Huskies Aim for Seven in a Row vs. Colorado State

Dec. 26, 2000

This Week -

Game 10
Washington Huskies (7-2)
vs.
Colorado State Rams (9-1)
7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 29
Bank of America Arena (10,000)
Seattle, Wash.

This Week: The Washington women's basketball team (7-2), riding a six-game win streak, plays its final non-conference game when it hosts Colorado State (9-1) at 7 p.m., Fri., Dec. 29 at Bank of America Arena (10,000).

The Huskies, who received votes in the Dec. 25 AP Top 25 Poll, return to action after a brief holiday break and on the heels of recapturing the Seattle Times Husky Classic championship. Victories over Loyola Marymount and James Madison gave the Huskies their own tournament title for the first time since 1997. Freshman Giuliana Mendiola was named Most Valuable Player and LeAnn Sheets and Megan Franze were named to the all-tournament team. Washington continued its impressive defense, holding LMU to 28 percent shooting and winning the rebounding battle against JMU in decisive fashion, 54-38.

Colorado State is also off to a hot start, with its only loss a three-point setback to Tulsa, 67-64, on Dec. 17. The Rams, who also received votes in the Dec. 25 AP Poll, return to action after a long layoff, with their last game a home win over Northern Arizona back on Dec. 19. The team is led by three players averaging double figure scoring: Heather Haanen (12.3 ppg), Ashley Augspurger (11.4 ppg) and Angie Gorton (11.2).

The Coaches

Washington
June Daugherty (Ohio St. `78)
Record at UW: 66-58 (5th yr.)
Career record: 189-132 (12th yr.)
Colorado State
Tom Collen (Bowling Green `77)
at CSU/Career: 89-20 (4th yr.)

Series Notes

UW and CSU met for the first time exactly one year ago, in Fort Collins. The Rams won a decisive home court victory, 92-64, over the Huskies at Moby Arena.

Washington's record last year:
8-22 overall, 4-14 Pac-10 (9th)
Colorado State's record last year:
23-10 overall, WNIT semi-finals

Huskies on Radio
All UW games air live on KKOL 1300 AM radio. Steve Sandmeyer calls the action. Games can also be heard live on the internet at: http:/www.audionet.com/schools/washington/

June Daugherty Radio Show
KOMO am 1000
Mondays, 6:30-7 p.m.

Next Games
Pac-10 Opening Weekend
UCLA
Thursday, Jan. 4 - 7 p.m.
USC
*Sunday, Jan. 7 - 1 p.m., Fox NW
Bank of America Arena
Seattle, Wash.
(*game was originally Jan. 6)

Probable Washington Starters

Name	Pos.	Ht.	Yr.	Hometown		Pts., Rbs.
24 - Kellie O'Neill F 6-1 So. Lynnwood, Wash. 11.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg
42 - LeAnn Sheets C 6-2 Sr. Olympia, Wash. 5.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg
13 - Giuliana Mendiola G 5-11 Fr. Lake Forest, Calif. 12.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg
14 - Megan Franza G 5-11 Sr. Leavenworth, Wash. 14.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg
32 - Jill Pimley G 5-6 Sr. Goldendale, Wash. 4.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg


GAME CHANGE: Washington's game against USC has been moved to Sun., Jan. 7 at 1 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Northwest. It was originally scheduled for Sat., Jan. 6.

Dawgbite: Washington's 7-2 start on the year is its best since the 1997-98 season when the Huskies jumped out to a 10-0 mark and a No. 7 national ranking. That team finished 18-10 and advanced to first round of the NCAA Tournament. A victory over Colorado State would give the Huskies eight this year and equal Washington's win total from last season.

Huskies Honor UW Football Player: The women's basketball team is wearing a patch with the initials 'CW' on its jerseys this season, to support senior football player Curtis Williams, who suffered a spinal cord injury during the Oct. 28 football game at Stanford. Williams is currently in a rehabilitation center in San Jose, Calif.

So Far, So Good: Washington continues to roll through the non-conference portion of its schedule, winning six straight and compiling a 3-1 record on the road. The only two losses of the season came in overtime at the buzzer at Indiana and at the hands of No. 1 Connecticut. The third straight road win, at Oklahoma State Dec. 3, equalled UW's mark from all of last season. The wins have been impressive, beginning with a 73-60 thumping of a Michigan team that had knocked off Louisiana Tech two nights earlier. The Huskies rebounded from the UConn loss by cruising past Boise State, 87-67, and followed with the win at OSU and its first home victory in the new arena, against Nebraska. They are 4-1 at home now, after winning the Seattle Times Classic. Washington has seen increased scoring from its bench and has a versatile rotation that is nearly three deep at every position.

