Huskies Open 2003-2004 Season At Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort Classic

Nov. 19, 2003

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This Week:
Washington opens its 30th season of women's basketball at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort Classic hosted by the University of Hawaii at the Stan Cheriff Center in Honolulu, Nov. 22-23. The Huskies (0-0) will play first-round opponent, Maine (0-0), Saturday, Nov. 22, at 3 p.m. PT, while Hawaii (0-0) and Lipscomb (0-0) will face-off immediately following at 5 p.m. The tournament continues Sunday, Nov. 23, with the consolation game at 5 p.m. PT, followed by the championship game at 7 p.m. Both Husky games will be broadcast live on the radio at KKNW 1150 AM with Steve Sandmeyer calling the action from courtside. Washington is coming off a pair of exhibition wins, defeating two different NWBL (National Women's Basketball League) teams, 83-42 (Nov. 9) and 98-54 (Nov. 16.).

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 guard Giuliana Mendiola, last year's Pac-10 Player of the Year, senior center Andrea Lalum, an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection, and junior guard 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 were 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 guard 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 sophomore Nicole Castro and 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.

Tournament Glance:
Three of the four teams competing in this week's tournament qualified for postseason play last year. Washington was the only NCAA Tournament team, while the other two made appearances in the WNIT. The Huskies, who tied for second in the Pac-10, lost to Wisconsin-Green Bay in the first-round. Maine went undefeated in conference play and won 25 regular season games, only to miss a NCAA bid. The Black Bears did host the WNIT first-round game, falling to Creighton. Host Hawaii made its fourth straight WNIT appearance, losing to Arizona State in the first-round.

Experimental Rules:
Two experimental rules will be in effect for the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort Classic this weekend. Due to the possiblity that the international 3-point line and the trapezoid free-throw lane could be used in 2004-05, both will be in effect as experimental rules. The international distance for the three-point line is approximately 20'6', while the international free-throw distance from the end line is approximately 19 feet. The Huskies played their first of two exhibition contests with these rules in effect.

Scouting Maine:
Maine returns 10 letterwinners and all five starters from last year's squad that posted a 25-6 record and advanced to the first round of the WNIT. Maine posted a perfect 16-0 record in the America East Conference. The Black Bears are led by senior forward Heather Ernest, who averaged 20 points and 10.2 rebounds last season. Ernest was named America East Player of the Year. Head coach Sharon Versyp is in her fourth year at the helm of the Maine program with a 53-34 record. The Black Bears dominated their exhibition opponents, defeating both Herzogenburg, 81-45, and NWBL Northeast Touring Team, 72-55.

Scouting Lipscomb:
Lipscomb is coming off a 13-15 record last season as an independent, and this year have joined the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Lady Bisons return 11 letterwinners and six part-time starters from last year's squad, led by junior Courtney Boynton who averaged 11.8 points and 5.4 rebounds. Lipscomb is coached by Dick Bennett in his 24th season. Bennett has an overall record of 500-254 with the Lady Bisons. The team easily handled the Nashville All-Stars, 101-52, in their lone exhibition game.

Scouting Hawaii:
The Rainbow Wahine finished 16-14 last season, advancing to the postseason for a school-record fourth consecutive year. UW lost to Arizona State, 57-44, in the first round of the WNIT in Tempe, Ariz. Hawaii returns seven letterwinners and two starters from last year, led by senior guard April Atuaia who averaged 10.6 points and 4.5 rebounds. Atuaia is Hawaii's lone senior on the squad, as the Rainbow Wahine is tied for the fourth youngest NCAA Division I team in the nation. UH is coached by Vince Goo who has an overall record of 326-146 in 16 seasons. Hawaii lost its exhibition contest to the Chines National Team, 80-74.

Season Openers:
Washington opens its season on the road for the fifth-straight year. Overall, the Huskies are 19-10 in season openers, winning four of the last six. Washington is 2-2 in its last four season openers on the road, having won the last two-straight. Last year, Washington defeated Boise State, 75-55, and in 2001-02 took care of Montana State, 73-65. The Huskies lost to Indiana, 77-74, to open the 2000-01 season following a 67-57 loss to UNC-Greensboro in 1999-2000.

Exhibition Recaps:
Washington rolled to a pair of wins in its exhibition games, defeating a NWBL Southeast Touring Team, 83-42, Nov. 9, before a 98-54 drumming of the NWBL West Coast Touring squad, Nov. 16. Seniors Andrea Lalum and Giuliana Mendiola averaged 20 points in the two games. Lalum had a game-high 26 points in Washington's second exhibition contest, while Mendiola added 24 points and 10 rebounds in that same game. In fact, five Huskies averaged double-figuring scoring during the brief exhibition season including freshman Cameo Hicks (12.0), redshirt freshman Angie Jones (11.0) and freshman Breanne Watson (10.0). Watson and Hicks received starting nods in both games, as did Lalum and Giuliana and senior Gioconda Mendiola.

Radio Coverage:
All Husky women's basketball games 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.

Coaches Show:
The Washington Basketball Coaches' Radio Show with June Daugherty airs weekly from 7-7:30 p.m. on KJR (AM 1150). The day of week varies. The show is hosted by UW play-by-play announcer Steve Sandmeyer. The next broadcasts are Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. and Wednesay, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m.

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 and the preseason All-America team for Women's Basketball News Service. 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 the chart on the left for current Huskies on UW's career Top-10 lists.

Mendiola Nears Top-10 All-Time Scoring List:
With 1,267 career points heading into her senior year, senior Giuliana Mendiola needs just 64 more to crack Washington's Top-10 All-Time scoring list. Mendiola is currently in 11th place, behind Amber Hall who had 1,330 points from 1996-99. Jamie Redd owns the Huskies' all-time scoring record with 2,027 points from 1996-99, the only UW player to reach the 2,000-point plateau.

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 preseason Top-25, but finished 33rd in the voting. In this week's coaches poll (released Nov. 19), Washington received 20 votes and remained at 33rd. UW has not been ranked in either AP poll yet this year, but has received votes.

Television Exposure:
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).

Two New Additions To The Husky Family:
Kellie Lewis-Jay is in her first season as the Huskies' third assistant coach, but will miss Washington's season opening tournament in Hawaii. Lewis-Jay and her husband Chris are at home following the birth of their first child, a daughter Kobie Christina, born Nov. 8, 2003.

Student Assistant Coaches:
The careers of three Washington basketball players have come to premature ends in the last 10 months, and all three remain with the Husky squad as student assistant coaches. In Januray, 2003, junior Kayla Burt was diagnosed with a career-ending heart condition called Long Q-T Syndrome, following a cardiac episode on New Year's Eve, 2002. Senior Sarah Keeler suffered a torn ACL just a few days before Washington's NCAA first-round game with Wisconsin-Green Bay and announced her retirment following the 2003 season while facing her sixth knee surgery in the last four years. Finally, junior Kirsten Brockman was forced to retire in late October after battling stress fractures in both feet for the last year and a half.

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 Stanford 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

Up Next:
Washington returns home to host the 17th Annual Seattle Times Husky Classic, Friday, Nov. 28, through Saturday, Nov. 29. Washington will make its home debut against Gonzaga, Friday, at 7 p.m., a game preceded by the Yale vs. Oklahoma State first-round matchup at 5 p.m. The consolation game will be played Saturday at 5 p.m., followed by the championship game at 7 p.m.

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