Women's Basketball Opens Pac-10 Defense Friday Night vs. WSU

Dec. 18, 2001

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Pac-10 Tournament Brings Early Start to Conference Season

Fri., Dec. 21: Washington State at Washington, 7 p.m.
Televised live on Fox Sports Northwest

WSU-UW game played in Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion (10,000).

Next Games: at Oregon, Dec. 28 and at Oregon State, Dec. 30

This Week
Washington (5-4) opens defense of its Pac-10 championship when it hosts the Washington State Cougars (2-8) in the conference opener for both teams. Action tips off at 7 p.m., Fri., Dec. 21 at Bank of America Arena. Washington seeks a Pac-10-opening win and 13th straight victory over Washington State in its only game of the week.

With the advent of the Pac-10 Postseason Tournament, which runs March 1-4, the conference season opens a full two weeks earlier than usual. The tournament, held on the University of Oregon's campus, will include all 10 conference teams, with the winner receiving the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Following the WSU game, the Huskies take a short holiday break and then travel to Oregon for their first league roadtrip. They face Oregon Dec. 28 and Oregon State Dec. 30. Washington's next home game is Jan. 4 versus UCLA.

The Huskies are coming off an 11-day break for final exams, with the last game being a 71-70 setback to No. 16 Michigan in the Pac-10/Big Ten Challenge back on Dec. 9. Washington finished the non-conference portion of its schedule with a record of 5-4, posting victories over Montana State (overtime), Northeastern, Boise State, St. Mary's and Indiana and falling to Wisconsin, Santa Clara, Northeastern and No. 16 Michigan.

Washington entered the year with preseason rankings of No. 19 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 17 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll. The Huskies received votes in coaches' poll for the week of Dec. 17.

The UW-WSU game will be televised live by Fox Sports Northwest. Tod Pickett calls the action with color commentary by former Husky basketball player Elise (Niemela) Woodward. The game can also be heard on radio at KKNW 1150 am and on the internet via www.gohuskies.com. Steve Sandmeyer calls the action on radio.

Defending Champions
This year marks the third time a Washington team has entered the conference season as defending Pac-10 champions. Along with the 2001 campaign, the Huskies won Pac-10 titles in 1988 and 1990. They posted a league mark of 16-2 and an overall record of 25-5 to win Washington's first title in 1988. In 1990, the Huskies had a record of 17-1 in conference play and shared the title with Standford. The 1990 season was Washington's best ever as they finished with an overall record of 28-3 after advancing to the elite eight of the NCAA tournament. Last season saw the Huskies finish with a Pac-10 record of 12-6 and share the conference crown with Stanford and Arizona State.

Pac-10 Openers
Washington has a record of 11-4 in Pac-10 Conference openers. The Huskies are 6-2 when opening conference play at home. They have faced Washington State in five Pac-10 openers and are 4-1 in that span. Washington opened the conference race against UCLA in Seattle last year and picked up a 73-54 victory.

Projected Husky Starting Lineup

F	23- Emily Autrey	6-0	Jr.	Kennewick, Wash. 	11.3 ppg, 3.3 rpgC	21- Andrea Lalum	6-4	So.	Bozeman, Mont.	13.2 ppg, 7.7 rpgG	22- Loree Payne	6-0	Jr.	Havre, Mont.	14.2 ppg, 3.3 rpgG	33- Kristen O'Neill	6-0	Fr.	Edmonds, Wash.	5.8 ppg, 3.4 rpgG	13- Giuliana Mendiola	5-11	So.	Lake Forest, Calif.	10.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg

A Quick Glance at the Huskies
Washington, which entered the year ranked No. 19 in the AP's Preseason Poll, opened its season on the road, splitting games with an overtime win (73-65) at Montana State and loss (87-7) at Wisconsin. They followed with another split in the first home weekend, pounding Northeastern (81-42) in the first round of the Seattle Times Classic but falling, 71-56, to Santa Clara in the championship game. A 99-50 drubbing of Boise State boosted the Huskies' confidence before heading on the Bay Area road trip. Washington posted a road split to a pair of West Coast Conference schools last weekend, first defeating Saint Mary's (62-55) and then falling to San Francisco (72-68) before hosting the inaugural Pac-10/Big Ten Challenge. The Huskies avenged a season-opening overtime loss at Indiana last year with an 85-73 win over the Hoosiers in the first round. Six Huskies scored in double figures to give Washington its third home win of the young season. The second game of the Challenge came against 16th-ranked Michigan and the Wolverines, led by center LeeAnn Bies' career-high 27 points, came up with the one-point victory, 71-70. Husky junior Loree Payne tied a school record with seven three point field goals while the Huskies broke the school record for long range attempts with 36.

