Women's Hoops Wraps Season-Opening Road Trip At Eastern Washington

Nov. 19, 2006

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Tuesday, November 21
rv/#23 Washington (0-2) at Eastern Washington (3-0) • 5:30 p.m. PT
Reese Court • Cheney, Wash.
Radio - KKNW AM 1150 • TV - None

This Week:
No. 23 Washington women's basketball will wrap its season-opening three game road trip at Eastern Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 5:30 p.m. at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. The Huskies (0-2) are still in search of their first win, while the Eagles have yet to lose and off to a 3-0 start. UW was thrown into the fire early with road games at 2006 WNIT finalist Marquette and 2006 NCAA Sweet 16 team Purdue last week. Following Tuesday's matchup, the Huskies will return to Seattle to host the Basketball Travelers Husky Classic, Nov. 25-26. UW will make its home debut against Saint Louis, Sat., Nov. 25, at 3 p.m. at Bank of America Arena.

Radio Coverage:
All Husky women's basketball games can be heard live on the radio at KKNW 1150 AM. Steve Sandmeyer, in his eighth season as the voice of UW women's hoops, will call the play-by-play. Former Husky Elise (Niemela) Woodward will join Sandmeyer as the color commentator for home broadcasts. Fan can also listen to games on the internet at www.gohuskies.com.

Rankings:
Washington was ranked 23rd in the first regular season WBCA/USA Today/ESPN poll released Nov. 14, moving up from a No. 25 billing in the preseason poll. UW has also received votes in the first wo Associated Press Polls.

Scouting The Huskies:
Washington will look to turn things around this week when it returns to the state of Washington, traveling to Eastern, Tuesday, before hosting its own Basketball Travelers Husky Classic, Nov. 25-26. UW, which opens the season with its first three games on the road, fell to both Marquette (61-78) and No. 12 Purdue (64-88) last week. The Huskies averaged just 62.5 points in the two contests, while allowing 83.0 points. UW is shooting 30.4 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from long range, and in turn its opponents are shooting 50.9 percent from the field, 55.2 percent from beyond the arc. Senior All-America candidate Cameo Hicks has led the way, averaging 12.5 points to go along with 4.0 rebounds. Junior center Andrea Plouffe has turned in strong performances thus far, averaging 11.0 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds. Plouffe also leads the team early on with nine steals. Freshman guard Sami Whitcomb received the starting nod in both games for injured returner Dominique Banks and has made the most of her opportunity, averaging 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds.

Scouting Eastern Washington:
The Eagles are off to a 3-0 start in 2006-07, their best start in 20 years. Eastern's wins have come against Montana Tech (75-69), at UC Irvine (80-60) and versus Corban College (96-57). So far senior guard Joanna Chadd leads the squad with 16.7 points per game, and sophomore guard Katy Baker has averaged 11.0 points and 8.7 rebounds. Eastern has averaged 83.7 points and shot 43.2 percent from the field, while holding opponents to a 62.0 point scoring average and a 35.8 shooting percentage. The Eagles are coming off a 2005-06 season in which they posted a 14-15 overall record and a 7-7 mark in the Big Sky Conference. Eastern Washington is under the direction of sixth-year head coach Wendy Schuller.

All-Time Series vs. Eastern:
Washington leads the all-time series with Eastern Washington, 18-1. The Huskies have won 13-straight meetings dating back to their only loss in the series - Feb. 22, 1980 in Seattle - 68-80. These teams met last year in Seattle for the first time since 1995. The Huskies defeated the Eagles 68-57, Dec. 12, of last season. Cameo Hicks led four Huskies in double-figures with 16 points, while adding eight rebounds. Chadd was Eastern's leading scorer with 19 points.

Last Game Recap - Purdue 88, UW 64:
Senior guard Katie Gearlds provided the offense and junior forward Lindsay Wisdom-Hilton the defense as 12th-ranked Purdue earned an 88-64 victory over No. 23 Washington Friday at Mackey Arena. Junior Andrea Plouffe led all Huskies with 16 points, seven rebounds and five steals, also adding a team-high two blocks. Senior Cameo Hicks scored 13 points, and redshirt-sophomore Stefanie Clark had eight. The 6-foot-1 Gearlds looked every bit the national player of the year candidate that she is, scoring 31 points on 11-of-18 shooting, including five-of-eight from beyond the three-point arc. Gearlds scored five points in the final 35 seconds of the first half, including a three-pointer at the buzzer that gave Purdue a 43-34 lead entering the break. That was more than enough cushion for the Boilermakers' defense, which limited Washington to just 24 percent shooting, and blocked nine Husky shots, including a school-record seven blocks by Wisdom-Hilton. Washington didn't need to go inside early, hitting on all of its long-range attempts in the game's opening moments to take a 15-14 lead with 12 minutes to play. The Huskies couldn't, however, take advantage of Purdue's 14 first-half turnovers, and thus found themselves trailing by four, 38-34, when Gearlds ignited the Boilers with her half-closing barrage. Whether inspired by Gearlds shot or not, Purdue came out of the locker room on fire, scoring the first 14 points of the second half in just five minutes to bury Washington in a 57-34 hole from which it could not climb out. The Huskies missed on each of their first nine second-half attempts before Plouffe connected on a long three more than five minutes into the frame to end a 19-0 Boilermakers' run.

