UW Women Host Rival Cougars On Super Sunday

Feb. 2, 2006

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Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006
Washington State (7-13, 1-10) at Washington (14-6, 7-4 Pac-10)
Bank of America Arena • Seattle, Wash. • 1 p.m. PT
Radio - KKNW AM 1150 • Live TV - FSN

Up Next:
After a seven-day layoff, Washington women's basketball (14-6, 7-4 Pac-10) returns to the court to host cross-state rival Washington State (7-13, 1-10 Pac-10), Sunday, Feb. 5 at 1 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. The contest will be televised live to a national audience on FSN with Jim Watson and Mary Murphy calling the action. The Huskies look to get back in the win column after a disappointing 67-61 loss to then-No. 19 Arizona State, while the Cougars are coming off their first conference win, an 84-77 victory over Arizona. The contest with WSU marks the end to UW's three-game homestand as the Huskies will next play four of its last six Pac-10 games on the road after Sunday. UW begins the week in a four-team log jam for second-place in the Pac-10 standings along with Arizona State, USC and UCLA - all with 7-4 records. The Cougars occupy the cellar spot in the standings. In both teams' earlier season meeting in Pullman, the Huskies edged WSU 73-70.

Schedule Note:
Washington's game at California, Saturday, Feb. 25, will be played at 3 p.m. PT. It was previously listed as 2 p.m. but moved due to the possibility of being picked up as a television game. It will be played at 3 p.m. regardless.

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 www.gohuskies.com with a Dawg Channel All-Access pass.

TV Coverage:
This Sunday's game will be televised live to a national audience on FSN. In fact, two of Washington's next three games will be nationally televised. UW's contest at UCLA, Feb. 11, will also be shown nationwide on FSN.

Kayla Burt To Be Presented V Foundation Award:
Washington senior Kayla Burt will be presented her V Foundation Comeback Award by CEO Nick Valvano in a special pregame ceremony on Sunday. Burt was named the 2005 recipient of the award in March of last season after her courageous comeback to basketball following a cardiac arrest episode on New Year's Eve, 2002. Playing with an internal heart defibrillator, Burt led the Huskies in scoring, assists and free-throw shooting in 2004-05. Although Burt announced her official retirement a few weeks ago following another episode with her heart, her story has served as an inspiration to basketball fans all over the nation. The V Foundation Comeback Award is presented to a collegiate men's or women's basketball player or team that has accomplished personal triumph over adversity. It is awarded in the memory of Jim Valvano, the late basketball coach and ESPN commentator whose personal battle with cancer inspired the creation of the V Foundation. Nick Valvano is Jim's older brother.

Start Your Super Sunday With the Huskies:
In addition to Kayla Burt's award presentation, there will be many other festivities associated with UW's game Sunday. Washington will celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day with its annual halftime ceremony in which all girls in attendance are invited onto the court. The annual alumni game will take place prior to UW's game with WSU at 10:30 a.m., while doors will open even earlier for the annual auction beginning at 10 a.m. The auction will take place at the North Court at Bank of America Arena. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on over 300 items. Bidding will be open through the end of halftime. Items up for bid include an autographed jersey from Seattle Storm star Sue Bird, two seats to any Husky sporting event on the West Coast aboard a Citation Excel jet, Mariners' box seats, VIP Storm tickets, signed jerseys by UW men's player Brandon Roy and many UW women's players, and much more.

What To Watch:
UW head coach June Daugherty needs just two more victories to secure her 100th Pac-10 win, and just nine more to earn her 300th career victory. Only two other Pac-10 coaches have reached the 300-career win mark: Stanford's Tara VanDerveer (648-175) and Arizona's Joan Bonvincini (590-245).

Scouting Washington State (7-13, 1-10 Pac-10):
The Cougars' most recent win over Arizona, Saturday, snapped a 12-game losing streak. WSU opened the season 6-1 until being struck by the losing skid. Even though the Cougars haven't been able to put up 'W's,' their last four losses came by 10 or less points including a one-point defeat at Oregon State (67-68) and a four-point defeat at Oregon (50-54). Keisha Moore leads the team with 11.0 points to go along with 6.7 rebounds. Kate Benz is the Pac-10's leading rebounder with 9.4 boards per game. Benz is just shy of averaging a double-double with 9.8 points per game as well. As a team, WSU is averaging 62.0 points per game while allowing its opponents to score 65.8 per game.

All-Time Series Versus Washington State:
Washington leads the all-time series with Washington State 51-10 and has a 21-game win streak versus the Cougars. The Huskies are 25-6 against WSU in Seattle, having won the last 12-straight . The last time WSU defeated UW in Seattle was Jan. 19, 1993, 75-72 in overtime. Although Washington has dominated the win column, game scores between in these teams in recent history have been rather close. UW's last three wins over WSU have come by seven or less points. UW defeated WSU by just three points (73-70) in the last meeting, and by seven (68-61 in Pullman) and four (76-72 in Seattle) in the season contests last year.

