Huskies Continue Northwest Road Trip At Oregon State Saturday
Jan. 14, 2005
This Week: Coming off an 86-77 loss at Oregon, Thursday, Washington women's basketball (6-11, 2-5) looks to salvage a split on its annual road trip to the Willamette Valley, facing Oregon State (5-10, 1-5) Saturday, at 3 p.m. at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. The contest will be televised to a national audience on FSN with Cara Capuano and Mary Murphy calling the action. Washington comes to Corvallis having lost four-straight and will look to win its first game against OSU at Gill Coliseum since 2002. The Beavers are riding high after notching their first Pac-10 win over Washington State, Thursday.
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.
Scouting Oregon State: The Beavers have struggled since Pac-10 play opened, losing five straight to conference opponents, until finding that elusive win with a victory over Washington State, 83-55, Thursday. In addition to the Cougars, OSU's wins came over Idaho State (84-67), South Dakota State (68-65), South Alabama (49-41) and Pacific (72-43). OSU has not shied away from playing the top teams, facing the likes of Rutgers, Creighton, UC Santa Barbara and Florida, along with Top-25 Pac-10 teams Stanford and UCLA, this season. Shannon Howell is the Beavers' leading scorer with 18.9 points per game and is one of three players averaging in double-figures. Kim Butler (10.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Mandy Close (10.4, 4.1) round out the top three. As a team, Oregon State is shooting 40.8 percent from the field and averaging 64.3 points per game. OSU opponents shoot 43 percent and average 68.8 points.
Series With Oregon State: Washington leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 39-24, dating back to 1975. The Huskies have struggled at Gill Coliseum as of late, losing its last two contests in Corvallis including a 100-86 thumping in 2003. Washington and OSU have split their season series the last three years. Both teams won on their home courts in 2004 and 2003. In 2002, the Beavers pulled out a 73-71 overtime win in Seattle (Feb. 21, 2002) and the Huskies handed OSU a 74-58 defeat in Corvallis. That 2002 meeting (Dec. 30, 2001) was the last time UW won at Gill Coliseum. Washington is 15-12 all-time in Corvallis.
The Last Time...:Washington was swept by the Oregon schools on the road was the 1999-2000 season. UW lost at Oregon, 65-51 (Jan. 20) and at OSU, 78-59 (Jan. 22).
On The Oregon Trail...: On its annual road trip to the Willamette Valley, Washington has split with Oregon and Oregon State the last four-straight years and seven of eight seasons under head coach June Daugherty. The last three seasons, Washington has lost its first game, but bounced back to win the second game of the trip. In 2004 and 2003, UW lost at Oregon State in the first game but came back to defeat Oregon in Eugene both years. In 2002, UW lost at Oregon and came back to defeat Oregon State in Corvallis.
Oregon Native:Freshman guard Jackie Hollands is a native of Oregon City, Ore., in the Portland area. Hollands, a 2004 graduate, helped lead Oregon City High School to four-straight Oregon 4A state championships. Hollands has come off the bench in two games for the Huskies this year.
Last Time Out: Junior guard Kayla Burt came off the bench to lead four Huskies in double-figures with a career-high 19 points, but it wasn't enough to hold Oregon down as the Ducks defeated Washington, 86-77, before 3,970 at McArthur Court, Thursday. The Huskies went on an 11-2 run to tie the game at 77 apiece on a Burt three-pointer with 1:52 left. But Oregon senior center Andrea Bills hit a basket, followed by an Eleanor Haring 8-foot jumper, then four straight Bills free throws put the game out of reach. Oregon, which had lost the previous four to Washington, improved to 11-4 and 4-2. Bills scored a season-high 21 points for Oregon while junior guard Chelsea Wagner had 20 behind a personal-best six 3-pointers. Wagner left the game in the second half with a right knee injury. Burt set a career-highs in field goals made and field goals attempted, shooting 8-for-13. She also drained a trio of three-pointers. Joining Burt in double-figures for the Huskies was sophomore guard Cameo Hicks, who had a season-high 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Sophomore forward Jill Bell added 12 points and sophomore forward Cheri Craddock scored 10 before having to leave the game with an aggravated ankle injury. Junior guard Kristen O'Neill and sophomore forward Breanne Watson each grabbed seven boards. Washington shot a season-high 43.5 percent, marking the first time the Huskies shot over 40 percent all season. Washington led 39-37 at halftime and both teams traded leads in the first six minutes of the second half. The Ducks then increased their lead to as many as nine points (61-52) at 10:36, capped by Wagner's sixth trey of the game. The Huskies chipped away at the Oregon lead to get within three (69-66) on a three-pointer from Burt at 6:25. The Ducks went on a 6-0 run to lead again by nine with 4:14. The Huskies then put their 11-2 run together to tie at 77-77 with 1:52 left. Burt's three-pointer to tie the game was the last field goal UW would make as Bills made four free-throws down the stretch. Oregon freshman Gabrielle Richards came off the bench to score 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting and grab six rebounds in 15 minutes. Senior forward Cathrine Kraayeveld notched her 10th straight double-figure scoring game with 10 and her fourth double-double this year with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Back On Track: Many Pac-10 teams are happy to return to their normal schedule of two games per week, after opening league play with six games in 14 days. The Huskies are one of those teams, having been on the road for five of those 14 days. For good measure, three of the six teams UW met during that span were Top-25 teams: then-No. 8 Stanford, then-No. 21 Arizona State and then-No. 22 UCLA.
