Huskies Wrap Up Regular Season With Bay Area Road Trip
BERKELEY, Calif. -- The Washington women's basketball team heads on the road for their final two regular season matchups this week, taking on two Bay Area Pac-12 foes. First up is California, as they will they take on the Golden Bears this Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7:00 p.m PT. Thursday's game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks (Pac-12 Washington) with Elise Woodward and Maylana Martin Douglas on the call. Gary Hill will call the action on 1090 KJR--AM.
For Thursday's game, Washington women's basketball will be wearing Honoring Black Excellence uniforms from adidas. The uniforms celebrate Black History Month by honoring the past and celebrating the future. The theme 'Flowers While They're Here' honors Black history while also honoring Black excellence by showing love and acknowledgment to Black leaders and influencers of today and tomorrow.
Notable: This matchup against the Cal Golden Bears follows Sunday's thrilling Senior Day win over the Arizona State Sun Devils. ... As a team, Washington continues to be one of the best in the country at not fouling, as the Huskies lead the Pac-12 and rank 2nd in the country in fewest fouls committed. UW also boasts the best three-point defense in the Pac-12, holding opponents to just a 28.5% mark this season. ...Individually, Nancy Mulkey has established herself as the top post presence in the conference, leading the league with 3.1 blocks per game, which also rank 6th in the country. Haley Van Dyke has emerged as one of the top rebounders in the conference, with her 7.9 boards per game ranking 2nd in the conference.
Coach Langley (6-14 at UW/130-75 Overall, 7th season): Langley is in her first year at Washington after leading Rice through its most successful stretch in program history. She became the first Husky coach to win in their debut since UW Hall of Famer Chris Gobrecht did so in 1985. She joins Gobrecht and Sue Kruszewski (1980) as the only coaches to win their first two games. Langley was 126-61 in six seasons with the Owls, a tenure that was capped by winning the 2021 WNIT Championship. Her winning percentage of .674 is the best in program history and includes a 44-4 (.916) record in Conference USA action over the last three seasons, and a 2018-19 Conference USA Coach of the Year honor. Langley led the Owls to three-straight C-USA titles (2019, 2020, 2021) and five-straight 20-win seasons. During the last five years, the Owls have made post-season appearances in the NCAA Tournament (2019), WNIT (2018, 2021-champions) and WBI (2017-champions).
The Team: The Huskies return two starters from last season's squad, including forward Haley Van Dyke (12.0 ppg and 5.8 rpg), who earned honorable mention on both the All-Pac-12 and All-Pac-12 Defensive teams, and shooting guard Alexis Griggsby (5.7 ppg and team-high 27 3-pt makes). Other upper-classmen returners include Darcy Rees (8.3 ppg and 2.5 rpg), T.T. Watkins (opt out) and Missy Peterson (injury), plus four players who saw action as freshmen (Nia Lowery, Jess Finney, Jayda Noble and Alexis Whitfield). The Huskies will count on three transfers to provide proven experience and leadership from programs that had a high-level of success in 2021. Nancy Mulkey and Lauren Schwartz followed Langley from Rice, where they were the No. 1 and 2 scorers for the WNIT Champion Owls. Mulkey is preseason All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and on the Lisa Leslie Watch List. Schwartz provides another deep threat with a versatile offensive arsenal. Trinity Oliver was a starting guard for Baylor and brings a winning pedigree to the Huskies' lineup. UW also has a pair of freshmen, who also bring unique talents and potential to the table: Olivia Pollerd (Australia U-19 Silver Medalist at FIBA World Cup) and Gatorade Arizona State POY, Marisa Davis-Jones.
Top-10 Recruiting Class Signed: Tina Langley and her staff amassed an impressive signing day class as announced on Nov. 10. She adds a trio of top-100 rated guards from California: Teagan Brown, Elle Ladine and Hannah Stines. Brown is rated 78th in the ESPNW 100 rankings after averaging 18.5 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.9 spg and 3.3 apg at Oak Ridge HS in El Dorado Hills, Calif. Stines is rated 39th by ESPNW and was All-CIF Southern Section, All-State First Team and San Joaquin League POY at Troy HS. Ladine is ranked 52nd by ESPN and helped Pinewood HS to the 2021 CCS Open Division Championship.