Huskies Close Out Non-Conference Slate Hosting Eastern Washington
Dec. 11, 2005
Washington women's basketball (6-2) closes out its non-conference slate hosting Eastern Washington (4-3) Monday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. PT at Bank of America Arena. The game will be televised live on FSN Northwest with Cara Capuano and Cathy Nelson calling the action. The Huskies bring an eight-game home winning streak into Monday's contest that dates back to last season. UW is 4-0 at home this year and is coming off an 82-60 victory over Michigan, Friday. The Huskies are in the midst of their longest homestand of the season - a four-game stint that continues next week. After taking a break for finals, the Huskies return to the floor and begin Pac-10 play hosting California (Dec. 20, 7 p.m.) and Stanford (Dec. 22, 7 p.m.). Eastern comes to Seattle after defeating Portland, 63-57, Saturday.
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.
Washington's game with Eastern Washington, Monday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. will be televised live by FSN Northwest. Cara Capuano will call the play-by-play and Cathy Nelson will be the analyst.
For the second-straight week, Washington received votes in last week's Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Polls (Dec. 5-11). The last time UW was ranked in the AP poll was March 3, 2003 (25).
Washington has an eight-game home winning streak dating back to last season. The Huskies finished 2004-05 winning its last four Pac-10 home games over Cal (Jan. 29), Oregon State (Feb. 10), Oregon (Feb. 12) and Washington State (Feb. 19). UW is 4-0 at home this season, thanks to wins over No. 23 Utah (Nov. 23), San Diego (Nov. 26), Rice (Nov. 27) and Michigan (Dec. 9). UW's last home loss was to Stanford (Jan. 27, 2005).
UW dropped its first two games of the season at No. 5 Baylor and Texas A&M last weekend. Prior to those losses, UW opened the season 5-0 for the second time in three years and the third overall under head coach June Daugherty. UW opened 2003-04 5-0 and 1997-98 10-0.
Dating back to last year, the Huskies are 11-4 in their last 15 games.
UW set a school record with its perfect 14-for-14 (1.000) clip from the free-throw line at Baylor, Dec. 2. The Huskies surpassed the previous school record of a 93.8 percentage (15-for-16) set in 1978 versus Sacramento State and in 1985 versus Oregon.
No. 5 Baylor was the fourth NCAA Tournament team the Huskies faced in the first five games, with UW going 3-1 versus those teams. UW picked up wins versus Florida State, then-No. 23 Utah and Rice.
UW's 86 points versus Rice (Nov. 27) were a season-high and the most points scored by a Husky team since the first round of last year's Husky Classic (86 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee). The Huskies are averaging 71.8 points, an improvement upon their 67.2 points per game last year.
UW has outrebounded its opponents in four of the last six games. In fact, the Huskies are 4-0 when outrebounding their opponent. UW's 54 rebounds vs. Utah surpassed its season-high from last year (52 at Washington State, Jan. 22, 05).
As the defense goes, so go the Huskies. In its season-opening five game winning streak, UW held four of its five opponents to 62 points or less, with only Florida State scoring as many as 69. In its two losses, UW allowed Baylor and Texas A&M to score 81 and 79 points, respectively. The Huskies are 4-0 when holding their opponents to less than 70 points.
UW won its 12th Husky Classic title over Thanksgiving weekend, defeating San Diego and Rice by a combined 40 points. UW's 24-point winning margin over Rice (86-62) was a season-high.
Junior guard Cameo Hicks is the team's leader in scoring (16.0 ppg) and rebounding 6.1). Hicks scored at least 21 points in three-straight games including a career-high 26 versus San Diego in the first round of the Husky Classic. She has reached double-figures in scoring in six of the first eight games.
Hicks, O'Neill Lead UW Over Michigan:
Senior Kristen O'Neill came off the bench to score 17 points, and junior Cameo Hicks added 17 more as Washington knocked off Michigan, 82-60, for its eighth-consecutive home win at Bank of America Arena, Friday. The win earned a measure of revenge for Washington (6-2), which was defeated by the Wolverines, 75-68, last year in Ann Arbor. Michigan, meanwhile, fell to 4-5 with the loss. After trading the lead early, Washington broke the game open with an 18-6 run midway through the first half, extending a 19-17 lead with 7:56 remaining to 37-23 by halftime. Washington knocked down 15 of its 31 shots before halftime (.484) and finished the game at a 44.1 percent clip, including 9-of-22 shooting from three-point range. Michigan came out of the locker room much as it did in Ann Arbor last season, hitting seven of its first eight shots. Washington, however, responded this time with nine field goals of its own, preserving its lead at 60-47 before putting the clamps on the Wolverines the rest of the way. Michigan managed just one basket in the next four minutes, and just five the rest of the way, as Washington buried the Wolverines under a 20-9 run. Washington's win was its fourth at home this season and its 11th in 15 games dating back to last year. O'Neill provided most of the highlights in the second half, scoring 12 of her 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including 2-of-3 three-pointers. O'Neill came off the bench Friday for the first time since 2003, as Washington went to a bigger lineup with Breanne Watson and Andrea Plouffe inside. Hicks also added 17 points - her sixth double-digit game this season and 18th in 22 games dating back to last year. Dominique Banks added nine, and Emily Florence scored eight. Forward Ta'Shia Walker led Michigan with 17 points and 8 rebounds, but was limited to just seven and two, respectively, in the second half.
