No. 25 Huskies Host Seattle Times Classic
Nov. 21, 2001
No. 25 Huskies Host 15th Seattle Times Classic,
Santa Clara, Northeastern, Princeton Visit
Fri., Nov. 23:
Princeton vs. Santa Clara, 6 p.m.
Northeastern vs. No. 25 Washington, 8 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 24:
Consolation Game, 6 p.m.
Championships game, 8 p.m.
All games take place at Back of America Arena (10,000), Seattle, Wash.
Washington hosts the 15th annual Seattle Times Husky Classic, one of the longest running women's basketball tournaments in the country. Santa Clara (1-1) and Princeton (2-0) meet in the first round at 6 p.m., Fri., Nov. 23 followed by No. 25 Washington (1-1) and Northeastern (1-1) at 8 p.m. Round two of the tournament takes place Sat., Nov. 24, with the consolation game at 6 p.m. and the championship game at 8 p.m.
Listen to the Huskies
All Husky women's basketball games can be heard on the radio at KKNW 1150 am. Steve Sandmeyer is in his third season calling the action for Washington. Games can also be heard over the internet. Log on to www.gohuskies.com to find the link.
Husky Classic History
Washington will be defending its title from the 2000 tournament, when the Huskies beat James Madison, 73-56, to win the championship game. Freshman point guard Giuliana Mendiola was named Most Valuable Player while seniors Megan Franza and LeAnn Sheets were named to the all-tournament team. Loyola Marymount defeated Western Michigan, 89-56, in the consolation game. Washington has won its own tournament in eight of the 15 years it has been held. The list of championship teams is prestigious and includes Louisiana Tech (1986), Long Beach State ('88) and Kansas ('98).
Washington has a record of 21-6 in home-openers and has lost the last two, falling to BYU (85-62) in 1999-00 and to No. 1 Connecticut (100-54) in 2000-01. The Huskies won their season-opening game at Montana State last Friday, topping the Bobcats, 73-65, in overtime. It was the first win in a season-opener since the 1998-99 campaign.
There have been some minor changes made to the 2001-02 schedule. The Jan. 19 game against Stanford at home has been changed to a 3:00 p.m. start for television coverage by Fox Sports Northwest. On Feb. 16 when the Huskies take on California in Berkeley, tip-off will be at 1:00 p.m., not 7 p.m., the original time slot. The Jan. 6 game against USC at home has been changed to a 7 p.m. tip on Jan. 6, instead of the orginal 1 p.m. time. The game was rescheduled due to a makeup game for the Seahawks, who are playing at Husky Stadium that afternoon.
Dawgbite: The next Washington victory will make sixth-year Husky head coach June Daugherty the second-winningest coach at Washington. Daugherty, who led the Huskies to their furthest point in the NCAA tournament last year, enters the season with a of 82-67 (.551) at Washington. Former coach Chris Gobrecht, who led the Huskies from 1985-96, is the leader with 243 wins against 89 losses in her tenure. Daugherty is the seventh women's head basketball coach at Washington. She will pass Kathie Neir (1975-79) when she moves to No. 2.
Happy Birthday, Huskies!: Assistant coach Shimmy Gray celebrates her birthday on opening day of the Seattle Times Classic and junior Emily Autrey celebrates hers Saturday, hopefully by playing in the championship game of the tournament. Autrey will turn 21 Saturday. Coach Gray is keeping her age a secret.
A Quick Look at the Husky Classic Field
West Coast Conference member Santa Clara is led by second year coach Chris Denker ... the Broncos, who have eight players from the state of Washington on their roster, are 1-1 after their opening weekend ... they upset No. 24 Utah in the season-opener (67-59) and then fell to Minnesota (92-73), both at the Golden Gopher Classic in Minneapolis ... Santa Clara received votes in the current Associated Press poll. Washington owns a 3-1 lead in the series with Santa Clara. The Broncos won the last meeting, 68-61, at Santa Clara (Dec. 19, 1994).
Princeton is led by first year coach Richard Barron. The Ivy League Tigers are 2-0 with the most recent win an 89-80 decision over St. Francis of New York. The team suffered through a 2-25 campaign last year but returns four of its five starters. This will be Princeton's second appearance in the Husky Classic. Washington won the only meeting between the two schools, 79-43, in the first round of the 1992 tournament in Seattle.
Northeastern is led by former Washington assistant coach Willette White. In her second year at Northeastern, White worked with former UW head coach Chris Gobrecht from 1986-93 when the Huskies won a pair of Pac-10 championships ('88, '90) and posted the school's best record, 28-3 in 1990. The Northeastern Huskies are 1-1 after their opening weekend, most recently topping Central Connecticut, 96-70. The team lost one starter from the squad that finished 13-16 a year ago. This will be the first meeting between the Washington Huskies and the Northeastern Huskies.
Huskies Tip-Off 2001-2002 Campaign
Coming off of a season in which the Huskies posted a 22-10 overall record, earned a share of the Pac-10 title, and advanced all the way to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tounament, the 2001-02 team is read to roll. Washington opens its 28th season of women's basketball with three of its five starters returning, five additional letterwinners who have seen extensive playing time, a key redshirt and five talented newcomers. Leading scorer Megan Franza, who finished her career sixth in the school record books with 1,612 points, is gone along with LeAnn Sheets who averaged almost seven rebounds a game in 2001. Four other seniors graduated as well, but the Husky game plan should not skip a beat. The team is young but talented and experienced. The Huskies featured a deep rotation that saw every player on the bench get in the game last year. This season should be no different.
