Women's Hoops To Take On Iowa State In NCAA First Round Saturday
March 14, 2007
NCAA FIRST ROUND - DALLAS REGIONAL
No. 6 Iowa State (25-8) vs. No. 11 Washington (18-12)
Saturday, March 17 Williams Arena Minneapolis, Minn. 9 a.m. PST
Radio - KKNW AM 1150 TV - ESPN2
Washington women's basketball (18-12) received the No. 11 seed in the Dallas Region and will face No. 6 seed Iowa State (25-8) in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament, Saturday, March 17. The contest will tip-off at 9 a.m. PST at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. The game will be televised live on ESPN2. Saturday's first round winner will play the winner between No. 3 Georgia (25-6) and No. 14 Belmont (25-6) on Monday, March 19. The Huskies are making their second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, third in the last five years and 16th overall in program history. Washington is one of four Pac-10 teams to earn bids to the Big Dance, along with No. 2 seed Stanford (Fresno Region), No. 3 seed Arizona State (Greensboro Region) and No. 8 seed California (Dallas Region). The Huskies finished the regular season in fourth place in the Pac-10 standings (11-7) and have won five of their last seven games heading into the Tournament. Once they hit the floor on Saturday, the Huskies will not have played a game in exactly two weeks - the last contest coming March 3 versus USC in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals. UW suffered an early exit from its conference tournament, falling to the Women of Troy in a tight battle, 77-81. Washington and Iowa State have met twice before and as recently as the 2003-04 season. The Huskies and Cyclones clashed in back-to-back season meetings in 2002-03 and 2003-04. UW won both contests, in Seattle in 2002-03 (64-63) and in Ames in 2003-04 (76-55).
All 63 games of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Full Court for the fifth consecutive season. Washington's game versus Iowa State on Saturday will be televised on ESPN2 with play-by-play announcer Bob Picozzi, analyst Brenda VanLengen and sideline reporter Stephanie Ready providing the commentary. UW's game can be heard live on the radio in the Seattle area at KKNW AM 1150 and on the web at GoHuskies.com. Steve Sandmeyer and Elise Woodward will call the action from Williams Arena.
Scouting The Huskies:
Despite losing its last game in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament, Washington has won five of its last seven games heading into the NCAA Tournament...UW's loss vs. USC in the conference quarterfinals snapped a three-game winning streak...After opening the season with road losses at Marquette and Purdue (both 2007 NCAA Tourney teams), UW went on to win 12 of its next 14 contests including a season-high nine-game winning streak...The Huskies went 11-7 versus non-conference opponents - a slate that included the likes of Ohio State, Texas A&M, Gonzaga and Florida State (in addi tion to Marquette and Purdue)...Following its non-conference slate, the Huskies opened the Pac-10 season 5-0 - its best start since the 1987-88 season...UW's strengths have been its offensive rebounding and defense...UW has led the Pac-10 in offensive rebounding all season...The Huskies have made good use of their offensive boards as they ended the regular season ranked second in the Pac-10 in scoring (71.8 ppg)...Washington has also been among the conference leaders in steals this season, averaging 9.9 per game (currently second in the Pac-10)...Balance and depth have been key for Washington, with really all but two players on the active roster seeing somewhat regular playing time in the rotation...The Huskies are a veteran squad with six seniors - seven if you count student-assistant coach Angie Jones who called her playing career quits in October due to injuries...Leading the way for UW is senior All-Pac-10 guard Cameo Hicks, averaging team-highs of 17.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game....Hicks has tallied double-digit scoring numbers in 24 of the last 25 games and 28 overall this season...Hicks also has eight 20-point scoring games...Hicks was a preseason candidate for the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy and Lowe's Senior CLASS Award...Junior point guard Emily Florence continues to be a catalyst on both ends of the floor...She leads the team in assists (116) and steals (67), and is second on the team in rebounding (5.1 rpg)...By far the smallest Husky at just 5-5, Florence has been the team's leading rebounder in nine games - tops on the team, as well as the leader in assists 21 times...Also scoring in double-figures is junior center Andrea Plouffe with 10.0 points per game, despite battling tendonitis in both knees this season...Senior forward/center Jill Bell is third on the squad with 7.2 ppg...head coach June Daugherty is in her 11th season at the helm of the Husky program, having led the team to six NCAA appearances in her career - including an Elite Eight run in 2001.
