Huskies End Homestand With No. 10 Stanford Thursday

Dec. 21, 2005

Thursday, Dec. 22, 2005
#10/11 Stanford (6-2, 1-0 Pac-10) at Washington (8-2, 1-0 Pac-10)
Bank of America Arena • Seattle, Wash. • 7 p.m. PT
Radio - KKNW AM 1150 • Live Webcast -

This Week:
Washington (8-2, 1-0) hosts No. 10/11 Stanford (6-2, 1-0 Pac-10) Thursday, Dec. 22, at 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies are coming off a 62-55 victory over California in both teams' Pac-10 opener Tuesday and bring a 10-game home winning streak into their contest with the Cardinal. UW is 6-0 at home this season after winning its last four home games of the 2004-05 campaign. Thursday's game marks the end to the Huskies' longestand homestand of the season, a four-game stint that began Dec. 9 versus Michigan. Defending Pac-10 champion Stanford defeated Washington State in its conference opener, 76-56, in Pullman. Stanford will be the sixth team the Huskies have faced that participated in postseason play last year (five in the NCAA Tournament, one in the WNIT). After Thursday, Washington plays its next three games on the road at Arizona State (Dec. 29), Arizona (Dec. 31) and Washington State (Jan. 7). All three contests will be televised live on FSN Northwest.

Radio Coverage:
All Husky women's basketball games can be heard live on the radio at KKNW AM 1150. Steve Sandmeyer, in his seventh season as the voice of UW women's hoops, calls the play-by-play. Former Husky Elise (Niemela) Woodward joins Sandmeyer as the color commentator for home broadcasts. Fans can also listen to games on the internet at with a Dawg Channel All-Access pass.

After receiving votes in the Associated Press Poll for the last three weeks, Washington did not receive any votes in the Dec. 19 AP rankings. Washington received votes in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA poll for the fourth-straight week. The last time UW was ranked in the AP poll was March 3, 2003 (25).

Earliest Pac-10 Start:
Tuesday's Pac-10 opener versus California marked the earliest Pac-10 start for Washington in conference history. However, it's not the first year the Huskies have opened Pac-10 play before Christmas. The only other time Washington played a Pac-10 game prior to Christmas was versus Washington State during the 2001-02 season (Dec. 21, 2001). Every other season since Pac-10 play began in 1986-87, conference games have started after Dec. 25.

Please Note Schedule Change:
Washington's game at Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., Thursday, Dec. 29, has been moved back to 6 p.m. MT (5 p.m. PT). The game will still be televised live by FSN Northwest.

TV Coverage:
After this week's games with Cal and Stanford, Washington's next three road games will all be televised live on FSN Northwest: Dec. 29 at Arizona State (5 p.m. PT), Dec. 31 at Arizona (3 p.m. PT) and Jan. 7 at Washington State (1 p.m. PT).

Scouting Stanford (6-2, 1-0 Pac-10):
Defending Pac-10 Champion Stanford is 6-2 this season, its only losses coming at No. 17 Minnesota (77-84) and at home versus No. 1 Tennessee (67-74). The Cardinal is led by last year's Pac-10 Player and Freshman of the Year Candice Wiggins, who averages 17.5 points per game. Brooke Smith (15.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Kristen Newlin (12.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg) also average double-digit scoring numbers. Stanford has been without Newlin who is suffering from a stress reaction injury and will not play Thursday against the Huskies. As a team, Stanford is shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from three-point range. The Cardinal averages 79.5 points, while holding opponents to an average of 60.4 points.

All-Time Series Versus Stanford:
Stanford leads the all-time series with Washington 29-13 and has won the last four-straight meetings. In fact UW's loss to the Cardinal at home last season (Jan. 27) marked the last time the Huskies suffered a defeat at home. Stanford defeated UW 82-60 in Seattle after 74-61 victory in Palo Alto, Jan. 4. The last time Washington defeated Stanford was a decisive 92-68 victory in Seattle on Feb. 13, 2003.

Dawg Bites:
• Washington has a 10-game home winning streak dating back to last season. The Huskies finished 2004-05 winning their last four Pac-10 home games over Cal (Jan. 29), Oregon State (Feb. 10), Oregon (Feb. 12) and Washington State (Feb. 19). UW is 6-0 at home this season, thanks to wins over No. 23 Utah (Nov. 23), San Diego (Nov. 26), Rice (Nov. 27), Michigan (Dec. 9), Eastern Washington (Dec. 12) and California (Dec. 20). UW's last home loss was to Stanford (Jan. 27, 2005).

• UW's only losses this season came at No. 5 Baylor (Dec. 2) and Texas A&M (Dec. 4). Prior to those losses, UW opened the season 5-0 for the second time in three years and the third overall under head coach June Daugherty. UW opened 2003-04 5-0 and 1997-98 10-0.

