Huskies Face USC In Pac-10 Tourney Quarterfinals Saturday

Feb. 28, 2006

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Saturday, March 4, 2006 • Quarterfinals
No. 4 UW (18-9, 11-7 Pac-10) vs. No. 5 USC (17-10, 11-7 Pac-10)
HP Pavilion • San Jose, Calif. • 7:15 p.m. PST
Radio - KKNW AM 1150 • TV - None

This Week:
Postseason play for Washington women's basketball (18-9, 11-7 Pac-10) begins this week, as the Huskies, seeded fourth, will face No. 5 seed USC (17-10, 11-7 Pac-10) in the quarterfinals of the 2006 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament, Saturday, March 4, at 7:15 p.m. at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Saturday's winner will face either No. 1 seed Stanford or No. 8 Oregon/No. 9 Arizona in the semifinals, Sunday, March 5, at 5:30 p.m. The championship game will be played Monday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. The winner of the Pac-10 Tournament receives the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies ended the regular season in a tie with USC for fourth place in the Pac-10 standings but earned the advantage on the tiebreaker to claim the higher of the two seeds. UW and USC split their season meetings, with the Women of Troy winning in Seattle, 64-61 (Jan. 14) and the Huskies claiming an 87-79 double overtime win in Los Angeles (Feb. 9).

Radio Coverage:
Steve Sandmeyer and former Husky Elise (Niemela) Woodward will call all the Washington action from San Jose on KKNW AM 1150. Fans can also listen to games on the internet at with a Dawg Channel All-Access pass.

TV Coverage:
The semifinals and final of the Pac-10 Tournament will be televised live on FSN with Jim Watson and Mary Murphy calling the action.

Pac-10 Tournament Schedule:
Friday, March 3 -
Game 1: No. 7 Oregon State vs. No. 10 Washington State, 6 p.m.
Game 1: No. 7 Oregon StatGame 2: No. 8 Oregon vs. No. 9 Arizona, 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, March 4 -
Game 3: No. UCLA vs. No. 6 California, 11 a.m.
Game 4: No. 2 Arizona State vs. Game 1 Winner, 1:15 p.m.
Game 5: No. 1 Stanford vs. Game 2 Winner, 5 p.m.
Game 6: No. 4 Washington vs. No. 5 USC, 7:15 p.m.

Sunday, March 5 -
Game 7: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, 3 p.m. (FSN)
Game 8: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner, 5:30 p.m. (FSN)

Monday, March 6 -
Game 9: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner, 7:30 p.m. (FSN)

Huskies At The Pac-10 Tournament:
Washington's No. 4 seed is its second-highest since the inception of the league tournament in 2002...UW was the No. 2 seed at the first two tournaments (2002, 2003), the No. 6 seed in 2004 and No. 7 last season...Washington is 3-4 in Pac-10 Tourney games, including a 2-2 record in the quarterfinals and an 0-2 mark in the semifinals...Saturday will mark the third time in the last four seasons that UW and USC have met in the quarterfinals, with the Huskies winning the previous two meetings...In 2003, No. 2 UW defeated No. 7 USC 64-63 and in 2004, No. 6 UW upset No. 3 USC, 67-50...In tournament action, UW is 0-2 vs. Oregon, 0-2 vs. Arizona, and 1-0 vs. Oregon State.

Fast Facts:
Washington has defeated each team on its side of the bracket at least once this season...UW swept Arizona, while splitting with Oregon, Stanford and USC...Arizona State is the only team to have swept the season series with the Huskies...Washington has yet to play on a neutral court this year.

Scouting USC (17-10, 11-7 Pac-10):
The Women of Troy won three of their last four regular season meetings, dropping its season finale at Oregon State, Feb. 25, 64-67. This week marks the third straight week away from home for USC, which played its final game ever at the LA Sports Arena vs. Washington State, Feb. 11. Shay Murphy leads the team with 17.6 points per game and 7.5 rebounds. Camille LeNoir also scores in double-figures with 12.9 points per game, while senior Meghan Gnekow averages 7.9 points and 6.0 rebounds.