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 by logging onto http://www.gohuskies.com and following the links from there.

Did You Know ... A win Friday against Washington State would give Washington 530 victories in its 28 seasons of basketball ... Washington's all-time mark stands at 529-259 (.673).

Schedule Changes
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.

Closing in on 1,000
Junior guard Loree Payne's 23-point outburst versus Michigan two weeks ago moved her career scoring total to 935 points. She needs 65 points to reach 1,000 and become the 17th Husky player to reach that plateau. Payne, who is currently averaging 14.2 points per game, could become just the ninth Husky to reach the 1,000-point mark as a junior. She was preceded by former teammate Megan Franza, who crossed the barrier as a junior during the 1999-00 season. At her current scoring pace, Payne could reach 1,000 points by the USC game Jan. 6 at Bank of America Arena. A prolific scorer since she arrived two years ago, Payne holds the UW freshman scoring record with 521 points in the 1999-00 season. She tied Franza's record for three point baskets in a game, with seven, against No. 16 Michigan, Dec. 9.

Three Point Barrage
Washington is second in the Pac-10 with 66 three point field goals made this season. The number is five behind leader Stanford, at 71, and 20 more than the next nearest school (Arizona 46). Washington recently broke its school record for three point attempts in a game with 36 versus Michigan (made 11).

Last Time Out
Game 9 - No. 16 Michigan 71, at Washington 70 (Dec 9) - LeeAnn Bies scored a career-high 27 points and hit two free throws with 10.7 seconds left to lift No. 16 Michigan past Washington 71-70 in the Pac-10/Big Ten Challenge. It was Michigan coach Sue Guevara's 100th victory. Jennifer Smith scored 14 points, and Alayne Ingram 13 for Michigan (7-1). Bies had 11 rebounds for her fourth straight double-double. Loree Payne tied a school record with seven 3-pointers and scored 23 points for Washington (5-4). Andrea Lalum had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Kellie O'Neill added 10 points for the Huskies. Payne missed a 12-footer with four seconds remaining and O'Neill missed on a short follow shot as time expired. The Huskies attempted a school-record 36 3-pointers, hitting 11. Michigan's inside game helped it get 22 free throws - it made 15 - while the Huskies were 5-for-7 on free throws. There were four lead changes in the first half, and Payne's 3-pointer 5:54 before halftime gave the Huskies their biggest lead at 34-26. Smith scored four points as Michigan took the lead back with a 7-0 run early in the second half. There were 10 lead changes and three ties in the second half. Lalum hit a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left to give Washington a 70-69 lead that Bies erased.

Game 8 - at Washington 85, Indiana 73 - Washington's put six players in double-digits to defeat Indiana, 85-73, on the first day of the Les Schwab Pac-10/Big Ten Challenge at the Bank of America Arena. Sophomore Giuliana Mendiola led all Washington scorers with 17 points, and equaled a career-high with eight assists. Also scoring in double-figures for the Huskies (5-3) were juniors Loree Payne (16), Kellie O'Neill (12) and Emily Autrey (11), sophomore Andrea Lalum (14) and redshirt freshman Sarah Keeler (10). Senior Jill Chapman led the Hoosiers (4-3) with 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting, before fouling out with 5:27 remaining and Indiana down nine, 67-58. Washington opened the game on a tear, hitting a trio of three-pointers in the first five minutes and taking a 30-13 lead at the 10:19 mark. Poor rebounding dogged the Huskies throughout the half, however, as Indiana took advantage of second-chance shots in the lane to close to 41-31 at the half. Washington increased its lead to as much as 15 midway through the half, but Indiana rallied to close within seven, 76-69, on a layin by Jill Hartman with 2:14 remaining. The Huskies clamped down on defense, however, holding the visitors without a field goal the rest of the way to seal the victory. For the game, Washington was outrebounded 42-31 - just one board better than its season-low of 30 set Sunday at San Francisco - but forced 31 Hoosiers turnovers, while committing just 16.

Dawgbite: Washington's victory over Northeastern in the Seattle Times Classic Nov. 24 made 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, has a record of 86-70 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 passed Kathie Neir (1975-79) when she moved to No. 2.

