Husky Women Make Bay Area Swing
Dec. 31, 2004
Washington women's basketball (5-7, 1-1) will ring in the New Year with a trip to the Bay Area to face California (7-4, 1-1), Sunday, Jan. 2 at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion and No. 5 Stanford (9-2, 1-1) Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the newly renovated Maples Pavilion. Sunday's game will be televised live on FSN Northwest and both games can be heard on the radio in the Seattle area on KKNW 1150 AM. After playing their last four straight games at home, the Huskies will play five of their next seven on the road. Washington is coming off a 63-55 upset over No. 21 Arizona State, a victory that broke a four-game losing streak and gave UW its second win over a ranked opponent this season. Stanford is the fifth ranked opponent the Huskies have faced and the fourth in the last seven games. All three teams are deadlocked at 1-1 in conference play so far, with Cal and Stanford splitting a pair at Oregon and Oregon State last week. Washington split with the Arizona schools at home.
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.
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 California (7-4, 1-1):
After a rocky 1-3 start, California has won six of its last seven games including a Pac-10 victory over Oregon State, Dec. 29. Cal came back to edge Beavers 77-71, after suffering an 81-50 loss to Oregon, Dec. 27. The Golden Bears are happy to be home where they are a flawless 6-0 at Haas Pavilion. Cal has three players in double-figures led by Leigh Gregory's 13.5 points per game. Kristin Iwanaga (11.8) and Kiki Williams (11.0) round out the top three. The team's top rebounder is Jessica Lawson with 4.9 boards per game. Cal is averaging 70.9 points a game, while holding its opponents to a 67.2 average. The Golden Bears are shooting 46 percent from the field (277-605) and 49 percent from three-point land (64-129).
All-Time Series With Cal:
Washington has won the last eight-straight meetings with California and holds a 35-8 advantage in the all-time series. The last time Cal defeated the Huskies was Feb. 24, 2000, in Berkeley by a two-point margin (51-49). Washington is 14-5 against the Golden Bears in Berkeley. Last season, the Huskies swept the season series defeating Cal 65-54 at home and 72-67 in Berkeley.
The Huskies will see a very familiar face on Cal's bench when they enter Haas Pavilion. After 11 years as an assistant coach at Washington, Sunny Smallwood became associate head coach on Caren Horstmeyer's staff this past summer. Smallwood, UW's recruiting and defensive coordinator, was a fixture in Husky women's basketball. She was an assistant for all eight years of June Daugherty's tenure since 1997 and for three years under Chris Gobrecht (1993-96). Smallwood guided a UW program that made nine postseason appearances and had a record of 202-129.
Washington has three players that hail from Northern California including Cheri Craddock (Oakland, Calif./James Logan HS), Cameo Hicks (Tracy, Calif./Merrill F. West HS) and Dominique Banks (Stockton, Calif./St. Mary's HS). Hicks and Banks played against each other during their senior years in high school (2002-03). Assistant coach Kellie Lewis-Jay is also returning home as a native of Auburn.
Working around the Christmas and New Year's holidays, the Pac-10's opening two weeks of play will test these teams early. UW had the luxury of remaining at home for its conference openers, but beginning with its contest at Cal will play four games in eight days. After facing Cal on Sunday, and Stanford on Tuesday, Washington will travel back to Seattle on Wednesday and have one day of practice on Thursday to tuneup for a pair of games with USC (Friday, Jan. 7) and UCLA (Sunday, Jan. 9). The following week the conference returns to its usual schedule of Thursday-Saturday games.
The Huskies are playing five of the next seven games on the road. After hosting the LA schools next weekend, UW will take two consecutive bus trips for a weekend series with Oregon State and Oregon, and a rivalry game with Washington State.
Scouting Stanford (9-2, 1-1):
Stanford opened the year 8-0, but is 1-2 in its last three games. The Cardinal was unable to get past Tennessee, falling 67-70, in Knoxville. Stanford rebounded with a commanding 83-45 win over Oregon State before falling to Oregon, 58-62, after the Ducks came back from a 14-point deficit. Stanford is happy to be returning home after playing its last five straight on the road. Candice Wiggins leads the team with 15.6 points per game, while All-Pac-10 player Kelley Suminski (12.4) and Brooke Smith (12.4) round out players in double-digits. Stanford has two players averaging more than five rebounds per game including T'Nae Thiel (5.7) and Azella Perryman (5.5). The Cardinal averages 73.5 points per game, while holding its opponents to a mere 51.8 points. Stanford is unbeaten at home (3-0) but has only played three games.
All-Time Series With Stanford:
Washington trails the all-time series with Stanford 13-27, with the Cardinal winning the last two-straight and five of the last seven. Stanford swept the season series last year, winning 85-59 in Palo Alto and 77-69 in Seattle. The last time Washington defeated Stanford was Feb. 13, 2003, handing the Cardinal its worst Pac-10 loss ever (92-68). The Huskies have struggled at Maples Pavilion, recording a 4-15 record on Stanford's home court. Stanford has won the last five games at Maples with UW's most recent win coming on Feb. 18, 1999 (74-62).
