Husky Women Continue Road Trip At Arizona Saturday

Dec. 30, 2005

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This Week:
Coming off its first Pac-10 loss Thursday night, Washington women's basketball (9-3, 2-1 Pac-10) continues its road trip through the desert to face Arizona (5-6, 1-1 Pac-10), Saturday, Dec. 31, at 3 p.m. PT, at the McKale Center in Tucson. The game will be televised live on FSN Northwest with Cara Capuano and Krista Blunk calling the action. The Huskies had their four-game win streak snapped by 11th-ranked Arizona State Thursday, falling to the Sun Devils 64-51. It was the third straight road loss for Washington who is 2-3 away from its home court this year. The Huskies are in the midst of a three-game road trip. Following Saturday's contest at Arizona, the Huskies will next meet cross-state rival Washington State, Saturday, Jan. 7, in Pullman. Washington will meet an Arizona team that is coming off its first Pac-10 win, a 61-52 victory over Washington State, Thursday. That victory snapped a four-game losing skid for the Wildcats.

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.

TV Coverage:
Washington's next two games at Arizona (Dec. 31, 3 p.m. PT) and at Washington State (Jan. 7, 1 p.m. PT) will be televised live by FSN Northwest.

Washington received votes in this week's Associated Press Poll and is one spot out of the Top-25. UW has received votes in the AP Poll in four of the last five weeks. Washington also received votes in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA poll for the fifth-straight week. The last time UW was ranked in the AP poll was March 3.

O'Hara To Miss Next Two Games:
Junior forward Maggie O'Hara, who came off the bench in all 12 games this year, underwent arthroscopic surgery on her right elbow in Seattle, Friday (Dec. 30), and is slated to miss the next two games at Arizona (Dec. 31) and at Washington State (Jan. 7). The procedure was conducted to removed excess scar tissue that built up after a previous surgery. O'Hara had a microfracture last March following the end of the 2004-05 season. O'Hara averages 2.9 points and 3.5 rebounds this season.

Cameo Hicks Named Pac-10 Player of the Week:
Washington junior guard Cameo Hicks was named the U.S. Bank Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Dec. 19-25. Hicks, a native of Tracy, Calif., averaged 19.5 points, four rebounds, two assists, one block and three steals in two games as the Huskies defeated California and No. 10/11 Stanford last week. On the week, she shot 46.9 percent from the field (15-of-32), 60.0 percent from beyond the arc (3-of-5) and 85.7 percent (6-of-7) from the foul line. In the 77-72 upset of 10th-ranked Stanford on Thurs., Dec. 22, Hicks shot 55.6 percent from the field (10-of-18) and made seven of her last eight shots of the game, all of which were in the second half. With Washington trailing by as many as 13 points in the second half, Hicks scored a team-high 23 points, her fourth 20-point game and ninth double-figure scoring output of the season. She also grabbed six rebounds, two steals and two blocks. In the 62-55 win over California on Tues., Dec. 20, Hicks was UW's leading scorer with 16 points, to go along with three assists and four steals, both of which tied for team-highs. The Player of the Week honor is the first for Hicks and the 24th all-time selection for Washington.

Scouting Arizona (5-6, 1-1 Pac-10):
The Arizona Wildcats finished their non-conference schedule with a 4-5 record and have split their first two Pac-10 contests, falling to Arizona State (59-83) and defeating Washington State (61-52). Three players are averaging scoring in double-figures, led by sophomore guard Ashley Whisonant with 15.5 points per game. Senior guard Natalie Jones (15.0) and junior guard Joy Hollingsworth (13.1) also average in double-digits. As a team, Arizona is averaging 68.8 points per game and shooting 40.7 percent from the field. The Wildcats are dealing with the tragic and unexpected death of their top player, Shawntinice Polk, prior to the start of the season. Polk was a three-time All-American honorable mention and a three-time first-team All-Pac-10 player.

All-Time Series Versus Arizona:
Washington leads the all-time series with Arizona, 26-15, but is an even 10-10 when playing in Tucson. Arizona has won six of the last seven overall meetings. The Huskies won the last meeting between these two teams, a dramatic 64-60 come-from-behind victory in Tucson Feb. 26, 2005. That win was the first for a June Daugherty-coached Husky squad in Tucson, as Washington had lost nine-straight games to Arizona at the McKale Center since 1996. Kayla Burt scored a career-high 23 points, scoring 17 in the second-half to spark a 19-0 run that led UW back from a 15-point deficit to defeat the Wildcats. Burt was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for her efforts in Tucson last season.