About the Washington State Cougars
Washington State is currently on a five-game losing streak, with the most recent game a 75-68 setback to Montana State last Sunday in Pullman ... the Cougars are led by two players in double figures, senior Brittney Hawks at 12.5 points per game and true freshman Francine McCurtain at 12.3 points ... the lone two wins of the season came against Portland State (55-49) and Gonzaga (80-72) ... coach Jenny Przekwas is in her third season with the team and has a record of 17-49 in that span ... she is 150-148 in her 11th season overall.

The Husky-Cougar Series
Washington leads the series with Washington State, 42-10, and has won the last 12 in a row ... WSU's last win in the series was a 72-67 game in Pullman on Feb. 25, 1995 ... the Cougars' last win in Seattle was a 75-72 overtime victory on Jan. 9, 1993 ... Husky assistant coach Sunny Smallwood was an assistant coach at Washington State from 1990-95, on former coach Harold Rhodes' staff ... Husky head coach June Daugherty has a career mark of 12-4 versus Washington State.

Point the Way: It's still early but freshman Kristen O'Neill has steadily emerged as a capable floor leader. O'Neill, a 6-foot guard, made her first collegiate start against Indiana, Dec. 7. She is averaging 20 minutes per game and has proved adept at handling point guard duties behind Giuliana Mendiola as well as rotating at shooting guard. O'Neill is shooting 47 percent from the floor and several times has come up with clutch baskets late in the game. Accurate from any distance, she was 5-of-7 from three point range on the roadtrip to Saint Mary's and USF, with all three of her field goals from behind the arc at St. Mary's.

Steady as She Goes: Often overlooked on the stat sheet, redshirt junior Cheryl Sorenson is one of the Huskies' most consistent players. A versatile guard/forward, she is averaging 19 minutes a game and is adept at coming off the bench and breaking down the opponents' defense. Sorenson also gives the Huskies, who have just one senior on the roster, a four-year player who knows the system. She pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds at St. Mary's, a figure that included six offensive boards. She passed out four assists versus Indiana, the second time this season she has done that.

Injury Update: Freshman guard Kayla Burt has a stress fracture in her left foot and will be out four to six weeks (beginning Nov. 24). The last game she played was against Northeastern. Sophomore guard Gioconda Mendiola has a stress fracture in her lower right leg. She will be out four to six weeks (beginning Dec. 7). The last game she played was at USF. All other Huskies are healthy entering the week.

Double Digits: Washington currently has four players averaging double figure scoring, led by junior Loree Payne's 14.2 points per game. Sophomore Andrea Lalum and junior Emily Autrey are right behind, with 13.2 and 11.3 points per game, respectively and sophomore point guard Giuliana Mendiola rounds out the group with 10.1 ppg. Coach Daugherty continues to emphasize the depth of her bench, constantly rotating fresh players in and out of the game. The strategy was a key element of the team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament last year and continues to be a source of strength this season.

Memorials: The Washington basketball team is wearing a black memorial stripe on their uniforms this season. The stripe, which has the number 16 on it, is in memory of the 16 Husky fans who lost their lives in a plane crash in Mexico Sept. 12, 2001. The fans were on a side-trip of a Husky fan cruise to the Miami-Washington football game that had been scheduled for Sept. 15. In addition, the team is wearing an American flag on the back of their jerseys to remember victims of the events of Sept. 11.

A Glance at the Huskies
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, the 2001-02 team has high expectations for 2002. Washington opened 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 has not skipped 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.

Top Turnarounds
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.

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.

The Schedule
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.

Special K
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. 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.

Happy Birthday
Eight Huskies will be celebrating their birthdays in-season this year. Emily Autrey (11/24/80) celebrated her 21st birthday when Washington played Santa Clara in the championship game of the Seattle Times Classic. Freshman Kirsten Brockman (12/9/82) celebrated her 19th birthday prior to the Michigan game. 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).

Preseason Rankings
Voted upon by the coaches of the Pac-10, Washington was tabbed to finish second in the conference race, behind only Stanford who garnered nine first-place votes. USC was the only other school to earn the voter's confidence with one first-place nod. This is the second year in a row that the Cardinal has been picked to win the conference race. For the Huskies, the second place pre-season pick in the coaches poll is their highest vote ever since the inception of the poll in 1998. The previous years have been as follows:2000-01: 6th (tied-UCLA)
1999-00: 6th
1998-99: 4th

Pac-10 Women's Basketball Coaches Poll
1. Stanford (9) 81
2. Washington 65
3. USC (1) 63
4. Arizona State 58
5t. Arizona 50
Oregon 50
7. Oregon State 39
8t. California 19
10. Washington State 11

More Polls
Washington also made its mark in the national preseason polls. The Huskies were picked to finish 13th in the country by Athlon, ninth by Slam Magazine and 20th by Lindy's.