Last Time Out:
UW head coach June Daugherty has still never lost to Arizona State in Seattle. The Huskies extended their home-winning streak to nine games over ASU with a 63-55 victory, Wednesday. The Huskies used a 12-3 run midway through the second half to build a 39-35 lead. Washington extended its lead to as many as nine points with three minutes remaining. UW's defense forced 27 turnovers (nearly nine more than its season average of 18.9) and held ASU to a 37.1 percent shooting percentage. Washington committed 17 turnovers, marking the 11th time in 11 games this season that it has less turnovers than their opponent. Junior Kayla Burt led the Huskies with 12 points, six assists and three steals. Kristen Kovesdy scored 13 points and Kylan Loney added 10 for ASU. UW junior Kristen O'Neill scored 11 points and had four steals, while sophomore Jill Bell came off the bench to tally 10 points and six rebounds. The win was the Huskies' second over a ranked opponent this season, including the team's Nov. 15 win over 14th-ranked Minnesota. It marks the second time in the last three seasons that Washington has defeated at least two ranked teams.
No. 5 Stanford is Washington's fifth ranked opponent, but first Top-5 opponent (according to the Associated Press poll) this season.
Washington has never defeated a Top-5 opponent on the road (0-15).
The Huskies outshot the Sun Devils 39.6 percent to 37.1, marking the second time this year UW has recorded a higher shooting percentage than its opponent. The first was versus Denver, UW shot 38.2 percent and held Denver to 33.3.
Washington's win over Arizona State marked the first time in coach June Daugherty's nine years that her team won without making a three-pointer.
UW was 0-for-7 from three-point range, both figures season-lows for a team that came into the game averaging nearly seven threes and 20 three-point attempts per game. The Huskies have been held without a three-pointer on three other occassions since 1996-97, all resulting in UW losses.
The Huskies have been held to under 60 points in four of the last eight games, including back-to-back outings versus Alabama and Utah, and Notre Dame and Baylor. But the Huskies have scored over 60 points in the last three straight - 74 versus Colorado, 63 versus Arizona and 63 versus Arizona State.
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 12 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 11 contests. For the season, Washington is shooting 36 percent, six percent lower than its 2003-04 average, while UW opponents are connecting at a 47 percent rate, a six-percent increase from the 2003-04 season.
The Huskies are second in the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds with 16.33 per game.
The Washington defense has forced each of its opponents to commit at least 15 turnovers.
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.
Minnesota, currently ranked 12th in this week's AP poll, has suffered just two losses this year - its first coming at the hands of Washington (Nov. 15). Top-ranked LSU is the only other team to defeat the Gophers this year, doing so Dec. 14.
For What It's Worth:
The Huskies have scored the same point total in consecutive games, three times this year. UW scored 56 points in back-to-back losses to Alabama and Utah. Then recorded 58 points in two-straight versus Notre Dame and Baylor, both losses. Now most recently, the Huskies have racked up 63 points versus both Arizona and ASU.
The Huskies last two losses came by a combined six points, falling by just two to Colorado in overtime (76-74) and by a mere four points to Arizona (67-63). Another UW loss at Utah (Dec. 4) was just a six-point deficit (56-64).
Huskies Wrap Non-Conference Slate:
Washington's game with Colorado, Dec. 21, marked the final non-conference opponent the Huskies will face unless they advance to postseason play. UW tallied a 4-6 record, with two of those losses coming to Top-10 teams (Notre Dame and Baylor). The last time UW recorded a sub .500 record against non-conference teams was in 1999-2000, when the Huskies went 4-8. Washington had compiled a 15-3 record against non-conference teams the last two seasons prior to 2004-05.
Second Half Struggles:
Washington has made a habit of coming out strong in the first half, but struggles to find that fire in the second period. The Huskies have outscored their opponents 376 to 358 (an 18 point margin) in the opening frame. On the flipside, UW has been outscored 439 to 386 (a 53 point deficit) in the second half. The Huskies have outscored their opponents in the second half three times: in its first two wins over South Carolina and Minnesota, and its most recent win over ASU. Washington's field goal percentage takes a dip in the second half as well. The Huskies are shooting 35 percent in the second half (131-370), while their opponents have a 50 percent second-half clip (154-309). Washington helped bring those numbers down against Arizona, shooting 50 percent from the field in the second half after a dismal 22 percent performance in the first.
Washington is 2-2 against Top-25 opponents this season (0-1 on the road), upsetting then-No. 14 Minnesota and then-21 Arizona State, before suffering losses to then-No. 7 Notre Dame and then-No. 6 Baylor. The Huskies are 37-93 all-time against ranked opponents. Washington is 26-37 against Top-25 teams at home, and 10-16 versus Top-10 teams at home. In games played on the road or on neutral court, UW is 11-65 all-time and 0-15 on the road.
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 seven times, including in five of the last seven games. Burt had a season-high 18 points at Utah, and a 10-point, 7-assist effort at Michigan in Ann Arbor. Against Baylor, she set career highs for three-pointers (four) and three-pointers attempted (eight), while matching her career high of 11 field goals attempted. Burt leads the team in points (10.0 ppg) and steals (21), and is second in assists (37) and is sixth in rebounding (3.1).