Huskies Off To Slow Start:
With Washington's season opening losses at Marquette (61-78) and No. 12 Purdue (64-88) last week, UW is 0-2 to begin a season for the first time since 1996-97. That year, the Huskies opened with losses at No. 11 Louisiana Tech (70-73) and No. 15 Penn State (82-85 in overtime). That season also saw the Huskies post a regular season record of 17-10 and earn an NCAA Tournament berth (UW lost to No. 20 Vanderbilt in the first round).

Road Warriors:
Washington is in the midst of playing five of its first seven games on the road. The Huskies' contest at Eastern Washington, Tuesday, will wrap a three-game season-opening road trip and after hosting the Basketball Travelers Husky Classic Nov. 25-26, they will be back out on the road for contests at Kent State (Nov. 30) and Ohio State (Dec. 3).

Hicks Continues To Lead:
Senior co-captain Cameo Hicks is already off to a strong start in her final season. After reaching double-figures in scoring in all but five games last year, has scored at least 12 points in each of the team's first two games. Hicks' performance last week was even more significant considering she suffered a knee injury in practice last Sunday (Nov. 12). When the team left for Wisconsin on Monday, Hicks stayed back in Seattle for an MRI and then flew a day later to meet the Huskies in time for their season-opening contest at Marquette - a game which she started and scored a team-high 12 points. Hicks also contributed 13 points against No. 12 Purdue on Friday. She has caught fire from beyond the arc with five of her eight field goals made so far coming from long range (5-of-7).

Bench Play Coming Up Big:
Washington has seen early on that its team depth will play a key role in its success. So far, two of the top-five scorers are non-starters - senior forward Jill Bell and sophomore guard Stefanie Clark. Bell has averaged eight points and is second on the team with 5.5 rebounds. Bell has been especially effective on the boards, with nine of her 11 rebounds coming on the offensive glass. Clark, who redshirted last year and played sparingly as a true freshman, has averaged 7.5 points and 2.0 rebounds. Also seeing valuable minutes off the bench have been senior guards Erica Schelly and Cheri Craddock and senior forward/center Maggie O'Hara.

Fab Frosh:
Freshman guard Sami Whitcomb has received a starting nod in each of her first two collegiate games, scoring six points and pulling down five rebounds in her Husky debut at Marquette and scoring six points against No. 12 Purdue. All four of Whitcomb's field goals have come from three-point range as she is shooting 50 percent (4-of-8) from beyond the arc.

Model of Consistency:
Junior center Andrea Plouffe picked up right where she left off last season. Plouffe, who averaged 10.7 points per game as a sophomore, is averaging 11 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds. She also leads the team with nine steals and three blocked shots. Plouffe came up big for the Huskies against 12th-ranked Purdue, notching team highs with 16 points, seven rebounds, five steals and two blocks. She finished just off pace from her career high of 19 points, but did establish a career-best with five steals. Plouffe also matched a career-high with two three-pointers versus the Boilermakers.

Hicks Nearing 1,000 Point Club:
Senior guard Cameo Hicks needs just 36 points to reach 1,000 in her career. Hicks enters Friday's contest at Purdue with 964 career points. When she reaches that plateau, she will be the 20th player in program history to record at least 1,000 career points.

Hicks Named Preseason Wooden Award Candidate:
Senior guard Cameo Hicks was named one of 30 preseason candidates for the 2006-07 John R. Wooden Award. Hicks, a first-team All-Pac-10 selection last year, led the Huskies with 15.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Also a 2006 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar and an ESPN The Magazine Academic-All-District second-team selection, Hicks ranked among the Top-10 Pac-10 players last year in scoring (eighth), three-point field goal percentage (ninth), offensive rebounds (ninth) and steals (10th). She scored in double-figures in 24 of 29 games and notched seven 20-point games, while averaging 13.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in UW's two NCAA Tournament games.

Daugherty Approaching 300 Career Wins:
Hicks isn't the only Husky on the verge on notching a notable career accomplishment. Head coach June Daugherty needs four more wins to reach 300 in her career. She tallied 123 wins during her seven-year career at Boise State and 173 in her 11th year at Washington.

