Husky Women Make Home Debut Wednesday Versus No. 23 Utah
Nov. 22, 2005
Coming away with two victories on its season opening road trip, Washington women's basketball (2-0) returns to Seattle to make its home debut versus No. 23 Utah (1-0), Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies opened the season 2-0 for the third consecutive year after a pair of victories at Alabama (56-52) and Florida State (71-69). UW will have its hands full with a Utah team that returns four starters from its 2005 squad that posted a 26-8 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Utah is ranked 23rd in this week's Associated Press poll, and No. 21 in last week's ESPN/WBCA/USA Top-25 (this week's poll is not yet released). Wednesday's contest is the first of a three-game homestand for Washington which hosts the 19th annual Husky Classic, Nov. 26-27.
Live Video Streaming:
Wednesday's game can be seen live on the internet with a Dawg Channel All-Access pass at GoHuskies.com.
All Husky women's basketball games can be heard live on the radio at KKNW AM 1150. Steve Sandmeyer, in his seventh season as the voice of UW women's hoops, calls the play-by-play. Former Husky Elise (Niemela) Woodward joins Sandmeyer as the color commentator for home broadcasts. Fan can also listen to games on the internet at www.gohuskies.com with a Dawg Channel All-Access pass.
UW To Hold Northwest Harvest Food Drive:
Washington will hold a food drive for Northwest Harvest at Wednesday's women's basketball game. Fans can bring a can of food to donate to Northwest Harvest and get a coupon to attend the game for free.
Free Husky Basketball Yearbooks will be given to the first 500 fans at Wednesday's game. Free FSN schedule magnets will also be available for fans.
UW Picks Up Two Big Road Wins:
Washington traveled about as far away from Seattle as it could to open the season last weekend, and despite the rigors of the trip and facing SEC school Alabama and ACC school Florida State, came away with a pair of 'w's.' The Huskies won their fifth-straight season opener with a 56-52 victory over Alabama, Friday. UW overcame a poor shooting night with scrappy play down the stretch to come away with the win. The Huskies only shot 27.9 percent from the field, but pulled down 25 offensive rebounds and forced the Crimson Tide to commit 19 turnovers. The Huskies led by as many as 12 points twice in the first half but found themselves down a point (33-32) at the intermission. UW shot a dismal 19.4 percent in the second half (sinking just seven field goals) but was able to hold off Alabama down the stretch by hitting their free-throws and dominating the glass. Junior guard Cameo Hicks and sophomore guard Dominique Banks led UW with 13 points apiece. Senior guard/forward Kristen O'Neill added 12 points and five rebounds. The story was somewhat similar at Florida State, Sunday. UW jumped out to an early lead, this time leading by as many as 16 points in the first half. The Seminoles staged their comeback and closed the gap to two-points. Hicks then hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Huskies a five-point (cushion), 40-35, at halftime. FSU came back to lead by as many as eight points with eight minutes left. UW got back in the game, capitalizing on its free-throw opportunities (shooting 5-for-6 from the line) in the final minutes. Burt hit a huge three-pointer with a minute and a half left, to give UW a 69-68 lead. After FSU's Alicia Gladden made just one of two free-throws in the final minute, Hicks' left-handed driving layin was the gamewinning basket with 6.9 seconds left. FSU's Holly Johnson's desperation shot at the buzzer missed. Hicks had a game-high 21 points, while junior forward Jill Bell added 10 points off the bench. Burt also had a team-high six boards off the bench.
The Utes are coming off one of their best seasons in program history, posting a 26-8 record and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2005. Utah returns four starters from the squad, including three-time All-American Kim Smith. Smith shared Co-Mountain West Conference Player of the year honors with teammate Shona Thornburn, who also earned All-America honors in 2004-05. Utah has one game under its belt this season, winning its home opener over Jacksonville State, 83-46. Smith scored a game-high 21 points, while adding six rebounds and five steals. Thornburn (10), Heidi Carlson (11) and Joh-Teena Filipe (11) also scored in double figures. Utah is led by 23rd-year head coach Elaine Elliott, a native of Tacoma, Wash.
