Women's Hoops Opens Pac-10 Second Half in Heated Race

Feb. 7, 2001

Seattle - Game 20
Washington Huskies (13-6, 6-3)
vs.
No. 22 Arizona Wildcats (16-5, 6-3)
7 p.m., Thurs., Feb. 8
Bank of America Arena (10,000)

Game 21
vs. No. 23 Arizona State Sun Devils
(15-6, 7-2)
2 p.m., Sat., Feb. 10*
Bank of America Arena (10,000)
* Televised by Fox Sports NW, delayed, shown Feb. 11 at 11 a.m.

This Week: The Washington women's basketball team (13-6, 6-3) opens the second round of Pac-10 play by hosting a pair of ranked foes in No. 22 Arizona, tied for second with the Huskies, and conference leader No. 23 Arizona State in a critical weekend for the league race. The Wildcats are here first, at 7 p.m., Thurs., Feb. 8, followed by an afternoon tip with the Sun Devils, at 2 p.m., Sat., Feb. 10. The ASU contest will be televised by Fox Sports Northwest, on a delayed basis, and is set to air Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. Both games can be hears on the radio at KKOL 1300 am.

The Huskies are coming off a decisive victory at Washington State, in which they pounded the Cougars, 91-71, Saturday afternoon. The win kept the Huskies among the leaders in the Pac-10, as they stand in a three-way tie for second place, along with Arizona and Stanford. Four of five starters reached double figure scoring at WSU, led by Megan Franza's 15 points, while Giuliana Mendiola, Loree Payne and Franza each connected on three long range baskets in the game. Franza continues to lead the Huskies, with 14.7 points per game, followed by Mendiola and Payne, both at 10.5 per game. Ten of 12 Huskies in the game were in the scoring column, highlighted by a 3-for-4 seven point, eight rebound effort off the bench from Cheryl Sorenson.

Arizona has rebounded from three straight road losses to win its last two games, both at home, over the Oregon schools. Pac-10 Player of the Week Elizabeth Pickney spearheaded the effort last weekend, posting 26 points and seven rebounds against the 22nd-ranked Ducks and added a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards against OSU. Four Wildcats average double figure scoring, led by Pickney at 15.2 points per game, and followed by lone senior Reshea Bristol, who also added 26 points against the Ducks, and Veranda James (13.7) and LaKeisha Taylor (10.6). Coach Joan Bonvicini recorded career victory No. 500 with the victory over Oregon State.

Arizona State kept its hold on sole possession of the top stop in the Pac-10 by also sweeping the Oregon schools in Tempe last weekend. The Sun Devils, who surpassed their win total from last year and moved into the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 1992, have now won six in a row. Their last loss came at the hands of Washington, a 66-62 setback in Tempe, Jan. 11. They are led by a trio of players averaging double figures, starting with Amanda Levens at 14.5 points per game, and followed by Melody Johnson (14.2) and Betsy Boardman (10.9). Fifth-year coach Charli Turner Thorne was a graduate assistant at Washington from 1989-90.

Probable Washington Starters

Name	Pos.	Ht.	Yr.	Hometown		Pts., Rbs.
42 - LeAnn Sheets F 6-2 Sr. Olympia, Wash. 6.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg
40 - Andrea Lalum C 6-4 Fr. Bozeman, Mont. 8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg
22 - Loree Payne G 6-0 So. Havre, Mont. 10.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg
14 - Megan Franza G 5-11 Sr. Leavenworth, Wash. 14.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg
13 - Giuliana Mendiola G 5-11 Fr. Lake Forest, Calif. 10.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg

Coaches Corner: All three coaches this week -- June Daugherty, Joan Bonvicini and Charli Turner Thorne -- reached milestone victories last Saturday. UA's Bonvicini leads the way, earning career win No. 500 against Oregon State, June Daugherty tallied career win No. 195 at WSU and ASU's Charli Turner Thorne posted career win No. 100 against the Ducks. Here is a look at the coaching marks for each:

	School	Career record	record at school
June Daugherty Washington 195-136 (12th yr.) 72-62 (5th yr.)
Joan Bonvicini Arizona 500-181 (22nd yr.) 175-110 (10th yr.)
Charli Turner Thorne Arizona State 100-112 (8th yr.) 70-72 (5th yr.)

