Stage Is Set For Huskies' Second NCAA Appearance In Last Three Years

March 17, 2003

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This Week:
Washington women's basketball (22-7) will make its 14th NCAA Championship appearance and second in the last three years when the Huskies, seeded ninth in the West Region, head to Eugene, Ore. to face eighth-seeded Wisconsin-Green Bay in the first round of the tournament Sat., March 22, at 6:06 p.m. Washington finished the regular season tied for second-place in the Pac-10 (with Arizona) with a 13-5 conference record. The Huskies have put together their best regular season performance under head coach June Daugherty, compiling their first 20-win regular season (21) during her seven-year tenure. The last time the Huskies had as many as 22 wins was 2001, which included UW's improbable run to the NCAA Elite Eight. This year's team features three starters from the 2001 squad including juniors Andrea Lalum and Giuliana Mendiola, and senior Loree Payne. Washington is coming off a 1-1 performance at the Pac-10 Conference Tournament and has won three of its last four games heading to Eugene. McArthur Court will be familiar territory for the Huskies, whose last trip to Eugene marked their first win there since 1993. Should they advance past the first round, the Huskies would face either top-seeded Louisiana State (23-7) or 16th-seeded Southwest Texas State (18-13) on Mon., March 24 (time tba). LSU and Southwest Texas State's game on Saturday will be played 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Washington vs. UW-Green Bay matchup.

Television/Radio/Internet:
All 63 games of the 2003 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship will be televised by ESPN and its sister networks. Dave Barnett and Lisa Leslie will be calling the games from Eugene on ESPN2. Locally, UW games can be heard live on the radio at KKNW 1150 AM. Steve Sandmeyer, in his fourth season as the voice of the Huskies, and Elise (Niemela) Woodward, a former UW standout, will be calling the action live from Eugene. Games can also be heard over the internet. Just click on the official UW website at www.gohuskies.com.

Probable Husky Starters (2002-03 Stats):
Giuliana Mendiola * G * 5-11 * Jr. * Lake Forest, Calif. * 17.3 ppg * 6.7 rpg
Kristen O'Neill * G * 6-1 * So. * Edmonds, Wash. * 5.1 ppg * 4.3 rpg
Loree Payne * G * 6-0 * Sr. * Havre, Mont. * 14.4 ppg * 2.8 rpg
Kellie Dalan * F * 6-1 * Sr. * Edmonds, Wash. * 7.1 ppg * 2.7 rpg
Andrea Lalum * C * 6-4 * Jr. * Bozeman, Mont. * 11.1 ppg * 4.6 rpg

Huskies Off The Bench (2002-03 Stats):
Emily Autrey * F * 6-0 * Sr. * Kennewick, Wash. * 10.2 ppg * 4.5 rpg
Sarah Keeler * F * 6-4 * Rs-So. * Pendleton, Ore. * 3.7 ppg * 3.7 rpg
Gioconda Mendiola * G * 5-7 * Jr. * Lake Forest, Calif. * 2.4 ppg * 1.7 rpg
Cheryl Sorenson * F * 6-0 * Sr. * Milwaukie, Ore. * 2.1 ppg * 2.0 rpg
Erica Schelly * G * 5-11 * Fr. * Fort Collins, Colo. * 1.1 ppg * 0.3 rpg
Nicole Castro * G * 5-10 * Rs-Fr. * Darwin, Australia * 0.9 ppg * 0.5 rpg
Alicia Heathcote * 5-9 * G * 5-0 * Seattle, Wash. * 0.8 ppg * 0.7 rpg

About The Field:
Washington is the only squad among the four-team field in Eugene to earn an at-large berth to the Tournament. UW-Green Bay (27-3) was an automatic qualifier, winning the Horizon League Championship with an 83-59 win over Detroit, March 9. This will be the Phoenix' fifth trip to the NCAA tournament in the last six years. UW-Green Bay is ranked No. 20 in the latest AP poll and has won its last 11 games. UW-Green Bay head coach Kevin Borseth has been named the 2003 Horizon League and WBCA Region 6 Coach of the Year. LSU (23-7), the No. 3 team in the nation according to the latest AP Poll, won the Southeastern Conference Tournament crown to secure its automatic tournament bid. The Tigers' head coach, Sue Gunter, was also named WBCA Coach of the Year for Region 3. Southwest Texas State (18-13) earned an automatic bid, winning the Southland Conference Tournament title. SWT has won its last seven-straight games heading to Eugene.

