Women's Hoops Hosts Seattle Times Classic Nov. 26-27

Nov. 24, 2004

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This Week:
After suffering its first loss of the season at Michigan Monday, the Washington women's basketball team (2-1) returns home to host the 18th Annual Seattle Times Husky Classic at Bank of America Arena, Friday, Nov. 26, and Saturday, Nov. 27. Washington is slated to face Wisconsin-Milwaukee (0-2) on Friday at 3 p.m., a contest preceded by Alabama (2-0) versus Columbia (2-0) at 12:30 p.m. On Saturday, the winners will play in the championship game at 3 p.m., with the consolation game at 12:30 p.m. Washington's games can be heard live on the radio at KKNW 1150 AM. Live scoring for all games and a live webcast of the Husky games can be accessed at www.gohuskies.com. The webcast is available as part of the College Sports Pass subscription service which features exclusive live and on-demand video and audio content.

Radio Coverage:
All Husky women's basketball games can be heard live on the radio at KKNW 1150 AM. Steve Sandmeyer enters his sixth season calling the action, while former Husky Elise (Niemela) Woodward will join Sandmeyer on home broadcasts. Fans can also listen to games on the internet at www.gohuskies.com.

Live Webcast:
Washington's games this weekend can be seen on a live webcast at www.gohuskies.com. A subscription to College Sports Pass to view these games can be purchased on the website for $6.95 a month or $49.95 for an entire year. The radio broadcasts from all UW women's basketball games are also included in the package.

Huskies Lose Lead At Michigan, Fall 75-68:
After coming from behind to post its early season wins over South Carolina and Minnesota, the Huskies were unable to hold their own lead at Michigan, their first road test of the year. Wolverine freshman forward Ta'Shia Walker scored a career-high 22 points and Tabitha Pool added a double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds) as Michigan came from 12 points down to defeat UW, 75-68. Redshirt sophomore forward Jill Bell led four Huskies in double-figures with 12 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Cheri Craddock added 11 off the bench, while redshirt juniors Kayla Burt and Kristen O'Neill scored 10 each. The Huskies jumped out to a 34-22 first-half lead with a 19-4 run. UW forced Michigan into 15 first-half turnovers while committing just one in the first 18 minutes of the game. Michigan gained momentum in the final two minutes of the half, forcing two turnovers and scoring eight points to cut UW's lead to 36-30 at the intermission. The Wolverines came out of the lockerroom picking up right where they left off. Michigan forced six quick UW turnovers to ignite a 28-12 run to open the period, giving the Wolverines their largest lead at 58-48 with 9:58 to play. Despite cutting the lead to four on five separate occasions within the final five minutes, UW was unable to get any closer, missing their last seven consecutive shots. Michigan dominated on the glass, grabbing 48 rebounds to the Huskies' 37. Michigan went to the line 39 times (22-39), while UW went to the line eight times (3-8).

Seattle Times Husky Classic:
Washington has hosted the Seattle Times Husky Classic since 1986, winning the tournament title 11 times, including the last two straight. Other tourney champions include Louisiana Tech (1987), Long Beach State (1988), Colorado (1994), Kansas (1998), Oklahoma State (1999) and Santa Clara (2001). UW has advanced to the championship game in all 17 previous tournaments. Last season, UW came away with a first-round win over Gonzaga (70-56) and a championship win over Oklahoma State (89-65). UW's Giuliana Mendiola is the only player in the tournament'shistory to garner three MVP honors (2000, 2002, 2003). Alabama, Columbia and Wisconsin-Milwaukee are making their first Seattle Times Husky Classic appearances.

Fast Fact:
Washington has never played a game versus any of this year's three Seattle Times Classic opponents.

Scouting Alabama:
The Crimson Tide (2-0) is riding the wave of a pair of victories over Michigan (81-79, OT) and Middle Tennessee (80-66). Alabama, led by head coach Rick Moody, has three players averaging at least 11 points per game. Senior forward Natasha Gamble is shooting 57.7 percent from the field, averaging 19 points and four rebounds. Sophomore guard Marverly Nettles, who sank the gamewinning basket with three seconds remaining in overtime versus Michigan, has 18 points and six rebounds per game. Alabama's top rebounder is junior center Dee Merriweather with 10 boards a game. Alabama's trip to Seattle is its first away from Tuscaloosa this season.

Scouting Columbia:
Like Alabama, Columbia (2-0) has two games under its belt and two wins. Columbia opened the season with a 72-39 victory over Army, Nov. 20, and a 65-53 win over St. Francis, Nov. 21. Four players lead Traci Waites' team in double-figures including senior guard Susan Kern (14.0 ppg), sophomore guard Megan Griffith (12.0 ppg), senior forward Erin Jaschik (12.0 ppg) and and senior forward Adia Revell (11.5 ppg). Revell is also the team's top rebounder with 9.5 boards per game. Friday's game versus Alabama also marks Columbia's first road game.

