Huskies Head To Pullman To Battle Cross-State Rival WSU Saturday

Feb. 13, 2007

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Saturday, February 17, 2007
UW (15-11, 8-7 Pac-10) at Washington State (5-20, 1-14 Pac-10) • 5 p.m.
Beasley Coliseum • Pullman, Wash.
Radio - KKNW AM 1150 • Live TV - FSN Northwest

Up Next:
Having won two of its last three games, Washington women's basketball (15-11, 8-7 Pac-10) will wrap up a three-game road trip traveling to Pullman to take on rival Washington State (5-20, 1-14 Pac-10), Saturday, Feb. 17, at 5 p.m. PT. The contest at Beasley Coliseum will be televised live on a regional basis on FSN Northwest. The Huskies are looking for the season sweep over the Cougars following an 86-64 victory in Seattle earlier this season. In fact Washington has won the last 23-straight meetings with WSU - a streak that dates back to 1996. The Huskies begin the week in fifth place in the Pac-10 standings, while the Cougars sit in 10th place. Washington's road swing began in the Bay Area last week, as the Huskies recorded a dramatic come-from-behind upset over then-No. 20 Cal in overtime (79-76), but ran out of steam at then-No. 11 Stanford, falling by 26 to the Cardinal (80-54). The Cougars have lost 14-straight games - all to conference opponents - since picking up their lone Pac-10 win at Oregon State (58-41) on Dec. 21. Following Saturday's contest, UW will return to Seattle to close out the regular season hosting Oregon State (Feb. 22) and Oregon (Feb. 24).

TV Coverage:
Saturday's game at Washington State will be televised live to a regional audience on FSN Northwest. Cara Capuano and former Husky Rhonda Smith-Banchero will call the action from Beasley Coliseum.

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, 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.

Rankings:
Washington did not receive votes in either of this week's Associated Press or USA Today/WBCA/ESPN Coaches' Polls for the fifth-straight week. UW received votes in both polls for four-straight weeks from Dec. 18-Jan. 8. The Huskies have been ranked as high as No. 23 in the coaches' poll (Nov. 13) this season after earning a No. 25 preseason billing.

Scouting The Huskies:
Washington had its mini-two-game winning streak snapped by then-No. 11 Stanford Feb. 10, falling to the Cardinal 80-54. The 26-point loss was Washington's largest losing margin of the season - which came after perhaps one of the biggest wins of the season at then-No. 20 Cal, Feb. 8. The Huskies battled back from a 19-point second-half deficit to upset the Golden Bears in overtime. The Huskies have now won two of their last three games after a stretch that saw them lose six of seven - their only win in that span coming at home versus Washington State (Jan. 20). The Huskies put together as much as a nine-game winning streak earlier season - including a 5-0 start to Pac-10 play - from Dec. 6 through Jan. 4. Washington's win over Cal was its third over a ranked team this season, first over a ranked team on the road. It was also Washington's first victory over a ranked team on the road since defeating Minnesota in the first round of last year's NCAA Tournament. Leading the way for UW is senior guard Cameo Hicks, averaging team-highs of 17.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Hicks has tallied double-digit scoring numbers in 20 of the last 21 games, contributing at least 16 points in 12 of the last 17 contests. She had her 20-game double-figure scoring streak come to an end at Stanford, after scoring 25 points vs. Arizona (Feb. 3) and 27 points at Cal (Feb. 8) the previous two games. In all she has eight 20-point scoring games this season. Junior point guard Emily Florence is coming off two-straight double-figure scoring games after tallying a season-high 12 points at Cal in the overtime win before scoring a team-high 11 at Stanford on Saturday. In the last two games, Florence has been the team's leader in rebounding (7.5 rpg), assists (10), steals (7), three-point FG percentage (.714) and three-pointers made (5). Florence has grabbed at least five rebounds in 13 of the last 19 games including a career-high 11 versus USC (Dec. 29), a team-high seven vs. Cal (Jan. 13), a team-high eight vs. Washington State (Jan. 20), a team-high seven vs. ASU (Feb. 1), seven vs. Cal (Feb. 8) and a team-high eight at Stanford (Feb. 10). The smallest Husky, she is UW's second leading rebounder in Pac-10 play with 5.5 boards per game and is second on the squad overall (5.2 rpg). Florence leads the team in assists (96) and steals (59) as well. Also scoring in double-figures is junior center Andrea Plouffe with 10.5 points per game. Plouffe is coming off perhaps her best game of the season, notching a double-double with 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds vs. Cal last Thursday.

RPI/Strength Of Schedule:
With Selection Monday only weeks away, the eyes of the college basketball world are already looking at RPI numbers. Heading into this week, Washington's strength of schedule is ranked ninth according to Collegiate Basketball News - which also leads the Pac-10. Stanford (25th) and Arizona (37th) are the only other teams with strength of schedule rankings in the Top-50 (Arizona State is 51st). Washington also owns an RPI ranking of 33rd according to Sagarin and 36th according to Collegiate Basketball News. Washington's RPI rankings are fourth highest in the Pac-10 behind Stanford (8-Sagarin, 9-CBN), Arizona State (9-Sagarin, 14-CBN), and California (23-Sagarin, 28-CBN). Of Washington's 11 losses this season, eight have come to opponents currently ranked in this week's Associated Press Top-25: #4 Ohio State, #9 Stanford (twice), #10 Arizona State (twice), #16 Purdue, #21 Marquette and #22 California.

