Women's Hoops Set To Face USC In Pac-10 Tourney Quarterfinals Saturday

Feb. 27, 2007

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Saturday, March 3, 2007 • Quarterfinals

No. 4 UW (18-11, 11-7 Pac-10) vs. No. 5 USC (16-12, 10-8 Pac-10)
HP Pavilion • San Jose, Calif. • 7:15 p.m. PST
Radio - KKNW AM 1150 • TV - None
Live Video Streaming - www.pac-10.org

Up Next:
Postseason play for Washington women's basketball (18-11, 11-7 Pac-10) begins this week, as the Huskies, seeded fourth, will face No. 5 seed USC (16-12, 10-8 Pac-10) in the quarterfinals of the 2007 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament, Saturday, March 3, 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 State/No. 9 Arizona in the semifinals, Sunday, March 4, at 4:30 p.m. The championship game will be played Monday, March 5, 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 fourth place in the Pac-10 standings, a full game ahead of USC which finished fifth. Stanford claimed the regular season title outright, while Arizona State finished second and California third. Washington will enter the Pac-10 Tournament having won three straight and five of its last six games. UW and USC split their season meetings this year, with the Huskies winning 76-60 in Seattle (Dec. 29) and the Women of Troy winning 78-58 in Los Angeles (Jan. 28). This year marks the second-straight season Washington and USC have met in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals - and fourth time in the last five years. UW is 2-1 against USC in the Pac-10 Tournament.

Pac-10 Tournament Schedule:
Friday, March 2 -

Game 1: No. 7 UCLA vs. No. 10 Washington State, 6 p.m.
Game 2: No. 8 Oregon State vs. No. 9 Arizona, 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, March 3 -
Game 3: No. 3 California vs. No. 6 Oregon, 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 4 -
Game 7: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, 2 p.m. (FSN)
Game 8: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner, 4:30 p.m. (FSN)

Monday, March 5 -
Game 9: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner, 7:30 p.m. (FSN)

TV Coverage:
Sunday's semifinal games and Monday's final will be televised live to a national audience on FSN with Barry Tompkins and Mary Murphy calling the action from HP Pavilion. Jim Watson will report from the sidelines. A live video stream of Washington's quarterfinal game with USC on Saturday can be seen at Pac-10.org.

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 www.gohuskies.com.

Washington did not receive votes in either of this week's Associated Press or USA Today/WBCA/ESPN Coaches' Poll for the seventh-straight week. UW received votes in both polls for four-straight weeks from Dec. 18-Jan. 8. The Huskies have been ranked as high as No. 23 in the coaches' poll (Nov. 13) this season after earning a No. 25 preseason billing.

Huskies At The Pac-10 Tournament:
Washington is the fourth seed in the tournament for the second-consecutive year...the No. 4 seed is its second-highest seed 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 in 2005...Washington is 3-5 in Pac-10 Tourney games, including a 2-3 record in the quarterfinals and an 0-2 mark in the semifinals...Saturday will mark the fourth time in the last five seasons that UW and USC have met in the quarterfinals, with the Huskies winning the 2003 and 2004 meetings and USC winning the 2006 meeting...Last season, USC, the fifth-seed, upset UW 70-67...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 also 0-2 vs. Oregon, 0-2 vs. Arizona, and 1-0 vs. Oregon State.

Scouting USC (16-12, 10-8 Pac-10):
The Women of Troy finished the regular season fifth in the Pac-10 standings. USC lost back-to-back games last weekend in the Bay Area, falling to California in overtime (79-86) before losing at Stanford (53-56). After a stretch of winning eight of nine games, USC finished out the regular season losing four of its last six games. Senior Shay Murphy leads her team and ranks second in the Pac-10 in both scoring (18.1 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 rpg). Chloe Kerr (11.8) and Jamie Hagiya (10.1) are also scoring in double-figures. USC is averaging 66.2 points per game while allowing opponents to score 61.7.

All-Time Series Vs. USC:
The Huskies lead the all-time series with USC, 27-19. UW and USC split the season meetings this year, with the Huskies winning 76-60 in Seattle (Dec. 29) and USC winning 78-58 in Los Angeles (Jan. 28). USC has held the upper hand in the series of late, winning five of the last seven meetings with the Huskies.

