Huskies Face North Texas in WNIT First Round

March 12, 2002

Washington Hosts North Texas in WNIT First Round
Thurs., March 14
North Texas at Washington, 7 p.m.
WNIT First Round Game at Bank of America Arena (10,000)

This Week
The Washington women's basketball team (17-11) will host the University of North Texas (21-8) in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) at 7 p.m., Thurs., March 14 at Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
The winner of the game will face either Southern California or University of San Francisco in the second round. The Huskies swept USC during the Pac-10 regular season, winning 80-79 in overtime in Seattle Jan. 6 and again in Los Angeles, 69-63, back on Feb. 1. USF handed Washington a 72-68 non-conference loss in the Bay Area Dec. 2.
Washington tied for second place in the Pac-10 Conference this year, with a record of 12-6 along with NCAA Tournament-bound Arizona State. The Huskies, who have won seven of their last 10 games, are coming off a 78-64 loss to Oregon in the second round of the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament in Eugene, Ore. March 2.
North Texas advanced to the championship game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament where the team lost to 25th-ranked Florida International, 66-49. The Lady Eagles are led by conference player of the year Jalie Mitchell, who averages 19.6 points per game. North Texas recorded a school-record 21 wins this season, with six of its eight losses coming to opponents currently ranked among the top-25 teams nationally. This year marks UNT's second consecutive appearance in the WNIT. The Eagles lost to Oklahoma State, 79-67, in the first round last year.
Washington and North Texas have met just once before, back in the 1985-86 season, with the Huskies winning, 69-54, in a first round NCAA Tournament game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
Washington's last appearance in the WNIT was in 1999. The Huskies posted a first-round win over Portland, 67-63, at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle and then lost at New Mexico, 68-63, at the Pit in Albuquerque.

What's Next
Tournament action continues with the second round March 16-18 and the third round March 19-21. Semi-final games are set for March 23-24 with the championship March 26, 27 or 28. Washington could potentially host second and third round games at Bank of America Arena.

Tournament Ticket Information
- Tickets for the WNIT Tournament may be purchased by calling the Washington ticket office at (206) 543-2200. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.gohuskies.com.

WNIT TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
First Round - Thurs., March 14
North Texas at Washington, Bank of America Arena, Seattle, Wash.

Round Two - March 16-18
Round Three - March 20- 21
Semi-finals - March 23-24
Championship game - March 26 or 27

Tentative Husky Starting Lineup
F 23- Emily Autrey 6-0 Jr. Kennewick, Wash. 9.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg
C 21- Andrea Lalum 6-4 So. Bozeman, Mont. 11.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg
G 22- Loree Payne 6-0 Jr. Havre, Mont. 14.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg
G 33- Kristen O'Neill 6-0 Fr. Edmonds, Wash. 6.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg
G 13- Giuliana Mendiola 5-11 So. Lake Forest, Calif. 12.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg

Televison/Radio
Washington's WNIT Tournament games can be heard on the radio at KKNW 1150 am and on the internet via www.gohuskies.com. Steve Sandmeyer calls the action on radio. There is no television scheduled at this point.

Highlighting the Huskies
Propelled by a strong second half the conference season, Washington emerged from a tight conference race to finish tied for second, with Arizona State, in the Pac-10. The Huskies have won seven of their last 10 games, with the only setbacks at No. 2 Stanford, in overtime to Oregon State when they lost starting center Andrea Lalum to injury in the first minute of the game and in the second round of the Pac-10 Tournament, when they played Oregon on a 'neutral' court in Eugene.
Here are a few Husky Highlights:
* Balanced Attack - Three and nearly four Huskies are averaging double figure scoring this season: Loree Payne (14.1), Giuliana Mendiola (12.2), Andrea Lalum (11.3) and Emily Autrey (9.9). Seven different Huskies have led the team in scoring this year, highlighted by a 31-point career-best effort from Mendiola in the final regular season game against Oregon. Six players scored in double figures in UW's win over Indiana in December and five players scored in double figures in four other games.
Coach Daugherty continues to emphasize the depth of her bench, constantly rotating fresh players in and out of the game. The strategy was a key element of the team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament last year and continues to be a source of strength this season.
* Offense - Washington has maintained its reputation as an offensive firepower. The Huskies are ranked third in the Pac-10 in scoring offense with 73.1 points per game. They scored 99 points against Boise State (Nov. 27) and 98 points in the Pac-10 opener versus Washington State (Dec. 21) and have topped 80 or more points six times with a record of 6-0 in those games.* Versatility - With the offensive firepower comes versatility. The Huskies like to shoot the three and just about anyone can hit from anywhere on the court, including 6-foot-4 center Andrea Lalum. Every player on the court has the green light to shoot, inside or out. Six players have reached double figures in three pointers made this season, led by junior captain Loree Payne, who has 63.
On the flip side, Washington is also third in the conference in field goal percent defense, holding opponents to 39 percent from the field.

