Husky Women Open Four Game Homestand With No. 6 Baylor Wednesday

Dec. 14, 2004

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This Week:
After a three-game road trip, Washington returns home to open a four game homestand with No. 6 Baylor, Wed., Dec. 15, at 8 p.m. PST. The game will be nationally televised on FSN with Rich Waltz and Elise Woodward calling the action. The Huskies are looking to get well, having lost three of their last four games including two of three on their latest road trip. That's not an easy task for a UW team that is facing its second-straight Top-10 opponent. In fact the Huskies are in the midst of a tough stretch, facing three ranked opponents in five games. After facing No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 6 Baylor, UW will entertain Colorado (Dec. 21) and Arizona (Dec. 27) before hosting 23rd-ranked Arizona State (Dec. 29). Arizona is also a team that has been ranked in the Top-25 all season before dropping out this week.

Radio Coverage:
All Husky women's basketball games can be heard live on the radio at KKNW 1150 AM. Steve Sandmeyer enters his sixth season calling the action, while former Husky Elise (Niemela) Woodward will join Sandmeyer on home broadcasts. Fans can also listen to games on the internet at www.gohuskies.com.

Live Webcast:
A select number of Husky women's basketball games can be seen via a live webcast at www.gohuskies.com. A subscription to College Sports Pass is necessary to view these games and can be purchased on the website for $6.95 a month or $49.95 for an entire year. The radio broadcasts from all UW women's basketball games are also included in the package.

Scouting Baylor (7-1):
Sixth-ranked Baylor brings a seven-game winning streak to Seattle, its only loss coming in its season opener versus then-No. 3 LSU (Nov. 14), a game that was lost by a mere point, 70-71. The Lady Bears are coming off a 91-70 victory over Penn State at home, Dec. 11. Baylor has outscored its opponents by a 16.6 point margin, averaging 75.1 points per game while holding the opposition to 58.5 points per game. The Lady Bears' offense is led by three players averaging double figures, senior post Steffanie Blackmon (17.4 ppg, 9.4 rpg), junior forward Sophia Young (14.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg) and sophomore forward Emily Niemann (11.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg). As a team, they are shooting 43.2 percent from the field (215-498) and 41.3 beyond the 3-point arch (38-92). The Lady Bears also own their opponents on the glass, averaging a plus-6.5 rebounding margin.

The All-Time Series With Baylor:
Wednesday marks the first ever meeting between Baylor and Washington.

Last Time Out:
Crystal Erwin scored a career-high 24 points and Jacqueline Batteast had 17 points and 10 rebounds, to lead seventh-ranked Notre Dame to a 72-58 victory over the Huskies, Dec. 11. Erwin was 9-of-9 from the field and 6-of-9 from the free-throw line. The Irish used their inside dominance over UW, outscoring the Huskies 42-22 in the pain and outrebounding Washington, 38-28. Washington shot 34 percent from the field and failed to score 60 points for the third time in four games. Junior Kayla Burt, the only player to reach double-figures, led the Huskies with 16 points and four steals. Three of Burt's field goals were three-pointers, as she went 5-of-10 from the field and 3-of-7 from three-point land. Burt was perfect from the line, 3-of-3. The Irish opened the game by hitting their first five shots and were in control throughout, shooting 60 percent and holding UW to 34 percent in the first half. The Huskies weren't about to go down easily, and closed it to 39-34 three minutes into the second half when sophomore Cameo Hicks scored on a layup. The Irish only led by 58-51 after another Hicks basket with 7:56 left. But Erwin ignited a 14-2 run to put the game awaywith back-to-back layins.

