Jan. 17, 2006
Washington women's basketball (12-4, 5-2 Pac-10) will travel to the Willamette Valley to take on its Northwest rivals Oregon State (7-7, 1-5 Pac-10) and Oregon (10-6, 1-5 Pac-10) this week. The Huskies will first face OSU Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. in Corvallis, before taking on Oregon Saturday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. in Eugene. After splitting a pair of home games versus the LA schools, the Huskies enter the week in a tie with Arizona State for third place in the Pac-10 standings. Stanford leads the pack with a 6-1 conference record, followed by USC (6-2). Oregon and Oregon State share the eighth spot in the Pac-10 standings. Washington has won seven of its last nine games and four of the last five. The Huskies are 4-3 on the road this year, 2-1 in Pac-10 play. This week's trip will also mark the first time the Huskies will play following senior guard Kayla Burt's retirement announcement.
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.
Washington received votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches' Polls this week. UW was ranked 25th last week in the coaches' poll.
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.
Scouting Oregon State (7-7, 1-5 Pac-10):
The Beavers return to their home court after splitting a pair of games on the road last week. OSU snapped a five-game losing skid with a 64-48 win over Arizona (Jan. 12) before falling at Arizona State, 51-69 (Jan. 14). Oregon State is under the direction of first-year head coach Lavonda Wagner. The Beavers have three players with average scoring numbers in double-figures led by Kim Butler with 16.6 points per game to go along with 5.0 rebounds. Senior Mandy Close averages 13.3 points and Anita Rivera averages 12.4 per game. As a team, OSU is averaging 61.8 points per game, while allowing its opponents 59.2 ppg.
All-Time Series Versus Oregon State:
Washington leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 42-24 and has won the last three straight meetings, all coming last year. UW swept the regular season series by winning 84-53 in Seattle and 75-64 in Corvallis, while also defeating the Beavers (81-68) in the first round of the 2005 Pac-10 Tournament. Washington is 17-12 against OSU in Corvallis, its last loss coming on Feb. 12, 2004 (59-62).
Huskies' 12-Game Home Winning Streak Snapped With USC Loss:
Washington saw its 12-game home winning streak come to a close, Saturday, as the Huskies were edged by USC, 64-61. Washington had won its first eight-straight home games of the season until Saturday, after closing out 2004-05 with four straight victories. In a game that saw neither team lead by more than six points wire to wire, the Huskies were doomed by their poor free-throw shooting down the stretch. UW was down by just one, 62-61, with 90 seconds left but missed four-straight free-throws, a pair by junior Jill Bell and a pair by junior Breanne Watson. USC took advantage of their free-throw attempts in that span, going 4-for-5 in the last 90 seconds including a pair by guard Camille Lenoir with 7.8 seconds remaining that sealed the 64-61 win. In the second half, the Huskies shot 1-for-9 from the free-throw line and were outrebounded 20-10. Overall, USC held a 40-25 advantage on the glass, including a 14-7 advantage on the offensive boards. UW's 25 boards were a season low for a team that entered the game averaging 41.5 per outing. Despite a season-low 30.8 percent shooting clip from the charity stripe, the Huskies had their fourth-best field goal shooting percentage of the season - 45.5 percent. USC was led by guard Shay Murphy who recorded 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Lenoir added 18 points and four assists. Husky point guard Emily Florence matched her season and career-high with 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting. Florence also led the team in rebounds (seven) and shared the assists lead with Cameo Hicks (five). Senior guard Kristen O'Neill was the other Husky in double-figures with 10 points to go along with four assists and three steals.
Strong Pac-10 Start:
UW is 5-2 to open the Pac-10 schedule, its best start since opening the 2002-03 season 5-2 as well. That year, UW defeated Washington State, USC, Arizona State, Arizona and California, while falling to UCLA and Stanford.
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.
Washington is off to its best start since the 2002-03 season. The Huskies are 12-4 in their first 16 games, while the 2002-03 team began that year 13-3.
UW's loss versus USC was its first at home this season. Until then, Washington's only losses came 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). Two of UW's four losses were to ranked opponents.
Washington has won seven of its last nine games and dating back to last year, the Huskies are 17-6 in their last 23 games.
Going into this week, Washington led the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds with 17.81 per game. Cameo Hicks entered the week ranked sixth in the conference with 2.56 offensive boards per game.
Washington's loss versus USC Saturday snapped a 12-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 8-0 at home this season. Prior to Saturday, the Huskies' last home loss was to Stanford (Jan. 27, 2005).
Junior guard Cameo Hicks is the team's leader in scoring (15.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.1), 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 12 times in 16 games including four 20-point efforts.
Sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe is not far behind Hicks when it comes to offensive numbers. Plouffe is averaging 10.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in Washington's seven Pac-10 games thus far. On the season, Plouffe averages 9.1 points and 4.0 rebounds. She has reached double-figures in scoring five times in the last eight games.
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.
As the defense goes, so go the Huskies. UW is holding its opponents to an average 64.4 points per game and is 9-2 when holding their opponents to less than 70 points. Washington is also forcing its opponents to commit an average of 21.9 turnovers per game, including a season-high 29 by Eastern Washington (Dec. 12). The Huskies rank third in the Pac-10 with 10.31 steals per game, led by Cameo Hicks with a team-high 30.
Crashing The Boards:
Washington's increased inside presence has been reflected by its improved rebounding numbers. The Huskies are averaging 40.4 rebounds per game, up from last year's average of 37.6. In fact, the Huskies are 8-0 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 (17.81).
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 9.1 points per game to go along with a rebounding average of 4.0. She has reached double figures in scoring eight 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. She also had team-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (8) in UW's win at Arizona (Dec. 31) and came one point shy of equaling her career-high with 16 points at Washington State (Jan. 7).
Junior guard Cameo Hicks 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 (15.0 ppg), rebounding (6.1), three-point shooting (37.0) and free-throw shooting (81.0). Hicks has been UW's leading scorer in 11 of 16 games and the team's top rebounder in eight (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 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 15.0 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.
Sophomore point guard Emily Florence is a defensive sparkplug for the Huskies, but in the last two games versus UCLA and USC led the team with her offensive numbers. Against UCLA (Jan. 12), Florence just missed her first career double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds to go along with four assists. Against USC (Jan. 14), Florence led the team in scoring with a career-high matching 13 points and rebounding (seven). She also shared the team lead in assists with Cameo Hicks (five). At 5-5, Florence led the team with an average of 8.0 rebounds versus the LA schools.
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 Hungary 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 282-69 all-time on its home court (80.3 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 8-1 on its home court in 2005-06.
Home Winning Streak:
Washington's loss versus USC, Saturday, 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.
Three teams on Washington's schedule are ranked in either of the latest Associated Press or USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Polls: Baylor (No. 8 AP/No. 8 WBCA), Stanford (No. 14 AP/No. 15 WBCA) and Arizona State (No. 15 AP/No. 13 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 63.
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. Sixteen 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 (120) and is tied for sixth in three-pointers attempted (364).
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.
Washington's win over Utah (Nov. 23) was also the 600th in program history. UW's all-time record is 608-308, 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 166-119, and a career record of 289-193. 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.