Looking Back: Washington has engineered a dramatic turnaround from last season, when the Huskies played their home games in downtown Seattle, were continually plagued by injuries and lacked a senior class. After 19 games last season, Washington had a record of 6-13 ... this year, the Huskies are 13-6 ... they were 3-6 after the first nine Pac-10 games in 2000 ... this year they are 6-3 and in second place in the Pac-10 as they begin the second round of play.

Huskies Hit High Field Goal Mark: When the Huskies hit 50 percent of their shots from the field (33-66) at Washington State it marked the highest field goal percentage of the year ... the previous high was 47 percent (28-59) in the second game of the season at Michigan ... the Huskies hit 50 percent in the first half of the game (16-32) to take a 48-23 lead at the break ... UW's individual leader is freshman Andrea Lalum, who is hitting 46 percent (62-133) from the field.

Balanced Attack Continues: Washington's 91 points at WSU tied its season-high, reached previously in a triple overtime game versus USC, Jan. 4 ... 10 of the 12 Huskies in the game against the Cougars contributed in the scoring column ... Four Huskies reached double figures, led by Megan Franza's game-high 15 points ... Andrea Lalum and Loree Payne each scored 14 and Giuliana Mendiola rebounded from a scoreless game at California to record 13 points ... Washington's 12 three point baskets was also a season-high ... The previous mark was 10 at Arizona, Jan. 13. ... Mendiola, Payne and Franza each hit three (3) three point baskets in the game.

Dawgbite: Washington's 91 points at WSU marked the 10th time a June Daugherty-coached Husky team has topped the 90-point barrier, including earlier this season when they matched the effort in a triple overtime game against USC. The Huskies topped the barrier once last year, nearly reaching the century mark with 99 points against Idaho. Two years prior, in 1998-99, the high-scoring Huskies scored 90 or more points four times. The Washington school record for points in a game is 114 versus Weber State in 1985.

Dawgbite: Washington, tied for second place after the first round of conference play, was picked to finish sixth in a preseason vote of Pac-10 coaches. The Huskies were picked seventh in the preseason media poll.

Look at Lalum: Freshman center Andrea Lalum (Bozeman, Mont.) moved into the starting lineup five games ago, for the Oregon/Oregon State series, and has responded well to the move. She is averaging 10.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in Pac-10 game so far, topped by a career-best 19 points at Stanford. In addition, her field goal percentage has been stellar in Pac-10 games, at a team-high .552 from the field in nine conference games, a mark that is fourth in the conference. She has scored in double figures the last four games and in five of the last six. Lalum, who is part Native American, posted her second double-double of the year when she had 12 points and 11 rebounds against Oregon State.

Lalum, who grew an inch last year up to 6-foot-4, is a versatile player who provides the Huskies with a physical inside presence but has also connected on 13 three-point shots this year. She was 3-for-3 from behind the arc as a part of her 19-point effort at Stanford.

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

Lalum has now started seven games in her freshman year.

