Husky Women Wrap Road Trip At No. 7 Notre Dame Saturday
Dec. 8, 2004
After splitting a pair of contests at Utah and Denver, Washington women's basketball (4-3) completes a three-game road trip at seventh-ranked Notre Dame (7-1), Saturday, Dec. 11, at 9 a.m. PST (12 p.m. EST) at the Joyce Center on the Notre Dame campus. The game will be televised in Indiana by Comcast Local and can be heard live on the radio in the Seattle area on KKNW AM 1150. Washington's matchup with the Irish begins a stretch where the Huskies face three ranked opponents in their next four games. The Huskies will be greeted by No. 6 Baylor in their next home contest Dec. 15. UW has faced one ranked opponent this year, upsetting then-No. 14 Minnesota at home.
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.
A select number of Husky women's basketball games can be seen via a live webcast at www.gohuskies.com. A subscription to College Sports Pass is necessary to view these games and 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.
Scouting Notre Dame (7-1):
The Irish, ranked seventh in the Associated Press poll and fifth in the WBCA Coaches poll, opened the year winning seven straight before falling to No. 15 Michigan State in overtime (73-82) in its most recent game on Dec. 2. Notre Dame's seven victories include wins over then-No. 6 Duke (76-65), then-No. 10 Ohio State (66-62) and Pac-10 team USC (65-60). Notre Dame's loss to Michigan State was its first on its home court this year, as the Irish are 5-1 at the Joyce Center. The player for the Huskies to focus on is All-American senior foward Jacqueline Batteast (19.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 4.1 apg). Also averaging in double-figure scoring is junior guard Megan Duffy with 14.8 points per game. Notre Dame's leader on the glass is senior center Teresa Borton with 6.8 reboundss per game. The Irish travel to Dayton (3-4) Thursday, before returning home for Saturday's game.
The Series With Notre Dame:
The all-time series between Washington and Notre Dame is deadlocked at 1-1. The Huskies defeated the Irish 85-74 in Seattle last season (Dec. 7, 2003), led by a career night by then-freshman Cameo Hicks. Hicks fueled the Husky offense with 24 points and eight rebounds. Senior Giuliana Mendiola added 27 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, while senior Andrea Lalum contributed a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards. The win marked No. 250 in the career of UW head coach June Daugherty. Notre Dame won the first-ever meeting (80-67) at the Kona Tournament in Hawaii, Dec. 2, 1995. Saturday marks Washington's first trip to South Bend.
Sophomore guard Cameo Hicks' 24 points and 11 field goals made versus Notre Dame last season still stand as her career high numbers in both categories.
Last Time Out:
Junior guards Kayla Burt and Kristen O'Neill each scored 11 points as Washington held off a furious Denver rally for a 64-61 win in the Mile High City, Monday evening. Pioneer freshman Brooke Meyer, one of just seven players in uniform for Denver (0-5), scored a career-high 18 points, leading Denver back from 17 points down in the second half. The Huskies appeared to have the game in hand with just over eight minutes remaining, when sophomore forward Maggie O'Hara laid in a no-look assist from sophomore forward Breanne Watson to give Washington its largest lead of the game at 58-41. That was the last basket the Huskies would make for the next seven minutes, with three turnovers and eight-straight missed shots providing Denver the opening it needed to get back into the game. The Pioneers - who committed 26 turnovers in the first 34 minutes - were nearly flawless in the final six minutes, holding the Huskies to just two field goals and committing zero turnovers to mount a 20-6 run. It was a matter of too little, too late for Denver, as the Pioneers could not cut the lead closer than the final margin. Washington was outrebounded by a 51-37 margin, hit just two of its final 10 shots and missed its last four free throws.
For the third-straight week, UW received votes in the ESPN/USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll. UW did not receive any votes in this week's AP Poll, after receiving votes the last two weeks.
