Women's Hoops Opens Final Three-Game Homestand With Oregon State Thursday

Feb. 9, 2005

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This Week:
Nearing the tail end of the regular season, Washington women's basketball (9-14, 5-8 Pac-10) returns to Seattle to open its final homestand - a three-game stint beginning with Oregon State (6-16, 1-11), Thursday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies will then entertain the Oregon Ducks (15-6, 8-4), Saturday, Feb. 12, at 1 p.m. Saturday's game will be televised live on FSN with Cara Capuano and Cathy Nelson calling the action. Washington will also celebrate National Girls and Women In Sports Day on Saturday, with festivities including a silent auction at 11:30 a.m. and a special halftime presentation. The Huskies will look to complete a season sweep over the Beavers after a 75-64 victory in Corvallis, Jan. 15, while also looking to salvage the season series with Oregon after losing 86-77 in Eugene, Jan. 13. Washington enters the week in seventh place in the Pac-10 standings, while OSU is in ninth place and Oregon in fourth. The Huskies will face Washington State in their home finale, Saturday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m.

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.

National Girls & Women In Sports Day:
UW will celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day in conjunction with the Husky women's game with Oregon, Saturday. All girls in attendance are encouraged to wear a sports uniform and participate in a halftime presentation. Pre-game activities include an autograph session with female UW athletes, face painting and sign making. National Girls & Women in Sports Day was chartered by Congress in 1986 to honor female athletic achievement and recognize the importance of sports and fitness participation for all girls and women.

Huskies To Hold Silent Auction:
UW will also hold a silent auction Saturday at the North Court of the Pavilion Addition at Bank of America Arena. Bidding begins at 11:30 a.m. and ends at the culmination of halftime. Items up for bid include a private jet trip to a Husky event in 2005, a travel package with the UW women's basketball team for a trip to Italy in 2006, and golf with athletic director Todd Turner.

Scouting Oregon State:
Oregon State has lost six of its last seven games. Its only win during that span was over non-conference opponent Utah Valley State, Feb. 1 (57-43). The Beavers have struggled in Pac-10 play, with its only league win coming over last-place Washington State in Corvallis, Jan. 13, (83-55). OSU is 3-9 away from Corvallis this season. The Beavers are led by two players who average double-digits including the Pac-10's leading scorer, Shannon Howell (18.1 ppg). Kim Butler averages 10.1 points and 4.6 rebounds, Casey Bunn is the team's top rebounder with 5.2 per game. The Beavers average 61.7 points and are shooting 39.1 percent from the field. OSU is coming off a 55-64 loss to Oregon in the second game of the Civil War series, Feb. 5.

Series With Oregon State:
Washington leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 40-24. The Huskies are looking for the season sweep over OSU after a nine-point win in Corvallis, Jan. 15. The last time Washington swept the season series with OSU was 2001. 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. Washington holds a 21-8 advantage over OSU in Seattle. The last time the Beavers won on UW's home floor was Feb. 21, 2000 (57-50).

Scouting Oregon:
The Ducks have won three-straight and six of their last eight. Oregon is coming off three-straight home victories over UCLA (78-71), USC (81-59) and OSU (64-55). The Ducks have a strong hold on fourth place in the Pac-10 standings and trail the third-place Bruins by just half a game. Cathrine Kraayeveld leads the team averaging 15.3 points and 8.9 rebounds, to go along with a 46.8 percent clip from the field. Andrea Bills averages 11.8 points and 6.9 rebounds. With a 10-1 record at home, the Ducks are just 5-5 away from Mac Court.

Series With Oregon:
The Washington-Oregon series dating back to 1975 is just about even, with the Huskies trailing 32-35. The Huskies hold the most recent edge, winning four of the last five meetings. UW had won four-straight until falling to Oregon in Eugene earlier in the season (77-86). UW's recent success has been short-lived. Oregon won 14 of 15 games with UW from 1996-2002. The Huskies are 16-12 all-time against Oregon in Seattle and have won the last three straight. Included in that span was a 95-50 thumping over the Ducks which still stands as the largest margin of victory (45 points) by either team in the series. The last Oregon win in Seattle came on Jan. 18, 2001 (53-67).

Last Time Out:
The Huskies staged a furious second-half rally after trailing by as many as 24 points, but couldn't quite catch USC as the Women of Troy ended with a 73-68 win at the LA Sports Arena, Feb. 5. UW doubled its point total from the first half in the second-half, as the Huskies outscored USC 44-30 after the intermission. Washington trailed by 19 at halftime (43-24) and the Women of Troy built a 24-point lead with 12:49 remaining. From there, Washington took control of the game using a 24-5 run to come within five, 70-65, at the two minute mark. The Huskies held USC to one field goal and forced four turnovers in 11 minutes. Time ran out for Washington, as the Huskies were forced to foul the Trojans down the stretch. Sophomore Breanne Watson led five Huskies in double-figures with a season-high 13 points off the bench. Juniors Kristen O'Neill and Kayla Burt, along with sophomores Jill Bell and Cameo Hicks each tallied 10 points. Hicks also had four assists and five rebounds, while Burt snagged seven boards and made two assists. USC senior Kim Gipson scored a career-high 16 points.

