Huskies Open Second-Half Of Pac-10 Play Hosting No. 4/2 Stanford Thursday
Jan. 25, 2005
Washington women's basketball (8-11, 4-5 Pac-10) opens the second-half of Pac-10 play, hosting No. 4 Stanford, Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m., and California, Saturday, Jan. 29, at 1 p.m. Both contests will be played at Bank of America Arena on the UW campus in Seattle. The Huskies are coming off two-straight road wins over Washington State and Oregon State and are happy to return home after playing their last three on the road. Washington will look to salvage a season split with the Cardinal (17-2, 8-1) after Stanford won the earlier season meeting, 74-61. The Huskies will look for a season sweep over the Golden Bears after defeating Cal 65-52 in Berkeley. Both games this week can be seen via a live webcast at www.gohuskies.com and heard on the radio at KKNW AM 1150.
CARE To Collect Tsunami Relief Donations:
Volunteers for the CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc.) organization will be at the Husky women's basketball games this week, collecting donations from fans wishing to support their relief efforts for the recent Asia earthquake and tsunami disaster. CARE is mounting a comprehensive, multi-country emergency response that includes food, water purification tablets, shelter materials and basic medical supplies. Contributions will help rush this lifesaving aid to India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Thursday's game against Stanford will be Boys and Girls Club Night, as well as UW Faculty/Staff Night. Saturday's contest with California will be Husky Autograph Day. All members of the UW women's basketball team will sign autographs for approximately one hour following the game.
A select number of Husky women's basketball games - including both games this week - 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.
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.
Scouting No. 4/2 Stanford:
The Cardinal has won eight straight coming into its contest at Seattle, Thursday. Only two teams have been able to defeat Stanford this year, Tennessee (67-70) and Oregon (58-62). Stanford is 8-2 away from its home court this year. As a team, the Cardinal leads the Pac-10 in nine categories including scoring offense (76.7 ppg) and field goal percentage (46.7 percent). Stanford, which sits atop the Pac-10 standings with an 8-1 league mark, is led by defending conference Player of the Week Candice Wiggins. Just a freshman, Wiggins averages 17.4 points and 4.3 rebounds. Stanford has two other players averaging in double-figures including Brooke Smith (13.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Kelley Suminski (11.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg).
Series With Stanford:
Washington trails the all-time series with Stanford 13-28, with the Cardinal winning the last three-straight and six of the last eight games. Earlier this year, Stanford defeated Washington 74-61 at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto. Stanford swept the season series last year, winning 85-59 in Palo Alto and 77-69 in Seattle. The last time Washington defeated Stanford was Feb. 13, 2003, when UW handed the Cardinal its worst Pac-10 loss ever (92-68). UW is 8-10 against Stanford in Seattle.
California will look to snap a five-game losing streak this week when it heads to the state of Washington. The Bears will face Washington State in Pullman on Thursday night before making the trek to Seattle. Cal sits one spot below Washington in the Pac-10 standings (eighth) and the two teams nearly have identical overall records. Cal's two Pac-10 wins have come over Washington State (64-56) and Oregon State (77-71). Three players average double-figure scoring, led by Leigh Gregory with 12.4 points. Jessica Lawson (10.3) and Kristin Iwanaga (10.2) round out the top three. Cal is averaging 67.6 points as a team, while allowing opponents to average 69.7. Cal is just 1-7 away from Haas Pavilion. The Bears lead the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage (42.2) and free-throw shooting percentage (74.3). Iwanaga helps that effort, leading the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (65.9) and free-throw percentage (94.9).
Series With Cal:
Washington has won the last nine-straight meetings with California and holds a 36-8 advantage in the all-time series. The last time Cal defeated the Huskies was Feb. 24, 2000, in Berkeley by a two-point margin (51-49). The Huskies' first Pac-10 win of the year came against Cal, Jan. 2, (65-52). Last year, the Huskies swept the season series defeating Cal 65-54 at home and 72-67 in Berkeley. UW is 18-2 against Cal in Seattle, with the Golden Bears' lone wins coming in 2000 (72-59, Jan. 29) and 1991 (67-66 in overtime, Jan. 21).
Welcome Back Sunny:
Sunny Smallwood, who was an assistant coach with the Huskies for the last 11 seasons, will be making her first trip to Seattle as the associate head coach of the California Golden Bears. UW's recruiting and defensive coordinator, Smallwood was a fixture in Husky women's basketball. She was an assistant for all eight years of June Daugherty's tenure since 1997 and for three years under Chris Gobrecht (1993-96). Smallwood guided a UW program that made nine postseason appearances and had a record of 202-129.