The Last Time At McArthur Court...:
the Huskies broke a 10-game losing streak vs. Oregon on Feb. 22. UW cruised to a 75-59 victory over the Ducks, its first win in Eugene since Jan. 23, 1993.

Two Of Nation's Top Three-Point Shooting Teams Face Off:
Washington and UW-Green Bay are two of the top three teams in the nation when it comes to three-point shooting. UWGB is ranked first in the nation with a 43.8 percentage (245-560) from beyond the arc, while the Huskies rank third nationally with a 36.9 percentage (242-656).

Series History:
Saturday marks the first-ever meeting between Washington and Wisconsin-Green Bay. Should Washington get past the Phoenix in the first round, UW is 1-0 all-time against both LSU and Southwest Texas State, with both matchups coming during the same 1991-1992 season. Washington defeated LSU, 63-57, on Dec. 7, 1991, before a 58-52 win over Southwest Texas State on Dec. 21, 1991. Both games took place in separate preseason tournaments.

Common Opponents:
Washington and UW-Green Bay had two common regular season opponents in Wisconsin and Oregon, which they both defeated. The Phoenix defeated Wisconsin in Madison, 77-52, on Nov. 24. The very next game, UW-Green Bay took care of Oregon, 69-53, on its home court. Washington met Wisconsin in Seattle on Dec. 2, cruising past the Badgers 81-69. UW swept the season series with Pac-10 rival Oregon, defeating the Ducks 79-60 at Bank of America Arena on Jan. 23, and also at McArthur Court, 75-59, on Feb. 22.

Last Time At The Tournament:
Washington is making its 14th appearance in the NCAA Championship, the second in the last three years and the fourth under head coach June Daugherty. The most recent visit was 2001, when UW made a remarkable run to the Elite Eight following an 8-22 season the year prior. Washington, a No. 6 seed, was shipped to Gainesville, Fla. and began its tournament run with a dramatic 67-65 win over No. 11 seed Old Dominion. Then-sophomore Loree Payne's 15-foot jumper at the buzzer lifted the Huskies to the first-round win. Payne led the Huskies with 20 points, including four three-pointers, while senior Megan Franza added 12 points and six assists. More magic awaited the Huskies in the second round, as UW pulled an upset of No. 2 seed Florida on its home court (86-75). Then-freshman Giuliana Mendiola led the Huskies with 18 points, while then-freshman Andrea Lalum opened the game with two 3-pointers and made four key baskets down the stretch to hold off a strong Florida rally. Making the program's fourth trip to the Sweet 16, the Huskies returned to their home state to face No. 2 seed Oklahoma in Spokane in the regional semifinal. Led by four players in double figures, the Huskies eliminated the Sooners with an 84-67 victory to advance to the West Regional final. Lalum led the way with 18 points, followed by Payne (17), Franza (17) and Mendiola (15). Washington fell one win shy of its first-ever trip to the Final Four, falling to Southwest Missouri State, 104-87. Jackie Stiles lit up the scoreboard with 32 points, while Tara Mitchem chipped in 23. Payne scored 17 for Washington, including three 3-pointers, while then-sophomore Kellie (O'Neill) Dalan added 14. Franza, Lalum and senior LeAnn Sheets each scored 12. UW trailed by as many as 20 points in the first half and was down 51-33 at the intermission.