Seven different Huskies reached double-figure scoring in the Huskies' first seven games. Redshirt junior guards Kristen O'Neill and Kayla Burt have each reached double-digits four times, led by Burt's season-high of 18 points at Utah.
The Huskies were held to exactly 56 points in back-to-back losses against Alabama and Utah, marking the first time Washington had been held under 60 points in consecutive games since the 1999-2000 season. For the record, Washington has not been held under 60 points in three consecutive games since the 1978-79 season, the team's fifth season of Division-I competition.
Washington has struggled to find its stroke from the field this season, failing to hit greater than 40 percent of its shots in any of its first seven games. The Huskies hit the 40 mark exactly in an 86-75 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee, but have finished below the mark in each of their other six contests. For the season, Washington is shooting 36 percent, six percent lower than its 2003-04 average, while UW opponents are connecting at a 44 percent rate, a four-percent increase from the 2003-04 season. UW does not have a single player averaging points in double-figures.
Redshirt sophomore forward Jill Bell has been UW's leading rebounder in five of seven games, averaging a team-high of 7.6 boards. No other UW player has more than 4.4 rebounds per game. Bell is the only Husky to have reached double-digits in rebounding this season, having grabbed 11 boards in the team's win over No. 14 Minnesota.
Washington has committed fewer turnovers than its opponents in all seven games this year. The UW defense has forced its opponent to commit at least 15 turnovers in every game.
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 also opened 2-0 under Daugherty in 2003-04, and 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. The win was the Huskies' first over a ranked opponent of any kind since defeating Stanford at home (92-68) Feb. 13, 2003.
Coach June Daugherty has gone with four different lineups featuring eight different players in Washington's first seven games. Only junior Kristen O'Neill has started all seven. The combo of O'Neill, Kayla Burt, Emily Florence, Cheri Craddock and Jill Bell was used in UW's season opening victory over South Carolina. For the next four games, Daugherty used the same group minus Craddock and adding Breanne Watson. Last week's road games saw two different lineups: Maggie O'Hara, Craddock, Florence, Cameo Hicks and O'Neill versus Utah; and Bell, Watson, Hicks, Burt and O'Neill versus Denver. O'Hara's start at Utah was the first of her career. Hicks' start at Denver was the first of the season after starting 28 of 31 games as a freshman last year.
With its upset victory over then-No. 14 Minnesota on Nov. 15, Washington is 36-91 all-time against Top-25 opponents. UW is 3-39 against ranked opponents on the road and 8-26 on a neutral court. The Huskies have yet to defeat at Top-5 opponent on the road, with an 0-8 away mark and a 0-7 mark on a neutral court versus those teams. UW is 5-25 overall against Top-5 teams. The last time Washington defeated two ranked non-conference opponents was in the Huskies' 2001 Elite Eight run, defeating No. 14 Florida (86-75) in the NCAA second round and No. 7 Oklahoma (84-67) in the Sweet 16. The last time Washington defeated two ranked non-conference opponents during the regular season was 1997 when its knocked down three, defeating No. 20 North Carolina (95-88), No. 5 Vanderbilt (82-71) and No. 20 Iowa (63-62).
Huskies Face Three Ranked Teams In Next Four Games:
Washington has a tough road ahead, facing three ranked teams in the next four games including this weekend's contest with seventh-ranked Notre Dame. Welcoming the Huskies back to Seattle on Dec. 15 will be sixth-ranked Baylor. Washington will face No. 24 Arizona in its Pac-10 opener at hom on Dec. 27. Between the Baylor and Arizona games is a home matchup with Colorado Dec. 21. The Buffs may not be a Top-25 team but posted a 22-8 record last year and finished with a final rank of 17.