New Look Lineup:
After going with the same starting five the first seven games, UW head coach June Daugherty started junior forward Breanne Watson for senior Kristen O'Neill at the No. 4 forward spot vs. Michigan, Friday. O'Neill, who has played anywhere from the No. 1-4 positions on the floor, had started the last 57-straight games of her career until Friday. The senior didn't let her reserve role get her down, scoring a season-high 17 points versus the Wolverines.
Scouting Eastern Washington:
The Eagles come to Seattle with a 4-3 record, having just defeated Portland, 63-47, Saturday. Eastern will just continue up I-5 from the Rose City to face the Huskies Monday. Eastern's wins this year include Saint Mary's (63-53), Nicholls State (84-54) and Cal State Northridge (69-61). The Eagles have played one Pac-10 opponent, falling to Cal in their season opener, 64-45. Going into Saturday's game at Portland, junior guard Joanna Chad led the squad with 10 points per game, the only player averaging points in double figures. EWU is averaging 61 points per game, but holding its opponents to 57.2 per game. Eastern is shooting 41.2 percent from the field (142-for-345). Last year, EWU compiled an overall record of 16-12, and finished fourth in the Big Sky Conference with an 8-6 mark.
All-Time Versus Eastern Washington:
The Huskies lead the all-time series with Eastern Washington, 17-1, their only loss coming on Feb. 22, 1980 in Seattle (80-68). The last time these teams met was almost exactly 10 years ago - Dec, 9, 1995 in Seattle (UW won 76-40). Washington has won the last 12-straight meetings. The series began back in the 1974-75 season.
Huskies Come Up Empty-Handed On Road Trip:
Washington's five-game season-opening winning streak came to an end in the state of Texas last weekend, as the Huskies fell to No. 5 Baylor (81-74) and Texas A&M (79-65). Led by the impressive frontline tandem of All-American Sophia Young and Abiola Wabara, No. 5 Baylor handed Washington its first loss of the season, Dec. 2. Young led the Lady Bears with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Wabara chipped in 14 points. Guard Angela Tisdale just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine assists. Leading the Huskies again was junior guard Cameo Hicks with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Sophomore guard Dominique Banks added 11 points and eight rebounds, while junior forward Jill Bell contributed 11 points off the bench. Baylor took as much as a seven-point lead in the first four minutes (13-6) but UW chipped away with an 11-3 run to take a 1-point lead, 17-16, with 12:05 left in the first half. That would turn out to be UW's only lead of the game as Baylor answered with an 11-0 run that included three made three-pointers, two by Tisdale, to go up by 10, 27-17, with 9:55 left in the half. The Huskies closed in on Baylor, trailing by just six after back-to-back field goals - including a three-pointer - by senior guard Kayla Burt, but trailed by 12, 35-47, at halftime. Baylor dominated the second-half, leading by as many as 19 points, 76-57, with 4:47 left. The Huskies hit five of their 10 3-pointers in the last four and a half minutes, three from Bell, and one each from subs Cheri Craddock and Angie Jones. Until Friday, Bell had only made one three-pointer in her entire career. UW's late sharpshooting, as well as two made free-throws by Bell with three seconds left, cut the final score to 81-74. The Huskies shot a perfect 100 percent from the free-throw line, setting a new school record with a 14-for-14 clip. The Huskies traveled on to College Station to face Texas A&M, Dec. 4. The Aggies were fueled by a career-high 25 points from freshman Takia Starks, while Morenike Atunrase added 21, leading Texas A&M over Washington. Sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe and senior guard Kayla Burt paced the Huskies with 13 apiece, but it wasn't enough to stop the Aggies who shot 51.7 percent from the field. UW jumped out early, dominating the first 10 minutes of the game and shooting 52 percent from the field in the first half. UW opened the game with three-consecutive three-pointers, two by Plouffe and one by senior Kristen O'Neill. The Huskies led by as many as 13 points twice, including a 26-13 lead with 8:49 left in the first half. But then the Aggies caught fire, taking advantage of early foul trouble for UW starting guards Emily Florence and Dominique Banks and finishing the first half with an 11-3 run. The Aggies took a two-point lead into halftime and never looked back. Texas A&M led by as many as 16 points with 6:13 left in the game.
Happy To Be Home:
Washington's longest homestand of the season couldn't come at a better time. After playing four of their first seven games on the road and opening the season at a near frantic pace, the Huskies will remain in Seattle for three weeks for four games. UW began the homestand with an 82-60 win over Michigan Friday and faces Eastern, Monday. After taking a break for finals, the Huskies will open Pac-10 play at home hosting Cal (Dec. 20) and Stanford (Dec. 22). UW was thrown into the fire early, playing its first five games in 10 days, including a cross-country road trip that took them nearly 3,000 miles away from home. And yet, the Huskies opened the season 5-0, passing their early season endurance test with flying colors. After playing three games at home, it was back out on the road for UW, traveling to Texas to face Baylor and Texas A&M.