Dawg Bites:
• The Huskies are 3-3 in their last six games including a pair of losses at the LA schools last week.

• Sophomore forward Jill Bell has reached double-figures in the last five-straight games and is averaging 13.2 points in that span. She set a career-high with 17 points versus California (Jan. 29) and recorded her second career double-double at WSU (Jan. 22) with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Bell is also the team's leading rebounder.

• Junior guard Kayla Burt has reached double-figures in three-straight games and five of the last seven. She set career-highs with 20 points and eight rebounds at UCLA (Feb. 3) and is the team's overall leading scorer with 9.7 points per game.

• Washington is 5-7 at home this season, marking the first time the Huskies have lost over five home games in the history of Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

• Washington has played four teams ranked in this week's Associated Press Top-25: No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 7 Baylor and No. 12 Minnesota. UW is 1-4 versus these squads.

• Washington has lost two-straight, but was defeated by UCLA and USC by a combined 10 points. The Huskies came close in both contests, trailing UCLA by two points with 1:56 remaining and trailing USC by five with 1:50 left.

• The Huskies have scored at least 80 points in two of their last three games, far surpassing their season average of 66.7. UW's 81 points at UCLA, Jan. 3, were a Pac-10 high this season. The Huskies' season high is 86 points versus Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

• The Huskies shot a scorching 68 percent (17-25) from the field in the second half versus California (Jan. 29), well above its average shooting percentage in any other half this year.

• The Huskies lost their first game of the season when outshooting their opponent. UW outshot UCLA 47.5 percent to 46.2 percent, but the Bruins ended up with the win. Until then, the Huskies had outshot their opponent just four times and were 4-0 in those games (Denver, Cal, ASU and OSU).

• Washington has six players averaging more than seven points per game, led by Kayla Burt's 9.7 points per game.

• Washington opened the season 2-0 for 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 then-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.

• Washington has outscored its opponents in the second half just eight times, and the Huskies are 7-1 in those games. That first loss came in UW's last game at USC. The Huskies outscored USC 44-30 in the second-frame only to come up five points shy at the end.

Jumpin' Jill:
Redshirt sophomore forward Jill Bell has come into her own this season, especially in the last five games. The Bellevue High grad could always be depended upon for her vertical leap and ability to rebound, but recently she has taken her offensive game to a new level. Leading the team in scoring the three of the last five contests, Bell has scored at least 10 points in five straight, including a career-high 17 versus California, Jan. 21. She notched her second career double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds at Washington State (Jan. 22). She has reached double-figures in scoring for a team-high 12 times. Bell's scoring average has improved to 9.2 points per game and she has a team-best 41.1 field goal shooting percentage (92-224). She is still Washington's top rebounder with 5.8 boards per game, and ranks eighth in the Pac-10. Bell has used her athleticism to lead UW with 27 blocks, including a season-high four versus Minnesota (Nov. 15). Among the league's elite, Bell ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in blocks (1.17 per game) and sixth in offensive rebounds (2.43). 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, set in last year's Husky win over Denver.

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 has reached double-figures 12 times, including 10 of the last 17 games. Burt has paid little mind to her new reserve roll the last seven games after starting 15. She has set career-highs in points twice, eclipsing her previous high of 19 set at Oregon (Jan. 13) with 20 points at UCLA (Feb. 3). At UCLA, Burt matched her career-high for three-pointers (four) and set a new career high with eight rebounds. Against Cal, Jan. 29, Burt scored 13 points on a perfect 10-for-10 clip from the line, to go along with a team-high six rebounds and seven assists. Her perfect effort from the free-throw line helped contribute to her 76.9 FT percentage which ranks eighth in the Pac-10. She leads the team in assists (64) and scoring (9.7 ppg) and is second in steals (33).

O'Neill Ignites Offense:
Despite redshirting last year with a stress fracture in her left foot, co-captain Kristen O'Neill has been looked upon to lead this young Husky team and has done so in successful fashion. Perhaps the Huskies' most versatile player, O'Neill starts at forward but also rotates in at point guard for starter Emily Florence. She became the first Husky to score 20 points when she recorded a career-high 23 at Oregon State, Jan. 15. O'Neill had a nearly flawless performance, shooting 5-for-8 from the field, 4-for-5 from long range and 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. O'Neill, the only Husky to start all 23 games, has scored at least 11 points in six of the last 12 games and has 11 total double-figure scoring games. O'Neill is second on the team in scoring with 9.6 points per game and has the fourth-highest shooting percentage (38.2). She is also one of UW's top three-point threats and is tied for the team lead with Burt with 35 three-pointers made. Her average of 1.52 treys per game rank eighth on the Pac-10 list heading into this week. In Pac-10 play, O'Neill is averaging 10.9 points and 3.3 rebounds, while shooting 39.4 percent from the field (50-127).