Notes on the Pac-10 Postseason Tournament
For the first time ever, the Pac-10 Conference will hold a postseason tournament. Set for March 1-4 at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore., the tournament will feature all 10 conference teams. The winner receives the Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The tournament bracket will be seeded according to the final conference standings, with the league champion earning the top seed. The team that finishes the regular season atop the Pac-10 standings, based on double round robin play, is the conference champion.

Women's Basketball Auction - Jan. 19, 2002
The Washington women's basketball team is hosting an auction to help raise funds for its tour to Australia in June, 2002. The event, the first of its kind by a Husky team, will be held in conjunction with the Stanford game Jan. 19 at Bank of America Arena. Feature auction items to be included are Husky memorabilia, special event time with the Huskies, and other exciting travel and entertainment items.Date: Saturday, January 19, 2001When: Silent Auction- Pre-game 1:30am (tip-off 3 p.m.)Location: North Court, Bank of America Arena at Hec EdmundsonRegistration: There will be no registration for the silent auction. Aregistration fee of $25 is required for the Live Auction (dinnerprovided). Invitations will be mailed Dec. 15.To register, please contact Chris Miller in the UW Athletic Department at (206) 616-9280.

Washington's Tuite on NCAA Women's Basketball Committee
Marie Tuite, senior associate athletic director at Washington, began her appointment on the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee Sept. 1, 2001. Tuite, in her seventh year at Washington, has joined the 10-member committee that is charged with the selection of teams and overall administration of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. She brings an extensive background in women's basketball to the committee. Last year Tuite, who oversees Olympic Sports at Washington, chaired the Pac-10 Ad Hoc Committee on Women's Basketball. The group was instrumental in the adoption of the Pac-10 Conference Women's Basketball Tournament that will begin in 2002. She currently chairs the Tournament Steering Committee that is assisting in the administration of the conference tournament. In addition, Tuite has served as the NCAA administrator at NCAA first and second round basketball championship sites. Current chair of the NCAA Basketball Committee is Maryalyce Jeremiah from California State University, Fullerton. Tuite joined the Husky staff after serving as the assistant director of championships for the NCAA since 1989. She was a liaison for the NCAA's sports committees in the administration and conduct of various championships. Prior to her tenure at the NCAA, she spent five years as an assistant athletic director at the University of California.

New Huskies
Three top girls basketball players have signed national letters of intent during the early signing period, to attend Washington next year. Erica Schelly, Angie Jones and Jill Bell will play for the Huskies beginning in the fall of 2002. As a 5-foot-11 guard, Schelly joins the Huskies from Fort Collins, Colo. (Poudre HS) as a NIKE All-American. She led the Impalas to the Sweet 16 of the Class 5A state tournament in each of her three basketball campaigns, along with a third place finish in the Northern Colorado league three straight years. Schelly garnered first team all-conference honors in 1998, 1999 and 2000, while also earning all-state honorable mention honors her last two seasons. Jones, a 5-foot-9 guard out of Seattle, Wash. (Holy Names Academy) led Holy Names to two consecutive Class 3A state appearances. While also helping her team win two Metro league championships in 1999 and 2000, Jones was invited to NIKE's Best in the West tournament and the Superstar Basketball Camp. She did not play basketball during her junior season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament but returns for her senior year. Bell, a 6-foot-0 forward hailing from Bellevue, Wash., (Bellevue HS) earned honorable mention honors in the KingCo league her sophomore and junior seasons. She led the Wolverines to a first place finish in conference play all three years and to sixth place at the Class 3A state championship in 2001. Bell also excelled in track and field, claiming the top mark in the state's long jump two consecutive years.

Husky Talk
Husky head coach June Daugherty can be heard every Monday night on 'Husky Talk' a half-hour call-in show featured on KOMO radio am 1000. Daugherty's segment, hosted by Steve Sandmeyer, runs from 6:30-7 p.m. each Monday. The show opens with a half hour stint with Husky men's coach Bob Bender and host Bob Rondeau from 6-6:30 p.m.

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