Last Time Versus Washington State:
Sophomore Andrea Plouffe led four Huskies in double-figures with 16 points as Washington staved off a late second-half surge from Washington State to edge its cross-state rival, 73-70, Jan. 7 in Pullman. Washington led by as many as 14 points with 8:33 left, but the Cougars rallied to close within two with just 45 seconds remaining. WSU had a chance to tie the game when guard Charmaine Jones missed a layin with 13 seconds left. UW senior Kayla Burt grabbed the rebound on Jones' miss and at the other end of the floor, junior Cameo Hicks made one of two free-throws to put UW ahead by three, 73-70. With five seconds left, the Cougars were unable to get their shot off and UW held on for its 21st-straight win in the series vs. WSU. UW junior Breanne Watson scored 12 points and added a team-high seven rebounds, while Hicks and sophomore Dominique Banks each scored 11. Jones was the Cougars' leading scorer with 18 points. UW held Kate Benz, then averaging 11.3 rebounds, to just four boards.

Dawg Bites:
• Washington's 14 wins this year already equal its total wins from last season.

• The Huskies have yet to lose consecutive Pac-10 games this year. Only once has UW lost back-to-back games this season, coming at then-No. 5 Baylor and at Texas A&M.

• Washington has won nine of its last 13 games and is 19-8 in their last 27 games dating back to last year.

• The Huskies have the third-highest scoring average in the Pac-10 going into this week (71.2 ppg). The Huskies have scored at least 91 points in their last two home wins - 91 versus Arizona (Jan. 26) and 96 over UCLA (Jan. 12).

• Washington's shooting numbers have been on the rise as of late. The Huskies have shot at least 45 percent from the field four times in the last six games. Included in that span was a season-high effort of 48.3 percent (29-for-60) at Oregon State (Jan. 12). In the first 14 games, Washington shot 45 percent or better on just two occasions (45.8 vs. San Diego; 46.4 vs. Rice).

• Washington has three players averaging double-figures in Pac-10 play: Cameo Hicks (13.5), Andrea Plouffe (11.3) and Kristen O'Neill (10.2).

• Lately when the Huskies win, they win big. UW's last three victories have come by an average of 18.7 points. Washington defeated UCLA by 21, Oregon State by 17 and Arizona by 18.

• Going into this week, Washington led the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (17.25). UW also ranked in the conference Top-5 in scoring offense (3rd, 71.2), three-point FG percentage (5th, .325), rebounding offense (5th, 39.2), rebounding defense (t-3rd, 35.9), rebounding margin (5th, +3.3), turnover margin (2nd, +3.80), assists (5th, 15.15), three-point FG made (3rd, 6.25), and steals (3rd, 10.65).

• UW is 9-2 at home this season and had won 12-straight at Bank of America Arena until falling to USC on Jan. 14. Since then, the Huskies also fell to then-No. 19 Arizona State (Jan. 28) at home. Prior to Jan. 14, the Huskies' last home loss was to Stanford (Jan. 27, 2005).

• Junior guard Cameo Hicks is the team's leader in scoring (14.7 ppg) and rebounding (5.7), and is second in assists (2.4). Hicks, selected the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 19-25, has reached double-figure scoring 16 times in 20 games including four 20-point efforts.

• Sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe is not far behind Hicks when it comes to offensive numbers. On the season, Plouffe averages 9.9 points and 4.2 rebounds. She has reached double-figures in scoring nine times in the last 12 games. Plouffe is averaging 11.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in Washington's 11 Pac-10 games thus far.

• 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.

Last Time Out:
Washington fell to then-No. 19 Arizona State, 67-61, in UW's last game, Jan. 28. Poor field goal shooting down the stretch doomed the Huskies, who led by one point, 58-57, with 3:38 left to play. But Washington missed its next four shots and committed two turnovers, and the Sun Devils took advantage. Amy Denson scored 18 points off the bench for ASU, including six of the last 10 in the final 3:11. Emily Westerberg finished with 10 points for ASU, but the Huskies held Kristen Kovesdy to nine points, three below her season average. UW senior Kristen O'Neill led four Huskies in double-figures with 15 points off the bench. Juniors Breanne Watson and Cameo Hicks both scored 12 and sophomore Andrea Plouffe added 10. But the Huskies shot just 32.2 percent from the field, including a 28.6 clip in the second-half. ASU shot 51 percent.

Who's Hot:
Senior guard Kristen O'Neill has adjusted to her new reserve role just fine. After starting 57-straight games dating back to 2002-03, co-captain O'Neill has been assigned to come off the bench the last 13 contests. O'Neill is one of the hottest Huskies of late, reaching double-figures in scoring in five of the last six games including the last three-straight. O'Neill scored a season-high 19 points in UW's win over Arizona, Jan. 26, shooting 77.8 percent from the field (7-for-9) and 80.0 percent from three-point range (4-for-5). She also had three blocks and two steals versus the Wildcats. Against ASU, Jan. 28, O'Neill led UW in scoring for the second-straight game with 15 points. O'Neill has been especially hot from longe range, draining 10 three-pointers in the last three games. She has also made her last eight-straight free-throw attempts.

Ranked Opponents:
Washington is 2-3 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 twice to Arizona State (Dec. 29, Jan. 28). Washington is 39-99 overall versus Top-25 opponents, including a 28-40 mark at home. UW is 2-1 at home against ranked opponents this season, and 0-2 on the road.