Huskies Drop First Pac-10 Game To ASU:
Kristen Kovesdy scored 27 points, including 23 in the second-half, to lead No. 11/10 Arizona State over Washington, 64-51. The loss was the first conference defeat for the Huskies, who also dropped their third straight road game. Kovesdy also paced the Sun Devils with 10 rebounds as ASU outrebounded UW 42-37. The Huskies trailed by one, 21-20, at halftime despite their 26.5 first half field goal shooting percentage. But the Sun Devils took control early in the second half with a 20-11 surge. Junior guard Cameo Hicks led the Huskies with 12 points and six rebounds, her 10th double-figure scoring game in 12 tries. Junior forward Breanne Watson contributed nine points and six boards, while Jill Bell tallied six points and five rebounds off the bench.

On The Road Again:
Washington returns to the road this week after its longest homestand of the season, a four-game stint that ended Dec. 22 against Stanford. The Huskies are 2-3 away from Seattle this season, having lost their last three-straight road games. UW opened the season with a pair of road wins over Alabama (56-52) and Florida State (71-69).

Strong Pac-10 Start:
With last week's win over Cal and Stanford, the Huskies opened the Pac-10 slate 2-0 for the first time since the 2000-01 season and the second-time overall under head coach June Daugherty. In 2000-01, UW opened Pac-10 play with home wins over UCLA (73-54) and USC (91-79 ot). Since then, the Huskies have split their first two conference games three times and went 0-2 once (2003-04). The only other year the Huskies started Pac-10 play 2-0 was 1998-99 with victories over Washington State (91-69) and Arizona State (86-54).

Ranked Opponents:
Arizona State was the fourth ranked team the Huskies have faced this year. Washington is 2-2 against ranked opponents, defeating then-No. 23 Utah (Nov. 23) and then-No. 10 Stanford (Dec. 22) while falling to then-No. 5 Baylor (Dec. 2) and No. 11 Arizona State (Dec. 29). Washington is 39-98 overall versus Top-25 opponents, including a 28-39 mark at home. UW is 2-0 at home against ranked opponents this season, but 0-2 on the road.

Dawg Bites:
• Washington is off to its best start since the 2002-03 season. The Huskies are 9-3 in their first 12 games, while the 2002-03 team began that year 10-2.

• UW's only losses this season have come on the road, two on ranked opponents' home courts - at No. 5 Baylor (Dec. 2), Texas A&M (Dec. 4) and at No. 11 Arizona State (Dec. 29). UW has lost its last three-straight road games after opening the year 2-0 away from Seattle.

• Dating back to last year, the Huskies are 14-5 in their last 19 games.

• Going into this week, Washington leads the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds with 19.45 per game. Cameo Hicks and Dominique Banks are both tied for second in the conference with 2.82 offensive boards per game. The Huskies also rank third in steals (10.36 per game) and three-point field goals made (6.36).

• Washington has an 11-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 7-0 at home this season. The Huskies' last home loss was to Stanford (Jan. 27, 2005).

• Junior guard Cameo Hicks is the team's leader in scoring (16.3 ppg) and rebounding (5.9), and is tied for second in assists (1.9). Hicks, the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Week, has reached double-figure scoring 10 times in 12 games including four 20-point efforts.

• 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 71.0 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.

Huskies Upset No. 10 Stanford 77-72:
Cameo Hicks scored 23 points and Washington answered Stanford's 14-0 scoring run in the second half with one of their own to eventually upset the 10th-ranked Cardinal 77-72 Thursday night. Brooke Smith scored a career-high 24 points for Stanford but missed a free-throw with 9.8 seconds left that would have cut Washington's lead to three. The Huskies' Andrea Plouffe then made two free-throws to seal the win. Washington won its 11th-straight game at Bank of America Arena. Its last home loss was Jan. 27, 2005 to Stanford, 82-60. The Huskies' only two losses this season have been on the road, against Texas A&M and national-champion Baylor. Stanford, winner of the last five Pac-10 regular-season championships, had beaten Washington four straight times. The Cardinal also split its first two games of a conference opening road trip last season - yet ended up 32-3 and in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament. The teams traded turnovers on successive possessions in the final 1:08 with Washington leading 72-70. Then Hicks tied up Stanford's Clare Bodensteiner to force a held ball and Stanford's 23rd turnover with 29.1 seconds left. Kristen O'Neill then made three of four free-throws to set up Washington's celebration following the final buzzer. Washington rallied from 11 down in the first half to take its first lead of the game with 16:16 left on Hicks' full-court drive and layin. However, Stanford answered immediately. The Cardinal scored the next 14 points to take its biggest lead of the game. Krista Rappahahn made her third and fourth 3-point baskets of the game during that span. Washington went over three minutes without scoring during the run and trailed 51-38. Yet the Huskies rallied again. Emily Florence scored five points and assisted on four more during Washington's 14-0 run that forged its second lead, 55-53, on Hicks' basket with 7:44 left.

As the defense goes, so go the Huskies. UW has held three of its last five opponents to 60 points or less. In fact eight of Washington's 12 opponents have been limited to 64 points or less. The Huskies are 8-1 when holding their opponents to less than 70 points. Washington is also forcing its opponents to commit an average of 22.1 turnovers per game, including a season-high 29 by Eastern Washington (Dec. 12). The Huskies average 10.6 steals per game, led by Cameo Hicks with a team-high 23.