Last Time Out:
Sophomore forward Jill Bell notched a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while junior guard Kayla Burt added 14 points as the Huskies defeated cross-state rival Washington State, 68-61, last Saturday. WSU outshot Washington 39 to 34 percent, but the Huskies dominated the glass with 52 rebounds to WSU's 39. Bell and Burt led four Huskies in double-figures, as sophomore guard Cameo Hicks and freshman guard Dominique Banks each tallied 11 points. Hicks also added eight rebounds. Adriane Ferguson led all WSU players with 16 points, while Keisha Moore had 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench. After Washington led by just three points at the intermission (29-26), the Cougars tied the game at 29 on their first possession of the second-half on a three-pointer from Adriane Ferguson. UW went on a 5-0 run, but WSU kept it close and cut UW's lead to 36-34 at 16:05. The Huskies then went up by 10 (48-38) aided by a 10-4 run that included back-to-back three-pointers from Burt. Washington led by as many as 15 points with 6:45 left to play and then with 2:20 left. The Cougars finished the game on a 9-2 run but the game was already out of reach. The win was the 19th-straight by Washington over WSU in the all-time series, with the last Cougar win coming on Feb. 25, 1995 in Pullman. Bell's 15 points were a career-high, while her 13 boards set a season-high and were three shy of matching her all-time best of 16. Burt tied career-highs with seven rebounds and four three-pointers. Freshman point guard Emily Florence equaled her career-high with six rebounds, a mark set in UW's previous game at Oregon State.
Washington is 2-4 against Top-25 opponents this season (0-2 on the road, 2-2 at home), upsetting then-No. 14 Minnesota and then-21 Arizona State, but suffering losses to then-No. 7 Notre Dame, then-No. 6 Baylor, then-No. 8 Stanford and then-No. 22 UCLA. The Huskies are 37-95 all-time against ranked opponents. Washington is 26-38 against Top-25 teams at home.
Huskies Snap Shooting Slump:
The Huskies finally broke out of their shooting slump at the Oregon schools two weeks ago. Until last Thursday, Washington had not shot better than 40 percent from the field in any of its previous 16 games. UW shot a season-high of exactly 40 percent in its 86-75 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Nov. 26). At Oregon, Jan. 13, the Huskies broke over 40 percent with a 43.5 percent clip on 30-of-69 shooting. They eclipsed that mark shooting 50 percent (23-for-46) at Oregon State, Jan. 15. Both performances were well over Washington's average of 35.5 percent going into that week. With a higher shooting percentage, came more offensive production as UW scored at least 75 points in games at Oregon (77) and OSU (75), well above its previous average of 64.8 points. It's the first time this season UW scored at least 75 points in back-to-back outings. Washington's season-high output was 86 points versus Wisconsin-Milwaukee (86-75). The Huskies didn't have as strong a performance at Washington State, Jan. 22, shooting 34.3 percent to WSU's 39 percent, and look to turn things around versus Stanford Thursday.
O'Neill Ignites Offense:
The increased offensive production can be credited largely to junior guard/forward Kristen O'Neill who became the first Husky to score 20 points when she recorded a career-high 23 at Oregon State, Saturday. O'Neill had a nearly flawless performance, shooting 5-for-8 from the field, 4-for-5 from long range and 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. O'Neill, the only Husky to start all 19 games, has scored at least 19 points in two of the last four games and at least 11 in five of the last eight. O'Neill leads the team in scoring with 9.8 points per game and has the third-highest shooting percentage (38.5). She is also one of UW's top three-point threats, ranking eighth in the Pac-10 with 1.58 treys per game. She leads the team with 30 total three-pointers. In Pac-10 play, O'Neill is averaging 12 points and 3.4 rebounds, while shooting 40.4 percent from the field (38-94).
Washington's meeting with No. 4 Stanford marks the seventh ranked team the Huskies have faced this season. Entering the week ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll, the Cardinal will be the highest ranked team the Huskies have faced this year.
Washington has played four teams ranked in this week's Associated Press Top-10: No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 7 Baylor and No. 10 Minnesota. UW is 1-3 versus these squads.
Washington has won two-straight, marking the third time the Huskies have won back-to-back games this year. UW opened the year 2-0 defeating South Carolina and then-No. 14 Minnesota, and notched back-to-back 'W's' against Arizona State and California. The Huskies have yet to win three-straight this season.
Washington's wins over Oregon State and Washington State were the first back-to-back road wins of the season.
After opening the year 3-1, the Huskies have won five of their last 15 games.
Washington has six players averaging more than seven points per game, led by Kristen O'Neill's 9.8 points per game.
The Huskies have outshot their opponent just four times this year, but are 4-0 in those games (Denver, Cal, ASU and OSU).
Washington opened the season 2-0 for 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 then-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.