Kayla Burt Announces Retirement:
Washington senior Kayla Burt announced Jan. 16 that her playing career with the Husky women's basketball team has come to an end. The decision was reached through a mutual agreement between Burt, her doctors and the UW athletic department following information obtained regarding the cause for the activation of her internal heart defibrillator during Washington's game against UCLA, Jan. 12. After being admitted to the University of Washington Medical Center Thursday night and undergoing a variety of tests through Friday, it was determined that the defibrillator shocked Burt's heart due to an arrhythmia and was not caused by a malfunction or damage to the device. The defibrillator performed just as it was designed - to emit an electrical shock to the heart when an abnormality was detected. Doctors did not find any damage to Burt's heart but the dangerous rhythm she experienced raised concern due to the fact the cardiac arrest she suffered almost exactly three years ago was now not an isolated incident. Burt had the defibrillator implanted in the right side of her chest following a cardiac arrest she suffered on New Year's Eve, 2002. She was initially diagnosed with Long Q-T Syndrome but additional testing found it was unlikely she had the condition. She was then diagnosed with idiopathic ventricular fibrillation meaning doctors could not determine the cause of her arrest. With that new information, Burt expressed her desire to return to playing basketball and officially rejoined the team in August, 2004. Burt was honored for her courageous comeback, earning the 2005 V Foundation Comeback Award and being a nominee for the 2005 ESPY for Comeback of the Year. This year, Burt came off the bench in 15 games, averaging 6.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists. She still leads the team with 20 three-pointers made. She reached double-figures in scoring three times, including a season-high 14 points in the Husky Classic Championship versus Rice. For her career, Burt averaged 7.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

As the defense goes, so go the Huskies. UW is holding its opponents to an average 65.2 points per game and is 11-2 when holding their opponents to less than 70 points. Washington is also forcing its opponents to commit an average of 21.8 turnovers per game, including a season-high 29 by Eastern Washington (Dec. 12). The Huskies began the week ranked third in the Pac-10 with 10.65 steals per game, led by Kristen O'Neill with a team-high 38.

Crashing The Boards:
Washington's increased inside presence has been reflected by its improved rebounding numbers. The Huskies are averaging 39.2 rebounds per game, up from last year's average of 37.6. In fact, the Huskies are 10-1 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 (17.25).

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 9.9 points per game to go along with a rebounding average of 4.2. She has reached double figures in scoring 12 times, including back-to-back then-career high efforts versus San Diego and Rice in the Husky Classic, a performance that earned her tournament MVP honors. She established a new career-high for scoring with 19 points at Oregon State, Jan. 19. 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. She also had team-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (8) in UW's win at Arizona (Dec. 31) and scored 16 points at Washington State (Jan. 7).

Hot Hicks:
Junior guard Cameo Hicks has emerged as the Huskies' much-needed go-to player, as no Husky averaged double-figures in scoring last year. This year, Hicks leads the team in scoring (14.7 ppg) and rebounding (5.7). Hicks has been UW's leading scorer in 12 of 20 games and the team's top rebounder in 10 (ties included). Hicks' 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 four times has Hicks failed to score at least 10 points, with eight versus Rice (Nov. 27), seven at Texas A&M (Dec. 4), eight at Arizona (Dec. 31) and nine versus USC (Jan. 14). Her 14.8 scoring average is a huge improvement upon her average of 9.5 ppg during her sophomore campaign. Hicks has two double-doubles this season (three in her career) with 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds versus Utah (Nov. 23) and 17 points and 10 rebounds versus UCLA (Jan. 12). 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 performance versus No. 10 Stanford earned her Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for the week of Dec. 19-25.

Oh Canada:
Washington's starting frontline of forwards Breanne Watson and Andrea Plouffe both hail from Canada. Watson, a junior, is a native of Richmond, British Columbia and Plouffe, a sophomore, is from Edmonton, Alberta. Both players have spent time on Canadian national teams. Watson played for the Canadian National Women's Development Team at two World University Games - in Turkey in 2005 and in Korea in 2003. And before coming to Washington, Plouffe played for the Canadian Junior Development Team during the summer of 2003.

Home Sweet Home:
Washington has a long standing tradition of a stellar home record. UW is 283-70 all-time on its home court (80.2 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 9-2 on its home court in 2005-06.

Home Winning Streak:
Washington's loss versus USC, Jan. 14, snapped its last 12-game home win streak that dated back to last season. The streak ranked seventh all-time and was 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.

Ranked Opponents:
Three teams on Washington's schedule are ranked in either of the latest Associated Press or USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Polls: Baylor (No. 10 AP/No. 10 WBCA), Stanford (No. 15 AP/No. 15 WBCA), and Arizona State (No. 18 AP/No. 18 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 67.

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. Twenty games into her senior season, O'Neill continues to move up both career lists for three-pointers made and three-pointers attempted. She is holds sole possession of seventh place in three-pointers made (130) and is sixth in three-pointers attempted (382).

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 611-310, its inaugural season being 1974-75.

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 168-121, and a career record of 291-195. 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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