Huskies Head To LA, Face USC Friday Night
Feb. 5, 2008
GAME 23 - Fri., Feb. 8, 2008
Washington (9-13, 4-6 Pac-10) at USC (13-9, 6-5 Pac-10)
7 p.m. PT Galen Center Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: KKNW AM 1150 TV: none
Internet: Live Stats/Audio at GoHuskies.com
Washington women's basketball (9-13, 4-6 Pac-10) will take a two-game winning streak on the road as the Huskies travel to Los Angeles to face USC (13-9, 6-5 Pac-10) and UCLA (11-11, 6-5 Pac-10) this week. The Huskies will visit USC at the Galen Center, Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m., followed by a trip to Pauley Pavilion to face the Bruins on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 1:30 p.m. Sunday's game in Westwood will be televised live on ESPN2. The Huskies enter the week owning sixth-place in the Pac-10 standings with a chance to make up some ground facing the two teams directly ahead of them. USC and UCLA are tied for fourth with identical 6-5 league records. Washington will have its eye on a season sweep over USC, having defeated the Women of Troy earlier in the year in Seattle by a 15-point spread (60-45). The Huskies are coming off a 44-point win over cross-state rival Washington State on Sunday (84-40), their largest winning margin of the season. Both USC and UCLA were swept in the Bay Area last week.
All Husky women's basketball games can be heard live on the radio at KKNW 1150 AM. Steve Sandmeyer, in his ninth season as the voice of UW women's hoops, will call the play-by-play. Former Husky Elise (Niemela) Woodward joins Sandmeyer as the color commentator for home broadcasts.
Live statistics, as well as a live audio broadcast for Washington's game with USC will be available on GoHuskies.com. A Dawg Channel All-Access pass is required to watch or listen to the game, but membership is free.
UW To 'Think Pink':
Washington will participate in the WBCA's (Women's Basketball Coaches Association) 'Think Pink' initiative during the week of Feb. 8-17. 'Think Pink' is a global, unified effort for the WBCA's nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness. During that span, Husky players will wear pink warm-up shirts, as well as pink ribbons on their uniform jerseys, while UW coaches will also wear pink.
Scouting The Huskies:
Washington will look to build on the momentum of winning two of three on its most recent homestand, defeating Arizona (74-59) and Washington State (84-40) before heading out on the road to Los Angeles this week. UW's 44-point win over the Cougars was its largest winning margin of the season, not to mention the largest winning margin in the all-time series with WSU. Three Huskies finished in double-figure scoring led by freshman Katelan Redmon who equaled her career-high with 20 points. Post players Laura McLellan (11) and Kali Bennett (10) also joined Redmon in the double-digit scoring column. Washington's back-to-back wins mark the first time the Huskies have done so since a three-game winning streak back in late November/early December. Between that three-game winning streak and the current two-game streak, UW lost nine of 12 games. Redmon has scored at least 18 points in the last two games, after dropping 18 on Arizona, Jan. 26. The guard/forward continues to lead the young Huskies overall in scoring with 12.5 points per outing. Sophomore guard Sami Whitcomb is right behind Redmon with 10.4 points per game, but her defensive efforts have been just as impressive. Whitcomb begins the week leading the Pac-10 in steals during conference play with 2.41 swipes per contest. Senior point guard and co-captain Emily Florence is UW's floor general, averaging 6.6 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds. She also leads the squad with 3.6 assists per contest and ranks among the Top-10 Pac-10 players in six statistical categories. Freshman forward/center Jess McCormack is second on the team in rebounding (5.1) and third in scoring (8.9), while senior forward/center Andrea Plouffe is contributing 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds. Plouffe has reached double-figures in scoring fivetimes in the last six games.