Dawgbite: If Washington defeats CSU, it will give fifth-year Husky coach June Daugherty career victory number 190. She enters the game with a 12-year mark of 189-134 ... she has a mark of 66-58 in her fifth year at Washington ... her win total is third among seven Husky coaches over the years.

Last Year against Colorado State: (CSU 92, UW 64, Dec. 29, 1999, Fort Collins, Colo.) Washington held its own in the second half, but a stifling full-court press by Colorado State in the first period put the Huskies in a 25-point hole they could not climb out of, as the Rams handed UW a 92-64 defeat in Moby Arena. The Huskies fell to 4-7 at that point in the season.

Junior Megan Franza's 27 points led all scorers, as she topped the 20-point mark for the sixth time in the season. But it wasn't enough to overcome the first half. CSU jumped out to a 4-0 lead and then went on a short but effective runs throughtout the first period, fueled by 16 Husky turnovers, while holding Washington to 8-of-31 (25.8 percent) shooting in th opening stanza. The Rams led 45-20 at the break. Washington began to make up the difference in the second half, pulling within 17 with 15:10 on the clock on a pair of free throws by freshman Loree Payne, who was UW's second-leading scorer with 18 points. But CSU would not let the Huskies get closer than that. CSU outscored UW by only three, 47-44, in the second period. The physical contest saw 57 fouls called, 27 on the Huskies. LeAnn Sheets, making her first start of the season after undergoing foot surgery in the preseason, collected a team-high nine rebounds.

Payne Returns to Action: Sophomore guard Loree Payne played for the first time this season when she entered the game in the first half against Loyola Marymount, Dec. 21. She played 10 minutes and was 3-of-5 from the field, including a three pointer and a free throw, for eight points. Against James Madison, she played seven minutes and scored three points with one assist and one steal. Payne, UW's leading scorer as a freshman last season (17.4 ppg), has been sidelined by a stress fracture in her left foot. Her playing time will increase as her rehabilitation continues.

UW Versus the Mountain West: Washington has an 0-2 record against the newly formed Mountain West Conference. The Huskies dropped games last season to BYU and Colorado State, both formerly of the Western Athletic Conference.

Megan on the Move: Senior guard Megan Franza moved onto Washington's career Top 10 scoring chart in the Seattle Times Classic championship game against James Madison. She stands at No. 10 with 1,228 points, having moved past Amy Mickelson, who had 1,224 points from 1987-90. Franza, the Huskies' leading scorer this year at 14.6 per game, is 34 points shy of No. 9 Laurie Merlino (1,262, 1988-91).

Franza, a first team All-Pac-10 selection last year, has a career scoring average of 12.8 points per game.

She became the 16th Husky to top the 1,000-point barrier and only the eighth player to pass the mark as a junior last year. Dating back to last season, Franza has scored in double figures in 35 of the last 39 games. She was held to six points versus Connecticut. Franza has been in the starting lineup for 93 of UW's last 95 games.

More Megan: Franza entered the year at No. 2 on UW's career three point field goals made list, with 139. She has added 15 more in eight games this season for a total of 154, including a high of five at Indiana. Franza is chasing former standout Jamie Redd (1995-99), who tops the list with 192 treys. She is also No. 2 on the three point attempts list with 555, again chasing Redd who attempted 675 long range bombs during her career. Franza equaled her career-high for attempts, with 13 against Nebraska Dec. 6. Last year at 17.2 ppg, Franza led the Pac-10 in scoring until the final two weeks of the season, while Loree Payne finished fourth with 17.4 points per game. Together they formed the highest scoring duo from the same school in Pac-10 history. With the graduation of Maylana Martin (UCLA) and the redshirt season for Oregon's injured Shaquala Williams, Payne and Franza entered the 2000-01 season as the leading returning scorers in the Pac-10.

Injury Update: Freshman Sarah Keeler had surgery Nov. 10 to repair a minor meniscus tear in her left knee. She has returned to practice and could possibly play prior to the Pac-10 season. Loree Payne has a stress fracture in her left foot and is nearing seven weeks on recovery time. She saw her first game action Dec. 21 against LMU, playing 10 minutes. Cheryl Sorenson has been nursing tendinitis in her knee and is playing sparingly. LeAnn Sheets suffered a left ankle sprain at Boise State and missed the Nebraska and Oklahoma State games. She returned to action against St. Mary's and was in the starting lineup.

