No. 25 UW Women Return Home To Host UCLA, USC This Week
Jan. 10, 2006
Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006
UCLA (9-6, 4-2 Pac-10) at rv/#25 Washington (11-3, 4-1 Pac-10)
Bank of America Arena Seattle, Wash. 7 p.m. PT
Radio - KKNW AM 1150 Live Webcast - GoHuskies.com
-- UP NEXT --
Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006
USC (10-5, 4-2 Pac-10) at rv/#25 Washington (11-3, 4-1 Pac-10)
Bank of America Arena Seattle, Wash. 1 p.m. PT
Radio - KKNW AM 1150
Having won six of its last seven games, 25th-ranked Washington women's basketball (11-3, 4-1 Pac-10) returns home this week to host UCLA (9-6, 4-2 Pac-10), Thursday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. and USC (10-5, 4-2 Pac-10), Saturday, Jan. 14, at 1 p.m. PT. The Huskies enter the week in second place in the conference standings, just mere percentage points behind first-place Stanford (5-1 Pac-10, 10-4 overall). The Bruins and Women of Troy are in a three-way tie for third place along with California. The Huskies cracked the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches' poll this week, ranking 25th in the latest billing released Tuesday. Once again, UW was on the verge of cracking the Associated Press Top-25 poll this week, ranking 26th with 64 votes. N.C. State ranks 25th with 65 votes. Washington returns home for the first time since its upset victory over No. 10 Stanford, Dec. 22. The Huskies are 7-0 on their home floor this year and are riding an 11-game home winning streak dating back to last season.
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. Fans can also listen to games on the internet at www.gohuskies.com with a Dawg Channel All-Access pass.
Thursday's game can be seen live on the internet with a Dawg Channel All-Access pass at GoHuskies.com.
On Thursday, free Georgio's subs will be given out to the first 100 students in attendance. The game versus USC on Saturday, Jan. 14 is purple T-shirt day. Free T-shirts will be given out to the first 2,500 fans courtesy of FSN and Macy's.
Washington broke into the Top-25 this week, receiving a No. 25 billing in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches' Poll. UW is on the verge of cracking the Associated Press Poll, just one vote behind No. 25 N.C. State. The last time UW was ranked in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA poll was Dec. 22, 2003 (24). The last time UW was ranked in the AP poll was March 3, 2003 (25).
Scouting UCLA (9-6, 4-2 Pac-10):
The Bruins are coming off a sweep of the Arizona schools at home last weekend, defeating Arizona 84-77 and upsetting No. 9 Arizona State 77-69. UCLA's other two conference wins came at home against Oregon (82-63) and Oregon State (79-64). The Bruins are 0-2 on the road in conference play. UCLA was ranked as high as 22nd this year in the Dec. 5 Associated Press poll and this week received votes in the poll. Lisa Willis leads the team with 19.5 points per game, while Noelle Quinn (16.5 ppg) and Nikki Blue (12.3 ppg) also average in double-figures. Quinn led her team in scoring in both victories last week, notching 18 points versus Arizona and 24 versus Arizona State. UCLA is 17-1 when Quinn scores 20 points. As a team, the Bruins are averaging a Pac-10 leading 79.5 points per game, while allowing 74.7 per game. UCLA returns all five starters from last year's squad that placed sixth in the Pac-10 with a 10-8 record, 16-12 overal.
All-Time Series Versus UCLA:
Washington leads the all-time series with UCLA 24-16 but the Bruins have held the upperhand the last two seasons. UCLA has won the last four-straight meetings with UW including both contests last year (88-81 in Los Angeles 2/3/05; 74-63 in Seattle 1/9/05). The last time the Huskies defeated the Bruins was a historic victory on Feb. 1, 2003 at Bank of America Arena. Washington poured on 111 points en route to the 111-77 win, the second-largest scoring output in UW history. That same game, Giuliana Mendiola shattered a 12-year-old school scoring record with 43 points versus the Bruins. UW is 12-6 overall against UCLA in Seattle.
