

4 Free Throws Made - 22 vs SDSU on 1/31/02

4 Rebounds - 53 vs SDSU on 1/31/02

4 Assists - 32 vs Washington State 11/24/01

4 Steals - 14 @ Weber State 12/01/01

Player Season Highs

Name Category Stat Game

Leitner Points 18 @ UNLV (2/28/02)

FG's Made 8 @ UNLV (2/28/02)

Leitner Rebounds 13 vs Wyoming (3/6/02)

Assists 5 @ TCU (12/22/01)

Steals 4 vs New Mexico (2/26/02)

Blocked Shots 3 @ Utah(1/26/02)

Name Category Stat Game

Osguthorpe Points 17 @ Boise State (11/16/01)

FG's Made 7 @ Boise State (11/16/01)

Rebounds 8 vs Oregon (12/12/01)

Assists 7 vs Wyoming (3/6/02)

Steals 5 @ TCU (12/22/01)

Blocked Shots 2 vs Washington State (11/24/01)

Name Category Stat Game

Cheesman, D. Points 16 vs New Mexico (2/16/02)

FG's Made 8 @ Southern Methodist (12/8/01)

Rebounds 12 vs New Mexico (2/16/02)

Assists 3 @ University of Texas (11/20/01)

Steals 2 vs New Mexico (3/8/02)

Blocked Shots 2 vs UNLV (3/9/02)

Name Category Stat Game

Thorn Points 29 vs Arkansas Pine Bluff (12/14/01)

FG'sMade 10 vs Wyoming (3/6/02)

Rebounds 8 @ Boise State (11/16/01)

Assists 9 vs Colorado State University (1/10/02)

Steals 5 vs Washington State (11/24/01)

Blocked Shots 2 @ Wyoming (2/7/02)

Name Category Stat Game

Jensen Points 20 vs Colorado State University (1/10/02)

FG's Made 6 vs Colorado State University (1/10/02)

Rebounds 6 @ TCU (12/22/01)

Assists 11 @ San Diego State (3/2/02)

Steals 3 @ UNLV (2/28/02)

Name Category Stat Game

Pearson Points 28 @ Utah (1/26/02)

FG's Made 8 @ San Diego (3/2/02)

Rebounds 9 @ New Mexico (1/17/02)

Assists 4 vs Washington State (11/24/01)

Steals 2 @ Wyoming (2/7/02)

Blocked Shots 1 @ San Diego State (3/2/02)

Name Category Stat Game

Hansen Points 10 @ Weber State (12/1/01)

FG's Made 5 @ Weber State (12/1/01)

Rebounds 6 @ Weber State (12/1/01)

Assists 1 vs New Mexico (2/16/02)

Steals 2 vs Air Force (2/14/02)

Blocked Shots 4 @ San Diego State (3/2/02)

Name Category Stat Game

Rose Points 9 vs Wyoming (1/12/02)

FG's Made 4 vs Wyoming (1/12/02)

Rebounds 6 @ San Diego State (3/2/02)

Assists 4 vs Southern Utah (12/29/01)

Steals 3 @ Air Force (1/19/02)

Blocked Shots 2 @ Air Force (1/19/02)

Name Category Stat Game

Larson Points 8 vs Washington State (11/24/01)

FG's Made 3 vs Washington State (11/24/01)

Rebounds 4 vs San Diego State (1/31/02)

Assists 2 vs Wyoming (1/12/02)

Steals 1 vs Air Force (2/14/02)

Name Category Stat Game

Taylor Points 11 vs Washington State (11/24/01)

FG's Made 3 vs Washington State (11/24/01)

Rebounds 2 vs Arkansas Pine Bluff (12/14/01)

Assists 6 vs Arkansas Pine Bluff (12/14/01)

Steals 1 vs Arkansas (1/2/02)

Name Category Stat Game

Lewis Points 3 @ University of Denver (12/15/01)

FG's Made 3 @ Weber State (12/1/01)