Jackson In First Year At Washington:
Tia Jackson was named the eighth head coach in the history of the women's basketball program on April 6, 2007. Jackson is in the midst of her first season at Washington after a successful 11-year tenure in the assistant coaching ranks. Before coming to UW, she spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Duke, where she was considered by many experts as one of the top recruiters in the country. She helped lead the Blue Devils to the NCAA championship game in 2006 and the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2007. In addition to working at Duke, Jackson served as an assistant coach at UCLA (2000-2005), Stanford (1999-2000), and Virginia Commonwealth (1996-1999). As an assistant coach, she has been to four NCAA Tournaments and one NCAA Final Four. Jackson played her collegiate career at the University of Iowa where she was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and helped lead the Hawkeyes to the 1993 NCAA Final Four. After graduating from Iowa in 1995, Jackson played one season in the WNBA (1997) as a member of the Phoenix Mercury before her career was cut short by knee injuries. Jackson picked up her first collegiate head coaching victory when the Huskies defeated Northern Arizona (83-70) in the second round of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic, Nov. 17. She garnered her first home victory as a head coach when the Huskies beat Idaho (73-57) in the first round of the Husky Classic, Nov. 23. Her overall record as a head coach stands at 9-13.
What To Watch For:
Senior point guard Emily Florence needs eight more assists to take over sixth place on UW's career list. Florence enters Friday's game in seventh place with 362 assists, seven shy of matching Laurie Merlino's 369 assists. Florence is also tied for ninth on UW's all-time steals list with Renee Avelino (201). Florence needs six more steals to match Jacki Myers with 207.
All four of Washington's Pac-10 wins have come by 15 or more points: 61-46 at WSU, 60-45 vs. USC, 74-59 vs. Arizona, 84-40 vs. WSU...in turn, four of the Huskies' six Pac-10 losses have come by an average margin of 3.5 points...after a pair of blow-out setbacks at Cal and Stanford to begin conference play, the next four conference losses came by six points or less: 57-59 vs. UCLA, 64-68 at Oregon State, 64-66 at Oregon, 62-68 vs. Arizona State...guard Emily Florence ranks among the Top-10 in the conference in rebounds (tied-9th, 6.3), offensive rebounds (10th, 2.36), assists (6th, 3.59), steals (t-8th, 1.82), assist-turnover ratio (4th, 1.58) and minutes played (6th, 33.68)...Whitcomb is tied for fourth in the league in steals (2.09) and is sixth three-point FG made (1.77)...junior guard Michelle Augustavo is fifth in the Pac-10 in three-pointers per game (1.90) and freshman center Kali Bennett is tied for ninth in blocked shots (0.67).
USC comes into Friday's game having lost two straight, falling 51-77 at Stanford (Jan. 31) and 55-60 at California (Feb. 2) in overtime last week. USC begins the week tied for fourth place in the Pac-10 with UCLA at 6-5 in the conference. Prior to last weekend's sweep by the Bay Area schools, the Women of Troy had won five of six games - the only loss in that span coming to Washington (Jan. 13). Spanaway, Wash. native Nadia Parker - a junior center - leads USC with 11.1 points per game and 6.5 rebounds. Junior guard Camille LeNoir is also averaging 10.9 points and has a team-high 39 steals. LeNoir is coming off a 21-point, 7-rebound performance in USC's near upset of California. USC has been tough to play at home, owning a 9-1 record at the Galen Center this season. USC's only home loss this year came at the hands of California, 52-57 (Jan. 4). Parker isn't the only Washingtonian on the USC squad. Senior forward Kate Henderson hails from Redmond, Wash. The Women of Troy are led by fourth-year head coach Mark Trakh.