Scouting Wisconsin-Milwaukee:
The Panthers (0-2) are hungry for their first win of the year when they make the trek to Seattle. Wisconsin-Milwaukee has dropped games to Marquette (66-74) on Nov. 20 and 20th-ranked DePaul (67-89) on Tuesday night. The Panthers, led by head coach Sandy Botham, open the year playing seven straight road games and don't have their home opener until Dec. 12 versus Northwestern. Junior forward Nichole Drummond has been the Panthers' leading scorer in both games, coming off the bench to drop 16 points at Marquette and 18 at DePaul. UWM's three other players averaging in double-figures are senior forward Teri Huff (13.5), junior forward Molly O'Brien (10.5) and senior forward Kimberly Becker (10.0). O'Brien is the team's top rebounder (7.0 rpg).

Dawg Bites:
• UW received votes in this week's ESPN/USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll (24) and the Associated Press Poll (40). Washington's point total in the AP poll puts the squad at No. 26, behind 25th-ranked Arizona.
• Washington opened the season 2-0 for just the third time in head coach June Daugherty's nine-year tenure and and the 11th time in school history. UW opened last season 2-0 with wins over Maine and Lipscomb in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort Classic. UW also opened 2-0 under Daugherty in 1997-98, when the Huskies began the year on a 10-game win streak.
• The win over No. 14 Minnesota (Nov. 15) was Washington's first over a ranked non-conference opponent since March 24, 2001, when UW defeated Oklahoma in the NCAA Sweet 16. The Huskies had lost to five-straight ranked non-conference opponents until Nov. 15.
• UW's win over the Gophers was also the Huskies' first over a ranked opponent (conference or non-conference) since defeating Stanford at home (92-68) Feb. 13, 2003.
• Seven different players reached double-figure scoring in the Huskies' first three games. Sophomore forward Breanne Watson, redshirt junior guard Kayla Burt and redshirt junior guard Kristen O'Neill have reached double-figures twice. Sophomore guard Cameo Hicks had a team-high 14 points versus Minnesota.
• Bench player Hicks is Washington's leading scorer. She averages 9.3 points per game. Watson, O'Neill and Burt are close behind with 9.0 points.
• Redshirt sophomore forward Jill Bell has been UW's leading rebounder in all three games, averaging a team-high of 8.7 boards.
• The Huskies have gone to the line a total of 62 times, while their opponents have done so 83 times.
• Washington's defense has been key, as the Huskies own a 17-7 advantage on blocks, 30-19 advantage on steals and have forced 81 turnovers while committing 53 of their own.

UW Upsets 2004 Final Four Team Minnesota:
The second day of the WBCA BTI Classic, pitted the Huskies against the 14th-ranked Golden Gophers of Minnesota, a team that advanced to the NCAA semifinals last season. It was another come-back win with Washington trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half before a 17-9 UW run cut the lead to three at halftime. The Huskies ended up taking Minnesota to overtime with the score knotted at 58 at the end of regulation. It didn't take long for UW to put Minnesota away, as sophomore Jill Bell and Cameo Hicks accounted for 10 of UW's 14 overtime points. UW never trailed in overtime, outscoring the Gophers 14-9. Hicks led UW with 14 points, while Breanne Watson chipped in 11 and Kristen O'Neill 10. Bell pulled down a game-high 11 boards. Watson was named tournament MVP and joined junior Kayla Burt on the All-Tournament team.

Season/Home Openers:
With UW's win over South Carolina, Nov. 14, the Huskies are 21-10 all-time in season openers and have won the last four straight. Washington made its season debut on its home court for the first time since the 1996-97 season. That year, UW fell to Louisiana Tech 73-70 at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Washington is 25-6 in its home openers, and has won four-straight as well. The last home-opening loss for the Huskies came to No. 1 Connecticut (100-54) in 2000-01.

Burt's Back:
Washington's season opener with South Carolina, Nov. 14, marked the first offical game for junior guard Kayla Burt since Dec. 28, 2002, a span of 687 days. Burt suffered a cardiac arrest episode on Dec. 31, 2002 and initially retired from basketball after being diagnosed with a heart condition called Long QT Syndrome. At the time, Burt had a defibrillator implanted on the right side of her chest. Last year she underwent further testing that revealed she did not have the condition and UW granted permission for her to rejoin the team on Aug. 17, 2004. She didn't waste any time getting into the action, tying for the team lead in scoring with 12 points in her season debut, including a 7-for-8 mark from the charity stripe. Burt was second on the team with seven rebounds versus Minnesota, and wowed the crowd with a flashy behind the back pass to Emily Florence for a fast-break layin. Burt reached double-figures in two of three games, with 10 points at Michigan and a season-high seven assists in Ann Arbor.