Rebounds 4 vs Arkansas Pine Bluff (12/14/01)

Assists 2 vs Arkansas Pine Bluff (12/14/01)

Scouting Florida

The Gators are making their ninth appearance in the NCAA tournament and are an at-large selection from the SEC. Florida's last appearance was in 2001 and they have an 8-8 record in post season play. To date they have compiled an 18-10 record and finished with an 8-6 record in their conference, losing to Auburn in the first game of the SEC tournament. Sophomore center Vanessa Hayden leads the Gators in scoring with 17.6 points and tops the list in the rebound category with an average of 12.0 boards a game. Two other teammates join her in double digit scoring. Senior guard Brandi McCain contributes 15.4 points and 3.6 rebounds a game with Monique Cardenas tallying 10.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Florida comes into the tournament shooting 40 percent from the field and 62 percent at the free throw line. From behind the arc they shoot 31 percent and are scoring a total of 70.9 points a game, holding opponents to 65.8 points per contest.

Series Record: 1-0. The two teams have played just once, back in 1987 in Provo where the Cougars picked up the 102-75 victory.

Florida Probable Starters

Pos. # Name Ht. Yr. PPG RPG

F 24 Courtney Cooper 5-9 Jr 9.5 7.5

F 25 Monique Cardenas 6-0 Sr 10.1 7.0

C 55 Vanessa Hayden 6-4 So 17.6 12.0

G 11 Brandi McCain 5-3 Sr 15.4 3.6

G 12 Tara Taylor 5-10 Fr 6.1 2.9

Scouting Temple

Temple is in this year's tournament with an automatic qualification after winning the Atlantic 10 championship by defeating St. Joseph's 63-58 in the title game. This is the Owls second appearance in the tournament with a 1-1 record. Their previous participation was in 1989. Temple has compiled an 20-10, 12-4 record to date and are on a six-game winning streak. Senior guard Natalia Isaac is one of three players scoring in double figures for the Owls. She's tallying 13.0 points and 2.1 rebounds a game. Athena Christoforakis s 6-0 senior forward is the team's leading rebounder with an 8.7 average and she contributes 12.5 points a game. Junior guard Stacey Smalls rounds out the top three shooters with an average of 11.1 points and 2.7 rebounds a game. Temple is shooting 38 percent from the field and 67 percent from the free throw line and also shoot 31 percent from behind the arc. They are tallying 66.4 points a game, allowing opponents just 60.9 points per game.


Series Record: This will be the first meeting between the two schools

Temple Probable Starters

Pos. # Name Ht. Yr. PPG RPG

F 00 Athena Christoforakis 6-0 Sr 12.5 8.7

F 12 Toni Belafonte 5-9 So 2.4 2.4

C 30 Lisa Jakubowicz 6-1 Sr 7.8 5.6

G 4 Natalia Isaac 5-7 Sr 13.0 2.1

G 34 Stacey Smalls 5-5 Jr 11.1 2.7

Scouting Iowa State

Iowa State comes into this year's championships as one of 32 at-large schools after losing to Baylor in the title game of the Big 12 tournament. This is the Cyclones sixth appearance in the national basketball tournament where they compiled an 8-5 record that includes last season's performance where they finished in the round of sixteen. The leading scorer for Iowa State is 6-4 senior Angie Welle who's averaging 20.5 points and tops the list in the rebound category as well with 11.1 rebounds a game. Teammate Lindsey Wilson, a 5-9 junior guard also scores in double figures with 19.6 points and 2.9 boards. Guard Tracy Gahan also contributes in double digit scoring with her average of 14.8 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. Team stats for the Cyclones include 49 percent shooting from the field, 72 percent from the free throw line and 38 percent from the three-point line. As a team, Iowa State shoots 77.7 points a game vs 67.6 for opponents.

Series Record: 1-0. The two teams have had one previous meeting, in Provo in 1992 where the Cougars picked up the 77-54 win.