UW Tournament History:
Fifteen NCAA appearances have seen Washington post an overall record of 15-15. The farthest a Husky team has advanced was to the Elite Eight twice (1990, 2001). The Huskies first appeared in 1985, the fourth year of the tournament, and had a string of seven-straight years in which they advanced to NCAA's. After missing out in 1992, when they finished 17-11, the Huskies returned five times in six seasons from 1993-98. In 2001, the sixth-seeded Huskies made an improbable run to the regional final, knocking off Old Dominion (67-65), Florida (86-75) and Oklahoma (84-67), before falling to Southwest Missouri State in the Elite Eight (87-104). Washington is 8-4 in first round games, 5-6 in second round games, 2-3 in regional semifinal games and 0-2 in regional championship games. UW owns a record of 3-7 in NCAA Tournament games played on a neutral court. This year marks Washington's second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and third in the last five years after earning an at-large bid in 2003.
Last Time At The Tournament:
Washington's last appearance at the NCAA Championship was last season - the Huskies earned a No. 9 seed in the San Antonio Region, traveled to Nashville, Tenn. and advanced as far as the second round. UW upset eighth-seeded Minnesota in the first round, 73-69, before falling to No. 1 seed LSU, 72-49, in the second round. The Huskies had a flair for the dramatic against the Golden Gophers. Then-senior Kristen O'Neill scored four points in the final minute, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 56.6 seconds left in the game to beat No. 25 Minnesota. O'Neill's three-pointer snapped a 67-all tie in a second-half that saw neither team lead by more than four points for the final 15:14. Minnesota had a chance to send the game into overtime trailing 71-69, but Brittney Davis turned the ball over on a drive with five seconds left. Then-sophomore Andrea Plouffe led Washington with 15 points, while O'Neill finished with 10. Junior Breanne Watson had 14 points and nine rebounds, and junior Cameo Hicks scored 10. Washington grabbed a season-high 23 offensive rebounds and held a 50-38 rebounding advantage. The Husky win was rewarded by a meeting with the top-seeded Lady Tigers. In the first-half, Washington seemed poised to pull of its second-straight upset. UW led LSU 26-23 at halftime. The Huskies even led by one point (38-37) with 14:01 left in the game, but Seimone Augustus sparked a 27-6 LSU run which helped the Lady Tigers put the game away. Augustus finished with 26 points, while Hicks led UW with 17 points.
UW Tourney Experience:
All but Washington's three freshmen and redshirt sophomore guard Stefanie Clark have previous NCAA Tournament experience under their belt. With UW's last showing in the Big Dance coming last year, most of this Husky squad as endured the rigors of postseason play.
Scouting Iowa State:
Iowa State (25-8) finished the regular season in a tie for fourth-place in the Big 12 standings with Nebraska. The Cyclones, advanced all the way to the title game of the Big 12 Tournament, before falling to Oklahoma, 67-60. ISU's loss to the Sooners snapped an eight-game winning streak. The Cyclones opened the season 13-1 - a span that included a 10-game winning streak. ISU is led by senior Lyndsay Medders who is averaging 12.8 points per game. Medders, recently named a district finalist for Kodak/WBCA All-America honors, ranks eighth in the nation in assists per game 6.4. As a team, Iowa State is averaging 67.8 points per game while allowing opponents to score 60.2. ISU is making its second NCAA appearance in the last three seasons and eighth in the last 11 - all under the direction of head coach Bill Fennelly.
Washington leads the all-time series versus Iowa State, 2-0. Both meetings came recently - in back-to-back seasons in 2002-03 and 2003-04. Washington won the first meeting in Seattle on Dec. 22, 2002 (64-63). Then-junior Andrea Lalum scored 23 points, including the gamewinning shot with 10.8 seconds remaining, to lead Washington. The Huskies battled back from a 12-point deficit to win the game. Seattle native Lindsey Wilson led the Cyclones with 22 points. The Huskies came away victorious in the second meeting in Ames, Iowa on Dec. 21, 2003, 76-55. Lalum was also the leading scorer for the Huskies in that contest with 18 points. UW hit 10 three-pointers in the contest. Anne O'Neill scored a game-high 20 points for Iowa State.