Dawg Bites:
• Washington did not receive votes in the Associated Press poll for the second straight week, but did receive votes in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches' Poll this week.
• Wednesday's game marks the first of two straight televised games by FSN. This week's contest versus Baylor will be a national telecast, while next week's Colorado game will be an FSN Northwest telecast.
• Seven different Huskies reached double-figure scoring in the Huskies' first eight games. Redshirt junior Kayla Burt has reached double-digits five times including the last three straight. Burt scored a season-high 18 points versus Utah.
• The Huskies have been held to under 60 points in three of the last four games, including back-to-back outings versus Alabama and Utah. Notre Dame limited UW to 58 points in the Huskies' most recent outing.
• Washington has struggled to find its stroke from the field this season, failing to hit greater than 40 percent of its shots in any of its first eight games. The Huskies hit the 40 mark exactly in an 86-75 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee, but have finished below the mark in each of their other seven contests. For the season, Washington is shooting 36 percent, six percent lower than its 2003-04 average, while UW opponents are connecting at a 46 percent rate, a five-percent increase from the 2003-04 season. Burt is the only Husky to average double-digit scoring (10.6).
• Redshirt sophomore forward Jill Bell has been UW's leading rebounder in six of eight games, averaging a team-high of 7.4 boards. No other UW player has more than 4.0 rebounds per game. Bell is the only Husky to have reached double-digits in rebounding this season, having grabbed 11 boards in the team's win over No. 14 Minnesota.
• Washington has forced its opponents to commit more than 15 turnovers each game.
• Washington opened the season 2-0 for just the third time in head coach June Daugherty's nine-year tenure and and the 11th time in school history. UW also opened 2-0 under Daugherty in 2003-04, and in 1997-98, when the Huskies began the year on a 10-game win streak.
• The win over No. 14 Minnesota (Nov. 15) was Washington's first over a ranked non-conference opponent since March 24, 2001, when UW defeated Oklahoma in the NCAA Sweet 16. The Huskies had lost to five-straight ranked non-conference opponents. The win was the Huskies' first over a ranked opponent of any kind since defeating Stanford at home (92-68) Feb. 13, 2003.

Huskies Face Three Ranked Teams In Five Games:
Washington is in the midst of a five-game stretch in which its facing three Top-25 opponents. UW faced then-No. 7 Notre Dame, Dec. 11, and has No. 6 Baylor (Dec. 15) and No. 23 Arizona State (Dec. 29) on the upcoming docket. Washington will still have its hands full with the two other opponents it will face during that time, Colorado (Dec. 21) and Arizona (Dec. 27). The Wildcats have been ranked in either the AP poll of the Coaches' Poll all season until this week, while the Buffs may not be a Top-25 team but posted a 22-8 record last year and finished with a final rank of 17.

Ranked Opponents:
Washington is 1-1 against Top-25 opponents this season, upsetting then-No. 14 Minnesota at home and falling to then-No. 7 Notre Dame, Dec. 11, on the road giving the Huskies a 36-92 record all-time against ranked opponents. Washington is 25-36 against Top-25 teams at home, and 10-15 versus Top-10 teams at home. The last time Washington defeated two ranked non-conference opponents was in the Huskies' 2001 Elite Eight run, defeating No. 14 Florida (86-75) in the NCAA second round and No. 7 Oklahoma (84-67) in the Sweet 16. The last time Washington defeated two ranked non-conference opponents during the regular season was 1997 when its knocked down three, defeating No. 20 North Carolina (95-88), No. 5 Vanderbilt (82-71) and No. 20 Iowa (63-62).

Burt's Back:
Washington's season opener with South Carolina, Nov. 14, marked the first official game for junior guard Kayla Burt since Dec. 28, 2002, a span of 687 days. Burt suffered a cardiac arrest episode on Dec. 31, 2002 and initially retired from basketball after being diagnosed with a heart condition called Long QT Syndrome. At the time, Burt had a defibrillator implanted in the right side of her chest. Last year she underwent further testing that revealed she did not have the condition and UW granted permission for her to rejoin the team on Aug. 17, 2004. She didn't waste any time getting into the action, tying for the team lead in scoring with 12 points in her season debut, including a 7-for-8 mark from the charity stripe. Burt was second on the team with seven rebounds versus Minnesota, and wowed the crowd with a behind the back pass to Emily Florence for a fast-break layin. Burt has reached double-figures five times, including a UW season-high 18 points at Utah, and a 10-point, 7-assist effort at Michigan in Ann Arbor. Burt, who has reached double figures in three straight, leads the team in points (10.6) assists (22), steals (16) and is fifth in rebounding (3.1).