Tournament History: Fourteen NCAA appearances have seen Washington post an overall record of 14-13. The farthest a Husky team has advanced has been two trips to the Elite Eight (1990, 2001). The Huskies first appeared in 1985, the fourth year of the tournament, and had a string of seven-straight years in which they advanced to postseason. After missing out in 1992, when they finished 17-11, the Huskies returned every year from 1993-95. Washington is 7-3 in first round games, 5-5 in second round games, 2-3 in regional semifinal games and 0-2 in regional championship games. UW owns a record of 2-5 in NCAA tournament games played on a neutral court.

Been There, Done That:
Seven of the 16 players on the current UW roster were apart of the 2001 squad that advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight, including three starters (Andrea Lalum, Giuliana Mendiola and Loree Payne). Emily Autrey, Kellie (O'Neill) Dalan, Payne and Cheryl Sorenson were sophomores on that squad, while Lalum, Gioconda Mendiola, and Giuliana Mendiola were freshmen. Sarah Keeler was a member of the 2001 squad but redshirted that season.

Pac-10 Tournament Recap:
Washington was the No. 2 seed at the Pac-10 Tournament for the second-straight year, and the Huskies fared better than the 2002 season that saw them ousted in the quarterfinals by No. 7 seed Oregon. This year, with the tournament being held at HP Pavilion in San Jose for the first of three seasons, Washington edged No. 7 USC in the quarterfinals, but fell to No. 3 seed Arizona in the semifinals. Giuliana Mendiola led the Huskies over the Trojans with 29 points and 11 rebounds to post her eighth double-double of the season. Mendiola put the Huskies ahead 62-61 with a basket with 33 seconds left on the clock. USC had a final chance but ran the clock down before turning the ball over without getting a shot. The Women of Troy had to foul and UW's Loree Payne converted both shots to put the Huskies up 64-61. A layup by USC's Meghan Gnekow's with one second left on the clock made the final score 64-63. Andrea Lalum added 12 points for Washington, including four three-pointers, while Payne chipped in 11 points. The Huskies went on to face Arizona in the semifinals, but couldn't overcome a subpar shooting performance, making just 32 percent (20-62) of their shots. Lalum led UW with 14 points, while Mendiola was held under double-figures for just the third time this season (seven points, seven rebounds, nine assists). Shawntinice Polk (22 points), Dee-Dee Wheeler (15) and Krista Warren (14) led the Wildcats.

Giuliana Mendiola Named 2003 Pac-10 Player Of The Year:
Washington junior guard Giuliana Mendiola was named the 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year and also earned her second-straight All-Pac-10 team nod, as voted upon by the league's coaches. Mendiola, Washington's leader in scoring (17.3), rebounding (6.7) and assists (5.4), is the first Husky ever to garner Pac-10 Player of the Year honors. She earned conference Player of the Week three times this season, also the first Husky to accomplish the feat. A second-year team captain, Mendiola has scored in double-figures in all but three games this season, while recording eight double-doubles. For good measure, she has scored at least 20 points in eight of the last 11 games. She leads the Pac-10 in assists (5.41), and 3-point shooting percentage (.460). Mendiola is second in free-throw percentage (.847), third in FG percentage (.544) and assist-turnover ratio (1.59), and fourth in scoring (17.3). Mendiola set a single-game school-record with 43 points vs. UCLA, Feb. 1, the highest output in the Pac-10 this year and sixth-best in the nation to date. With that performance, Mendiola became the first UW player to score at least 40 points in a single game. She also equaled the Washington single-game assists record with 13 against Oregon State, Jan. 25.

Additional Pac-10 Honors:
Senior Loree Payne was named to the All-Pac-10 team for the second-straight year, while junior Andrea Lalum also earned her second-straight All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection.

Mendiola Named Kodak All-America Finalist:
Mendiola was named a finalist for the 2003 Kodak/WBCA All-America team as one of six honorable mention finalists from Region 8. The national Kodak All-America team will be announced on April 4.