• Dating back to last year, the Huskies are 13-4 in their last 17 games.

• UW set a school record with its perfect 14-for-14 (1.000) clip from the free-throw line at Baylor, Dec. 2. The Huskies surpassed the previous school record of a 93.8 percentage (15-for-16) set in 1978 versus Sacramento State and in 1985 versus Oregon.

• UW's 86 points versus Rice (Nov. 27) were a season-high and the most points scored by a Husky team since the first round of last year's Husky Classic (86 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee). The Huskies are averaging 70.4 points, an improvement upon their 67.2 points per game last year.

• UW won its 12th Husky Classic title over Thanksgiving weekend, defeating San Diego and Rice by a combined 40 points. UW's 24-point winning margin over Rice (86-62) was a season-high.

• Junior guard Cameo Hicks is the team's leader in scoring (16.0 ppg) and rebounding 5.9). Hicks scored at least 21 points in three-straight games including a career-high 26 versus San Diego in the first round of the Husky Classic. She has reached double-figures in scoring eight times in 10 games.

Huskies Outlast Cal In Pac-10 Opener:
Led by 16 points from junior Cameo Hicks and a double-double 10 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore Andrea Plouffe, Washington outlasted Cal, 62-55, in the Pac-10 Conference opener for both teams at Bank of America Arena, Tuesday. Washington continued a number of impressive streaks, winning for the 10th-straight time at home, and for the 11th-straight time vs. Cal. Washington is 13-4 in its last 17 games dating back to last season, including 6-3 against Pac-10 opponents. Guard Alexis Gray-Lawson and center Devanei Hampton combined for 41 points for the Golden Bears, whose streaks of four-straight wins and eight-straight versus unranked opponents were snapped. Gray-Lawson scored 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting, while Hampton added 20. Washington outrebounded Cal, 48-29, including a 23-7 advantage on the offensive boards. The Huskies scored 19 second-chance points while Cal only managed eight. UW forced the Bears into 24 turnovers, while committing 27 of its own. Senior guard Kristen O'Neill led the Huskies off the bench with 11 points and three assists.

Pac-10 Openers:
With its win over California Tuesday, Washington improved to 14-6 in Pac-10 openers snapping a two-game losing streak. Until this season, UW lost the last two straight conference openers, both to Arizona (L, 63-67 - Dec. 27, 2004; L, 74-89 - Dec. 27, 2003).

Ranked Opponents:
Washington is 1-1 against ranked opponents this year, defeating then-No. 23 Utah (Nov. 23) and falling to then-No. 5 Baylor (Dec. 2). Washington is 38-97 overall versus Top-25 opponents, including a 27-39 mark at home. UW is 1-0 at home against ranked opponents this season.

Home Sweet Home:
Washington has a long standing tradition of a stellar home record. UW is 280-68 all-time on its home court (80.4 winning pct.) at Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Last season marked the first time that UW lost more than five games at home. The Huskies were 8-7 at home last year, their lowest home winning percentage (53.3) in school history, but did end the season winning their last four at Bank of America Arena. UW is 6-0 on its home court in 2005-06.

Home Winning Streak:
Washington has won its last 10-straight home games dating back to last season, a streak that ranks seventh all-time and is the second-longest since the arena re-opened in 2001. The Huskies won 18-straight from Nov. 29, 2002 through Dec. 19, 2003.

Happy To Be Home:
Washington's longest homestand of the season couldn't have come at a better time. After playing four of their first seven games on the road and opening the season at a near frantic pace, the Huskies will have remained at home for four games in three weeks by the end of this homestand. UW was thrown into the fire early, playing its first five games in 10 days, including a cross-country road trip that took them nearly 3,000 miles away from home. And yet, the Huskies opened the season 5-0, passing their early season endurance test with flying colors. After playing three games at home, it was back out on the road for UW, traveling to Texas to face Baylor and Texas A&M where it suffered its only losses in the non-conference season.

UW Completes Impressive Non-Conference Slate:
Washington emerged from its non-conference slate with a 7-2 overall record, an impressive mark considering the Huskies faced four NCAA Tournament teams (including defending champion Baylor) and one WNIT team from last season. The Huskies' record is their best since also going 7-2 against non-conference teams two years ago (2003-04). Only two other June Daugherty coached teams have had better records. The 1997-98 team went 9-0 in the preseason, while the 2002-03 team went 8-1.

New Look Lineup:
After going with the same starting five the first seven games, UW head coach June Daugherty started junior forward Breanne Watson for senior Kristen O'Neill at the No. 4 forward position vs. Michigan (Dec. 9). O'Neill, who has played anywhere from the No. 1-4 positions on the floor, had started the last 57-straight games of her career until Dec. 9. The senior didn't let her reserve role get her down, scoring a season-high 17 points versus the Wolverines. Watson has remained in the starting lineup ever since.