Shooting Woes:
Washington's average of 65.6 points per game is a new for a team that has averaged at least 70 points the last four straight seasons, including a 75.6 average in 2002-03. The Huskies have averaged less than 70 points just three previous seasons - 66.7 (1999-00), 67.8 (1991-92) and 69.9 (1987-80) - but there is much more basketball to play this season. Washington's 36 percent field goal percentage ranks last in the Pac-10 according to this week's rankings. UW also is ninth in scoring offense (65.6) and scoring margin (-2.2)in the Pac-10.

But They Still Have The Three's:
Despite Washington's low field goal percentage, the Huskies have still found success from beyond the three-point arc. UW currently leads the Pac-10 in 3-pointers made with 54, for an average of 6.75 per game. The Huskies' overall 3-point FG percentage isn't quite as high, ranking sixth in the Pac-10 with a 34.3 average. Individually, sophomore Cheri Craddock ranks fifth in the conference in 3-PT FG percentage with 41.2 percent (14-34) and junior Kristen O'Neill ranks eighth with 40.5 percent (15-37). O'Neill is the Huskies' leader in treys made, ranking seventh in the conference with 1.88 treys per game Craddock is ninth with an average of 1.75 3-pointers made.

Juggling Lineups:
Coach June Daugherty has gone with four different lineups featuring eight different players in Washington's first eight games. Only junior Kristen O'Neill has started all eight. The combo of O'Neill, Kayla Burt, Emily Florence, Cheri Craddock and Jill Bell was used in UW's season opening victory over South Carolina. For the next four games, Daugherty used the same group minus Craddock and adding Breanne Watson. UW's recent road trip featured two different lineups: Maggie O'Hara, Craddock, Florence, Cameo Hicks and O'Neill versus Utah; and Bell, Watson, Hicks, Burt and O'Neill versus Denver and Notre Dame. O'Hara's start at Utah was the first of her career. Hicks' start at Denver was the first of the season after starting 28 of 31 games as a freshman last year.

Sharing The Wealth:
As these early season games may indicate, any one of the Husky players on the 15-woman roster could step up to lead the team on any given night this year. So far 11 different players have led the team in either points, rebounds, assists, or steals in a single game. Washington's scoring has been especially balanced across the board with seven players averaging between 10.6 and 6.0 points per game. Juniors Kayla Burt and Kristen O'Neill, and freshman Dominique Banks have led in scoring more than once. Burt has scored a team-high point total four times, including the last three-straight. Redshirt sophomore Jill Bell is the only player to lead in rebounds more than once, having done so on six occasions.

Jumpin' Jill:
Redshirt sophomore forward Jill Bell has quickly established herself as Washington's leading rebounder in these early games. Bell, who was second on the team in that category as a freshman, has led all UW rebounders in six of eight games this season, including an 11-board performance against Minnesota and back-to-back nine-rebound efforts at Utah and Denver. A standout long jumper in high school, Bell's jumping ability has translated into success for the Huskies on the basketball court. Bell was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention team last year, despite only starting the last nine games of the season. Bell's career-high for rebounds in a game is 16, in last year's Husky win over Denver.

Fantastic Frosh:
Freshmen Emily Florence and Dominique Banks have adjusted to college ball quite well, as both players figure into the regular rotation and are averaging at least 14 minutes a game. Florence, who measures in at just 5-5, started her first six collegiate games at point guard. Florence is tied for second on the team in assists (19) and has been the Huskies' assists leader in three games. Banks, meanwhile, scored 12 points in her collegiate debut versus South Carolina. She is one of just three players to have led the team in scoring more than once, having done so against the Gamecocks and Alabama. Banks averages 6.4 points and 2.1 rebounds.