June Daugherty Named Naismith Coach of the Year Finalist:
Seven-year head coach June Daugherty has been named one of 25 finalists for the 2003 Naismith Div. I Women's Basketball Head Coach of the Year. Daugherty led the Huskies to 22 wins for the second time in three years. The other 22-win season included Washington's improbable run to the Elite Eight in 2001 (UW entered the tournament with 19 wins). This year marked the first time a UW squad under Daugherty registered at least 20 regular season victories, while the Huskies' 21 regular season wins were the most since 1994-95 (23). Should UW win its first round contest, 23 wins would be a single-season career-high for Daugherty. After two-straight 12-win Pac-10 seasons, the Huskies broke though with 13 this year, the most for Daugherty and the most for the program since 1994-95 (13).

Scouting the Huskies:
The Huskies have won three of their last four games...UW's win over USC at the Pac-10 Tournament marked the first time since January that the Huskies won back-to-back road games...The last time was Jan. 5 at USC (83-81) and Jan. 16 at Cal (76-59)...UW's longest road winning streak this season is three (NC State, Houston, WSU)...UW's one-point win over USC at the Pac-10 Tourney was just the sixth game decided by single-digits, and its third decided by one point...The Huskies are 5-1 in games decided by a single-digit margin and 3-0 in one-point games...Washington tied for second-place in the regular-season Pac-10 standings for the second-straight year...With its 73-49 regular season finale win over Washington State, March 1, Washington ended the year undefeated at home with a 14-0 record...It was the first undefeated home season since 1990 when the Huskies also went 14-0...The Huskies continue to be fueled by junior All-America finalist Giuliana Mendiola...This year's Pac-10 Player of the Year and a three-time Pac-10 Player of the Week this season, Mendiola is the team leader in points (17.3), rebounds (6.7) and assists (5.4)...Mendiola has scored at least 20 points in eight of the last 11 games and only three has she been held under double-figures ...Junior Andrea Lalum averaged 13 points and 3.5 rebounds in UW's two Pac-10 Tournament games...Senior Kellie Dalan scored in double figures in the last five-straight regular season games including a season-high 23 points vs. Oregon, Feb. 22...Senior Loree Payne is the team's second-leading scorer with 14.4 points per game and has notched at least 20 points in two of the last five games...four players average scoring in double figures including Mendiola (17.3), Payne (14.4), Lalum (11.1) and Autrey (10.2).

Huskies Fall From Latest AP Poll:
After two-straight weeks at No. 25, Washington dropped out of March 10 Top-25 poll. Washington has not made the Top-25 of the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Poll since Feb. 17. UW made its season-debut in the AP Poll at No. 25 on Jan. 27, before moving up to its highest season rank of No. 20 in the Feb. 3 poll. UW made its season-debut in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Poll at No. 24 on Feb. 4.

20-Point Scorers:
Five different Huskies have reached the 20-point plateau this season, making Washington one of just eight Division I teams to claim that distinction. The Huskies are the lone Pac-10 team among those eight. Junior Giuliana Mendiola leads the way with 11 20-pt. games this season, followed by senior Loree Payne (6), senior Emily Autrey (2), junior Andrea Lalum (2) and senior Kellie Dalan (1).

Huskies Set Attendance Records Galore:
Washington had a banner year with record setting crowds at Bank of America Arena, setting school records in both home season-average and single-game attendance. The Huskies averaged 4,981 fans, tops in the Pac-10 this season and a mark that surpassed the previous UW season-high average of 4,579 established in 1994. Washington also set a single-game attendance record with 8,408 fans vs. UCLA, Feb. 1. The very next home contest 8,083 fans were on hand to see Stanford, Feb. 13, the third-highest attendance in school history. Until this season, a single-game attendance mark had reached 8,000 only once in the program's history, yet the Huskies did so in back-to-back games in 2002-03. For good measure, UW finished the regular season with the top-two home attendance marks and six of the top-eight in the Pac-10: (1) vs. UCLA, Feb. 1 (8,408), (2) vs. Stanford, Feb. 13 (8,083), (4) vs. Washington State, March 1 (6,530), (6) vs. Oregon State, Jan. 25 (5,964), (7) vs. Arizona, Jan. 11 (5,458) and (8) vs. Cal, Feb. 15 (5,453). Washington's average attendance also ranked 18th in the nation. The women combined with the UW men to produce the highest single-season combined attendance (171,715) and the highest single-season combined average in school history (11,780).