Jumpin' Jill:
Forward Jill Bell has quickly established herself as Washington's leading rebounder in these early games. Bell, who was second on the team in that category as a freshman, had a team-high seven boards versus South Carolina, a game-high 11 versus Minnesota and a team-high eight at Michigan. A standout long jumper in high school, Bell's jumping ability has translated into success for the Huskies on the basketball court. Bell was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention team last year, despite only starting the last nine games of the season. She pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds last season versus Denver.

Fantastic Frosh:
Two of the Huskies most explosive players on the floor have been two freshmen guards, Emily Florence and Dominique Banks. Florence, who measures in at just 5-5, started her first three collegiate contests. She ranks third on the team in assists (6), behind veterans Kayla Burt and Kristen O'Neill with nine apiece. Banks is averaging 15.3 minutes off the bench, and scored 12 points in her collegiate debut versus South Carolina. Banks shot 4-for-10 from the field, and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. She is also tied for the team lead in steals with Kristen O'Neill (five).

Lending A Hand:
Junior guard Kristen O'Neill hasn't missed a beat despite sitting out all of last year battling a stress fracture in her left foot. O'Neill is tied for the team-lead in assists with Kayla Burt (nine), and dished a team-high three assists in UW's first two games. O'Neill is also tied with Dominique Banks for the team lead in steals (five) and averages 9.0 points.

Total Team Effort:
Head coach June Daugherty has the luxury of an extremely deep bench which was evident in the first three games. Five different players averaged over 20 minutes of playing time, while another five averaged at least 15 minutes. Daugherty has gone with two different starting lineups so far. Guards Kristen O'Neill, Kayla Burt and Emily Florence have started all games, as has forward Jill Bell. Forward Breanne Watson has started the last two, while Cheri Craddock started UW's season opener. UW's leading scorer at this point is sophomore guard Cameo Hicks, averaging 9.3 points off the bench.

Home Sweet Home:
Washington has the luxury of playing four of its first five games at home, where it has recorded an overall record of 27-5 since 2002-03. After Saturday, UW will hit the road for three straight and won't return to Bank of America Arena until Dec. 15 against nationally ranked Baylor.

Huskies Pick Up Two Exhibition Wins:
Washington prepped for the regular season by winning both its exhibition contests, defeating Baden Sports (86-49) and Vanguard University (83-54) handily. Over the course of two games, the Huskies had six different players reach double-figure scoring, led by sophomore guard Cheri Craddock's 14 points versus Vanguard. Freshman guard Dominique Banks was the only player to reach double-figures in both games, twice scoring 11 points. Banks just missed a double-double adding a team-high nine boards versus Vanguard. Junior guard Kayla Burt had a team-high 13 points versus Baden Sports, while sophomore forward Jill Bell (12 pts.) and sophomore guard Cameo Hicks (12) also reached double-digits. Banks and sophomore forward Breanne Watson (12 pts.) joined Craddock in double-figures versus Vanguard. Junior guard Kristen O'Neill grabbed a team-high 10 boards versus Baden Sports as well. Baden Sports was a team made up of former collegiate players from the West Coast, including former Huskies Emily Autrey, Alicia Heathcote and Sara Best. Vanguard is an NAIA school that advanced to the national quarterfinals in 2004.

Changing of the Guard:
Washington's roster features eight players who did not play collegiate basketball last year. Five are freshmen Dominique Banks, Stefanie Clark, Emily Florence, Jackie Hollands and Andrea Plouffe. The other three - Kayla Burt, Kristen O'Neill, and Erica Schelly - redshirted 2003-04. Burt missed due to a heart condition, while O'Neill and Schelly nursed foot injuries. O'Neill had a stress fracture in her left foot, while Schelly broke her left foot in the first day of practice last year.

Bring On The Best:
Washington has a challenging schedule, facing seven NCAA Tournament teams from last year and three WNIT squads. UW met its first test against 2004 NCAA Final Four team Minnesota, defeating the 14th-ranked Gophers 72-67 in overtime, Nov. 15. Washington will face four more opponents ranked in this week's Top 25 polls. The Huskies have a stretch in December when they face three Top-25 opponents in four meetings: Notre Dame (No. 6/No. 6), Baylor (No. 9/No. 12) and Arizona (No. 25/No. 24). Throw in a trip to Stanford (No. 7/No. 5) after the New Year on Jan. 4, and the Huskies have their hands full. (Rankings according Associated Press/USA Today-ESPN-WBCA Coaches Poll)