All-Time Series With USC:
Washington leads the all-time series with USC, 28-20, but trails the Women of Troy 9-13 when these teams have matched up in Los Angeles. The Huskies have lost three of their last four meetings on USC's home court including last season's 58-78 setback to the Women of Troy in their first-ever battle in the Galen Center (Jan. 28, 2007). The last UW win versus USC in LA was Feb. 9, 2006 (87-79). Regardless, the Huskies will be looking for the season sweep over USC after defeating the Women of Troy 60-45 in Seattle, Jan. 13. Senior Andrea Plouffe led the Huskies with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, while freshman Jess McCormack added 12 points. Sophomore Sami Whitcomb (12 rebounds) and senior Emily Florence (10 rebounds) led UW on the boards. USC was led by guard Heather Oliver with 11 points, while center Nadia Parker added 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. The last time UW swept a regular season series with USC was during the 2002-03 campaign, winning 83-81 in overtime in LA (Jan. 5, 2003) and 94-76 in Seattle (Jan. 30, 2003).
Bennett, Whitcomb Return Home:
Washington freshman center Kali Bennett and sophomore guard Sami Whitcomb return to their native Southern California this week when the Huskies play in Los Angeles. Bennett and Whitcomb both hail from Ventura, a city about 90 miles Northwest of L.A., and played on rival high schools there - Bennett at Ventura and Whitcomb at Buena - during their prep careers.
More LA Connections:
UW head coach Tia Jackson worked as an assistant coach at UCLA for five seasons from the 2000-01 campaign through 2004-05. During her time on Kathy Olivier's staff, Jackson helped the Bruins attract two Top-10 nationally ranked recruiting classes and earn a berth to the 2004 NCAA Tournament.
Last Game Recap:
Freshman Katelan Redmon equaled her career-high with 20 points, while sophomore Laura McLellan and freshman Kali Bennett added 11 and 10 points respectively, as Washington cruised to an 84-40 win over Washington State at Bank of America Arena, Feb. 3. The win helped the Huskies complete the season sweep over the Cougars and extended UW's winning streak in the series to 26 games. Redmon was 7-of-13 from the field including hitting a trio of three-pointers and going 3-of-4 from the free-throw line. Redmon scored 14 of her 20 points in the first-half, as the Huskies opened the game on a 12-2 run and led by as many as 25 (33-8) with just under six minutes remaining until halftime. The Huskies led by 26 at the intermission (45-19) and after WSU's Jasmine Williams scored the first bucket by either team in the second-half, UW went on a 15-0 run to put the Cougars out of reach for good. Washington dished a season-high 22 assists - led by eight from senior point guard Emily Florence - and sank a season-high 10 three-pointers - including a combined six from Redmon and junior guard Michelle Augustavo. The Huskies forced the Cougars to commit 27 turnovers off of which they scored 33 points. UW also won the battle inside, outscoring their cross-state rival 30-10 in the paint. The Huskies shot a scorching 49.1 percent from the field, while holding the Cougars to a 20.8 clip - a season-low for a UW opponent. Washington was led on the boards by freshman forward/center Jess McCormack who pulled down eight rebounds. Florence added seven rebounds and came a few digits shy of a triple-double with her seven points and eight assists as well. Guard Katie Appleton led all Cougars with 14 points, while forward Katie Calderwood and guard Kezia Kelly each grabbed a team-high five rebounds.
It's safe to say the Huskies' defense has improved throughout the course of the season. UW has allowed its conference opponents to score an average of 59.4 points per contest which is a vast improvement from the 73.4 points per game allowed against non-conference foes this year. The Huskies have held their conference opponents to less than 60 points five times in 10 games. UW held WSU to just 40 in its last outing, after holding the Cougars to 46 earlier in the year (Jan. 4). The Huskies also kept USC to 45 points in the earlier season meeting in Seattle (Jan. 13).
The Huskies have not had the best luck playing on the road this season, winning just two games away from Bank of America Arena - one a true road game at Washington State (Jan. 4) and one on a neutral court vs. Northern Arizona in Honolulu (Nov. 17). UW is 1-8 in road contests and 1-1 when playing opponents on neutral courts. But the Huskies lost their last two road games (at Oregon State, Jan. 17 and at Oregon, Jan. 19) by a combined eight points.