Washington and Iowa State have played three common opponents this season - Saint Louis, Northern Iowa and Texas A&M. Both UW and ISU defeated Saint Louis (UW 96-69, ISU 76-48) and Northern Iowa (UW81-63, ISU 80-74 OT). Both teams also defeated Texas A&M - Washington by the score of 65-59 and Iowa State by the score of 61-54.
Georgia (25-6) received the No. 3 seed in the Dallas Region after earning its way into the NCAA Tournament with an at-large berth. Georgia finished second in the regular season SEC standings with an 11-3 conference mark, but the Bulldogs were ousted by eventual champion Vanderbilt in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament, 81-56. Georgia has won six of its last seven and 11 of its last 12 games heading into its first round matchup with Belmont. Belmont (25-6) earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Atlantic Sun title. The Bruins have won eighth of their last nine games heading into their first round matchup with Georgia. Four of Belmont's six losses this season came to Purdue, Cal, Louisville and Alabama.
Tourney Tid Bits:
Washington has had Minnesota ties in its last two NCAA Tournament appearances...last year the Huskies faced the Golden Gophers in the opening round in Nashville and this year, the Huskies will play on the Golden Gopher's home floor...Minnesota's women's team did not make the NCAA Tournament this year but will host a WNIT first round game at Williams Arena with Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday...Washington is 4-8 against this year against 2007 NCAA Tournament teams - its four wins coming over California (No. 8 seed, Dallas Region), Texas A&M (No. 4 seed, Dallas Region), Gonzaga (No. 12 seed, Dayton Region) and Florida State (No. 10 seed, Fresno Region).
Pac-10 Tournament Recap:
Besides their quarterfinal opponent, USC, the Huskies had to wait longer than another team to get their first Pac-10 Tournament contest in the books but their stay in San Jose was still way too short. Washington fell short in a shootout with the Women of Troy, losing 81-77. The contest marked the fourth time in five seasons these teams have met in the conference quarterfinals. USC ended on top in the rubber match of the season series, after UW won in Seattle and the Women of Troy won in Los Angeles earlier in the year. The contest was a high- octane offensive battle from start to finish. The first-half saw eight ties and 10 lead changes with UW leading by as many as four points twice and USC leading by as many as five points. USC shot 59.3 percent in the first half, while UW shot 48.3 percent. The Huskies trailed by one point at the intermission (44-43) and never led in the second-half after USC came out of the lockerroom with a 6-0 run. Down by nine points (67-58) with 6:54 left in the game, UW rallied with a 13-4 run that included a trio of three-pointers - two from senior Cheri Craddock and one from sophomore Stefanie Clark that tied the game at 2:27. But the Women of Troy answered with a 6-0 run to regain the lead. UW wasn't about to go down, as senior Cameo Hicks hit a three-pointer to cut the score to 77-74 with 28.4 seconds left. But the Huskies were forced to foul with little time remaining and USC's Shay Murphy hit all four of her free-throws. With a team-high 18 points, Hicks was one of three Huskies to reach double-figures in scoring. Craddock added 12 points and senior Jill Bell contributed 11 points, both off the bench. Murphy led four USC players in double-figures with 14 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
Hicks Named To All-Pac-10 Team:
Senior guard Cameo Hicks was named to the All-Pac-10 team for the second-straight season, the first Husky to twice earn all-conference honors since Giuliana Mendiola who was a three-time honoree (2002-04). Hicks has earned all-conference honors each of her four years in purple and gold, earning All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors as a sophomore and Pac-10 All-Freshman team acclaim in her rookie campaign.
Washington has tallied 18 regular season wins for the second-straight season. UW has also notched at least 18 wins for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. The Huskies posted an 11-7 Pac-10 record for the second consecutive year. Eleven Pac-10 wins are the most since notching 13 in 2002-03.
