Women's Hoops Hosts Exhibition With NWBL Sunday To Tip-Off 2003-04 Season

Nov. 6, 2003

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This Week:
Washington opens its 30th season of women's basketball hosting a pair of exhibition games with teams from the NWBL (National Women's Basketball League). The Huskies will make their season debut versus the NWBL (Southeast Tour), Sun., Nov. 9, at 4 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. Washington will wrapup its brief exhibition season Sun., Nov. 16, when they face the NWBL West Coast Tour team, also a 4 p.m. game at Bank of America Arena. Admission is free for the Nov. 9 exhibition game, while regular season ticket prices come into effect for the Nov. 16 contest. Washington opens the regular season at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, Nov. 22-23.

Radio Coverage:
All Husky women's basketball games, with the exception of both home exhibitions, can be heard live on the radio at KKNW 1150 AM. Steve Sandmeyer is in his fifth season calling the action. Fans can also listen to the games on the internet at www.gohuskies.com.

2003-2004 Season Outlook:
Washington returns three starters and six letterwinners from the 2002-03 squad that tied for second in the Pac-10 Conference for the second-straight year and advanced to the NCAA Championship for the second time in three seasons. Senior G Giuliana Mendiola, last year's Pac-10 Player of the Year, senior F/C Andrea Lalum, an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection, and junior G Kristen O'Neill will be relied upon to carry the momemtum of last year's success over to a new season. Without even playing an official game, the Huskies have already been dealt adversity in the opening weeks of practice. After battling stress fractures in both feet for the last 1 1/2 years, redshirt sophomore Kirsten Brockman became the third Husky in the last 10 months to have her career end prematurely. Sophomore Erica Schelly went down with a broken foot in the first day of practice and O'Neill has a stress fracture in her left foot which will cause her to miss the beginning of the season. Despite dealing with injuries and losing five seniors from last year, including Washington's all-time career leader in three-point scoring Loree Payne, the Huskies return veteran leadership in Mendiola, Lalum, and senior G Gioconda Mendiola who are all ready to take over the reigns. Joining that veteran talent will be two players coming off redshirt seasons in Jill Bell and Angie Jones, along with true freshmen Cheri Craddock, Cameo Hicks, Maggie O'Hara and Breanne Watson. Craddock, a walkon, was a late addition to the roster and came to Washington initially on a track scholarship.

Familiar Face:
Husky fans will recognize a familiar face when Washington plays its first exhibition game this Sunday. Jamie Redd, who played at UW from 1996-99, is on the roster for the NWBL Southeast Team. Redd, who has played with the Seattle Storm and overseas in Israel for one season since graduating from Washington, is the Huskies' all-time leading scorer with 2,027 points (17.8 avg). She remains on many Top-10 UW career and single-season lists.

Looking Ahead:
UW will make its season debut on the road for the fourth-straight year, traveling to Honolulu, Hawaii, to take part in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort Classic, hosted by the University of Hawaii, Nov. 22-23. The four-team tournament field includes UW's first-round opponent Maine, along with Lipscomb and Hawaii.

Mendiola Garners Preseason Honors:
Senior guard Giuliana Mendiola, last year's Pac-10 Player of the Year and an honorable mention All-America selection, has already garnered her share of preseason honors heading into the start of her final collegiate campaign. Mendiola has been selected to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-America Team and is a preseason candidate for The State Farm Wade Trophy. She was also named to the Preseason All-Pac-10 squad, as well as Street & Smith's All-America Terrific 10 team. Last year, Mendiola led the Huskies in scoring (17.5 ppg), rebounding (6.5) and assists (5.4). Mendiola set a UW record with 43 points versus UCLA (Feb. 1, 2003) and equaled a UW record with 13 assists versus Oregon State (Jan. 25, 2003). With 162 assists last year, Mendiola also set a new single-season assists record. She enters her senior campaign with 1,267 points (11th all-time) and 440 career assists (second all-time). Mendiola needs 120 assists to eclipse Leteia Hughley's school record of 559. In addition to the all-time assists list, Mendiola ranks among the Top-10 in seven other career lists (field goal percentage, free-throw percentage, free-throws attempted, three-point field goals made, three-poing field goals attempted and three-point field goal percentage). See page three of this release for current Huskies on UW''s career Top-10 lists.

The Schedule:
The UW women's basketball team faces yet another challenging schedule in 2003-2004, a slate that features nine televised games and five teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament last year. After making its season debut in Hawaii, Washington returns home to host its own tournament, the Seattle Times Husky Classic, Nov. 28-29. The Huskies will welcome Gonzaga, Yale and Oklahoma State. The rest of Washington's non-conference schedule will truly test the Huskies for the Pac-10 slate, hosting games with Notre Dame, Texas Tech and Denver, while traveling to Colorado and Iowa State. Washington opens the always competitve Pac-10 schedule at the Arizona schools, Dec. 27 (Arizona) and Dec. 29 (Arizona State). The third annual Pac-10 Conference postseason tournament will be held at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., March 5-8.