Non-Conference Schedule Nearing the End:
Washington's game versus Eastern Washington marks the end of the nonconference portion of the schedule. The Huskies have made the most of their opportunities thus far, going 6-2 in their first eight contests that included games against four NCAA Tournament teams and one WNIT team from last year.
Home Sweet Home:
Washington has a long standing tradition of a stellar home record. UW is 278-68 all-time on its home court (80.3 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, but did end the season winning their last four at Bank of America Arena. UW is 4-0 on its home court in 2005-06.
Home Winning Streak:
Washington has won its last eight-straight home games, dating back to last season, a streak that equals its eighth-longest all-time and its second-longest since the arena re-opened in 2001. The Huskies won 18-straight from Nov. 29, 2002 through Dec. 19, 2003.
Washington is 1-1 against ranked opponents this year, defeating then-No. 23 Utah (Nov. 23) and falling to No. 5 Baylor (Dec. 2). Washington is 38-97 overall versus Top-25 opponents, and 5-27 against Top-5 teams. UW has yet to defeat a Top-5 team away from home, going 0-8 on the road and 0-7 on neutral courts. The last time the Huskies defeated a Top-5 team was Dec. 6, 1997 versus then-No. 5 Vanderbilt (82-71).
Most Improved Player:
If her early season numbers are any indication, sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe is on track to win her second-straight Most Improved Player honors when team awards are handed out. After averaging 4.6 minutes on the floor as a freshman, with 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds per game, Plouffe has emerged as one of the top Huskies this year and added a boost to the team's inside presence. Having started all eight games, Plouffe is second on the squad with 8.0 points per game to go along with a rebounding average of 3.4. She has reached double figures in scoring three times, including back-to-back career high efforts versus San Diego and Rice in the Husky Classic, a performance that earned her tournament MVP honors. Plouffe's first career-double came at a good time, her 17 points and 10 rebounds leading UW over Rice in the Husky Classic Championship game. She is shooting 41.7 percent from the field (25-for-60) and an 84.6 clip from the line (11-for-13). Plouffe even appears to be finding her knack for long-range shooting. After making the first three-pointer of her career at Baylor (Dec. 2), she followed that with with a career-high 2 three-pointers at Texas A&M (Dec. 4).
Sophomore guard Cameo Hicks is off to a hot start this year, leading the squad with 16.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. She looks to be emerging as a much-needed go-to player, as no Husky averaged double-figures in scoring last year. Hicks has been UW's leading scorer in six of eight games and the team's top rebounder in four (ties included). Hicks' early numbers have been nothing but impressive. The Tracy, Calif., native opened the season scoring in double-figures in four-straight including three-straight 21-point games (21 vs. Florida State, 21 vs. Utah and 26 vs. San Diego). Only twice has Hicks failed to score at least 10 points, with eight versus Rice (Nov. 27) and seven at Texas A&M (Dec. 4). Her 16.0 scoring average is a huge improvement upon her average of 9.5 ppg during her sophomore campaign. Hicks earned her second-career double-double with 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds versus Utah, Nov. 23. Hicks was the key to the Huskies two-point win over Florida State (Nov. 20), 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. Hicks also led UW with 13 points and nine rebounds at Alabama (Nov. 18) and had team-highs in points (15) and assists (four) at Baylor (Dec. 2).
Beyond The Arc:
After struggling from beyond the arc in the first few games, the Huskies seem to have emerged from their three-point shooting slump. UW failed to shoot better then 31.8 percent from three-point range in its first five games, including a season-low 18.2 percent clip (6-for-33) in its season opener at Alabama. The last three games have been a different story. The Huskies hit at least eight three-pointers in each those contests, including a season-high 10 treys at Baylor and nine versus Michigan. UW has shot at least 40 percent in the last three games, including a season-high 57.1 percent clip at Texas A&M (8-for-14). Senior guard Kayla Burt leads the squad in three-pointers made with 13, shooting a team-high 40.6 percent from three-point range.
Washington's win over Utah (Nov. 23) was also the 600th in program history. UW's all-time record is 602-304, its inaugural season being 1974-75.
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.
Six teams on Washington's schedule are ranked in either of last week's Associated Press or USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Polls (Dec. 5-11): Baylor (No. 5 AP/No. 5 WBCA), Stanford (No. 11 AP/No. 11 WBCA), Arizona State (No. 15 AP/No. 12 WBCA), UCLA (No. 23 AP/No. 25 WBCA), Utah (No. 23 AP/No. 22 WBCA), USC (No. 24 WBCA).
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.
Head Coach June Daugherty:
June Daugherty is in 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 160-117, and a career record of 283-191. 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 the Feb. 5 game with Washington State. 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.