Road Warriors: This week's trip to Oregon opens a stretch where Washington will play five of its next seven games on the road. UW completes its Northwest swing at Washington State next Saturday (Jan. 22), then returns home to host Stanford and Cal. Then the Huskies are back on the road to face USC and UCLA in Los Angeles. Washington is 2-5 on the road this year with wins at Denver (Dec. 6) and California (Jan. 2).
Dawg Bites: Washington has lost four-straight for the second time this season. The Huskies have not last five-straight since 1999-2000. After opening the year 3-1, the Huskies have won just three games in their last 13. Washington has seven players averaging more than six points per game, but no player in double-figures. Junior guard/forward Kristen O'Neill averages a team-high 9.4 points, with junior guard Kayla Burt close behind with 9.2 ppg. O'Neill has been UW's top player in Pac-10 games with 11.6 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Washington's 13-point win over Cal, Jan. 2, was its largest winning margin so far this season. The Huskies have outshot their opponent just three times this year, but have done so in both their Pac-10 wins. UW outshot Arizona State (Dec. 29) 39.6 percent to 37.1, and outshot Cal (Jan. 2), 35.4 percent to 27.5 percent. Washington's win over Arizona State (Dec. 29) 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. Washington has struggled to find its stroke from the field this season, but finally shot over 40 percent in its last game against Oregon. The Huskies shot a season-high 43.5 percent (30-69), marking the first time UW shot over 40 this year. 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 15 contests before Thursday at Oregon. For the season, Washington is shooting 36 percent, six percent lower than its 2003-04 average, while UW opponents are connecting at a 44 percent rate, a four-percent increase from the 2003-04 season. 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 11th 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.
Ranked Opponents: Washington is 2-4 against Top-25 opponents this season (0-2 on the road, 2-2 at home), upsetting then-No. 14 Minnesota and then-21 Arizona State, but suffering losses to then-No. 7 Notre Dame, then-No. 6 Baylor, then-No. 8 Stanford and then-No. 22 UCLA. The Huskies are 37-95 all-time against ranked opponents. Washington is 26-38 against Top-25 teams at home.
Second Half Struggles: If only the Huskies could play two 'first' halves. Washington's shooting numbers greatly decrease after the halftime intermission. The Huskies have outscored their opponents by 10 points in the first half (532-522). But after halftime, they have been outscored by 75 points (623-548). Washington has outscored its opponents in the second half just four times, with the Huskies going 4-0 in those games. UW's field goal percentage takes a dip in the second half as well. The Huskies are shooting 34 percent in the second half (191-555), while their opponents have a 46 percent second-half clip (207-451).
O'Neill Ignites: 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. After somewhat of a slow start, O'Neill has taken over as the floor leader. She is the only Husky to start all 17 games and is UW's leading scorer with 9.4 points. She is also second with 32 assists and third in steals (20). She has reached double-figures in scoring nine times and five of the last seven games. Her recent improvement came in time for the Pac-10 schedule. Going into this week, O'Neill averaged 12.7 points in conference games, to go along with 3.2 rebounds, seven assists and 10 steals. O'Neill set a career-high with 19 points versus UCLA (Jan. 9) shooting 7-for-13 from the field including a trio of three-pointers and a perfect 2-2 mark from the line. She has scored at least 16 points in two of the last four games, with 16 points at Stanford (Jan. 4). That game against the Cardinal also saw O'Neill record a career-high four three-pointers.