Feb. 24 Time Change For TV Broadcast:
Washington's regular season home finale with Oregon on Saturday, Feb. 24, has been changed to a 3 p.m. tip-off time to allow for a live television broadcast. The original start time was 1 p.m. The contest will be produced by both KONG-TV and the Oregon Sports Network. It will air live on KONG-TV in the Seattle area as well as select television stations and cable outlets throughout the state of Oregon as part of the Oregon Sports Network.

Scouting Washington State:
The Cougars have lost 14 straight games heading into Saturday's contest, their last win coming at Oregon State (Dec. 21). WSU was swept on the road last week at Stanford and Cal, falling to Stanford, 60-34, before being defeated by Cal, 72-45. Freshman Marisa Stotler leads the team with 10.4 points per game while senior Kate Benz is the Cougars' top rebounder with 6.8 boards per game. As a team, WSU is averaging 57.4 points per game, while allowing opponents to score 66.6 points.

All-Time Series Vs. Washington State:
Washington leads the all-time series with Washington State 53-10. The Huskies have won the last 23 straight games with the Cougars. The last UW loss to WSU came on Feb. 25, 1995 in Pullman (67-72). The Huskies are 25-3 all-time against Washington State in Pullman. Despite the lopsided record in favor of UW, Beasley Coliseum has not been an easy place for the Huskies to play. The last two games in Pullman have been decided in Washington's favor by a total of 10 points - three in last year's meeting (73-70, Jan. 7, 2006) and seven the year before (68-61, Jan. 22, 2005). In fact, six of the last eight meetings between these cross-state rivals on the Palouse have been decided by eight points or less.

Earlier Season Meeting - UW 88, WSU 64:
Washington snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating cross-state rival Washington State, 86-64, Jan. 20. The victory upped Washington's winning streak in the series between these cross-state rivals to 23 games. Junior center Andrea Plouffe led all Huskies with 14 points, while sophomore guard Stefanie Clark chipped in 13 points and senior guard Cameo Hicks contributed 12. Junior point guard Emily Florence was a catalyst on both offense and defense, recording team-highs in rebounds (eight), assists (six) and steals (seven). She also scored five points. All five Cougar starters reached double-figures in scoring led by freshman forward Marisa Stotler. Guards Colleen Betteridge and Katie Appleton each scored 12 points. After losing back-to-back home games and failing to shoot above 30 percent from the field in those contests, the Huskies turned things around versus the Cougars. UW shot 48.4 percent, including a 55.2 clip from the field in the second half - much improved from the previous two outings. The Huskies racked up 18 assists and added a season-high 19 steals. UW also forced WSU to commit 27 turnovers while only committing 15 of their own. UW opened the game on a 10-2 run and never trailed. The Huskies led by as many as nine points (22-15) midway through the opening period but the Cougars fought back to get within one (28-27) with 4:07 remaining until the intermission. Washington wasn't about to let the lead slip out of their hands, ending the half on a 13-4 run. The Huskies' largest lead to that point was 11 until Appleton knocked down an eight-footer with 36.7 seconds on the clock. Led by all 12 of Hicks points coming after halftime, UW pulled away from WSU in the second-half. A 13-2 run over a four-minute span gave the Huskies their largest lead of the game - 32 - (84-52) with 3:34 left in the game.

Last Game Recap - Stanford 80, UW 54:
Candice Wiggins scored 23 points to lead No. 11 Stanford past Washington, 80-54, Saturday. The Cardinal beat the Huskies for the third straight time and 10th time in 12 meetings overall. It was another lopsided win at home for Stanford in the series after it beat the Huskies 100-69 last Feb. 23 to clinch a sixth-straight conference title. Emily Florence led Washington with 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Kristen Newlin had 12 points and nine rebounds and Brooke Smith added 12 points, 12 rebounds, two blocked shots and three assists for the Cardinal. Freshman Melanie Murphy had season-bests of 11 points and eight assists for Stanford as well. Washington leading scorer Cameo Hicks was limited to eight points on 3-for-14 shooting. Stanford made things tough on the Huskies both in the paint and on the perimeter with its tough player-to-player defense. Wiggins hit back-to-back three-pointers after Washington pulled within 38-29 at 17:36 to keep Stanford well out in front. Her shots sparked a 20-2 run by the Cardinal, which also featured seven straight points from Wiggins at the end of the spurt. Jillian Harmon scored seven of her eight points in the first seven minutes and grabbed 10 rebounds for Stanford, which used a 7-0 spurt midway through the opening half to build a 24-7 lead. The Huskies answered with a 9-0 run to get within 24-16 on Sami Whitcomb's three-pointer at 5:17. Stanford went nearly five minutes without scoring during Washington's stretch but held the Huskies to 30 percent from the field in the first half on the way to a 37-25 lead at the break.