Huskies Among National Leaders in RPI Rankings
Washington's impressive stand in the RPI rankings continues. In the Dec. 17 Collegiate Basketball News Women's RPI Ratings, Washington, which was No. 14 last week, is No. 7 in the nation and its schedule is listed as the fourth-toughest in the country. Tennessee, Notre Dame and Connecticut make up the top three in the RPI ratings. In strength of schedule, Washington is behind only Oregon, Penn State, and Georgia, in that order. Pac-10-member Arizona is sitting at No. 8 in the rankings this week.

Washington has posted a record of 7-2 in the early season, with victories over Michigan, Boise State, and Big 12 foes Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Loyola Marymount and James Madison. The Huskies have won six in a row and are 3-1 on the road. Their win over Michigan came against a Wolverine team that had knocked off then-eighth-ranked Louisiana Tech, a 2000 Final Four participant. Washington's season-opening loss at Indiana, at the buzzer in overtime, came against a Hoosier team that has gone on to post a record of 8-1, with its only loss a one-point setback to No. 8 Louisiana Tech. Its only other loss came at the hands of top-ranked and defending national champion Connecticut.

The Rating Percentage Index (RPI) is used by the NCAA women's basketball committee to supplement the selection of at-large teams and the seeding of all teams for the NCAA basketball tournament. It is derived from three component factors: Div. 1 winning percentage (25%), schedule strength (50%) and opponent's schedule strength (25%).

On the Rebound: Washington's rebounding efforts have improved tremendously from last season. After a cumulative -4.3 rebounding margin in 2000, the Huskies are at +5.3 in the early going this year. Aside from a five-rebound advantage by Connecticut and a one board margin to St. Mary's, the Huskies have outrebounded their other seven opponents. UW is averaging 45.0 rpg, second in the Pac-10, after nine games. Giuliana Mendiola is currently the leading rebounder at 7.4 boards per game. LeAnn Sheets, who missed two games with an ankle injury, is at 6.6 rpg, after returning to the lineup against St. Mary's and Kellie O'Neill is at 5.6 rpg.

Look at Lalum: Freshman Andrea Lalum (Bozeman, Mont.) blocked four shots in the game against St. Mary's Dec. 17. That mark is the highest by a Husky player since Amber Hall swatted four away at Texas on Dec. 2, 1996. Hall, then a junior, went on to finish her career as Washington's career-leading rebounder (1,003 rebounds, 1996-99).

Reichmann Honored: Junior forward Heather Reichmann received a special honor recently when her high school jersey was retired in a surprise ceremony Dec. 19. Reichmann, who prepped at King's High School in Everett, was honored at the girls homecoming basketball game against Kent. She was a three sport star in high school, earning letters in basketball, swimming and track. The 1998 Class A Player of the Year, Reichmann led her basketball team to a 25-3 record and the state title as a junior and a second place finish as a senior. She has played in 6-of-7 Husky games this season.

Halpenny Selected to Study Abroad
Carli Halpenny is one of 25 University of Washington undergraduates selected to participate in a prestigious international study program during the spring quarter. She was chosen from a pool of 50 applicants to participate in the UW's Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) program. Halpenny, a redshirt junior, will spend the spring, 2000 academic quarter at school in Rome, Italy in the program that involves the study of literature, architecture and the culture and language of the country. She was one of 12 students chosen from outside the UW architecture school to join the 25-person travel party. The program allows Halpenny, who maintains a 3.75 grade point average, to complete her undergraduate degree in zoology and graduate in June, 2001. She has elected to complete her basketball eligibility at the conclusion of this season, a move that now gives the Huskies a six-player senior class. Halpenny joins Sarah Duncan, Melissa Erickson, Megan Franza, Jill Pimley and LeAnn Sheets in their final year of eligibility. Halpenny, a 6-foot-3 center, enters this season healthy for the first time since her arrival in 1997-98. She has played in all six games this year and is averaging 10 minutes and 2.8 points per game. Halpenny suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee upon her arrival in 1997 and used a redshirt season for her rehabilitation. She saw limited action in her first two seasons, playing in eight games as a redshirt freshman in 1999 and nine games as a sophomore last year.