Lending A Hand:
Junior guard Kristen O'Neill hasn't missed a beat, despite sitting out all of last year battling a stress fracture in her left foot. O'Neill, the only Husky to start all eight games, is tied for second on the team with 19 assists dished a team-high three assists in UW's first two games. In addition to being UW's third leading rebounder (3.8), O'Neill is tied for third on the team in steals (9), and is the second-leading scorer with 8.5 ppg.

Changing of the Guard:
Washington's roster features eight players who did not play collegiate basketball last year. Five are freshmen Dominique Banks, Stefanie Clark, Emily Florence, Jackie Hollands and Andrea Plouffe. The other three - Kayla Burt, Kristen O'Neill, and Erica Schelly - redshirted 2003-04. Burt missed due to a heart condition, while O'Neill and Schelly nursed foot injuries. O'Neill had a stress fracture in her left foot, while Schelly broke her left foot in the first day of practice last year.

Youth Movement:
It's safe to say that Washington is beginning a new era in women's basketball, as 12 of the 15 players on the roster are underclassmen - seven sophomores and five freshmen. UW's elder states'women' are redshirt juniors Kayla Burt, Nicole Castro and Kristen O'Neill. Student assistant Kirsten Brockman is a senior, but was forced to retire from basketball prior to the 2003-04 season after suffering from severe stress fracture injuries. Brockman is studying abroad and will return to the team in late December. The last time Washington did not have a single senior on its roster was 1999-2000.

Home Sweet Home:
Washington had the luxury of playing four of its first five games at home, where it has recorded an overall record of 28-6 since the 2002-03 season. The Huskies have always excelled at home, compiling an overall record of 266-61 (.813) at Bank of America Arena (also known as Hec Edmundson Pavilion before the 2000 renovation). Since 1987, Washington has had three undefeated seasons on its home court, going 15-0 in 1986-87, 14-0 in 1989-90 and 14-0 in 2002-03. Washington's next home game will be Dec. 15 against nationally ranked Baylor. The Huskies' stellar home record also speaks volumes to their annual home attendance figures, as UW is among the nation's top-20 teams for attendance on an annual basis.

UW Upsets 2004 Final Four Team Minnesota:
The second day of the WBCA BTI Classic, pitted the Huskies against the 14th-ranked Golden Gophers of Minnesota, a team that advanced to the NCAA semifinals last season. It was another come-back win with Washington trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half before a 17-9 UW run cut the lead to three at halftime. The Huskies ended up taking Minnesota to overtime with the score knotted at 58 at the end of regulation. It didn't take long for UW to put Minnesota away, as sophomore Jill Bell and Cameo Hicks accounted for 10 of UW's 14 overtime points. UW never trailed in overtime, outscoring the Gophers 14-9. Hicks led UW with 14 points, while Breanne Watson chipped in 11 and Kristen O'Neill 10. Bell pulled down a game-high 11 boards. Watson was named tournament MVP and joined junior Kayla Burt on the All-Tournament team.

Bring On The Best:
Washington has a challenging schedule, facing seven NCAA Tournament teams from last year and three WNIT squads. UW met its first test against 2004 NCAA Final Four team Minnesota, defeating the 14th-ranked Gophers 72-67 in overtime, Nov. 15. UW was not so fortunate at Notre Dame, falling to the seventh-ranked Irish (58-72). This week's opponent, Baylor, is the second-straight Top-10 team the Huskies will face. Three of Washington's Pac-10 opponents are also in the Associate Press Top-25 this week: No. 2 Stanford, No. 16 UCLA and No. 23 Arizona State. Arizona was ranked No. 24 in last week's poll but dropped from the Top-25 this week.