Huskies Breeze Past Exhibition Contests:
Washington notched a pair of exhibition wins to prepare for the official start of the season. UW outlasted Canadian collegiate team - the University of Regina - 111-57, before downing a squad from the Australian Institute of Sport, 107-56. Redshirt sophomore guard Stefanie Clark led the squad averaging 19.5 points in addition to grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game. Senior forward Jill Bell averaged 14.0 points and 5.5 rebounds, while senior forward Breanne Watson averaged 13.5 points and a team-high 7.0 boards in both contests. The Huskies showed in both games how vital their depth will be, as every player that took the floor contributed both points and rebounds. UW had seven players reach double-figures against Regina and six reach double-figures against AIS. A promising sign for the future was the play of freshman Sami Whitcomb who averaged 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

The Schedule:
Washington's 2006-07 schedule features nine opponents that appeared in the 2006 NCAA Tournament including seven squads that advanced to the second round or better. Road games at Purdue, which advanced as far as the NCAA Sweet 16 last year, and Ohio State, ranked No. 2 in the final 2006 AP poll, highlight a formidable preseason slate that also includes fellow 2006 Tourney participants Texas A&M and Florida State. With a conference record six teams getting a nod to the NCAA Tournament last season, the Pac-10 schedule will be that much more challenging. Stanford (Elite Eight), USC (second round), UCLA (second round), Arizona State (second round) and California (first round) are also UW opponents that participated in the Big Dance last year.

Ranked Opponents:
Eight of Washington's opponents are ranked in the preseason polls (AP/WBCA Coaches' Poll): Stanford (4/4), Ohio State (7/7), Purdue (11/13), Arizona State (13/12), Texas A&M (14/14), California (21/21), USC (22/22), and UCLA (23/23). Washington is 40-102 all-time against Top-25 opponents, including a 12-72 mark on the road (3-45 away, 9-27 neutral).

UW Picked To Tie For Fourth In Pac-10 Coaches Poll, Fifth In Media Poll:
Washington was picked to finish in a tie for fourth according to the 2006-07 Preseason Pac-10 Coaches' Poll and fifth according to the Pac-10 Preseason Media Poll. Stanford was voted as the favorite to win the conference title according to both the coaches and media. The coaches selected the following order of finish: No. 2 Arizona State, No. 3 USC, t-No. 4 California, t-No. 4 Washington, No. 6 UCLA, No. 7 Arizona, No. 8 Oregon, No. 9 Washington State and No. 10 Oregon State. Behind Stanford, the media predicted the following finish: No. 2 Arizona State, No. 3 USC, No. 4 California, No. 5 Washington, No. 6 UCLA, No. 7 Arizona, No. 8 Oregon, No. 9 Oregon State and No. 10 Washington State.

Huskies On Television:
Washington women's basketball will have three games nationally televised by FSN during the 2006-07 season, the Pac-10 Conference office announced. The Huskies will be featured on the road in contests at Arizona State, Sunday, Jan. 7 at 11:30 a.m. PT and at Stanford, Saturday, Feb. 10, at 1 p.m. PT. UW's home game versus California on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 1:30 p.m. PT will also be televised by FSN to a national audience. Additional Husky women's basketball games may also be selected for regional broadcasts by UW television partners.

Husky Coaching Staff:
June Daugherty is in her 11th season as the head coach of the Husky women's basketball team, having led Washington to the postseason eight times. She has guided UW to five 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 173-128, and a career record of 296-202. 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 11th year with the team, while Soderberg begins her third season and Lewis-Jay enters her fourth year. Senior Angie Jones, who announced her retirement in early October due to recurring knee injuries, will serve as a student assistant coach for UW this year.

UW Takes Foreign Tour of Italy:
The Huskies got a jump start on the season, taking a foreign tour to Italy from August 22-September 1. The NCAA allows teams to take foreign tours every four years. UW played four games against international competition and traveled to Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice and Como. The Huskies went 4-0 on the trip, dominating their competition and averaging 97 points a game.

Banks To Miss First Part Of Season:
Junior guard Dominique Banks will miss the first half of the women's basketball season after undergoing surgery to repair stress fractures in both of her legs. Banks, a native of Stockton, Calif., had multiple stress fractures in the tibias of her lower legs, injuries that were discovered in August. Banks underwent surgery on Sept. 15, a procedure in which rods were inserted down the middle of each tibia.

Jones Calls It A Career:
Senior guard Angie Jones announced the end of her playing career, Oct. 5. She will remain with the team as a student-assistant coach this season as she finishes her degree. Jones has sustained multiple injuries to her right knee since her junior year of high school that have resulted in a build up of arthritis. She has undergone two ACL surgeries and two meniscus surgeries during that time, all on the same knee. Jones suffered yet another injury to her right knee in one of the Huskies' practices prior its foreign tour to Italy in August. She sprained two ligaments (MCL and PCL) in her knee, in addition to suffering a hamstring strain and a bone bruise. Jones missed her junior year at Holy Names Academy after suffering a torn ACL in her right knee. She then tore the same ACL in a preseason practice during her freshman year at UW (2002-03). Since then, she underwent meniscus surgeries in August, 2004 and September, 2005. Jones played in 51 games for the Huskies, starting four. She averaged 1.9 points per game and shot 34.2 percent from the field.

Roster Note:
Junior guard Michelle Augustavo will sit out the 2006-07 due to NCAA transfer rules. Augustavo, a native of Bothell, Wash., transferred to Washington from San Diego.

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