Burt's Back: Washington's season opener with South Carolina, Nov. 14, marked the first official game for redshirt 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 eight times, including in six of the last 12 games. Burt had a career-high 19 points at Oregon Thursday, eclipsing her previous high of 18 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). Burt still leads the team assists (44) and is second in overall scoring (9.2 ppg) and steals (26).
Shooting Woes: Washington's average of 64.8 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. Going into this weekend's games, Washington's 35.0 percent field goal percentage ranks ninth in the Pac-10. UW is also eighth in scoring offense (64.0).
Juggling Lineups: Coach June Daugherty used her sixth different starting lineup at Oregon Thursday. So far Washington has used nine different starters in 17 games, with only junior Kristen O'Neill starting all 17. 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 first 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 to O'Hara, O'Neill, Hicks, Burt and Florence for seven games. The sixth combo to start at Oregon was Bell, O'Neill, Hicks, Burt and Florence.
Total Team Effort: 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 9.4 and 6.3 points per game. UW had a different leading in scorer in seven-straight games from Dec. 15 (Baylor) and Jan. 7 (USC): Cameo Hicks versus Baylor (15), Dominique Banks versus Colorado (19), Cheri Craddock versus Arizona (14), Kayla Burt against Arizona State (12), Jill Bell at Cal (14), Kristen O'Neill at Stanford (16) and Breanne Watson versus USC (12). Banks, Craddock, Bell and Watson all scored their team-high points coming off the bench.
Jumpin' Jill: Redshirt sophomore forward Jill Bell has 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 nine of 17 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 6.0 boards per game and is also the team's fourth-leading scorer averaging 8.2 points. Bell has used her athleticism to lead UW with 22 blocks, including a season-high four versus Minnesota (Nov. 15). Bell's 1.38 blocks per game rank fourth in the Pac-10 heading into play this week. 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 provided valuable minutes off the bench for the Huskies this season, before finally breaking into the starting lineup at Oregon Thursday. Banks had six points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal in her first collegiate start against the Ducks. Banks is tied for fifth on the team in scoring with 7.0 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 ranks fourth on the team in steals (18) and is tied for fourth in assists (28).
Fantastic Frosh: Freshman point guard Emily Florence, who has started 14 of 17 games in her first collegiate season, has provided a spark to the Husky defense, leading Washington with 28 steals for an average of 1.63 per game. That number has her 10th on the Pac-10 list for steals heading into play this week. Florence has led the team in steals in seven of the last nine games, including a career-high four at California (Jan. 2). She has also helped her teammates get into the scoring act and is tied for fourth on the squad with 28 assists (1.7 apg).
Quiet Leader: 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 8.4 points per game and is third in rebounding with 4.1 boards per game. In fact Hicks has been UW's leading rebounder in three of the last five games, grabbing at least six boards in contests with Cal, Stanford and USC. She tied for the team lead with seven rebounds at Cal, tied for the lead with six at Stanford and was the sole leader with six boards versus USC. Hicks also has the team's top three-point shooting percentage (with at least 15 attempts), going 9-for-19 for a 47.4 percent clip.
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 is tied for second on the team with 22 three-pointers. Also a sprinter on the UW track team, Craddock has reached double-figures in scoring five times including a 14-point performance versus Arizona that matched her career high set earlier this year. Craddock also had 10 points versus Baylor (Dec. 15), 11 at Michigan (Nov. 22) and 10 at Oregon (Jan. 13). She missed games versus USC and UCLA after suffering a sprained ankle in practice, Jan. 6. An aggravation of the injury forced her to miss the second half at Oregon.
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. 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 4-6 this season, unusual for a squad that has dominated opponents on its own floor. The Huskies have always excelled at home, compiling an overall record of 267-66 (.802) at Bank of America Arena (also known as Hec Edmundson Pavilion before the 2000 renovation). Washington has an overall home record of 29-11 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. Washington has never finished a season with less from a .500 record on its home court and its six home losses is an all-time high. Prior to this year, Washington had not lost more than five games at Bank of America Arena in a single season.
UW Upsets 2004 Final Four Team Minnesota: The second day of the WBCA BTI Classic (Nov. 15), 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), before falling at No. 8 Stanford (61-74) and to No. 22 UCLA (74-63).
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 145-110, and a career record of 268-184. 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 10 home games, UW ranks 32nd in the nation with an average of 3,072 fans per game. That mark is third-highest among Pac-10 teams, behind Oregon (26th, 3,657) and Stanford (29th, 3,192). 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.