A Tale of Two Games:
The two meetings between Washington and USC this season couldn't be more different. Back in December, the Huskies used a season-high 26 offensive rebounds and a 21-0 first-half run - in which they held USC without a field goal for 10-plus minutes - to win big. In a three-minute span during the run, senior guard Erica Schelly came off the bench to record eight-straight points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist. She finished the game with 11 points - which remains a career-high for the co-captain. After the run, UW never trailed by less than 16 points and led by as many as 26 points. The Women of Troy weren't about to let the same thing happen on their home floor and that was indeed the case. The January 28 meeting in Los Angeles saw USC put the hurt on Washington early to lead by 22 points at halftime. Shay Murphy scored 15 of her 25 points in the opening 20 minutes. The Huskies mustered a second-half comeback of sorts but it wasn't enough to make up for their lackluster first-half.

Scouting UW:
Washington heads into postseason play this week on the heels of a three-game winning streak. UW has also won five of its last six games going into its Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinal matchup with USC, Saturday. The Huskies are coming off a home sweep of the Oregon schools, defeating Oregon State, 70-59, before taking care of Oregon, 61-46. Despite Washington's recent upswing, the Huskies have definitely endured a 'roller coaster' season. After opening the year 0-2, UW won 12 of its next 14 games including nine in a row. Then the Huskies turned around to lose six of its next seven contests until turning things around recently. Leading the way for UW is senior All-American candidate Cameo Hicks, averaging team-highs of 17.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Hicks has tallied double-digit scoring numbers in 23 of the last 24 games and 27 overall this season. Hicks also has eight 20-point scoring games. Hicks was a preseason candidate for both the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy and Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Junior point guard Emily Florence continues to be a catalyst on both ends of the floor. She leads the team in assists (112) and steals (66), and is tied with Hicks for the team lead in rebounding (5.3 rpg). By far the smallest Husky at just 5-5, Florence has been the team's leading rebounder in nine games - tops on the team, as well as the leader in assists 20 times. Florence has grabbed at least five rebounds in 16 of the last 22 games including a career-high 11 versus USC (Dec. 29). Also scoring in double-figures is junior center Andrea Plouffe with 10.3 points per game. Plouffe is coming off a strong performance versus Oregon, Saturday, scoring 12 points. Senior forward/center Jill Bell is third on the squad with 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, and has tallied a team-high 20 blocked shots. Senior forward Breanne Watson is fourth on the team in scoring (6.9 ppg) and is coming off a big weekend versus the Oregon schools. Watson shared team-high scoring honors with Hicks vs. Oregon State (13 points), Thursday, while grabbing a team-high nine rebounds and scoring nine points vs. Oregon, Saturday.

Dawg Bites:
Washington has tallied 18 regular season wins for the second-straight season...UW has also notched at least 18 wins for the sixth time in the last seven seasons...The Huskies have posted an 11-7 Pac-10 record for the second consecutive year...11 Pac-10 wins are the most since notching 13 in 2002-03...UW has yet to play on a neutral court this season...The Huskies are 6-8 on the road this year, with all three of its overtime games coming on the road as well...UW is 2-1 in overtime games including a 79-76 victory over then-No. 20 California (Feb. 8)...the Huskies are 13-3 when outrebounding their opponents and 16-7 when forcing more turnovers then they commit...UW's average winning margin is 14.2 points, its average losing margin? 14.2 points...the Huskies' largest winning margin was 32 points at Washington State (Feb. 17) and their largest losing margin was 26 points at Stanford (Feb. 10)...UW is 17-0 when holding opponents under 70 points and is 1-11 when allowing opponents to score more than 70 points...junior point guard Emily Florence has led the team in rebounding a team-high nine times...senior guard Cameo Hicks has done so eight times.

RPI/Strength Of Schedule:
Washington's strength of schedule and RPI numbers continue to rank among the best in the Pac-10 this week. The Huskies strength of schedule is tabbed 23rd according to Collegiate Basketball News - which also leads the Pac-10. Behind Washington are Arizona (26) and Stanford (32). Washington also owns an RPI ranking of 30th according to Sagarin, 36th according to Collegiate Basketball News and 41st according to the NCAA. Of Washington's 11 losses this season, eight have come to opponents currently ranked in this week's Associated Press Top-25: #5 Ohio State, #7 Stanford (twice), #9 Arizona State (twice), #15 Purdue, #23 Marquette and #25 California. Here is a look at how some of Washington's non-conference opponents have finished/or are about to finish the regular season:• Two of Washington's non-conference opponents have won their respective regular season conference titles: Ohio State (15-1, 26-2) --Big 10; Gonzaga (13-1, 21-9) --WCC• Texas A&M (12-3, 22-5 overall) is tied for the lead in the Big 12 regular season standings with one more regular season game left on Wednesday vs. Texas• Purdue (14-2, 25-5) finished second behind Ohio State (No. 5 national ranking) in the Big 10 standings•Marquette (11-4, 23-5 overall) finished third in the regular season Big East standings behind Connecticut (No. 3 national ranking) and Rutgers (No. 18)• Florida State (10-4, 21-8 overall) finished in a three-way tie with Maryland (No. 6 national ranking) and N.C. State (No. 24) for third place in the ACC; Duke (No. 1) won the regular season conference title and North Carolina (No. 4) finished second