A Different Star On Any Given Night:
As these early season games may indicate, any one of the Husky players on the 15-woman roster could step up to lead the team on any given night this year. So far 11 different players have led the team in either points, rebounds, assists, or steals in a single game. Washington's scoring has been especially balanced across the board with seven players averaging between 9.9 and 6.4 points per game. Juniors Kayla Burt and Kristen O'Neill, and freshman Dominique Banks have led in scoring more than once. Burt has scored a team-high point total five times, including the last two-straight. Redshirt sophomore Jill Bell is the only player to lead in rebounds more than once, having done so on five occasions.
Washington's season opener with South Carolina, Nov. 14, marked the first official 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 has reached double-figures four times, including a UW season-high 18 points at Utah, and a 10-point, 7-assist effort at Michigan in Ann Arbor. Burt leads the team in points (9.9) assists (3.0), steals (1.7) and is fourth in rebounding (3.1).
Redshirt sophomore 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, has led all UW rebounders in five of seven games this season, including an 11-board performance against Minnesota and back-to-back nine-rebound efforts at Utah and Denver. 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. Bell's career-high for rebounds in a game is 16, in last year's Husky win over Denver.
Two of UW's most explosive players on the floor have been two freshman guards, Emily Florence and Dominique Banks. Florence, who measures in at just 5-5, started her first six collegiate games. Florence is second on the team in assists (2.1) and has been the Huskies' assists leader in three games. Banks, meanwhile, is averaging 14.3 minutes off the bench, and scored 12 points in her collegiate debut versus South Carolina. She is one of just three players to have led the team in scoring more than once, having done so against the Gamecocks and Alabama. Banks averages 6.4 points and 2.1 rebounds.
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, the only Husky to start all seven games, is third on the team in assists (2.0) and dished a team-high three assists in UW's first two games. In addition to being UW's third leading rebounder (3.7), O'Neill is second on the team in steals (9), and is the UW's second-leading scorer with 8.9 ppg.
Cheri 'Machine-Gun' Craddock:
True to the nickname she received last year as a walkon freshman, sophomore guard Cheri Craddock's 'machine-gun' style of shooting (taking a shot as soon as she receives the ball) has made her the Huskies' leading three-point shooter thus far. Craddock, cousin of UW men's hoops standout Nate Robinson, is shooting a team-high 44 percent from beyond the arc, making 14 treys on 32 attempts. Always looking for the outside shot, 32 of Craddock's 46 total field goal attempts have come from beyond the three-point arc, and only three of her 17 field goals made were not three-pointers. Craddock certainly has the speed to cut inside -- she was a prep track star at Oakland, Calif.'s James Logan High School, and is a member of the Husky track team.
Total Team Effort:
Head coach June Daugherty has the luxury of an extremely deep bench which was evident in the first seven games. Eight different players have cracked the UW's starting lineup, and 10 are averaging more than 14.3 minutes a game. Daugherty has gone with four different starting lineups so far, including a lineup for Saturday's game at Utah which included two new starters.
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.
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.
Home Sweet Home:
Washington had the luxury of playing four of its first five games at home, where it has recorded an overall record of 28-6 since the 2002-03 season. The Huskies have always excelled at home, compiling an overall record of 266-61 (.813) at Bank of America Arena (also known as Hec Edmundson Pavilion before the 2000 renovation). Since 1987, Washington has had three undefeated seasons on its home court, going 15-0 in 1986-87, 14-0 in 1989-90 and 14-0 in 2002-03. Washington's next home game will be Dec. 15 against nationally ranked Baylor. The Huskies' stellar home record also speaks volumes to the annual home attendance figures, as UW is among the nation's top-20 teams for attendance on an annual basis.
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.
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 five 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. 7/No. 5, Baylor (No. 6/No. 10) and Arizona (No. 24/No. 23). Throw in a trip to Stanford (No. 2/No. 2) 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 144-102, and a career record of 267-176. 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.
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.
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.
The Huskies return home to host four straight, beginning with No. 6 Baylor, Dec. 15. UW will also face Colorado (Dec. 21), No. 24 Arizona (Dec. 27) and Arizona State (Dec. 29). Three of those four games will be televised on FSN.
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