Senior Strength: Husky coach June Daugherty continually points to the six-player senior class as a major reason for UW's hot start this year, crediting the group with strong leadership in practice and during games. Senior captains Megan Franza and Jill Pimley headline the group. Franza has been a constant in the starting lineup since her freshman year and is a leader on the court. Pimley is in her second season as a team captain and is a vocal leader whether she is playing or on the bench. LeAnn Sheets, who has struggled with injuries throughout her career, is healthy and gives the Huskies a veteran presence in the post. Melissa Erickson, until she injured her knee Jan. 27, brought experience off the bench, giving the Huskies added height inside. Sarah Duncan was named Most Inspirational last season and continues to fill that role this year. Carli Halpenny rounds out the group. A redshirt junior, she has opted to graduate this year in order to spend the spring quarter studying in Italy. The move puts her back in the class she entered with in 1997 and strengths the leadership the six-player group provides.Senior Strength: Husky coach June Daugherty continually points to the six-player senior class as a major reason for UW's hot start this year, crediting the group with strong leadership in practice and during games. Senior captains Megan Franza and Jill Pimley headline the group. Franza has been a constant in the starting lineup since her freshman year and is a leader on the court. Pimley is in her second season as a team captain and is a vocal leader whether she is playing or on the bench. LeAnn Sheets, who has struggled with injuries throughout her career, is healthy and gives the Huskies a veteran presence in the post. Melissa Erickson, until she injured her knee Jan. 27, brought experience off the bench, giving the Huskies added height inside. Sarah Duncan was named Most Inspirational last season and continues to fill that role this year. Carli Halpenny rounds out the group. A redshirt junior, she has opted to graduate this year in order to spend the spring quarter studying in Italy. The move puts her back in the class she entered with in 1997 and strengths the leadership the six-player group provides.
Washington had no seniors on its roster last season when it posted an 8-22 record.

Healthy Huskies: While crediting the senior class with leading the Huskies, coach Daugherty also points to a healthy lineup as cause for celebration. Washington's frontline was beset by injuries last season, causing Daugherty to constantly shuffle her lineup. No less than five different players were on the bench with injuries at one point or another last year. LeAnn Sheets missed the first eight games of the season after foot surgery. Cheryl Sorenson ended up redshirting after a torn ACL in preseason. Melissa Erickson was hampered by a sore shoulder during the non-conference portion of the schedule. Carli Halpenny was limited by a stress reaction in her hip and was initially declared out for the season and Kellie O'Neill had a premature end to her freshman year after suffering a severe ankle sprain midway through the season.

Sheets suffered a sprained ankle at Boise State this year, causing her to miss the next two games, but she has returned to full strength. In addition, Loree Payne returned after missing the first six games with a stress fracture in her foot. She posted a season-best 21 points against USC, Jan. 7.

The healthy lineup has given the Huskies increased depth this season, a factor that was particularly evident in the triple overtime win against USC Jan. 7. The Trojans had four key players foul out while the Huskies were able to constantly rotate fresh players in the game.

Megan on the Move: Senior guard Megan Franza had one of the finest performances of her career at California, Jan. 27. The left-handed guard from Leavenworth, Wash., exploded for a season-high 30 points on 11-of-17 from the field. She tallied 22 points by halftime and finished the night with a school-record tying six three point baskets to go along with four assists, three steals and a block. Here are a few notes on what Franza is doing in her final season as a Husky:
o Leading scorer against the Cougars, the eighth time she has led UW in scoring this year
o Season-high 30 points at California, Jan. 27
o Third career performance of 30 or more points (35 vs. Idaho, 12/18/99, 33 vs. Stanford, 1/27/00)
o Tied her own school record with six three pointers at Cal (shares record with two others) ... she and Jamie Redd (1996-99) both hit six twice
o Started 104 of last 106 games ... last time not starting was Nov. 15, 1998, vs. Iowa sophomore year
o Reached double figure scoring in 40 of last 46 games ... has led UW in scoring last two seasons
o Team captain

Franza on the UW Career Charts
o No. 8 on UW career scoring chart with 1,376 points ... with nine points at Stanford Jan. 25, she passed former teammate Amber Hall (1,330) ... needs 132 points to move to No. 7 (1,508)
o Career scoring average of 13.0 points per game
o No. 8 on career field goals made chart (520) ... No. 5 on field goal attempts chart. (1,351)
o No. 2 on UW career three point field goals made chart (174 made) ... needs 19 to pass all-time leader Jamie Redd (192)
o No. 2 on career three point attempts list with 614 ... again trails Redd (675) ... Franza equalled her career high attempts with 13 versus Nebraska this season (Dec. 6)
o A first team All-Pac-10 selection last year, Franza became the 16th Husky to top the 1,000-point barrier and only the eighth player to pass the mark as a junior.