Huskies Slip By Washington State In Rivalry Game:
Sophomore Andrea Plouffe led four Huskies in double-figures with 16 points as Washington staved off a late second-half surge from Washington State to edge its cross-state rival, 73-70, in Pullman, Jan. 7. Washington led by as many as 14 points with 8:33 left, but the Cougars rallied to close within two with just 45 seconds left on the clock. WSU had a chance to tie the game when guard Charmaine Jones missed a layin with 13 seconds left. UW senior Kayla Burt grabbed the rebound on Jones' miss to give the Huskies possession. At the other end of the floor, UW junior Cameo Hicks was fouled by Dani Montgomery and made one of two free-throws to put UW ahead by three, 73-70. With just five seconds on the clock, the Cougars were unable to get a shot off and UW held on for its 21st-straight win in the series versus WSU. UW junior Breanne Watson scored 12 points and added a team-high seven rebounds, while Hicks and sophomore Dominique Banks each scored 11. Jones was the Cougars' leading scorer with 18 points, while Keisha Moore and Amanda DeRocher scored 12 points, and Montgomery tallied 10. The Huskies held Kate Benz, the Pac-10's leading rebounder, to just four boards. UW opened the game with a 13-3 run and led by as many as nine points in the second half, 21-12, at the 9:16 mark. From there, the Cougars outscored the Huskies 20-9 to close out the opening frame, including a 9-0 run to take their first lead of the game. WSU led 32-30 at the halftime intermission.
Strong Pac-10 Start:
UW is 4-1 to open the Pac-10 schedule, its best start since opening the 2002-03 season 4-1 as well. That year, UW defeated Washington State, USC, Arizona State and Arizona, while falling to UCLA.
Washington is 2-2 against ranked opponents, defeating then-No. 23 Utah (Nov. 23) and then-No. 10 Stanford (Dec. 22) while falling to then-No. 5 Baylor (Dec. 2) and No. 11 Arizona State (Dec. 29). Washington is 39-98 overall versus Top-25 opponents, including a 28-39 mark at home. UW is 2-0 at home against ranked opponents this season, but 0-2 on the road.
Washington is off to its best start since the 2002-03 season. The Huskies are 11-3 in their first 14 games, while the 2002-03 team began that year 12-2.
UW's only losses this season have come on the road, two on ranked opponents' home courts - at No. 5 Baylor (Dec. 2), Texas A&M (Dec. 4) and at No. 11 Arizona State (Dec. 29). Two of the three losses were only to ranked opponents.
Washington has won six of its last seven games and dating back to last year, the Huskies are 16-5 in their last 21 games.
Going into this week, Washington leads the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds with 18.64 per game. Cameo Hicks is tied for second in the conference with WSU's Kate Benz with 2.79 offensive boards per game.
Washington has an 11-game home winning streak dating back to last season. The Huskies finished 2004-05 winning their last four Pac-10 home games over Cal (Jan. 29), Oregon State (Feb. 10), Oregon (Feb. 12) and Washington State (Feb. 19). UW is 7-0 at home this season. The Huskies' last home loss was to Stanford (Jan. 27, 2005).
Junior guard Cameo Hicks is the team's leader in scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (5.9), and is second in assists (2.0). Hicks, selected the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 19-25, has reached double-figure scoring 11 times in 14 games including four 20-point efforts.
Sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe is not far behind Hicks when it comes to offensive numbers. Plouffe entered the week averaging 11.6 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds in Washington's five Pac-10 games thus far. On the season, Plouffe averages 9.4 points and 4.4 rebounds. She has reached double-figures in scoring in the last two-straight games and five times in the last six 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.
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).
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.
As the defense goes, so go the Huskies. UW is holding its opponents to an average 63.7 points per game and is 9-1 when holding their opponents to less than 70 points. Washington is also forcing its opponents to commit an average of 22.0 turnovers per game, including a season-high 29 by Eastern Washington (Dec. 12). The Huskies average 10.0 steals per game, led by Cameo Hicks with a team-high 24.
Crashing The Boards:
Washington's increased inside presence has been reflected by its improved rebounding numbers. The Huskies are averaging 40.9 rebounds per game, up from last year's average of 37.6. In fact, the Huskies are 7-0 when outrebounding their opponent. UW's 54 rebounds vs. Utah - just the third game of the season - surpassed its season-high from all of last year (52 at Washington State, Jan. 22, 05). Washington has especially excelled on the offensive glass. The Huskies began the week leading the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (18.64).