Ranked Opponents:
With its loss at then-No. 11 Stanford, Saturday, UW fell to 3-7 against Top-25 foes this season (counting teams ranked in either the AP or coaches polls). Two of the three wins came at home - versus then-No. 15 Texas A&M and then-No. 23 Florida State. The third was an overtime thriller at No. 20 Cal in which the Huskies came back from as much as a 19-point deficit midway through the second-half. Washington is 42-108 all-time against Top-25 opponents, including a 13-75 mark on the road (4-47 away, 1-15 neutral). These records reflect only teams ranked in the AP poll; Florida State was only ranked in the coaches poll at the time of their meeting in December. Eight of Washington's opponents this season were 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).

Top Rebounding Dawgs:
Like it has all season long, Washington leads the Pac-10 in offensive rebounding with 17.31 offensive boards per game. The Huskies own a 450-316 advantage over their opponents in offensive rebounds. Senior guard Cameo Hicks also ranks 10th in the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (2.15).

Pac-10 Rankings:
Washington also shares the Pac-10 lead in steals (10.08) with Arizona State, is second in turnover margin (+4.54) and third in scoring offense (71.8)...Cameo Hicks ranks third in the Pac-10 in scoring (17.6 ppg) behind only Oregon State's Casey Nash (20.5 ppg) and USC's Shay Murphy (18.5)...She also ranks fifth in 3-PT field goal percentage (.408) and 10th in steals (1.62)...Junior point guard Emily Florence leads the Pac-10 in steals (2.27) and ranks third in assist-turnover ratio (2.18) and seventh in assists (3.69).

Huskies Shuffle Lineup:
UW head coach June Daugherty used her seventh different starting lineup of the season in the Huskies' last game at Stanford, Saturday. The latest starting five combination was junior point guard Emily Florence, junior guard Dominique Banks, senior guard Cameo Hicks, senior forward Maggie O'Hara and junior forward/center Andrea Plouffe. Ten different players have been inserted into the starting lineup in 2006-07, but the mainstays have been Hicks and Florence. Both Huskies have started all 26 games.

A Little Help From Their Friends:
Depth has been a key factor in UW's success this season. The Huskies rotate nearly their entire bench into each game. Ten players are averaging at least 12.3 minutes of playing time and eight players are averaging 4.5 or more points per outing.

Hicks Named To Another National Watch List:
In addition to being named a preseason candidate for the 2006-07 Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, Washington senior guard Cameo Hicks was selected one of 30 candidates for the 2007 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in January. The Husky co-captain leads the squad with 17.6 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game and a 45.5 field goal shooting percentage. This season, Hicks has tallied 24 double-figure scoring games including eight 20-point games. She tallied a string of 20-straight double-figure scoring outputs - a span during which she has averaged 18.8 points per game - until being held to just eight points at Stanford in the Huskies' last game. She was also named the Pac-10 Player of the Week twice in a three-week span in December. What makes her performances that much more significant is the fact that she is playing with an injured right knee after suffering a bone bruise in practice, Nov. 12. Hicks stays plenty busy when she's not on the basketball court, serving in her second year as the President of the Washington Student-Athlete Advisory Council (WSAAC). She is also keeping an online diary at GoHuskies.com.

As Bell Tolls:
Senior forward/center Jill Bell has reached double-figures in scoring in three of the last five games including 13 at USC, 10 vs. Arizona State and 11 versus Arizona. Bell has tallied nine double-figure scoring games this season, including a pair of double-doubles at Eastern Washington (15 points/13 rebounds) and vs. Northern Iowa (12 points/10 rebounds). Bell also leads the team with 18 blocked shots and ranks seventh on Washington's all-time blocks list with 74 in her career. Bell is the team's third-leading scorer with 7.2 points per game and is third on the team in rebounding with 4.5 boards per game. She is third on the squad in offensive boards with 48.

Fearless Florence:
Junior point guard Emily Florence serves as the Huskies' floor leader and defensive sparkplug. She is coming off two-straight double-figure scoring games that included a season-high 12 points in UW's come-from-behind win at No. 20 Cal last Thursday and a team-high 11 points at No. 11 Stanford last Saturday. In fact, she led the Huskies in nearly every statistical category at Stanford with team-highs in points (11), rebounds (eight), assists (four) and steals (three). She also was 3-for-3 from three-point range in Palo Alto, matching a career-high for 3-pointers made. At Cal, in addition to her season-high 12 points, Florence added seven rebounds, six assists and two steals. She hit a huge three-pointer that tied the game at 68 with1:50 remaining in regulation. Measuring in as the team's shortest member at 5-5, Florence is second among her teammates in rebounding with 5.2 boards per game. Florence has grabbed at least five rebounds in 13 of the last 19 games. She also leads the squad with 96 assists and 59 steals. Florence dished a career-high 11 assists in UW's close loss at No. 6 Ohio State (Dec. 3).

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