Despite falling to USC in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament (March 3), UW has won five of its last seven games heading into the Big Dance. After opening the season 0-2, the Huskies turned around to win 12 of their next 14 including a season-high nine-game winning streak. UW then hit a rough patch in the season, losing six of their next seven after its win streak, but rebounded with hits recent upswing.
Washington's strength of schedule led the Pac-10 this season, as six of the Huskies' regular season opponents are currently ranked in the Associated Press Top-25 and nine have been ranked at some point this season. Three of Washington's opponents are currently ranked in the Top-10 in No. 5 Ohio State, No. 6 Stanford and No. 8 Arizona State. UW is 3-7 against ranked opponents this season, with wins coming over then-No. 15 Texas A&M, then-No. 23 Florida State and then-No. 20 California.
Washington came just shy of notching two upsets over Top-15 teams on the road this year. After leading for much of the game at then-No. 6 Ohio State in Columbus (Dec. 3), UW ended up falling short at the very end and losing by just five points (79-84). It was nearly the same story in Tempe, Ariz. (Jan. 7), as the Huskies led by as many as 11 points versus then-No. 13 Arizona State in the first half and by eight early in the second half, but lost by just five, 83-88.
Washington came through with an improbable come-from-behind overtime win on the road at then-No. 20 California (Feb. 8). UW was down by 19 points in the second-half and came back to force overtime and win, 79-76. Cameo Hicks had 27 points, six rebounds and six assists to lead the Huskies, while Andrea Plouffe notched 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
The Huskies closed out another strong season at home, finishing the year with a 12-3 record at Bank of America Arena. UW was 6-0 against non-conference opponents and started the year 8-0 at home before falling to Stanford (Jan. 11). UW notched 12 home wins for the second straight season. The Huskies are 24-5 at home the last two years.
UW was ranked 25th in the preseason WBCA/USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and moved up to 23rd the first week of the season. The Huskies were never tabbed a To p-25 team by the Associated Press, but received votes in both polls from Dec. 18-Jan. 8.
Washington's roster boasts six seniors - seven if you count student-assistant coach Angie Jones who retired due to injuries back in October. Three of Washington's top four scorers are in their final seasons: G Cameo Hicks (1st, 17.1 ppg), F/C Jill Bell (3rd, 7.2 ppg) and F Breanne Watson (4th, 7.0 ppg). Five of the six seniors have been used in the starting lineup at some point this year. Bell, Jones and back-up point guard Erica Schelly are fifth-year seniors. The Huskies are 6-9 on the road this year (6-8 away, 0-1 neutral), with all three of their overtime games coming on the road as well. UW is 2-1 in overtime games including a 79-76 victory over then-No. 20 California (Feb. 8).
UW head coach June Daugherty picked up her 300th career win when the Huskies upset Texas A&M at home on Dec. 6. Daugherty is one of three current Pac-10 coaches to reach the 300-win milestone.
Senior All-Pac-10 guard Cameo Hicks is the Huskies' go-to player. Hicks, also a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Week honoree this year, was named a preseason candidate for the Wooden Award, the Naismith Trophy and the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. She leads the team in both scoring (17.1 ppg), rebounding (5.3) and field-goal shooting (.441), and has tallied 28 double-figure scoring efforts in 30 games.
The Huskies have led the Pac-10 all season in offensive rebounding and enter the week with 16.77 per game. UW is 13-3 when outrebounding their opponents.
Washington also leads the conference in turnover margin (+5.13). UW is second in the Pac-10 in scoring average (71.8), second only to Arizona State (74.1) and ahead of Stanford (70.9). UW ranks second in the Pac-10 in steals (9.87), third in assist-turnover ratio (.85) and is third in 3-pointers made (4.67).
Junior point guard Emily Florence, the smallest Husky at 5-5, has led the team in rebounding a team-high nine times. Florence, who leads the Pac-10 in steals (2.23) and is seventh in assists (3.87), is second on the team in rebounding (5.1 rpg) and led the Huskies in rebounding during conference play (5.6 rpg).