Crashing The Boards:
Washington's increased inside presence has been reflected by its improved rebounding numbers. The Huskies are averaging 41.5 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 began the week leading the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (19.45).

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 (6.8) 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 have been 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.

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).

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, Dec. 22. 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.

Home Sweet Home:
Washington has a long standing tradition of a stellar home record. UW is 281-68 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 7-0 on its home court in 2005-06.

Home Winning Streak:
Washington has won its last 11-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.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.

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 8.5 points per game to go along with a rebounding average of 4.3. She has reached double figures in scoring six 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) and versus Stanford (Dec. 22).

Hot Hicks:
Junior guard Cameo Hicks is off to a hot start this year, leading the squad with 16.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. She has emerged 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 10 of 12 games and the team's top rebounder in seven (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 16.3 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). Her 23-point performence versus No. 10 Stanford earned her Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this week as well.

Ranked Opponents:
Four teams on Washington's schedule are ranked in either of the latest Associated Press or USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Polls (Dec. 19-25): Baylor (No. 4 AP/No. 4 WBCA), Stanford (No. 14 AP/No. 14 WBCA), Arizona State (No. 11 AP/No. 10 WBCA) and Utah (No. 23 AP/No. 22 WBCA).

Bell Climbing Career Blocks List:
Junior forward Jill Bell has steadily climbed up Washington's career list for blocked shots. After beginning the season ranked eighth on the list, Bell has moved into sole possession of seventh with a total of 61.

O'Neill Moving Up Career Three-Pointers List:
Senior guard Kristen O'Neill isn't the only Husky etching her name in the Washington record books. Just 12 games into her senior season, O'Neill continues to move up both career lists for three-pointers made and three-pointers attempted. She ranks eighth with 114 treys made and seventh with 336 three-pointers attempted. O'Neill is one three-pointer away from tying Tara Davis (115) for seventh on the three-pointers made list.

The Schedule:
Washington's 2005-06 schedule features nine opponents that appeared in last year's NCAA Tournament including the defending NCAA champion Baylor Lady Bears. Baylor highlights a formidable preseason slate that includes the likes of Florida State, Utah and Rice, while Pac-10 steams Stanford (Elite Eight), Arizona State (Sweet 16), USC, Oregon and Arizona are also squads that participated in postseason play last year.

Reaching 600:
Washington's win over Utah (Nov. 23) was also the 600th in program history. UW's all-time record is 605-304, its inaugural season being 1974-75.

Huskies On Television:
At least six of Washington's games have been picked up for television broadcasts by FSN including a pair of national telecasts. UW's home game with Washington State (Sunday, Feb. 5, 1 p.m.) and a road game at UCLA (Saturday, Feb. 11, 1 p.m.) will be shown to a nationwide audience. UW will have four more games televised regionally by FSN Northwest versus Eastern Washington (Dec. 12, 7 p.m.), at Arizona State (Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. PT), at Arizona (Dec. 31, 3 p.m. PT) and at Washington State (Jan. 7, 1 p.m.). Two dates remain 'wildcard' time slots national telecasts by FSN - UW's home game versus Oregon State (Feb. 18) and a road game at Cal (Feb. 25). Selections for wildcard broadcasts will be made two weeks prior to those dates.

Head Coach June Daugherty:
June Daugherty is in her 10th season as the head coach of the Husky women's basketball team, having led Washington to the postseason seven times. 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. Daugherty has compiled a UW record of 163-118, and a career record of 286-192. 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 10th year with the team, while Soderberg begins her second season and Lewis-Jay enters her third year.

Burt Receives National Recognition For Comeback:
Following the end of last season, senior guard Kayla Burt received a pair of national honors for her comeback to basketball after suffering a cardiac arrest episode on New Year's Eve, 2002. In her first year back on the court, Burt led the Huskies in scoring (9.6 ppg), assists (2.9 apg), free-throw percentage (75.8) and free-throws made (69). In March she was named the 2005 recipient of the prestigious V Foundation Comeback Award and during the summer made a trip to Hollywood for the 2005 ESPY Awards as one of four nominees for Best Comeback. Burt will be presented the V Foundation Trophy prior to the Feb. 5 game with Washington State. At the local level, Burt was also named the Everett Herald's Woman of the Year in Sports.

Watson Gains International Experience:
Junior forward Breanne Watson represented her native country as a member of the Canadian National Development Team that competed at the 2005 World University Games held in Turkey in August. A starter on the squad, Watson averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in six games. She missed the seventh game after injuring her elbow. The Canadian team finished 11th overall with a 4-3 record. It was the second time Watson competed in the World University Games, as she was a member of the Canadian National Development Team that competed in Korea during the summer of 2003.

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