Iowa State Probable Starters

Pos. # Name Ht. Yr. PPG RPG

F 32 Angie Welle 6-4 Sr 20.5 11.1

F 50 Melanie Bremer 6-1 Jr 6.4 4.1

F 43 Mary Cofield 6-0 Jr 6.3 3.8

G 13 Lindsey Wilson 5-9 Jr 19.6 2.9

G 22 Tracy Gahan 6-0 Sr 14.8 7.5

Head Coach Jeff Judkins

Jeff Judkins, an assistant during the 2000-01 season is this year's head coach for the Cougar women. Judkins, a longtime University of Utah coach and player takes over the BYU program with a proven record of success dating back to his high school days at Highland HS in Salt Lake City.

An all-state selection in basketball, football and baseball, Judkins went on to play for Utah from 1974-78. While playing for the Utes, he helped the team win one conference championship and two berths in the NCAA Tournament. He was a second-team academic All-American and three-time first-team District VII academic selection. Judkins earned three first-team All-WAC honors and was a member of the 1977 United States World Games team that captured the gold medal.

He played five years in the NBA for the Boston Celtics, Portland Trailblazers, Detroit Pistons and the Utah Jazz. He was a second-round pick by the Celtics in 1978, the same year the Celtics selected Larry Bird with the sixth pick overall.

After his NBA career, he returned to the U of U in 1989, and remained with the men's program for 10 years. Judkins, a Salt Lake City native, graduated from Utah in 1978 with a degree in health and physical education. He is a member of the Utah Sports Hall of Fame and the Crimson Club Hall of Fame.

He and his wife Mary Kay, are the parents of five children: Jessica (20), Jordan (19), Jenna (16), Jaime (13), Jaxson (10).

Cougars Travel Plans

The BYU team will be staying at the Baymont Inn, 2500 Elwood Drive, 515-296-2500, 515-296-2874 fax, The Cougars depart for Iowa on Thurs., Mar. 14 on Delta flight# 3912 at 2:42 p.m., arriving in Des Moines at 6:05 p.m. and then travel by bus to Ames.

BYU Press Conference

Fri., Mar. 15- 12:20 - 12:50 p.m. Interview Room at Hilton Coliseum

BYU Practices

Fri, Mar. 15 - 1:05 to 2:05 p.m. Open Practice at Hilton Coliseum


No. Name Ht. Cl. Pos. Exp. Hometown/School

11 Erin Thorn 5-10 Jr. G 2V Orem, UT/Mountain View H.S.

12 Melanie Pearson 6-1 Sr. G 3V Irvine, CA/Woodbridge HS/UCLA

20 Brittany Larson 6-0 Jr. F 2V Chicago, IL/New Trier HS

21 Jennifer Leitner 6-1 Jr. F 2V Chico, CA/Pleasant Valley HS

22 Stacy Jensen 5-6 Sr. G 3V West Jordan, UT/West Jordan HS

23 Chanell Rose 6-0 Jr. F 2V Orem, UT/UVSC

25 Kali Taylor 5-11 Fr. G HS Lyman, UT/Wayne HS

31 Lisa Osguthorpe 6-0 Sr. F 3V Orem, UT/Mountain View HS

45 Lisa Hansen 6-5 Jr. C 2V/RS Bakersfield, CA/Centennial HS/UCSB

50 Heather Cheesman 6-1 So. F 1V Orem, UT/Mountain View HS

51 Danielle Cheesman 6-2 Fr. F HS Orem, UT/Mountain View HS

HEAD COACH: Jeff Judkins (1st Year)

ASSISTANT COACHES: Alli Bills, Trent Shippen


ATHLETIC TRAINER: Carolyn Billings

2001-02 Walk-On Players:

05 Amy Lewis 5-6 Jr. G Jefferson City, MT/Jefferson City HS

30 Melissa Brown 5-8 So G University Place, WA/Curtis HS

32 Aspen Casper 6-0 Sr F Central Point, OR/South Medford HS

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