All-Time Series Versus USC:
Washington leads the all-time series with USC 26-17 but the Women of Troy have won three of the last four meetings. These teams split their meetings this year, with USC winning in Seattle, 64-61 (Jan. 14) and UW pulling out a double overtime thriller at the LA Sports Arena, 87-79 (Feb. 9). Washington is 2-0 against USC on a neutral court, both wins coming in the quarterfinals of the 2003 and 2004 Pac-10 Tournaments.

Last Time Versus USC:
Junior guard Cameo Hicks scored 25 points to lead four Huskies in double-figures as Washington battled through double overtime to pick up a dramatic road win over USC, 87-79, at the LA Sports Arena, Feb. 9. The Huskies survived an 11-3 run by USC that tied the game at the end of regulation, 69-69, and came back from a four-point deficit in the first overtime to force the second. Junior forward Breanne Watson put back back-to-back offensive rebounds, including a bucket to tie the score at 76 with 46.3 seconds left in the first overtime. Hicks had a chance to give UW a lead with 22 seconds, but missed both of her free-throw attempts. Washington salvaged the tie when senior guard Kristen O'Neill stole the ball on USC's next possession and passed to sophomore guard Emily Florence who was breaking to the basket, but Florence missed the layin at the buzzer, causing a second overtime period. From there, UW took control of the game, outscoring the Women of Troy 11-3 in the second overtime to hold on for the victory. O'Neill and sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe combined for the last seven UW points in the second overtime. Watson finished with her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Plouffe added 15 points and sophomore guard Dominique Banks had 11. Junior forward Jill Bell came off the bench to grab eight rebounds. The Huskies outrebounded USC 64-49, including an impressive 32 offensive boards. USC was led by Shay Murphy (24 points) and Camille Lenoir (20 points). UW led by as many as eight points in the first half and 13 with 10:30 left in the regulation. Hicks scored 10 of UW's first 14 points to open the second half.

Regular Season Recap:
Returning all five starters and 14 letterwinners from last year's squad, the 2005-06 Huskies looked to build upon their strong finish from 2004-05. Led by senior tri-captains Kayla Burt, Nicole Castro and Kristen O'Neill, that is exactly what they did. Not backing down from a tough preseason schedule, UW opened the season with road wins at Alabama (No. 18) and Florida State (Nov. 20) to get the ball rolling. In fact, UW opened the season winning five straight and nine of its first 11 games - its best start since opening the 2002-03 season 9-2 as well. The Huskies knocked off Top-25 opponent Utah in their home opener (Nov. 23) before defeating San Diego (Nov. 26) and 2005 NCAA Tourney team Rice (Nov. 27) enroute to the Husky Classic tournament title. The Huskies hit the road again and suffered its first defeats of the season falling at defending NCAA champion Baylor (Dec. 2) and Texas A&M (Dec. 4). The Huskies responded by going 4-0 in their longest homestand of the season, which included wins over Michigan (Dec. 9) and Eastern Washington (Dec. 12), as well as Pac-10 victories over Cal (Dec. 20) and Stanford (Dec. 22). After the Christmas holiday, UW headed right back into the Pac-10 schedule, falling to Arizona State (Dec. 29) in Tempe, only to respond with three-straight wins. Big Pac-10 victories for UW came versus UCLA (Jan. 12) in Seattle and in double overtime at USC (Feb. 9). UW closed out its home slate with a pair of wins over the Oregon schools to end the season 12-2 at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies certainly did not end the regular season the way they wanted to, losing by 31 points at Stanford (Feb. 23) and by 23 at Cal (Feb. 25), and will look to get back on the winning track at this week's Pac-10 Tournament. Junior guard Cameo Hicks has been the Huskies' go-to player on the floor all season, leading the team in scoring, rebounding and field goal shooting. The emergence of sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe as a powerful inside presence has bolstered the UW frontline, along with the consistent play of junior forward Breanne Watson. Senior guard Kristen O'Neill, although relegated to a reserve role after the first seven games, has given UW valuable minutes off the bench and leads the team in steals and three-pointers made.

Dawg Bites:
• The Huskies have tallied at least 18 wins five times in the last six seasons. Washington's 11 Pac-10 wins are the most since winning 13 conference games in 2002-03.

• The Huskies closed out another strong season at home, finishing the year with a 12-2 record at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies' 12 home wins is the most since UW went 14-0 at home in 2002-03. Dating back to last season, Washington has won 16 of its last 18 home games.