Huskies On Television:
Eight games have been selected for either national or local broadcast by Fox Sports Net and Fox Sports Northwest. UW's schedule will kick off with an FSN national broadcast of its home game with Baylor, Wed., Dec. 15, at 8 p.m. Washington's next home game against Colorado, Tues., Dec. 21, at 8 p.m. will be televised locally on FSN Northwest. The Huskies' other FSN nationally televised game will be at Oregon State, Saturday, Jan. 15, at 3 p.m. FSN Northwest will pick up three additional home contests including Arizona State (Dec. 29, 7 p.m.), USC (Jan. 7, 7 p.m.) and Washington State (Feb. 19, 6 p.m.). Washington's road games at Stanford, Jan. 4, and at WSU, Jan. 22, will also be picked up by FSN Northwest. Two more games have the potential to be broadcast as a wildcard selection by FSN, the Feb. 12 home game versus Oregon and the Feb. 26 regular season finale at Arizona.

Husky Coaching Staff:
June Daugherty enters her ninth season as the head coach of the Husky women's basketball team, having led Washington to the postseason all but one year of her tenure. She has guided UW to four NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2000-01, and three trips to the WNIT. She was also one of 25 finalists for the prestigious Naismith Coach of the Year award in 2002-03. Twice has a Daugherty squad reached the 22-win plateau and only once has a Husky squad finished with less than 16 wins in a season. Daugherty has compiled a UW record of 144-103, and a career record of 267-177. She coached seven seasons at Boise State before coming to Seattle. Her husband, Mike, is the Huskies' Associate Head Coach, while Janet Soderberg and Kellie Lewis-Jay are the two assistants. Mike Daugherty is in his ninth year with the team, while Soderberg begins her first season and Lewis-Jay enters her second year.

The Boise Connection:
Washington's entire coaching staff, as well as two players, all have connections to Boise, Idaho. June and Mike Daugherty coached at Boise State from 1990-1996, and among the players they coached were current UW assistants Janet Soderberg and Kellie Lewis-Jay. Soderberg also coached with the Daughertys for one season at BSU (1995-96), and coached Lewis-Jay as a player from 1995-98. Sophomore Maggie O'Hara and freshman Emily Florence both hail from Boise, Idaho, and were teammates at Timberline High School. Lewis-Jay coached the pair on an AAU Idaho Elite team during their prep careers.

Huskies Top Attendance Charts:
Year in and year out, Husky faithful pack the stands at Bank of America Arena, helping UW rank among the top teams in the nation in home attendance. This year figures to be no different. After four hame games, UW ranks 23rd in the nation with an average of 3,023 fans per game. That same mark is the second-highest among Pac-10 teams, behind only Oregon (3,272). Washington led the Pac-10 in home attendance the last two seasons and ranked in the Top-25 nationally as well. The Huskies' average attendance in 2003-04 was 4,255 fans per game. UW attracted over 6,000 fans for two home games last year, versus Arizona and USC. In 2002-03, UW set an all-time women's basketball attendance record at the arena, when 8,408 fans packed the house to watch the Huskies defeat UCLA 111-77. And for the first time in school history, UW had back-to-back crowds of over 8,000 when 8,083 attended the game versus Stanford on Feb. 13. Washington's average home attendance in 2002-03 was 4,981 and for Pac-10 home games, an average of 5,839 fans were on hand to cheer on the Huskies.

March Madness Is Back In Seattle:
For the second straight year, Washington will play host to NCAA March Madness. After hosting the NCAA West Regional last year, UW will host the 2005 NCAA Women's Basketball First and Second Rounds, Saturday, March 19, and Monday, March 21. This year the first and second rounds will be conducted at eight predetermined sites, which represents a change from the previous 16 first and second round sites. Tickets are available by calling the Husky ticket office at 206-543-2200 or by logging onto www.gohuskies.com. All-session ticket prices for adults are $40, while student and youth (under age 18) will be $24. Single-session prices are $16 for adults and $10 for student/youth. Should the Huskies advance to the NCAA Tournament, they would play on their home court at Bank of America Arena.

Up Next:
The Huskies continue their homestand with Colorado, Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m., a game televised live on FSN Northwest.

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