Home Sweet Home:
The Huskies culminated the 2002-03 season undefeated at home with a 14-0 record. The last time Washington went undefeated at home was during the 1990 campaign, when the Huskies also went 14-0 on its home court. UW's current 14-game home winning streak is the fifth-longest in school history and could most likely be extended into next season. The school record for a home winning streak is 30 games, set from 1986-88.

UW Just Above .500 Mark On The Road:
As seems to be the trend this season in the Pac-10, Washington has struggled when playing games away from its home court. Despite sporting a unblemished 14-0 record at home, the Huskies struggled on the road during the regular season. UW snapped a four-game road losing streak at Oregon, Feb. 22, to move above the .500 mark overall. Following a 1-1 mark on a neutral court at the Pac-10 Tournament, UW is now 8-7 on the road. UW's win over USC, March 8, coupled with the Feb. 22 win at Oregon marked the first time UW won back-to-back road games this season since USC (Jan. 5) and Cal (Jan. 16). The Huskies were 4-5 against Pac-10 teams on the road during the regular season. The Huskies averaged 82.5 points at home and allowed their opponents just 60.5 points. While on the road, UW has been outscored by its opponents, 72.8 ppg to 69.8. Washington's shooting numbers are lopsided as well: 48.2 percent from the field at home, 40.5 percent on the road; 41.9 percent from three-point range at home, 32.7 percent on the road.

High-Scoring Huskies:
Washington leads the Pac-10 with 75.9 points per game. The Huskies also began the week ranked 16th in the nation in that category. Duke was the national leader with 81.6 points. The Huskies have also posted an average margin of victory of 17.8 points in their 22 wins, including a 22-point margin in their 14 home wins. Washington has won 17 games by at least a 10-point margin.

UW Among Nation's Best From Behind The Arc:
As of March 10, the Huskies rank third in the nation with 8.4 three-pointers per game. Villanova was the nation's leader with 8.34 treys per game. UW has drained at least 10 three-pointers in nine games and its 242 treys lead the Pac-10 this season. Washington hit nine three-pointers in back-to-back Pac-10 Tournament games last week. Senior Loree Payne, UW's all-time career leader in 3-pointers, is the Pac-10 leader in treys per game (2.24) . UW also has the top two players in the conference in three-point shooting percentage. Junior Giuliana Mendiola is tops with a .460 percentage (46-100), while senior Emily Autrey is second with a .440 percentage (33-75). The Huskies tied their single-season Pac-10 and school records with 16 three-pointers vs. St. Bonaventure Nov. 29, while adding 15 vs. North Carolina State and UCLA (2/1). UW shares the single-season Pac-10 record with Stanford.

Pac-10 Rankings:
UW also leads the Pac-10 in assists (18.48), 3-pointers made (8.34), 3-point field goal percentage (.369) and assist-turnover ratio (1.22) ...UW ranks second in free-throw percentage (.748), and third in scoring margin (+9.1), field goal percentage (.443), turnover margin (2.97) and defensive rebounds...Mendiola is the Pac-10 leader in assists (5.41) and 3-point shooting percentage (.460)...she is second in FT percentage (.847), third in FG percentage (.544) and assist-turnover ratio (1.59) and fourth in scoring (17.3) ...Emily Autrey is second in the Pac-10 in 3-point shooting percentage (.440)...senior Loree Payne leads the Pac-10 with 2.24 three-pointers made.

