No. 25 Huskies Look For 13th-Straight Home Win Saturday Against USC
Jan. 13, 2006
Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006
USC (11-5, 5-2 Pac-10) at rv/#25 Washington (12-3, 5-1 Pac-10)
Bank of America Arena Seattle, Wash. 1 p.m. PT
Radio - KKNW AM 1150
No. 25 Washington women's basketball (12-3, 5-1 Pac-10) will look for its 13th-straight win at home when it hosts the USC Women of Troy (11-5, 5-2), Saturday, Jan. 14, at Bank of America Arena at 1 p.m. The Huskies moved into a first-place tie with Stanford atop the Pac-10 standings after their 96-75 victory over UCLA Thursday evening. With its 12-3 overall record, Washington also boasts the Pac-10's highest overall winning percentage (.800). USC is in third place in the conference standings and is coming off a lopsided victory of its own, an 81-60 thumping of Washington State in Pullman, Thursday. The Huskies are 8-0 at home this season after winning their last four home contests of the 2004-05 campaign. Washington's last loss on its home court came almost a year ago - Jan. 27, 2005 versus then-No. 4 Stanford (82-60). 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.
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.
Burt To Miss Saturday's Game:
Senior guard Kayla Burt (Arlington, Wash.) will miss Saturday's contest with USC. During Thursday's game versus UCLA, Burt's internal heart defibrillator was activated during a media timeout. She was attended to by the Washington training staff and team doctor, and transported to the University of Washington Medical Center for evaluation. She was in good condition but admitted to the hospital late Thursday night where she remained on Friday for testing and observation. She was then released from the hospital Friday evening. Burt had a defibrillator implanted in her chest after suffering a cardiac arrest on New Year's Eve, 2002. She was initially diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome but further testing revealed she did not have the heart condition. After serving as a student assistant coach with the team for one and a half seasons, Burt was granted permission to return to playing basketball in August, 2004. Last year as a redshirt junior, Burt led the Huskies in scoring and assists. She was named the V Foundation Comeback Player of the Year and was also a nominee for the 2005 ESPY for Best Comeback.
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 USC (11-5, 5-2 Pac-10):
The Women of Troy come to Seattle on the heels of a three-game winning streak that began with an upset of then-No. 9 Arizona State (58-50) on Jan. 6 in Los Angeles. USC carried its momentum into its next two games, defeating Arizona (76-60) on Jan. 8 and most recently Washington State (81-60) on Thursday in Pullman. Both of USC's Pac-10 losses came on the road at Stanford (56-77) and California (68-73). Junior forward Shay Murphy leads the squad with 16.1 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game. Also averaging double-figures is sophomore guard Camille Lenoir with 11.1 points per game. The Women of Troy advanced to the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament, falling by just two points to national runnerup Michigan State.
All-Time Series Versus USC:
Washington leads the all-time series USC 25-16 but the Women of Troy have won the last two straight. USC swept the season series last year after UW had won two of three meetings in 2003-04. Washington's last win versus USC was a 67-50 victory at the 2004 Pac-10 Tournament. The Huskies are 15-4 against the Women of Troy at home.
Huskies Bury UCLA 96-75 For 12th Straight Home Win:
Washington put five players in double digits and converted 47 percent of its shots from the field Thursday to score a season-high 96 points in a 96-75 win over UCLA at Bank of America Arena. Junior Cameo Hicks notched her second double-double of the season and the third of her UW career, combining 17 points with 10 rebounds and a career-high equaling six assists. Hicks scored 13 of her points in a 20-3 UW run that buried the Bruins - then trailing by just five points - in a 23-point hole early in the second-half. Washington's 96 points were 27 more than its season-average of 69.4 per game, and were its most since an historic 111-77 win over UCLA (9-7, 4-3) on Feb. 1, 2003. The win was the 12th-straight at home for Washington, off to its best start since opening 13-2 in 2002-03. Sophomore Emily Florence added a career-high nine rebounds and four assists to her 11 points. She and Hicks were joined in double-figures by sophomore Dominique Banks (16), senior Kristen O'Neill (14) and junior Breanne Watson (10). Washington recorded season-highs in almost every offensive category, including points (96), field goal percentage (.470) and free-throws made (24). The Huskies equaled season-highs with 19 assists and 10 three-pointers - including three by Hicks in the game-deciding run - and came within on of matching its season-high for field goals (31). The Husky defense also excelled, limiting UCLA's Pac-10 leading offense to just 74 points, while forcing 21 Bruins turnovers. Senior guard Nikki Blue scored a game-high 24 points, but Washington limited second-leading scorer Noelle Quinn to just five points on 1-of-9 shooting. Quinn had averaged 21.0 points in the Bruins' sweep of the Arizona schools last weekend, and entered Thursday averaging 16.5 points per game.
Strong Pac-10 Start:
UW is 5-1 to open the Pac-10 schedule, its best start since opening the 2002-03 season 5-1 as well. That year, UW defeated Washington State, USC, Arizona State, Arizona and California, 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 12-3 in their first 14 games, while the 2002-03 team began that year 13-2.
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 seven of its last eight games and dating back to last year, the Huskies are 17-5 in their last 22 games.
Going into this week, Washington led the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds with 18.64 per game. Cameo Hicks entered the week tied for second in the conference with WSU's Kate Benz with 2.79 offensive boards per game.
Washington has a 12-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 8-0 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 (15.4 ppg) and rebounding (6.2), and is second in assists (2.3). Hicks, selected the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 19-25, has reached double-figure scoring 12 times in 15 games including four 20-point efforts.
Sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe is not far behind Hicks when it comes to offensive numbers. Plouffe is averaging 11.2 points and a team-high 5.5 rebounds in Washington's six Pac-10 games thus far. On the season, Plouffe averages 9.4 points and 4.3 rebounds. She has reached double-figures in scoring five times in the last seven 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.
As the defense goes, so go the Huskies. UW is holding its opponents to an average 64.5 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 21.9 turnovers per game, including a season-high 29 by Eastern Washington (Dec. 12). The Huskies average 10.3 steals per game, led by Cameo Hicks with a team-high 28.
Crashing The Boards:
Washington's increased inside presence has been reflected by its improved rebounding numbers. The Huskies are averaging 41.5 rebounds per game, up from last year's average of 37.6. In fact, the Huskies are 8-0 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).
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 4.3. 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 (15.4 ppg), rebounding (6.2), three-point shooting (36.4) and free-throw shooting (80.4). Hicks has been UW's leading scorer in 11 of 15 games and the team's top rebounder in eight (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 15.4 scoring average is a huge improvement upon her average of 9.5 ppg during her sophomore campaign. Hicks has two double-doubles this season (three in her career) with 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds versus Utah (Nov. 23) and 17 points and 10 rebounds versus UCLA (Jan. 12). 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 282-68 all-time on its home court (80.6 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 8-0 on its home court in 2005-06.
Home Winning Streak:
Washington has won its last 12-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 63.
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. Fifteen 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 (119) and three-pointers attempted (355).
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.
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 166-118, and a career record of 289-192. 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.