Franza on the Pac-10 Conference Career Charts
o Points - with 1,376 points, Franza needs 125 to tie No. 25 (1,501, Arianne Boyer, UO, 1994-97)
o Field goals made - with 1,351 fgm, Franza needs 71 to tie No. 10 (747, Rehema Stephens, UCLA, 1989-92)

Chart Topper: Megan Franza's game-winning shot with 4.5 seconds on the clock against Oregon State (Jan. 20), capped a 28-point performance for the senior guard. That was followed by her 30-point performance two games later at Califorinia. Here is a look at Franza's top six scoring marks:
35 - vs. Idaho, Dec. 18, 1999
33 - vs. No. 24 Stanford, Jan. 27, 2000
30 - at California, Jan. 27, 2001
28 - vs. Oregon State, Jan. 20, 2001
27 - at Colorado State, Dec. 29, 1999
26 - at Nebraska, Dec. 6, 1999

And Finally: Last year, with a scoring average of 17.2 ppg, Franza led the Pac-10 in scoring until the final two weeks of the season, while freshman teammate 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.

On the Rebound: Washington's rebounding efforts have improved tremendously from last season. After a cumulative -4.3 rebounding margin in 2000, the Huskies have a margin of +4.8 over opponents this season, a mark that led the Pac-10 until the Huskies were outrebouned at Stanford and Cal. Washington has outrebounded all but six opponents this season (UConn, St. Mary's, ASU, Oregon, Stanford, Cal). The team is averaging 43.7 rpg, second in the Pac-10, after 19 games. Freshman Giuliana Mendiola is currently the leading rebounder at 6.4 boards per game. LeAnn Sheets follows at 6.0 and Kellie O'Neill is at 5.4 rebounds per game.

Mendiola Magic: Freshman guard Giuliana Mendiola is off to a great start in her first season as a Husky. Here are a few highlights from the year:
o Leads UW in rebounding (6.4) and assists (3.9)
o Second-leading scorer at 10.5 points per game
o No. 6 rebounder in the Pac-10
o Seattle Times Classic MVP ... 37 points, 15 rebounds, three turnovers in two games
o Four double-doubles this season
o Assist to turnover ratio is 1.4 ... fourth-best in the Pac-10
o Has started 17-of-19 games
o Plays point guard and either wing position
o A few more notes ... the younger sister of teammate Gioconda ... takes care of the ball well, with only one turnover in her first college game, at Indiana, none at Boise State and none against Loyola Marymount ... eight assists versus UCLA ... In the triple OT win over USC, had 12 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and only two turnovers in 41 minutes of action ... was held scoreless at California, for, in her own memory 'probably the first time ever.'
Mendiola, who scored 3,069 points during her prep career, is in the top 10 in five different Pac-10 statistical categories. Here is a look at where she ranks on each Pac-10 list:

rank	category	statistics
No. 4 assist/turnover ratio 1.42
No. 4 assists 3.95 apg
No. 5 defensive rebounds 4.11
No. 6 rebounding 6.4 rpg
No. 10 3 pt. FG made 25 (1.32 pg)
No. 20 scoring 10.5 ppg

So Far, So Good: Washington wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule with a mark of 7-3, its best non-league record since 1997-98 when it was 9-0. Included in that record is a 3-1 mark on the road. The only three non-conference losses of the season came in overtime at the buzzer at Indiana, at the hands of No. 1 Connecticut and a two-point loss to a 10-1 Colorado State team. 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. The Huskies currently have a home mark of 6-3. Helping the cause this year has been increased scoring from the bench and a versatile rotation that is nearly three deep at every position.

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