Washington had several impressive turnarounds last year. First and foremost was the Pac-10 swing, from an 8-22 record and ninth place finish in 1999-00, to a 22-10 overall record, 12-6 conference mark and a share of the Pac-10 championship in 2001. The conference swing was the greatest in league history. It was also the second-best turnaround in the country, from one season to the next (behind Baylor). Washington also posted the second-largest turnaround in home game attendance from one year to the next. The Huskies drew 2,338 fans per game in 2000 and saw that number jump to 4,179 per game in 2001. Overall, Washington stood 19th in the country in average attendance.
In the Polls
Here is a look at Washington's rankings through the season:
AP USA Today/Coaches'Pre 19 17Nov. 19 25 21
Leading the Way
Four members of the Washington team will act as captains this year. Heather Reichmann, the lone senior on the squad, earned captain duties for the first time in her career. She will be joined by juniors Loree Payne and Cheryl Sorenson, along with sophomore Giuliana Mendiola. It is Payne's second year as a captain.
Washington faces its usual tough schedule in the 2001-02 campaign, with 10 of its 19 opponents having played in the postseason. The Huskies face six teams that were selected to the NCAA tournament, along with four teams that competed in NIT postseason play. Conference opponents Stanford, Arizona State and Oregon all made Big Dance appearances, with the Cardinal the only team to advance past the first round.
Sister Act II
In a unique twist, the 2001-02 Husky roster boasts two sets of sisters, including sophomores Giuliana and Gioconda Mendiola, along with junior Kellie O'Neill and her sister Kristen O'Neill, a freshman this year. The Mendiolas are one year apart in age, almost to the day, but Gioconda took a year off between high school graduation and college so that she could play four years of college ball with her sister. The only other pair of sisters to play together at Washington were Heidi (1993-96) and Molly Hills (1996-99), who overlapped the 1996 season.
The five newcomers to this year's team are all local standouts from the greater Northwest area, furthering Washington's dominance in recruiting out of their own backyard. The group is led by a trio of the top players in the state, along with a pair of walk-on members. Kirsten Brockman, a forward out of Snohomish, Wash., (Snohomish H.S.) was among the top 10 scorers in the state her junior season and a Street and Smith's honorable mention All-America selection. One of four guards to join the team this season, Kayla Burt from Arlington, Wash., (Arlington H.S.) is expected to continue the long-line of Husky greats at this position. Ranked No. 94 among the top 750 seniors in the class of 2001, Burt was also a Street and Smith's honorable mention All-America selection, along with garnering USA Today honorable mention All-America honors. Kristen O'Neill out of Edmonds, Wash., (Meadowdale H.S.) joins the team as a Parade Magazine third team All-American, Gatorade Player of the Year in the state, and ranked 38th for the national class of 2001. O'Neill comes to Washington as the top recruit out of the state, finishing her prep career 1,154 points, 516 rebounds, 342 steals and 185 blocks. Two walk-ons, Sara Best from Redmond, Wash., (Inglemoor H.S.) and Alicia Heathcote out of Seattle, Wash. (Blanchet/North Seattle CC) will also compete for playing time. Best was a two-sport athlete at the University of Idaho, where she played one year of soccer and redshirted her freshman season of basketball under former Husky Hilary Recknor. Heathcote was a member of the Blanchet High team that won the state championship her sophomore season and made return trips to the tournament in 1997 and 1998, earning third and second place, respectively. The 2001 Husky squad breakdown is as follows: California (2), Montana (2), Oregon (2) and Washington (8).
Welcome Back to the Court
After suffering a knee injury in her junior season, Kirsten Brockman was forced to sit out her entire senior season of high school, and has yet to play a game in over a year. She returned to the court in July and has been steadily improving ever since. With her injury behind her, she is expected to make an immediate impact and the Huskies coaches are calling her 'one of the strongest players we've ever seen.' Also cleared for play is redshirt freshman Sarah Keeler who tore her anterior cruciate ligament at an all-star camp during the summer of 2000. She had surgery prior to her freshman season at Washington and utilized her redshirt last year. Keeler, at 6-foot-4 who figures to be a key factor in replacing graduated senior LeAnn Sheets and her rebounding numbers.
Eight Huskies will be celebrating their birthdays in-season this year. Emily Autrey (11/24/80) will no doubt wish for a win on her birthday, as Washington plays day two of the Seattle Times Husky Classic against opponents Northeastern, Princeton, and Santa Clara. Freshman Kirsten Brockman (12/9/82) will blow out 19 candles prior to tip-off of the Les Schwab Pac-10/Big 10 Challenge, where the Huskies will meet Michigan in game No. 2. Other birthdays this season include: Alicia Heathcote (1/26/80), Sarah Keeler (1/28/82), Andrea Lalum (12/5/81), Gioconda Mendiola (1/7/81), Giuliana Mendiola (1/9/82) and Cheryl Sorenson (3/18/80).