Catching up with Kellie: Sophomore Kellie O'Neill is off to a hot start in her second season as Husky. A 6-1 guard-forward who started only nine games and averaged 6.4 points before suffering an ankle injury last season, poured in a game-high 27 points against Connecticut in Washington's home-opener Nov. 24. O'Neill, who topped her previous career-best 16-point from December 1999, went 12-for-18 from the field, including a 2-for-3 effort from 3-point range. Even more impressive was who it came against. O'Neill put in the highest individual scoring effort against UConn so far this season. Only three players - including 2000 WNBA Rookie of the Year Betty Lennox - were able to score at least 25 points against UConn and its stingy defense last season. She rebounded from a three-point performance at Boise State to nearly eclipse a Husky school record for field goal percentage at Oklahoma State. O'Neill hit her first nine shots from the field, en route to a 20 point, nine rebound effort against the Cowgirls. She was nearing former standout Karen Deden's mark of 10-of11 (.919) versus Arizona State back in 1989. O'Neill, one of three Huskies averaging double figure scoring, is third on the team at 11.3 boards per game. O'Neill, whose younger sister Kristen recently signed with Huskies for next season, finished her high school career at Meadowdale with 1,414 points, 810 rebounds, 213 steals and 170 blocks with a career field goal percentage of 50.9 percent.

What They're Saying about O'Neill
'I like the way she plays,' Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma said of Kellie O'Neill after she scored 27 points against them on Nov. 24. 'You have to guard her at the 3-point line. She's really smart with the ball in the lane. Their guards (Megan Franza and injured Loree Payne) get a lot of mention and notoriety, and they should. But I think that kid (O'Neill) is really, really good.'

Home Sweet Home: Over the last year and a half, Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion has undergone an extensive renovation. On Nov. 24 the Huskies, who hosted defending national champion Connecticut, moved back into their on-campus arena - a venue that provides the charm of its original 1920s style along with all the modern conveniences of today. Over $40 million dollars in improvements have been made and the new transformation ensures that every person in the building has a great seat with no obstructed views. The Huskies have enjoyed remarkable success in Hec Edmundson Pavilion, now called Bank of America Arena, building a long-standing tradition of top-notch women's basketball on the west coast and across the country. This season marks the 72nd year of service for the historical building that has an entirely new look on the inside. The renovation gives Washington a much-needed new competition and practice facility for several of its teams. The seating capacity has been increased from 7,900 to 10,000 and gone are the supports pillars that have obstructed views from the upper level seats since the buildings inception. The renovation design of Hec Edmundson Pavilion began in the summer of 1997. Construction began in March, 1999 with completion in the fall of 2000.

Lalum in the Lineup: Freshman center Andrea Lalum made her first collegiate start at Oklahoma State Dec. 3, in place of injured LeAnn Sheets, and responded by hitting 3-of-6 from the field, including two threes. She added seven rebounds, a block and a steal for eight points. Lalum is the fourth-leading scorer on the team, averaging 6.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. She tallied an early career-high of 12 point against St. Mary's, Dec. 17 Lalum, at 6-foot-4, grew an inch taller from the time she signed her letter of intent to play at Washington.

Huskies Continue Community Service During the Holidays
Washington continues its tradition of community service by helping the Salvation Army during the holidays. Husky staff and players rang the traditional Salvation Army holiday donation bells in downtown Seattle the week before Christmas. All players, except for those taking final exams, participated. Among the 23 sports teams, Husky women's basketball is Washington's most active intercollegiate athletic team in community service participation.

Coaching Staff: Head coach June Daugherty and her staff enter their fifth year at Washington, with one newcomer on list. Former Michigan Wolverine Yeshimbra 'Shimmy' Gray joins the Huskies this season, replacing Hulett Brooks who left to pursue private business. Daugherty, who was inducted into the Ohio State Athletic Hall of Fame in September, and her assistants, Sunny Smallwood and Mike Daugherty, have been together since the 1996-97 season.

Player Notes
24 - Kellie O'Neill ... Had a career-high 27 points vs. No. 1 Connecticut ... 19 pts. in the first half ... limited to 3 pts. at Boise State but responded with 20 pts., 9 rebounds at Oklahoma State ... hit her first nine shots of the game at OSU ... team-high 8 rebounds vs. St. Mary's.

42 - LeAnn Sheets ... Missed Nebraska and Oklahoma State games with sprained ankle ... returned to starting lineup vs. St. Mary's ... 11 pts., 7 rbs. vs. LMU and 10 rebounds vs. JMU ... Times Classic all-tourney team.