Washington's average of 65.2 points per game is 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 in the history of the program - 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 35.7 percent field goal percentage ranks ninth in the Pac-10. UW is also ninth in scoring offense (65.2).
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 leads the Pac-10 in 3-pointers made with 72, for an average of 6.00 per game. The Huskies' overall 3-point FG percentage isn't quite as high, since UW also leads the conference with 226 3-pointers attempted. Washington ranks seventh in the Pac-10 with a 32.9 3-point shooting average. Individually, junior Kristen O'Neill and sophomore Cheri Craddock rank in the Top-10 in 3-pointers made with 18 and 19, respectively.
Coach June Daugherty has gone with five different lineups featuring eight different players in 12 games. Only junior Kristen O'Neill has started all 12. 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 last 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. That fivesome started three games, before the lineup changed again for the last three games: O'Hara, O'Neill, Hicks, Burt, Florence are the latest group to earn starting status.
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 13 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 10.0 and 6.5 points per game. Washington has had a different high-scorer in each of its last four games: Cameo Hicks versus Baylor (15), Dominique Banks versus Colorado (19), Cheri Craddock versus Arizona (14) and Kayla Burt against Arizona State (12).
Redshirt sophomore forward Jill Bell has quickly established herself as Washington's leading rebounder. Bell, who was second on the team in that category as a freshman, has led all UW rebounders in seven of 12 games this season, including an 11-board performance against Minnesota and back-to-back nine-rebound efforts at Utah and Denver. She leads the team with with an average of 6.6 boards per game. 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.
Banks Breaks Through:
Freshman guard Dominique Banks has provided valuable minutes off the bench for the Huskies this season. UW has used five different starting lineups, but all have been void of Banks who is the team's fourth-leading scorer (7.8 ppg). She had the best game of her young career in UW's contest versus Colorado, setting career numbers in seven categories that included scoring 19 points, the most by a Husky this season. Banks also set career numbers in rebounds (six), assists (four), field goals made (seven), field goals attempted (13), free-throws made (five) and free-throws attempted (eight). The freshman is one of only two Huskies shooting over 40 percent with a 42.5 clip from the field (34-80). Only Maggie O'Hara has a higher percentage (43.9 on 18-41).
Freshman point guard Emily Florence has adjusted to college ball quite well, starting nine of 12 games for the Huskies. Measuring in at just 5-5, Florence has been a gutsy defensive player, ranking second on the team in steals (15). She is third on the team in assists (22) as well.
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 12 games, is second on the team with 23 assists and dished a team-high three assists in UW's first two games. In addition to being UW's second leading scorer (8.4) and fourth-leading rebounder (3.7), O'Neill is tied for second on the team in steals (15). She has reached double-figures in scoring on six occasions, including a season-high 14 points versus Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Sophomore guard Cameo Hicks, a Pac-10 All-Freshman honoree last year, broke into the starting lineup at Utah (Dec. 4) and has proven to be one of the Huskies'most consistent players. Hicks is the team's third-leading scorer with 8.2 points per game and is fourth in rebounding with 3.7 boards per game. She is third on the squad in offensive rebounds (19) and has the highest 3-point shooting percentage (5-11 for .455).
Cheri 'Machine-Gun' Craddock:
Sophomore forward Cheri Craddock has played true to her nickname coined last year when she was a walk-on freshman. Craddock's quick release-style shooting has made her one of the Huskies' top three-point threats. Craddock has a team-high 19 treys, ranking eighth in the Pac-10. Her 36.5 3-point percentage (19-52) is second on the team (more than 15 attempts). Only Kristen O'Neill has a higher clip beyond the arc at 36.7 percent (18-49). Also a sprinter on the UW track team, Craddock has reached double-figures in scoring twice in the last four games including a 14-point performance versus Arizona that matched her career high set earlier this year. Craddock had 10 points versus Baylor (Dec. 15).
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.
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. The last time Washington did not have a single senior on its roster was 1999-2000.
Home Sweet Home:
The Huskies have a home record of 4-4 this season, unusual for a squad that has dominated opponents on its home floor. The Huskies have always excelled at home, compiling an overall record of 267-64 (.806) at Bank of America Arena (also known as Hec Edmundson Pavilion before the 2000 renovation). Washington has an overall home record of 29-9 since the 2002-03 season. 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.
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. 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 sophomores 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 and three WNIT squads from last year. UW met its first test against 2004 NCAA Final Four team Minnesota, defeating the 14th-ranked Gophers 72-67 in overtime, Nov. 15. The Huskies then encountered two straight Top-10 opponents, falling to both No. 7 Notre Dame (58-72) and No. 6 Baylor (58-74). Washington pulled another upset over No. 21 Arizona State (63-55) and looks to do the same on Wednesday versus No. 5 Stanford.
Husky Coaching Staff:
June Daugherty is in 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 145-106, and a career record of 268-180. 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 six home games, UW ranks 28th in the nation with an average of 2,938 fans per game. That same mark is the second-highest among Pac-10 teams, behind only Oregon (3,399). 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. 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:
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.