Head coach June Daugherty has the luxury of going to a strong bench. In fact, all three senior co-captains have been playing in reserve roles - guards Kayla Burt, Nicole Castro and Kristen O'Neill. Burt (7.2 ppg) and O'Neill (7.1) are the 5th and 6th leading scorers on the team, respectively. Burt and O'Neill are the Huskies' top three-point threats and among the team leaders in assists as well. In addition to Burt and O'Neill, junior forwards Jill Bell and Maggie O'Hara have been regulars in the rotation. Bell was an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection last year but has been slowed a bit this year with knee and ankle injuries. O'Hara underwent arthroscopic surgery on her right elbow Dec. 30 and missed UW's last two games. She is expected to be back for UW's next home game with UCLA (Jan. 12). Both Bell and O'Hara add a boost to the Huskies' inside presence created by starters Andrea Plouffe and Breanne Watson.
Most Improved Plouffe:
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 every game this year, Plouffe is second on the squad with 9.4 points per game to go along with a rebounding average of 4.4. She has reached double figures in scoring eight 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-double came at a good time, her 17 points and 10 rebounds leading UW over Rice in the Husky Classic Championship game. Her second double-double was a 10-point, 10-rebound performance in the Pac-10 opener vs. Cal. She also had team-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (8) in UW's win at Arizona (Dec. 31) and came one point shy of equaling her career-high with 16 points at Washington State (Jan. 7).
Junior guard Cameo Hicks emerged as the Huskies' much-needed go-to player, as no Husky averaged double-figures in scoring last year. This year, Hicks leads the team in scoring (15.3 ppg), rebounding (5.9), field goal shooting (43.7), three-point shooting (34.2) and free-throw shooting (78.8). Hicks has been UW's leading scorer in 10 of 14 games and the team's top rebounder in seven (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 three times has Hicks failed to score at least 10 points, with eight versus Rice (Nov. 27), seven at Texas A&M (Dec. 4) and eight at Arizona (Dec. 31). Her 15.3 scoring average is a huge improvement upon her average of 9.5 ppg during her sophomore campaign. Hicks recorded 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). On her 21st birthday, she also scored a team-high 16 points versus Eastern Washington (Dec. 12). Her 23-point performance versus No. 10 Stanford earned her Pac-10 Player of the Week honors last week as well.
Washington's starting frontline of forwards Breanne Watson and Andrea Plouffe both hail from Canada. Watson, a junior, is a native of Richmond, British Columbia and Plouffe, a sophomore, is from Edmonton, Alberta. Both players have spent time on Canadian national teams. Watson played for the Canadian National Women's Development Team at two World University Games - in Hungary in 2005 and in Korea in 2003. And before coming to Washington, Plouffe played for the Canadian Junior Development Team during the summer of 2003.
Home Sweet Home:
Washington has a long standing tradition of a stellar home record. UW is 281-68 all-time on its home court (80.4 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 7-0 on its home court in 2005-06.
Home Winning Streak:
Washington has won its last 11-straight home games dating back to last season, a streak that ranks seventh all-time and is the second-longest since the arena re-opened in 2001. The Huskies won 18-straight from Nov. 29, 2002 through Dec. 19, 2003.
UW Completes Impressive Non-Conference Slate:
Washington emerged from its non-conference slate with a 7-2 overall record, an impressive mark considering the Huskies faced four NCAA Tournament teams (including defending champion Baylor) and one WNIT team from last season. The Huskies' record is their best since also going 7-2 against non-conference teams two years ago (2003-04). Only two other June Daugherty coached teams have had better records. The 1997-98 team went 9-0 in the preseason, while the 2002-03 team went 8-1.
Three teams on Washington's schedule are ranked in either of the latest Associated Press or USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Polls: Baylor (No. 5 AP/No. 5 WBCA), Stanford (No. 14 AP/No. 15 WBCA) and Arizona State (No. 15 AP/No. 13 WBCA).
Bell Climbing Career Blocks List:
Junior forward Jill Bell has steadily climbed up Washington's career list for blocked shots. After beginning the season ranked eighth on the list, Bell has moved into sole possession of seventh with a total of 61.
O'Neill Moving Up Career Three-Pointers List:
Senior guard Kristen O'Neill isn't the only Husky etching her name in the Washington record books. Fourteen games into her senior season, O'Neill continues to move up both career lists for three-pointers made and three-pointers attempted. She is holds sole possession of seventh place in both three-pointers made (116) and three-pointers attempted (347).
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's win over Utah (Nov. 23) was also the 600th in program history. UW's all-time record is 608-307, its inaugural season being 1974-75.
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 165-118, and a career record of 288-192. 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.