Preseason RPI Rankings:
According to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association-Summerville RPI rankings, Washington has a non-conference rank of 46th, while its overall strength of schedule ranks 85th. Tennessee ranks No. 1 in both RPI polls. USC has the highest overall (28th) and non-conference (sixth) RPI strength of schedule rankings of any Pac-10 team.

Ranked Opponents:
This year Washington will face five opponents ranked in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Top-25 Preseason Coaches Poll (released Nov. 4), including No. 6 Texas Tech, No. 7 Stanford, No. 16 Notre Dame, No. 20 Colorado and No. 22 Arizona. Washington did not appear in the Top-25, but finished 33rd in the voting.

Huskies On Television:
Nine games on the Huskies' 2003-2004 slate will be televised, including four to a national audience on Fox Sports Net and five to a local audience on Fox Sports Net-Northwest. Washington's game with Notre Dame on Sun., Dec. 7 (1 p.m.) at Bank of America Arena in Seattle will be one of three home contests nationally televised. Additional home games include the Huskies' Jan. 24 game with Washington State (2 p.m.) and their regular season finale with Arizona, Sat., Feb. 28 (1 p.m.). The fourth contest televised nationally will be Washington's game at UCLA, Sun., Jan. 11 (12 p.m.). Home contests televised locally include the Texas Tech game, Fri., Dec. 19 (7:30 p.m.) and Stanford, Sun., Jan. 4 (4 p.m.). Also televised will be UW's home game with Oregon State, Sat., Jan. 17 (5 p.m.) and a road game with WSU in Pullman, Sat., Feb. 21 (1 or 3 p.m.). Additionally, one more road game has the potential to be picked up by Fox Sports Net as a wildcard selection, the Feb. 14 contest at Oregon (2 p.m.).

UW Picked Third In Pac-10 Coaches and Media Polls:
UW women's basketball was picked by both the league's coaches and the media to finish third in the final 2003-2004 Pac-10 standings. Stanford, who claimed the conference title last season with a 15-3 record, was tabbed by both the coaches and the media to win this year's Pac-10 title.

UW Coming Off Record Setting Season For Attendance:
Last year, the Huskies wowed record-setting crowds at Bank of America Arena with their 14-0 undefeated record. In 2002-03, the Huskies led the Pac-10 with an average attendance of 4,981. That same mark ranked 18th in the nation. UW also averaged 5,839 fans for its Pac-10 games, a figure which included a single-game attendance record of 8,408 set vs. UCLA. UW's total attendance of 69, 732 was the highest single-season attendance in Husky basketball history.

Huskies Look To Extend Undefeated Home Streak:
When Washington takes the floor at Bank of America Arena on Nov. 28 against Gonzaga, it will be looking to continue its 14-game home winning streak which dates back to its 2002-03 home opener with St. Bonaventure last season. The last time Washington was defeated on its home court was by Oregon on March 22, 2002 in the third round of the WNIT. Washington's current 14-game streak is the fifth-longest home winning streak in Husky history. The longest was a 30-game streak from 1986-88.

Husky Coaching Staff:
Aiming to guide the Huskies to their seventh postseason appearance during her tenure, UW head coach June Daugherty enters her eighth season at the helm of the women's basketball program. She has an overall record of 122-86 at Washington and a 14-year career head coaching mark of 245-160. Daugherty, a finalist for last year's Naismith Coach of the Year Award, is assisted by Sunny Smallwood (11th season), Mike Daugherty (eighth season) and Kellie Lewis-Jay (first year).

Pac-10 Tournament:
The Pac-10 Conference plays host to the third annual State Farm Women's Basketball Tournament March 5-8, 2004, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. A total of nine games will be played, with the champion earning the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Arizona State won the inaugural tournament in 2002, while Stanofrd won last year's crown.

March Madness Hits Seattle:
Washington is proud to host the 2004 NCAA Women's West Regional, held March 27 and 29, at Bank of America Arena. Tickets can be purchased on the web at www.gohuskies.com or by calling the Husky Ticket Office at 206-543-2200. Games played on Saturday, March 27 are scheduled for 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., while the regional championship on Monday, March 29 will be held at 6 p.m. All games will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2.

UW Season Ticket and Promotional Info:
Season, fan plan 5-game packs and individual game tickets are now on sale. For more information,contact the Husky ticket office at 206-543-2200. Some key promotional dates for Husky fans have already been set:
Dec. 19 vs. Texas Tech - TGIP Night (free purple T-shirt giveaway)
Jan. 17 vs. Oregon State - Autograph Day
Jan. 24 vs. Washington State - Dodge Challenge (free Harry the Husky bobbleheads for first 2,500 fans)
Feb 7 vs. USC - National Girls & Women in Sports Day

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