Women's Basketball Holds First Official Practice Saturday

Oct. 15, 2003

SEATTLE, Wash. - The Washington women's basketball team begins its preparation for the 2003-2004 season with its first official practice Saturday, Oct. 18, in Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Practice will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Washington opens its 30th season of women's basketball with three starters and seven letterwinners returning from the 2002-03 squad that tied for second in the Pac-10 Conference for the second-straight year and advanced to the NCAA Championship for the second time in three seasons. Among those starters from last year's squad are 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year, Giuliana Mendiola and All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection Andrea Lalum. Junior Kristen O'Neill, a two-year starter and the team's Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the last two years, rounds out the Husky trio.

Despite losing five seniors from last year, including Washington's all-time career leader in three-point scoring Loree Payne, the Huskies return veteran leadership in Mendiola, Lalum, O'Neill and senior Gioconda Mendiola who are all ready to take over the reigns. Joining that veteran talent will be five newcomers, including two redshirts and three incoming freshman.

Mendiola will once again lead the Huskies, as last year's team leader in scoring (17.5 ppg), rebounding (6.5) and assists (5.4). In addition to becoming the first Husky named Pac-10 Player of the Year, Mendiola also earned All-America honorable mention acclaim in 2002-03. She enters her senior season as a John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-American.

Husky Coaching Staff
Aiming to guide the Huskies to their seventh postseason appearance during her brief tenure, UW head coach June Daugherty enters her eighth season at the helm of the women's basketball program. She has an overall record of 122-86 at Washington and a 14-year career head coaching mark of 245-160. Daugherty is assisted by Sunny Smallwood (11th season), Mike Daugherty (eighth season) and Kellie Lewis-Jay (first year).

The Schedule
The Washington women's basketball team faces yet another challenging schedule in 2003-04, a slate that features nine televised games and five teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament last year. Husky fans' first opportunity to see the team in action will be at a pair of exhibition games vs. NWBL, Sun., Nov. 9 and Sun., Nov. 16. UW will make its season debut on the road for the fourth-straight year, traveling to Honolulu, Hawaii to take part in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort Classic, Nov. 22-23. The four-team tournament field includes UW's first round opponent, Maine, along with Lipscomb and Hawaii. Washington returns home to host its own tournament, the Seattle Times Husky Classic, Nov. 28-29. The Huskies will welcome Gonzaga, Yale and Oklahoma State. The rest of Washington's non-conference schedule will truly test the Huskies for the Pac-10 slate, hosting games with Notre Dame, Texas Tech and Denver, while traveling to Colorado and Iowa State. Washington opens the always competitive Pac-10 schedule at the Arizona schools, Dec. 27 (Arizona) and Dec. 29 (Arizona State). The third annual Pac-10 Conference postseason tournament will be held at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., March 5-8.

2004 NCAA Women's West Regional
Bank of America Arena will also be home to the 2004 NCAA West Regional, Sat., March 27, and Mon., March 29. Game times for Saturday have been set for 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. PT, while Monday's Regional Final will be played at 6 p.m. PT.

Ticket Information
Season ticket and single-game packages are available for purchase by either calling the Husky Ticket Office at 206-543-2200 or by visiting the official website of Husky athletics at www.gohuskies.com. Tickets for the 2004 NCAA West Regional are also available.

Practice Policy
Washington women's basketball practices are open to the media and public, and will usually be held on the main court or east court at Bank of America Arena. Interviews must be arranged through the media relations office and 24 hours advance notice is required. Interviews will be scheduled around players' convenience and must be conducted by the start of practice. Please call the UW Media Relations office to confirm practice location and start times. The Husky practice schedule, listed month to month, can be found on www.gohuskies.com, on the women's basketball page.

Quick Facts
University of Washington Huskies
Head Coach: June Daugherty (Ohio State, '78)
Record at UW: 122-86 (seven seasons)
Career Record: 245-160 (14 seasons)
Assistant Coaches: Sunny Smallwood (Boise State, '83), Mike Daugherty (Ohio State, '77), Kellie Lewis-Jay (Boise State, '98)
2002-03 Record: 22-8 (NCAA First Round)
2002-03 Pac-10 Record: 13-5 (tied for 2nd place)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 7/7 Starters Returning/Lost: 3/2
Redshirts Returning: 2 (Jill Bell, Angie Jones) Newcomers: 3 (Cameo Hicks, Maggie O'Hara, Breanne Watson)

Husky Calendar
Saturday, Oct. 18 - First official day of practice, 9 a.m., Bank of America Arena
Tuesday, Oct. 21 - Team Media Day Luncheon , 12:30-2 p.m., Don James Center
Wednesday, Oct. 29 - Pac-10 Media Day, 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., San Jose, Calif.
Sunday, Nov. 9 - First exhibition game vs. NWBL, 4 p.m., Bank of America Arena

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