The Series With Utah:
Washington trails the all-time series with Utah, 3-4, but is 2-0 at home. The Huskies and Utes meet for the second-straight season. These teams met in Salt Lake City on Dec. 4, 2004, with Utah winning 64-56. Shona Thornburn led the Utes with team-highs in points (16) and rebounds (seven). Kayla Burt was the only Husky to score over seven points, contributing a game-high 18 for UW, including a 12-for-14 clip from the free-throw line.
Washington is 25-6 in home openers and has won the last four-straight. The Huskies' most recent home opening win was versus South Carolina (65-53) last year. The last time UW lost a home opener was to No. 1 Connecticut on Nov. 24, 2000, the inaugural game at the then-newly renovated Bank of America Arena. The Huskies from Seattle fell to UConn Huskies, 100-54.
Closing In On 600:
Washington needs just one victory to reach 600 wins in program history. UW's all-time record is 599-304, its inaugural season being 1974-75.
No Rest For The Weary:
The Huskies will be playing Utah three days after returning from their cross-country road trip late Sunday night. The Huskies' road trip to Alabama and Florida State took them just under 3,000 miles (2,925) away from Seattle. UW went through six different airports in four days, traveling from Seattle to Chicago to Birmingham on Thursday, Birmingham to Atlanta to Tallahassee on Saturday, and back to Seattle through Houston on Sunday night. Washington is in the midst of playing five games in 10 days since opening the season in Alabama, Friday.
The Huskies opened the season 2-0 for the third straight season...in 2004-05 UW defeated South Carolina (65-53) and Minnesota (72-67)...in 2003-04, UW defeated Maine (82-70) and Lipscomb (78-52)...UW also opened the year with two road wins for the second time in three years...UW's wins over Maine and Lipscomb two years ago came at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii...UW shot 84.2 percent from the line at Florida State, Sunday (16-for-19)...that number is well above their season average from last year (68.8)...UW forced at least 19 turnovers in both games last weekend...the Husky defense forced Alabama to commit19 turnovers, and Florida State 23.
Utah is the first ranked opponent UW faces this season. Washington is 37-96 overall versus Top-25 opponents, and 26-39 at home. UW's last win over a ranked opponent was versus No. 21 Arizona State (63-55), Dec. 29, 2004, in Seattle.
Sophomore guard Cameo Hicks is off to a hot start this year. After two games, she's leading the squad with 17 points and six rebounds per game. In fact, Hicks has been UW's leading scorer in all three games (including the team's exhibition contest). Hicks, who led UW with 16 points in its exhibition game, recorded 13 points and nine rebounds at Alabama. Hicks was the key to the Huskies two-point win over Florida State, scoring a game-high 21 points including seven of the last 14 for UW. She had the gamewinning layin with 6.9 seconds on the clock and was 6-for-7 from the line.
A Little Help From Their Friends:
The Husky bench contributed 30 points in UW's win over Florida State, Sunday. Junior forward Jill Bell led the charge with 10 points. Also contributing were junior forward Breanne Watson (eight points), senior guard Kayla Burt (seven), junior guard Cheri Craddock (three) and junior forward Maggie O'Hara (two). Burt also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Home Sweet Home:
Washington has a long standing tradition of a stellar home record. UW is 274-68 all-time on its home court (80.1 winning pct.) at Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Last season marked the first time that UW lost more than five games at home. The Huskies were 8-7 at home last year, their lowest home winning percentage (53.3) in school history.
The Huskies continue their three-game homestand hosting the 19th annual Husky Classic, Saturday, Nov. 26, through Sunday, Nov. 27. On Saturday, UW will face San Diego in the first round (3 p.m.) following the other first round game with Rice and Pennsylvania (12:30 p.m.) On Sunday, the consolation game will be held at 12:30 p.m. and the championship game at 3 p.m.