Dawgbite: Sixth-year head coach June Daugherty needs two more victories to reach 100 wins in her tenure at Washington. She enters the WNIT Tournament with a mark of 98-77 at UW. Her 13-year career record stands at 221-151. Washington's win over Oregon Feb. 23 was Daugherty's 60th conference victory in her tenure at Washington. Her record in conference games stands at 60-48 during her six years at UW, not including the Pac-10 Tournament.

Injury Report
Sophomore center Andrea Lalum suffered a sprained left ankle against Oregon State, Feb. 21. She missed the final regular season game versus Oregon (Feb. 23) in Seattle and saw limited action (13 min.) in the Pac-10 Tournament game against the Ducks (March 2). Junior Cheryl Sorenson suffered a concussion against Oregon, Feb. 23. She did not play in the Pac-10 Tournament game at Oregon. Sorenson is expected to play in the WNIT first round.

About North Texas
The Lady Eagles finished the regular season with a record of 19-7 before moving on to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. They posted double digit victories over University of New Orleans and Western Kentucky to advance to the championship game, where they lost, 66-49, to 25th-ranked Florida International. The team is led by senior forward Jalie Mitchell, who averages 19.6 points per game and was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year. Also in double figures are senior forward Shannan Stephenson at 14.4 ppg and senior guard Nicole Thomas at 10.5 ppg. Stephenson is the leading rebounder at 6.6 boards per game. UNT is coached by Tina Slinker who is in her 13th season with the Mean Green. She has a career mark of 162-191 in that span. North Texas was a member of the Southland Conference from 1982-95 before moving to the Big West for four years (1996-99). The school became a part of the Sun Belt Conference last year.

The Husky-North Texas Series
Washington and North Texas have met just once before, back in the 1985-86 season, with the Huskies winning, 69-54, in a first round NCAA Tournament game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Dawgbite: Washington has a mark of 1-8 versus teams from the Sun Belt Conference. The lone win came against South Alabama (94-68) in 1990. The most recent meeting with a conference school in the Les Schwab Challenge during the 1999-2000 season when Florida International topped the Huskies, 82-68, at Mercer Arena.

Statistical Comparison	UW	UNTPoints per game	73.1	73.5Rebounds	38.4	42.6Opponent rebounds	40.7	39.13-pt. FGM-FGA	189-573	133-393Free throw %	71.7	73.7Assists	440	377Blocks	86	91Steals	276	261Turnovers	471	490	

Pac-10 Notes
Washington, tied for second at the end of the regular season, remains among the Pac-10 leaders in several categories. As a team, the Huskies are third in scoring offense (73.1 ppg) and scoring margin (+7.1). They are third in free throw percentage (71.7), third in field goal percent defense (.398) and in steals (9.86 pg). Individually, Loree Payne (9th), Giuliana Mendiola (13) and Andrea Lalum (16th) rank among the Pac-10 scoring leaders while freshman Kristen O'Neill is second in three-point field goal percentage (45.1). Payne is second in three-pointers made (63) and Giuliana Mendiola is fourth in assists (4.89 pg). In addition, Mendiola's assist to turnover ratio of 2.04 is second in the conference.

Leader in the Dawghouse
Sophomore captain Giuliana Mendiola posted a career-best 31 points in Washington's 88-80 win over Oregon Feb. 23, topping her previous high of 22. She was the first Husky to go over the 30-point plateau this year. Mendiola, the Huskies' point guard, was 8-of-15 from the field and an impressive 15-of-17 from the free throw line. Her free throw numbers were season-highs for the team and individual career bests.
Mendiola, who has started all but two games in her two years at UW, has scored in double figures in 17 games this season and scored 20 or more points in four games.

A Look at the Lineup
Prior to its final regular season game, when an injury forced change, Washington had stuck with the same lineup for its previous 10 games and had a 9-5 record with that starting group. The final regular season lineup was the fifth different one used this season, and featured freshman center Sarah Keeler in her first start. Andrea Lalum returned to the starting five for the Pac-10 Tournament.
Here is a look at what the Huskies have done:
Game 27 Record: 1-0
Autrey, Keeler, Payne, Giuliana Mendiola, Kristen O'Neill
Games 8-11, 17-26, 28 Record: 9-6
Autrey, Lalum, Payne, Giuliana Mendiola, Kristen O'Neill
Games 1-7 Record: 4-3
Autrey, Lalum, Payne, Giuliana Mendiola, Gioconda Mendiola
Games 12-15 Record: 3-1
Sorenson, Kellie O'Neill, Lalum, Giuliana Mendiola, Kristen O'Neill
Game 16 Record: 0-1
Kellie O'Neill, Lalum, Payne, Giuliana Mendiola, Kristen O'Neill