Minnesota, currently ranked 10th in this week's AP poll, has suffered just three losses this year - its first coming at the hands of Washington (Nov. 15). No. 2 LSU and No. 8 Michigan State are the only other teams to defeat the Gophers this year.
Second Half Struggles:
If only the Huskies could play two 'first' halves. Washington's shooting numbers greatly decrease after the halftime intermission. The Huskies have outscored their opponents by 23 points in the first half (593-570). But after halftime, they have been outscored by 70 points (700-630). Washington has outscored its opponents in the second half just six times, with the Huskies going 6-0 in those games. UW's field goal percentage takes a dip in the second half as well. The Huskies are shooting 35 percent in the second half (216-611), while their opponents have a 46 percent second-half clip (235-512).
Washington's season opener with South Carolina, Nov. 14, marked the first official game for redshirt 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 in 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 behind the back pass to Emily Florence for a fast-break layin. Burt has reached double-figures nine times, including in seven of the last 13 games. Burt had a career-high 19 points at Oregon (Jan. 13), eclipsing her previous high of 18 at Utah, and had a 10-point, 7-assist effort at Michigan in Ann Arbor. Against Baylor, she set career highs for three-pointers (four) and three-pointers attempted (eight). She matched her career-high for three-pointers (four) and rebounds (seven) at Washington State. Burt has come off the bench in the last three games after starting 15. She leads the team assists (49) and is second in overall scoring (9.2 ppg) and steals (29).
For a team that usually averages over 70 points per game, Washington's 65.5 percent point average this year is uncharacteristic. Washington has averaged at least 70 points the last four straight seasons, including a 75.6 average in 2002-03. The Huskies have averaged less than 70 points just three previous seasons in the history of the program - 66.7 (1999-00), 67.8 (1991-92) and 69.9 (1987-80) - but there is much more basketball to play this season. Going into this weekend's games, Washington's 36.0 percent field goal percentage ranks ninth in the Pac-10. UW is also seventh in scoring offense (65.5).
Coach June Daugherty has spent all season trying to find the right starting lineup combination. Daugherty used her sixth different lineup at Oregon Jan. 13. In all she has used nine different starters in 18 games, with junior guard/forward Kristen O'Neill the only player to start all 18. The latest fivesome to get the starting nod in the last three Husky games has been sophomore forward Jill Bell, O'Neill, sophomore guard Cameo Hicks, and freshmen guards Dominique Banks and Emily Florence. The combo of O'Neill, Kayla Burt, Florence, Cheri Craddock and 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. UW's first road trip featured two different lineups: Maggie O'Hara, Craddock, Florence, Hicks and O'Neill versus Utah; and Bell, Watson, Hicks, Burt and O'Neill versus Denver and Notre Dame. That fivesome started three games, before the lineup changed to O'Hara, O'Neill, Hicks, Burt and Florence for seven games.
Total Team Effort:
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 13 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 six players averaging between 9.8 and 7.2 points per game. UW had a different leading in scorer in seven-straight games from Dec. 15 (Baylor) to Jan. 7 (USC): Cameo Hicks versus Baylor (15), Dominique Banks versus Colorado (19), Cheri Craddock versus Arizona (14), Kayla Burt against Arizona State (12), Jill Bell at Cal (14), Kristen O'Neill at Stanford (16) and Breanne Watson versus USC (12). Banks, Craddock, Bell and Watson all scored their team-high points coming off the bench.
Redshirt sophomore forward Jill Bell has established herself as Washington's leading rebounder. Bell, who was second on the team in that category as a freshman, has led all UW rebounders in 10 of 19 games this season, including an 11-board performance against Minnesota and back-to-back nine-rebound efforts at Utah and Denver. She leads the team with with an average of 6.4 boards per game and ranks sixth among Pac-10 players. Bell is also the team's fourth-leading scorer averaging 8.4 points. She played her best game of the season at Washington State, Jan. 22, notching her second career double-double with a career-high 15 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. Bell has used her athleticism to lead UW with 26 blocks, including a season-high four versus Minnesota (Nov. 15). Bell's 1.37 blocks per game rank third in the Pac-10 heading into play this week. 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, set in last year's Husky win over Denver.
Banks Breaks Through:
Freshman guard Dominique Banks provided valuable minutes off the bench for the Huskies this season, before finally breaking into the starting lineup at Oregon Jan. 13. Since earning that starting role Banks has taken advantage of the opportunity. She had six points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal in her first collegiate start against the Ducks. She followed that up with eight points and two steals at Oregon State, Jan. 15, and 11 points (including a 7-for-7 mark from the free-throw line), six rebounds (which equaled a career-high) and two assists at WSU, Jan. 22. Banks is fifth on the team in scoring with 7.3 ppg. She had the best game of her young career in UW's contest versus Colorado, setting career numbers in six categories that included scoring 19 points. Banks also set career numbers in rebounds (six - which was equaled at WSU), assists (four), field goals made (seven), field goals attempted (13), and free-throws attempted (eight). The freshman is tied for third on the team in steals (20) and is fifth in assists (30).