Beyond The Arc:
After struggling from beyond the arc in the first few games, the Huskies seem to have emerged from their three-point shooting slump. UW failed to shoot better then 31.8 percent from three-point range in its first five games, including a season-low 18.2 percent clip (6-for-33) in its season opener at Alabama. The last five games have been a different story. The Huskies hit at least eight three-pointers in three of those five contests, including a season-high 10 treys at Baylor and nine versus Michigan. UW shot at least 40 percent in three of the last five games, including a season-high 57.1 percent clip at Texas A&M (8-for-14). Senior guard Kayla Burt leads the squad in three-pointers made with 15. Washington ranks third in the Pac-10 with 6.40 three-pointers per game, behind USC (7.4) and Stanford (6.5).

As the defense goes, so go the Huskies. UW has held its last three opponents to 60 points or less. In fact seven of Washington's 10 opponents have been limited to 62 points or less. The Huskies are 8-0 when holding their opponents to less than 70 points. Washington is also forcing its opponents to commit an average of 22.0 turnovers per game, including a season-high 29 by Eastern Washington (Dec. 12). The Huskies average 10.0 steals per game, led by Cameo Hicks with a team-high 21.

Crashing The Boards:
Washington's increased inside presence has been reflected by its improved rebounding numbers. The Huskies are averaging 42.3 rebounds per game, up from last year's average of 37.6. In fact, the Huskies are 5-0 when outrebounding their opponent. UW's 54 rebounds vs. Utah - just the third game of the season - surpassed its season-high from all of last year (52 at Washington State, Jan. 22, 05). Washington has especially excelled on the offensive glass. The Huskies lead the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (19.90).

Team Depth:
Head coach June Daugherty has the luxury of going to a strong bench. In fact, all three senior co-captains have been playing in reserve roles - guards Kayla Burt, Nicole Castro and Kristen O'Neill. Burt (7.7 ppg) and O'Neill (7.4) are the fourth and fifth leading scorers on the team, respectively. Burt and O'Neill are the Huskies' top three-point threats and among the team leaders in assists as well. In addition to Burt and O'Neill, junior forwards Jill Bell and Maggie O'Hara are regulars in the rotation. Bell was an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection last year but has been slowed a bit this year with knee and ankle injuries. Both Bell and O'Hara add a boost to the Huskies' inside presence created by starters Andrea Plouffe and Breanne Watson.

Most Improved Plouffe:
If her early season numbers are any indication, sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe is on track to win her second-straight Most Improved Player honors when team awards are handed out. After averaging 4.6 minutes on the floor as a freshman, with 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds per game, Plouffe has emerged as one of the top Huskies this year and added a boost to the team's inside presence. Having started every game this year, Plouffe is second on the squad with 8.4 points per game to go along with a rebounding average of 4.1. She has reached double figures in scoring five times, including back-to-back career high efforts versus San Diego and Rice in the Husky Classic, a performance that earned her tournament MVP honors. Plouffe's first career double-double came at a good time, her 17 points and 10 rebounds leading UW over Rice in the Husky Classic Championship game. Her second double-double was a 10-point, 10-rebound performance in the Pac-10 opener vs. Cal. Plouffe even appears to be finding her knack for long-range shooting. After making the first three-pointer of her career at Baylor (Dec. 2), she followed that with a career-high 2 three-pointers at Texas A&M (Dec. 4) and sank another one in UW's game versus Eastern Washington (Dec. 12).

Hot Hicks:
Sophomore guard Cameo Hicks is off to a hot start this year, leading the squad with 16.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. She looks to be emerging as a much-needed go-to player, as no Husky averaged double-figures in scoring last year. Hicks has been UW's leading scorer in eight of 10 games and the team's top rebounder in five (ties included). Hicks' early numbers have been nothing but impressive. The Tracy, Calif., native opened the season scoring in double-figures in four-straight including three-straight 21-point games (21 vs. Florida State, 21 vs. Utah and 26 vs. San Diego). Only twice has Hicks failed to score at least 10 points, with eight versus Rice (Nov. 27) and seven at Texas A&M (Dec. 4). Her 16.0 scoring average is a huge improvement upon her average of 9.5 ppg during her sophomore campaign. Hicks recorded her second-career double-double with 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds versus Utah, Nov. 23. Hicks was the key to the Huskies two-point win over Florida State (Nov. 20), scoring a game-high 21 points including seven of the last 14 for UW. She had the gamewinning layin with 6.9 seconds on the clock and was 6-for-7 from the line. Hicks also led UW with 13 points and nine rebounds at Alabama (Nov. 18) and had team-highs in points (15) and assists (four) at Baylor (Dec. 2). On her 21st birthday, she also scored a team-high 16 points versus Eastern Washington (Dec. 12).

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