Huskies On Television:
Eight games have been selected for either national or local broadcast by Fox Sports Net and Fox Sports Northwest. UW's schedule will kick off with an FSN national broadcast of its home game with Baylor, Wed., Dec. 15, at 8 p.m. Washington's next home game against Colorado, Tues., Dec. 21, at 8 p.m. will be televised locally on FSN Northwest. The Huskies' other FSN nationally televised game will be at Oregon State, Saturday, Jan. 15, at 3 p.m. FSN Northwest will pick up three additional home contests including Arizona State (Dec. 29, 7 p.m.), USC (Jan. 7, 7 p.m.) and Washington State (Feb. 19, 6 p.m.). Washington's road games at Stanford, Jan. 4, and at WSU, Jan. 22, will also be picked up by FSN Northwest. Two more games have the potential to be broadcast as a wildcard selection by FSN, the Feb. 12 home game versus Oregon and the Feb. 26 regular season finale at Arizona.

Husky Coaching Staff:
June Daugherty enters her ninth season as the head coach of the Husky women's basketball team, having led Washington to the postseason all but one year of her tenure. She has guided UW to four NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2000-01, and three trips to the WNIT. She was also one of 25 finalists for the prestigious Naismith Coach of the Year award in 2002-03. Twice has a Daugherty squad reached the 22-win plateau and only once has a Husky squad finished with less than 16 wins in a season. Daugherty has compiled a UW record of 142-100, and a career record of 265-174. She coached seven seasons at Boise State before coming to Seattle. Her husband, Mike, is the Huskies' Associate Head Coach, while Janet Soderberg and Kellie Lewis-Jay are the two assistants. Mike Daugherty is in his ninth year with the team, while Soderberg begins her first season and Lewis-Jay enters her second year.

The Boise Connection:
Washington's entire coaching staff, as well as two players, all have connections to Boise, Idaho. June and Mike Daugherty coached at Boise State from 1990-1996, and among the players they coached were current UW assistants Janet Soderberg and Kellie Lewis-Jay. Soderberg also coached with the Daughertys for one season at BSU (1995-96), and coached Lewis-Jay as a player from 1995-98. Sophomore Maggie O'Hara and freshman Emily Florence both hail from Boise, Idaho, and were teammates at Timberline High School. Lewis-Jay coached the pair on an AAU Idaho Elite team during their prep careers.

Youth Movement:
It's safe to say that Washington is beginning a new era in women's basketball, as 12 of the 15 players on the roster are underclassmen - seven sophomores and five freshmen. UW's elder states'women' are redshirt juniors Kayla Burt, Nicole Castro and Kristen O'Neill. Student assistant Kirsten Brockman is a senior, but was forced to retire from basketball prior to the 2003-04 season after suffering from severe stress fracture injuries. Brockman is studying abroad and will return to the team in late December. The last time Washington did not have a single senior on its roster was 1999-2000.

Huskies Top Attendance Charts:
Washington led the Pac-10 in home attendance the last two years, as well as ranking among the Top-20 national leaders in home attendance. The Huskies' average attendance in 2003-04 was 4,255 fans per game. UW attracted over 6,000 fans for two home games last year, versus Arizona and USC. In 2002-03, UW set an all-time women's basketball attendance record at the arena, when 8,408 fans packed the house to watch the Huskies defeat UCLA 111-77. And for the first time in school history, UW had back-to-back crowds of over 8,000 when 8,083 attended the game versus Stanford on Feb. 13. Washington's average home attendance in 2002-03 was 4,981 and for Pac-10 home games, an average of 5,839 fans were on hand to cheer on the Huskies.

Injury Report:
Redshirt-sophomore guard Angie Jones and freshman forward Andrea Plouffe missed the first three games due to injury. Jones, who had two ACL reconstruction surgeries on her right knee, had arthroscopic surgery on that same knee Oct. 26. Plouffe, who had knee surgery as a high school senior last year, suffered a strained Achilles tendon in preseason practice. Both players expect to return to active duty soon.

March Madness Is Back In Seattle:
For the second straight year, Washington will play host to NCAA March Madness. After hosting the NCAA West Regional last year, UW will host the 2005 NCAA Women's Basketball First and Second Rounds, Saturday, March 19, and Monday, March 21. This year the first and second rounds will be conducted at eight predetermined sites, which represents a change from the previous 16 first and second round sites. Tickets are available by calling the Husky ticket office at 206-543-2200 or by logging onto www.gohuskies.com. All-session ticket prices for adults are $40, while student and youth (under age 18) will be $24. Single-session prices are $16 for adults and $10 for student/youth. Should the Huskies advance to the NCAA Tournament, they would play on their home court at Bank of America Arena.

Up Next:
After playing four of its first five games at home, the Huskies hit the road for three straight at away from Seattle at Utah (Dec. 4), Denver (Dec. 6) and sixth-ranked Notre Dame (Dec. 11).