Washington's 2005-06 schedule features nine opponents that appeared in last year's NCAA Tournament including the defending NCAA champion Baylor Lady Bears. Baylor highlights a formidable preseason slate that includes the likes of Florida State, Utah and Rice, while Pac-10 steams Stanford (Elite Eight), Arizona State (Sweet 16), USC, Oregon and Arizona are also squads that participated in postseason play last year.
Washington is slated to face five opponents ranked in the latest Top-25 polls. Defending NCAA Champion Baylor heads the list, ranked fifth in the Nov. 21 Associated Press poll and fifth in last week's USA Today/ESPN/WBCA poll. Also ranked are Stanford (No. 15 AP/No. 9 WBCA), Arizona State (No. 16 AP/No. 15 WBCA), Utah (No. 23 AP/No. 21 WBCA) and USC (No. 24 AP/No. 23 WBCA). Please note that the Nov. 22 USA Today/ESPN/WBCA poll has not yet been released.
Huskies On Television:
At least six of Washington's games have been picked up for television broadcasts by FSN including a pair of national telecasts. UW's home game with Washington State (Sunday, Feb. 5, 1 p.m.) and a road game at UCLA (Saturday, Feb. 11, 1 p.m.) will be shown to a nationwide audience. UW will have four more games televised regionally by FSN Northwest versus Eastern Washington (Dec. 12, 7 p.m.), at Arizona State (Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. PT), at Arizona (Dec. 31, 3 p.m. PT) and at Washington State (Jan. 7, 1 p.m.). Two dates remain 'wildcard' time slots national telecasts by FSN - UW's home game versus Oregon State (Feb. 18) and a road game at Cal (Feb. 25). Selections for wildcard broadcasts will be made two weeks prior to those dates.
Huskies Drown Baden Sports In Exhibition Win:
Washington defeated Baden Sports, 88-49, in its lone preseason tuneup, Nov. 6, at Bank of America Arena. Junior guard Cameo Hicks led four players in double-figures with 16 points. Sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe, making her first unofficial collegiate start, scored 15 points. Senior guard Kayla Burt (13) and junior guard Cheri Craddock (11) added scoring totals in double-digits. The UW defense forced Baden Sports to commit 32 turnovers, led by five steals a piece from Plouffe and senior guard Kristen O'Neill. O'Neill also added nine points, eight rebounds and four assists.
UW Picked Sixth In Pac-10 Media Poll, Seventh In Coaches Poll:
The Huskies were picked to finish sixth in the Pac-10 according to a poll of media members who regularly cover the league. UW was tabbed to finish seventh according to the Pac-10 Coaches Poll. Stanford was selected by both the media and the coaches to claim this year's conference title.
Head Coach June Daugherty:
June Daugherty enters her 10th season as the head coach of the Husky women's basketball team, having led Washington to the postseason seven times. 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. Daugherty has compiled a UW record of 156-115, and a career record of 279-189. 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 10th year with the team, while Soderberg begins her second season and Lewis-Jay enters her third year.
Burt Receives National Recognition For Comeback:
Following the end of last season, senior guard Kayla Burt received a pair of national honors for her comeback to basketball after suffering a cardiac arrest episode on New Year's Eve, 2002. In her first year back on the court, Burt led the Huskies in scoring (9.6 ppg), assists (2.9 apg), free-throw percentage (75.8) and free-throws made (69). In March she was named the 2005 recipient of the prestigious V Foundation Comeback Award and during the summer made a trip to Hollywood for the 2005 ESPY Awards as one of four nominees for Best Comeback. Burt will be presented the V Foundation Trophy prior to a game this season. At the local level, Burt was also named the Everett Herald's Woman of the Year in Sports.
Watson Gains International Experience:
Junior forward Breanne Watson represented her native country as a member of the Canadian National Development Team that competed at the 2005 World University Games held in Turkey in August. A starter on the squad, Watson averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in six games. She missed the seventh game after injuring her elbow. The Canadian team finished 11th overall with a 4-3 record. It was the second time Watson competed in the World University Games, as she was a member of the Canadian National Development Team that competed in Korea during the summer of 2003.
Sophomore guard Stefanie Clark is redshirting the 2005-06 season.