More National Rankings:
As of March 10, UW ranked seventh in the nation in assists (18.48), 24th in turnovers per game (15.2) and 28th in three-point field goal percentage (36.9)

More Dawg Bites:
UW has been outrebounded in four of its last six games, but the Huskies were 4-2 in those meetings...UW has drained at least 10 3-pointers in five regular season Pac-10 games...UW hit at least 10 threes in five straight non-conference games...The Huskies are 19-1 when leading at the half and 15-1 when outrebounding their opponent...UW is 19-1 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent...UW is 18-1 when scoring at least 70 points...UW's only loss with 70-plus points was vs. Oregon State (Feb. 20; 86-100).

Huskies in Overtime:
Washington is 1-0 in overtime games this season, pulling a dramatic 83-81 win over USC in Los Angeles on Jan. 5. Junior Giuliana Mendiola had the game-winning jumper with 17 seconds left on the clock to lift UW to the victory. Mendiola also had 23 points and eight assists vs. the Women of Troy. UW came back from as much as an 11-point first-half deficit.

UW Against Ranked Opponents:
Washington has compiled an overall record of 2-4 against ranked opponents this season. Of those six games, UW has faced Arizona three times with the Huskies winning the first meeting, 60-59, in Seattle (Jan. 11) and the Wildcats winning the last two, 79-66, in Tucson (Feb. 6) and 74-51, in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinal in San Jose (March 9). UW went 1-1 against Stanford, falling 77-63 at Maples Pavilion (Jan. 18) before turning around to pull a stunning 24-point upset of the Cardinal in Seattle, 92-68 (Feb. 13). Washington's first ranked opponent of the season was then-No. 13 Texas Tech who took care of the Huskies, 99-67 in Lubbock (Nov. 24).

Reaching the Century Mark:
Washington has reached the century mark in scoring on two different occasions this season, with a 105-48 victory over St. Bonaventure at the Seattle Times Husky Classic (Nov. 29) and a 111-77 win over UCLA at home (Feb. 1). UW's 111-point output was the second-most in school history and the most ever against a Pac-10 opponent. The Washington record for points in a game is 114 vs. Weber State (Dec. 20, 1985, 114-61). Including both games this year, UW has now reached the century mark in 20 times all-time. This year marked the first time since 1984-85 that Washington scored 100-plus points in two games. That year, UW won back-to-back games scoring 100-plus points vs. Nebraska, Dec. 30 (101-71), and Montana State, Jan. 5 (110-65).

What Goes Around, Comes Around:
In turn, Washington allowed an opponent to reach the century mark once this season, as the Oregon State Beavers tallied an even 100 points against the Huskies in Corvallis, Feb. 20 (100-86). The last time UW allowed 100 points was to Southwest Missouri State in the NCAA West Regional Final, March 26, 2001 (104-87). Prior to that game, UConn recorded the previous two 100-plus games against UW: Nov. 24, 2000 in Seattle (100-54) and Nov. 28, 1998 in Storrs (101-81).

UW Shows Marked Improvement With 8-1 Non-Conference Record:
The Huskies tallied eight wins and only one loss to start the season against non-conference opponents this season, a great turnaround from last year's 5-4 regular season non-conference showing, and the second-best effort for a June Daugherty squad. UW's best non-conference regular season record under coach Daugherty was 9-0 during 1997-98. UW was 7-2 vs. regular season non-conference opponents in 2000-01, the year the Huskies advanced to the Elite Eight. This year's non-conference slate featured nine teams from eight difference conferences: Boise State (WAC), Texas Tech (Big 12), St. Bonaventure (Atlantic 10), Kentucky (Southeastern), Wisconsin (Big 10), North Carolina State (ACC), Houston (Conference USA), San Francisco (WCC) and Iowa State (Big 12). Washington's early season wins produced two tournament titles, the Seattle Times Husky Classic and the GlaxoSmithKline Invitational at North Carolina State.

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