The Right Combination:
Using her sixth different starting lineup this year, head coach June Daugherty seems to have found her fab five. Forwards Jill Bell and Kristen O'Neill, and guards Cameo Hicks, Dominique Banks and Emily Florence have started the last seven games. During that span, the Huskies have shot at least 50 percent from the field twice, this coming from team that failed to shoot above 40 percent until Jan. 15. Overall Daugherty has used nine different starters in 23 games, with junior guard/forward Kristen O'Neill the only player to start all 23. The combo of O'Neill, Kayla Burt, Florence, Cheri Craddock and 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, Hicks and O'Neill at Utah; and Bell, Watson, Hicks, Burt and O'Neill at 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.

Scoring Woes:
For a team that traditionally averages over 70 points per game, Washington's 66.7 percent point average - that ranks seventh in the Pac-10 - is uncharacteristic. Washington 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. Their average continues to rise with back-to-back games of at least 80 points by the Huskies.

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 six players averaging between 9.7 and 7.1 points per game. UW had a different leading in scorer in seven-straight games from Dec. 15 (Baylor) to 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.

Banks Breaks Through:
Freshman guard Dominique Banks provided valuable minutes off the bench, before finally breaking into the starting lineup at Oregon Jan. 13. Since earning that starting role Banks has taken advantage of the opportunity. She had six points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal in her first collegiate start against the Ducks. She followed that up with eight points and two steals at Oregon State, Jan. 15, and 11 points (including a 7-for-7 mark from the free-throw line), six rebounds and two assists at WSU, Jan. 22. Banks is sixth on the team in scoring with 7.1 ppg. She had the best game of her young career coming off the bench in UW's contest versus Colorado, setting career numbers in five categories that included scoring 19 points. Banks also set career numbers in assists (four), field goals made (seven), field goals attempted (13), and free-throws attempted (eight). Her career-best in rebounding came versus Stanford (Jan. 27) as she pulled down seven boards, including six offensive. The freshman is fourth on the team in steals (25) and is fifth in assists (35).

Fantastic Frosh:
Freshman Emily Florence may not have the scoring and rebounding numbers but the 5-5 point guard has sparked a much improved Husky defense with her tenacious and fearless play. Florence, who has started 20 of 23 games in her first collegiate season, leads Washington with 38 steals for an average of 1.65 per game. That number has her ninth on the Pac-10 list for steals. Florence has led the team in steals in nine of the last 15 games, including a career-high four at California (Jan. 2). Washington has also relied upon her unselfish play with Florence playing a big part in helping her teammates get into the scoring act. Florence dished a career-high eight assists at OSU Jan. 15, the most assists by a Husky in a single game this year. She also grabbed a career-high six boards in Corvallis, and matched that number with six at Washington State, Jan. 22. Four of her six rebounds in Pullman were on the offensive end.

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. She has shown that especially in Pac-10 games, scoring at least 10 points in six of the last eight games. She had 10 versus UCLA, a season-high 16 at Oregon, 13 at OSU, 11 at Washington State and 10 versus Cal. Hicks is the team's fourth-leading scorer with 8.7 points per game and is second in rebounding with 4.5 boards per game. She grabbed at least eight boards in back-to-back games (nine at OSU, eight at WSU). 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 and a season-high nine at OSU. Hicks is second on the team with a field goal shooting percentage of 39.9 percent (77-for-193).

Cheri 'Machine-Gun' Craddock:
Sophomore guard 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. Despite seeing limited minutes since suffering a high ankle sprain in practice on Jan. 6, Craddock leads the team and ranks ninth in the Pac-10 with a 38.0 three-point shooting percentage (minimum1.0 made per game). She is third on the squad with 27 three-pointers made. Also a sprinter on the UW track team, Craddock has reached double-figures in scoring six times including a 14-point performance versus Arizona (Dec. 27) 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 in early January due to the injury. An aggravation of the injury forced her to miss the second half at Oregon, and despite playing through the pain managed 10 points (4-of-6, 2-of-3 from long range) in 10 minutes before coming out. Still struggling through the injury at OSU, Craddock recorded six points (on a pair of three-pointers) in seven minutes. She also grabbed three boards.

Ranked Opponents:
Washington is 2-5 against Top-25 opponents this season (0-2 on the road, 2-3 at home). UW upset then-No. 14 Minnesota and then-21 Arizona State, but suffered losses to then-No. 7 Notre Dame, then-No. 6 Baylor, then-No. 8 Stanford and then-No. 22 UCLA. The Huskies are 37-96 all-time against ranked opponents. Washington is 26-39 against Top-25 teams at home.

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 5-7 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 268-67 (.799) at Bank of America Arena (also known as Hec Edmundson Pavilion before the 2000 renovation). Washington has an overall home record of 30-12 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 seven 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.

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), to No. 22 UCLA (74-63) and again to then-No. 4 Stanford (60-82).

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 148-113, and a career record of 271-187. 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 12 home games, UW ranks 33rd in the nation with an average of 3,148 fans per game. That mark is third-highest among Pac-10 teams, behind Oregon (28th, 3,713) and Stanford (28th, 3,677). 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.

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