Pac-10 Tournament Recap
Game 28 - at Oregon 78, Washington 64 (March 2) - The Washington women's basketball team ended its regular season with a home victory over Oregon last week, but the Ducks got the upper hand in the next game, knocking off the second-seeded Huskies, 78-64, before 5,407 fans on hand for the second round of the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament at McArthur Court.
Sophomore captain Giuliana, who scored a career-best 31 against the Ducks one week earlier, led the Huskies again, with 18 points, while junior Loree Payne scored 15. Oregon's Shaquala Williams led all scorers with 26 points as four Ducks reached double figures, including Catherine Kraayeveld who had a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Washington built a 15-14 lead early in the game, spurred by a 7-0 run that included four points from freshman Kristen O'Neill. It was Washington's last lead of the game as Daugherty was assessed a technical foul with 8:40 remaining in the first half and the Ducks went on to take a 17-15 lead via an 11-0 run that included seven points by Williams. The Ducks' run also included a 25-15 lead and during that run, Washington was held scoreless for nearly three and a half minutes.
Washington finally answered with a 10-1 run that pulled them within one, 26-25, with two minutes to go in the half. Oregon's Jamie Craighead hit a field goal and a three-pointer and the Ducks took a 33-28 lead at the break.
Washington cut the deficit to four, 37-33, at 15:49 in the second and trailed by eight, 49-41, after a basket by Sarah Keeler with 11:10 to go, but that was as close as the Huskies would get. Oregon used a 19-7 run midway through the period and built its lead to 69-48 with 3:42 remaining.

Huskies Happy at Home
Washington traditionally plays well on its home court and Bank of America Arena has become a tough place for opponents. Prior to the two-point overtime loss to Oregon State Feb. 21, the lone home conference loss this season had been at the hands of then-fourth-ranked Stanford, 75-67. The non-conference losses were to No. 16 Michigan and Santa Clara. The Stanford game marked the first conference loss at home in more than a year for the Huskies, who own a stellar 15-2 mark in Pac-10 Conference games, dating back to last season in the renovated Bank of America Arena. Prior to the Stanford game, the last Pac-10 home loss was a 67-53 setback at the hands of Oregon back on Jan. 18, 2001.

Husky Home Attendance Highs
Washington, which consistently ranks among the nation's leaders in home attendance, is averaging 3,530 fans per game this year, good for third in the Pac-10 behind Oregon and Stanford.
Washington's largest crowd of the year was against Stanford when 5,672 fans showed up at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies welcomed 4,735 fans to its game against ASU two weeks ago and another 5,229 to the Oregon game.

The Real Deal
Junior Kellie O'Neill was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, including 2-of-2 from three point range, while pulling down seven rebounds against Arizona State Feb. 9. It was her first double digit scoring effort since Jan. 17 versus California and her highest rebound total since the season-opener at Montana State.
She came off the bench to lead the Huskies at Cal the next week, scoring a game-high 14 points on 6-of-12 from the field and 2-of-3 from three point range. O'Neill has reached double figure scoring three of the last four games.

Lalum Lights it Up
Sophomore center Andrea Lalum (Bozeman, Mont.) has been a consistent threat in the Husky offense all season, standing third on the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game. She leads the team in rebounding with 5.7 boards.
Lalum suffered a sprained left ankle in the first minute of the game against Oregon State Feb. 21, missed the next game, versus Oregon, and returned in limited fashion for the Pac-10 Tournament, playing 13 minutes and scoring two points.
Lalum was in double figures, both scoring and rebounding, in Washington's win over Arizona Feb. 7. She tallied 10 points and 13 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the year and first since the Michigan game Dec. 9. She was the first Husky to reach double figure rebounding since that game. She posted a career-best four blocks in the win over the Sun Devils.
In the Bay Area, Lalum led Washington with 18 points of 7-of-14 shooting at No. 2 Stanford and reached double figures again with 10 points at Cal, despite being hampered by a sore back. The versatile Lalum, at 6-foot-4, has scored in double figures in 17 of 27 games this season and has four double-doubles so far. Lalum has led the Huskies in scoring five times and 13 times in rebounding.

Autrey is Alright
Junior Emily Autrey has developed into an integral part of the Husky offense this season, averaging double figure scoring with 9.9 points per game. A versatile guard/forward, Autrey is often the fastest player on the court and is accurate from any spot. She is also averaging 4.4 rebounds per game. A two-time state champion in the 100-meter dash while at Kamiakin High in Kennewick, Wash., Autrey started the first 11 games of the season before coming off the bench for five games. She returned to the starting lineup versus California Jan. 17. Autrey led Washington at the free throw line at UCLA, sinking 10-of-12 all in the second half while also pulling down six rebounds.

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