Hicks, Bell Chasing Former Teammate Lalum:
Cameo Hicks ranks 12th on UW's all-time scoring list and needs 28 points to move past former teammate Andrea Lalum who ranks 11th...Hicks enters Saturday's game with 1,435 career points...Jill Bell ranks third on Washington's all-time blocked shots list and needs six blocks to move pass Lalum who ranks second all-time...Bell has 95 career blocked shots while Lalum tallied 100.

Last Game Recap - UW 61, ORE 46:
Senior guard Cameo Hicks scored a game-high 13 points and senior forward Breanne Watson grabbed a game-high nine rebounds to lead Washington to a 61-46 victory over Oregon in both teams' regular season finale at Bank of America Arena, Saturday. The game marked the final regular season home games for Hicks, Watson and four other fellow UW seniors - all of which contributed to the Huskies' scoring total. Junior center Andrea Plouffe joined Hicks in double-figure scoring with 12 points, while Watson and junior guard Dominique Banks each added nine points. The Ducks were led by forwards Kaela Chapdelaine and Eleanor Haring who each scored 10 points. Haring and reserve Jamie Hawkins shared team-high rebounding honors with eight boards apiece. Oregon ends the regular season in sixth-place in the conference standings. The key for the Huskies was forcing Oregon to commit 24 turnovers, off of which UW scored 31 points. UW also crushed the Ducks on the offensive boards, outrebounding them on the offensive glass, 17-9. The Ducks' Carolyn Ganes scored the first bucket of the game to put Oregon up by two early, but UW responded with a three-pointer from junior point guard Emily Florence and never trailed the rest of the contest. The first half remained relatively close, with UW's largest lead through that point being nine points twice. Oregon cut its halftime deficit to five points after scoring four in the final minute on a pair of made free-throws from Hawkins and a jumper from Haring in the lane. UW led by just five six minutes into the second-half (35-30), but an 18-6 run gave the Huskies a 16-point cushion (50-34) with 9:54 to play. UW's largest lead of the game was 20 after a rebound and basket from senior guard Erica Schelly with 26.4 seconds.

Ranked Opponents:
With its loss at then-No. 11 Stanford, Feb. 10, UW fell to 3-7 against Top-25 foes this season (counting teams ranked in either the AP or coaches polls). Two of the three wins came at home - versus then-No. 15 Texas A&M and then-No. 23 Florida State. The third was an overtime thriller at No. 20 Cal in which the Huskies came back from as much as a 19-point deficit midway through the second-half. Washington is 42-108 all-time against Top-25 opponents, including a 13-75 mark on the road (4-47 away, 1-15 neutral). These records reflect only teams ranked in the AP poll; Florida State was only ranked in the coaches poll at the time of their meeting in December. Eight of Washington's opponents this season were ranked in the preseason polls (AP/WBCA Coaches' Poll): Stanford (4/4), Ohio State (7/7), Purdue (11/13), Arizona State (13/12), Texas A&M (14/14), California (21/21), USC (22/22), and UCLA (23/23).

Top Rebounding Dawgs:
Like it has all season long, Washington leads the Pac-10 in offensive rebounding with 17.03 offensive boards per game. The Huskies own a 494-352 advantage over their opponents in offensive rebounds.

Pac-10 Rankings:
Washington also leads the Pac-10 in turnover margin (+5.03) and ranks second in scoring offense (71.7), second in steals (10.10), third in assist/turnover margin (0.83) and third in 3-point field goals made (4.55)...Cameo Hicks ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring (17.1 ppg)...She also ranks fifth in 3-PT field goal percentage (.377) and ninth in steals (1.69)...Junior point guard Emily Florence leads the Pac-10 in steals (2.28), is third in assist-turnover ratio (2.29) and seventh in assists (3.86)...Senior guard Cheri Craddock ranks ninth in three-point FG percentage (.326).

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