Freshman Emily Florence may not have the scoring and rebounding numbers but the 5-5 point guard has sparked a much improved Husky defense with her tenacious and fearless play. Florence, who has started 16 of 19 games in her first collegiate season, leads Washington with 32 steals for an average of 1.68 per game. That number has her ninth on the Pac-10 list for steals heading into play this week. Florence has led the team in steals in eight of the last 11 games, including a career-high four at California (Jan. 2). Washington has also relied upon her unselfish play with Florence playing a big part in helping her teammates get into the scoring act. She is second on the squad with 36 assists (2.0 apg). Florence dished a career-high eight assists at OSU Jan. 15, the most assists by a Husky in a single game this year. She also grabbed a career-high six boards in Corvallis, and matched that number with six at Washington State, Jan. 22. Four of her six rebounds in Pullman were on the offensive end.
Sophomore guard Cameo Hicks, a Pac-10 All-Freshman honoree last year, broke into the starting lineup at Utah (Dec. 4) and has proven to be one of the Huskies'most consistent players. She has shown that especially in Pac-10 games, scoring at least 10 points in the last four-straight. She had 10 versus UCLA, a season-high 16 at Oregon, 13 at OSU and 11 at Washington State. Hicks is the team's third-leading scorer with 8.8 points per game and is second in rebounding with 4.5 boards per game. In fact Hicks has been UW's leading rebounder in four of the last seven games. She has grabbed at least eight boards in the last two Husky games (nine at OSU, eight at WSU). She tied for the team lead with seven rebounds at Cal, tied for the lead with six at Stanford and was the sole leader with six boards versus USC and a season-high nine at OSU. Hicks is third on the team with a field goal shooting percentage of 39.1 percent (63-for-161).
Cheri 'Machine-Gun' Craddock:
Sophomore forward Cheri Craddock has played true to her nickname coined last year when she was a walk-on freshman. Craddock's quick release-style shooting has made her one of the Huskies' top three-point threats. Despite seeing limited minutes since suffering a high ankle sprain in practice on Jan. 6, Craddock still has the second-highest three-point field goal percentage (37.5) on the team. She is also third on the squad with 24 three-pointers made. Also a sprinter on the UW track team, Craddock has reached double-figures in scoring five times including a 14-point performance versus Arizona that matched her career high set earlier this year. Craddock also had 10 points versus Baylor (Dec. 15), 11 at Michigan (Nov. 22) and 10 at Oregon (Jan. 13). She missed games versus USC and UCLA due to the injury. An aggravation of the injury forced her to miss the second half at Oregon, and despite playing through the pain managed 10 points (4-of-6, 2-of-3 from long range) in 10 minutes before coming out. Still struggling through the injury at OSU, Craddock recorded six points (on a pair of three-pointers) in seven minutes. She also grabbed three boards.
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. The last time Washington did not have a single senior on its roster was 1999-2000.
Home Sweet Home:
The Huskies have a home record of 4-6 this season, unusual for a squad that has dominated opponents on its own floor. The Huskies have always excelled at home, compiling an overall record of 267-66 (.802) at Bank of America Arena (also known as Hec Edmundson Pavilion before the 2000 renovation). Washington has an overall home record of 29-11 since the 2002-03 season. 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 has never finished a season with less from a .500 record on its home court and its six home losses is an all-time high. Prior to this year, Washington had not lost more than five games at Bank of America Arena in a single season.
Bring On The Best:
Washington has a challenging schedule, facing seven NCAA Tournament teams and three WNIT squads from last year. UW met its first test against 2004 NCAA Final Four team Minnesota, defeating the 14th-ranked Gophers 72-67 in overtime, Nov. 15. The Huskies then encountered two straight Top-10 opponents, falling to both No. 7 Notre Dame (58-72) and No. 6 Baylor (58-74). Washington pulled another upset over No. 21 Arizona State (63-55), before falling at No. 8 Stanford (61-74) and to No. 22 UCLA (74-63).
Husky Coaching Staff:
June Daugherty is in 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 147-110, and a career record of 270-184. 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:
Year in and year out, Husky faithful pack the stands at Bank of America Arena, helping UW rank among the top teams in the nation in home attendance. This year figures to be no different. After 10 home games, UW ranks 33rd in the nation with an average of 3,072 fans per game. That mark is third-highest among Pac-10 teams, behind Oregon (25th, 3,701) and Stanford (27th, 3,688). Washington led the Pac-10 in home attendance the last two seasons and ranked in the Top-25 nationally as well. 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. 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:
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.