14 - Megan Franza ... Veteran senior captain is again leading scorer with 14.6 ppg ... 23 pts. in season-opener at Indiana ... 21 pts. vs. Nebraska, including 9 pts. in a crucial 17-5 UW run en route the win over the Huskers ... tied her career-high with 13 3 pt. attempts ... moved to No. 10 on UW career scroring list vs. JMU ... has 1,228 points in 96 career games ... Times Classic all-tourney team.

13 - Giuliana Mendiola ... Impressive in first 9 games ... 19 points at Boise St., with 4 assists, 2 steals and no turnovers in 30 min. ... has started seven games ... 1 turnover in first collegiate game at Indiana and also hit 3-pointer to send game to OT ... recorded UW's first double-double of the season at Oklahoma State, with 10 points and 11 rebounds ... had another double-double vs. Nebraska ... plays point guard and either wing position ... leading rebounder with 7.4 rpg ... MVP of Seattle Times Classic.

32 - Jill Pimley ... Has started 8 games ... tri-captain ... defensive stalwart ... 'stat sheet stuffer' who does all the little things ... career-high 14 points vs. St. Mary's ... banked a 3-pointer for game highlight ... tied for second in Pac-10 in FT percentage (20-23/.870).

Off the Bench

4 - Melissa Erickson ... Senior leadership and inside presence.

12 - Sarah Duncan ... Top defender off the bench ... has played in all nine games ... 3 rebounds, 3 assists at Oklahoma State.

22 - Loree Payne ... saw her first action of the season against LMU (8 pts.) and JMU (3 pts.) ... playing time should increase as rehab continues.

23 - Emily Autrey ... Came off the bench at Boise St. for a career-high 20 points on 8-11 fg ... 6 pts., 6 rbs. vs. LMU.

31- Gioconda Mendiola ... Averaging five minutes a game in first season ... speedy guard ... against LMU, followed a three pointer by her sister Giuliana with one of her own, for her first points of the season.

33 - Carli Halpenny ... Healthy for first time in three seasons ... has made tremendous improvement in strength and aggressiveness ... initially entered season as a redshirt junior but will complete her eligibility this season and study the spring quarter in Rome, Italy.

40 - Andrea Lalum ... Made her first start at Oklahoma State ... four blocked shots against St. Mary's is best for a Husky since Amber Hall in 1996 ... can pound inside or step and hit for three.

41 - Heather Reichmann ... Has seen limited action in first 7 games ... 3 rebounds at Oklahoma State ... 2 steals and 1 assist vs. St. Mary's.

44 - Cheryl Sorenson ... Sat out Boise St. with tendinitis in knee and has played sparingly since then ... versatile guard/forward ... returns from redshirt season and ACL surgery ... impressive in first game back, at Indiana, with 5-7 fg for 12 pts., 4 rebounds.

The Schedule: As is tradition, the Washington women's basketball team faces a challenging schedule as it enters the 2000-2001 season. The Huskies face 11 teams that played in the postseason last year, seven in the NCAA Tournament, including none other than defending national champion Connecticut in the home opener Nov. 24. Four Pac-10 teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2000 and four opponents played in the WNIT, including national semi-finalist Colorado State.

Gold Medal Count: Sophomore Loree Payne capped a stellar freshman campaign with her selection to the USA Basketball R.William Jones Cup team that annually plays in Taiwan. The youngest player on the squad and the lone representative from the Pac-10, Payne helped lead the team to a gold medal in the four-game tournament. She finished with 16 points, three rebounds and four assists in three games played. Payne tallied 11 points in the gold medal game.

Recapping 1999-2000: Faced with a spate of injuries to its front line and a young squad with no seniors, Washington suffered through its first losing season in school history with a record of 8-22 overall and 4-14th for a ninth place finish in the Pac-10. The season was not without its highlights though, the biggest coming back on Jan. 27 when the Huskies upset No. 24 Stanford and captured the 500th win for the women's basketball program. It was the second victory in a row over Stanford and career win No. 180 for coach June Daugherty. Washington was led by the scoring duo of Loree Payne (17.4 ppg) and Megan Franza (17.2 ppg), who combined to form the highest scoring duo from the same school in Pac-10 history. Franza was named to the All-Pac-10 First Team, continuing a tradition which has seen Washington have a player on the first team every year but two since the league began play in the 1986-87 season. Payne finished the year as one of the most prolific freshman players in UW history. She broke eight freshman records, highlighted by her scoring mark of 521 points.

Departures: Although Washington did not lose anyone to graduation, two players did not return to the team this season. Starting point guard Julia Gray transferred to UNLV and reserve center Tiffiany Diggins left the program. Washington returns four of its starters from a year ago.

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