• UW received votes in either the Associated Press or WBCA/USA Today/ESPN polls for 13 straight weeks, a streak that ended this week. The Huskies cracked the Top-25 of the WBCA poll, ranking 25th in the Jan. 9 billing.

• The Huskies are coming off their two worst losses of the season, falling by 31 points at Stanford (Feb. 23) and by 23 points at Cal (Feb. 25). Until last weekend, UW's biggest loss was by a 14-point margin at Texas A&M (Dec. 4).

• The Huskies have lost their last three-straight road games, the last win coming in double overtime at USC (Feb. 9).

• The Huskies' last two losses at Cal and Stanford to end the regular season marked the first time UW lost back-to-back Pac-10 games this season. UW lost back-to-back non-conference games at Baylor (Dec. 2) and Texas A&M (Dec. 4).

• Washington has won 13 of its last 20 games and is 23-11 in its last 34 games dating back to last year.

• The Huskies are 6-7 on the road this year, 4-5 while playing at Pac-10 opponents.

• Going into this week, Washington led the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (17.70) and turnover margin (+3.93). UW also ranked in the conference Top-5 in steals (2nd, 10.26), scoring offense (3rd, 71.2), rebounding offense (3rd, 40.4), rebounding margin (4th, +3.3), assists (5th, 14.63), and three-point FG made (4th, 5.85).

• Junior All-America candidate Cameo Hicks is the team's leader in scoring (14.7 ppg) and rebounding (5.4), and is second in assists (2.5). Hicks, selected the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 19-25, has reached double-figure scoring 21 times in 26 games including six 20-point efforts. Going into this week Hicks ranked ninth in the Pac-10 in scoring, 10th in free-throw percentage (.755), ninth in offensive rebounds (2.38), ninth in 3-point FG percentage (.363), and 10th in steals (1.65).

• Sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe is not far behind Hicks when it comes to offensive numbers. On the season, Plouffe averages 10.7 points and 4.3 rebounds. She has reached double-figures in scoring 15 times in the last 19 games. Plouffe is averaging 11.9 points and 4.7 rebounds against Pac-10 opponents.

• Junior forward Breanne Watson led UW in both scoring and rebounding the last two games. In fact, Watson has been the team's top rebounder four times in the last six games. She led the Huskies with 12 points and seven rebounds at Stanford (Feb. 23) and with 13 points and seven rebounds at Cal (Feb. 25). The previous road trip at USC and UCLA, Watson notched back-to-back double-doubles - the first two of her career.

• 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.

Daugherty Nearing 300-Win Mark:
Tenth-year head coach June Daugherty needs just five more victories to reach 300 in her career. Her all-time record currently stands at 295-198. Only two other current Pac-10 coaches have reached the 300-career win mark: Stanford's Tara VanDerveer (653-176) and Arizona's Joan Bonvincini (590-251). Daugherty already reached a coaching milestone earlier this season, earning her 100th Pac-10 victory in UW's overtime win at USC, Feb. 9. Daugherty's record at Washington is 172-124.

Last Time Out:
Washington fell to Cal, 81-58, in both teams' regular season finale at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Feb. 25. Coupled with UCLA's win at Oregon, the loss dropped Washington out of third place in the Pac-10 standings. The Huskies ended in a fourth-place tie with USC, which lost to Oregon State in its finale. Trailing most of the first half, the Huskies climbed to within five points, 49-54, with 7:20 to play, but the Bears proceeded to put the game away with a 19-2 run to claim a 24-point lead, 77-53, with 2:14 remaining. Cal extended its lead to as many as 26 points with 1:01 left on the clock. UW junior Breanne Watson made 3-of-4 free-throws to cut the final score to 81-58. Watson shared team-high scoring honors (13 points) with Andrea Plouffe and Cameo Hicks. Kristen O'Neill added 12 points for UW. Jene Morris led Cal with 19 points, 12 coming in the second-half. Ashley Walker also scored 19 points, while Alexis Gray-Lawson and Devanei Hampton each had 16. Washington outrebounded Cal 35-30, but Cal dominated points in the paint, 44-26. UW committed 14 first-half turnovers, but finished with just five in the second half.

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