March 6, 2010
Seeds Are Set As Huskies Face Oregon In Regular-Season Finale
The Washington women's basketball team (11-16, 6-11) will say farewell to five seniors have who become an integral part of the Huskies program: Sami Whitcomb, Sara Mosiman, Laura McLellan, Christina Rozier and Lydia Young, along with student-manager Lars Phillips. UW will end the season the No. 7 seed in the Pac-10 Conference, thanks to Arizona's sweep by the Los Angeles schools this weekend. So the task for Washington is to send out its seniors in style with a win over the rival Oregon Ducks (16-13, 7-10), who head to Seattle on the heels of a loss to Washington State on Friday. Oregon is the No. 6 seed and while the Huskies can tie the Ducks in the Pac-10 win column with seven, Oregon does hold the tiebreaker because of its win over USC earlier this year.
Entering his 11th season, Steve Sandmeyer will handle all play-by-play duties for the Washington Huskies - both home and away - on KKNW 1150AM. During home games, he will also be joined by former women's basketball letter-winner Elise (Niemela) Woodward, who will provide color commentary.
Dan Giuliani calls home games for GoHuskies.com, part of a joint venture with Comcast On-Demand.
Coach Tia Jackson's weekly press conference will be replayed on UWTV (Husky Hoops Talk) on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m.
Live stats for the game will be available on GameTracker at GoHuskies.com.
About the Huskies
Sami Whitcomb leads Washington in scoring with 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest. The senior has also compiled a team-high five double-doubles this season. The Huskies are 6-5 at home, including 4-4 in Pac-10 Conference games.
Kristi Kingma posted 11 points and six rebounds against the Oregon State Beavers, continuing to define herself as one of the Huskies most complete players.
The Huskies held the Beavers to just 16 points in the second half, the lowest point total UW has limited an opponent to in a half this season.
UW is fourth in the Pac-10 in blocks per game, averaging 3.5 over 27 contests. Kristi Kingma and Whitcomb are ninth and 12th respectively in steals at 1.9 and 1.6.
Whitcomb is the Pac-10's No. 4 free-throw shooter at 86 percent.
Charting Washington's Results
The Huskies snapped a six-game losing streak with a 70-54 rout of rival Washington State at home, which came after a sweep at the Los Angeles schools. This trip came after an OT loss to Cal and a 58-36 defeat at the hands of No. 2 Stanford at Bank of America Arena. Prior to the homestand, the Huskies were swept away in Arizona, where a tough OT loss to ASU preceded an 80-50 decision in Tucson to Arizona.
Washington's last win came at WSU in OT on Jan. 29, which took the sting off a pair of losses by the same 69-65 score to UCLA and USC at home, despite the Huskies holding halftime leads in both games. The pair of defeats added up to a four-game skid after a sweep in the previous series at Cal and Stanford.
UW led the Bears 25-24 at halftime before struggling with turnover issues in the second half in a 60-43 defeat. Against the Cardinal, the Huskies could not overcome a slow start in a 66-51 defeat in Palo Alto.
The Cal loss snapped the Huskies' three-game win streak. It was first time since 2008 that UW had taken Pac-10 games in a row, which they accomplished after sweeping Arizona and Arizona State and a road split of the Oregon schools, culminating in a 69-64 victory at Oregon State in Corvallis. This helped take the sting off a tough 82-71 loss to Oregon, where a second-half UW rally fell short.
The Huskies came away with a split of their two games in Michigan, falling to then-nationally ranked Michigan State 69-52 in East Lansing in the first contest before toppling Mid-American Conference foe Western Michigan, 71-63, in nearby Kalamazoo.
A trip to Florida earned the squad a split against USF and UCF, and then Washington returned to the Northwest to grit out a 58-53 win over city rival Seattle University. The Huskies started the year with a late loss at Portland State when Vikings forward Kelli Valentine hit a 15-footer with .3 seconds remaining to give PSU a 67-66 win. Washington rebounded with a win over Brigham Young, which featured a gutsy performance from Whitcomb, who scored the last 12 points of the game and hit a late 3 with 4.0 seconds remaining to propel UW.
But the Huskies could not sustain the momentum on the road, falling 81-52 to Gonzaga in Spokane on Nov. 22. The team then responded with a 64-46 win over Eastern Washington in the first round of the Husky Classic before losing in the tournament finale to Sacramento State.
Oregon is coached by Paul Westhead, who is in his first year with the program. Westhead has plenty of stops in his professional career, including a WNBA Championship with the Phoenix Mercury in 2007. Westhead last coached NCAA basketball for the George Mason University men's program from 1993-97. He's perhaps best known for his coaching stint at Loyala Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he turned the program into a contender with his run-and-gun style. Westhead has also coached the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA.
The Ducks have lost five straight and now sit at 16-13 on the season and 7-10 in the Pac-10. Oregon is coming off a 67-53 loss to Washington State on Friday night in Pullman, where they shot a season-worst .267 and allowed the Cougars to pull down 60 rebounds.
Taylor Lilley leads the Ducks in scoring, averaging 17.6 points a game. The senior guard has hit 106 of 254 three-point attempts this season, and needs just five more treys to crack the NCAA single-season top-10 all-time.
Oregon leads the Pac-10 in scoring offense and is second in the nation in that category, averaging 82.5 points per game. In addition to Lilley, the Ducks have three other players averaging in double-figures: Michaela Cocks with 15.2 ppg, Amanda Johnson with 12.5 ppg, and Nia Jackson with 10.7 ppg.
Oregon and Washington shared a common non-conference opponent this season in Portland State. The Huskies lost a tight, 67-66, road contest to the Vikings, while the Ducks blew out PSU, 87-58 at home on Nov. 29, 2009.
The Ducks went 9-21 in 2008-09.
Series Record: Washington and Oregon is one of the pre-eminent rivalries in the Pac-10 Conference. The Ducks have a 41-38 lead over the Huskies, including a win in their first meeting this season at Mac Court, 82-71. In that game, Lilley scored 33 points, the second-most of any UW opponent this season, and hit eight three-pointers. The Huskies have a 21-12 advantage historically at Bank of America Arena.
Noteworthy: Ducks assistant coach Dan Muscatell is a native of Everett, Wash. ... Oregon has one player, Nia Jackson, who is from Seattle. ... The sophomore guard was a teammate of Regina Rogers and Charmaine Barlow at Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle.
Up Next For The Huskies
The Huskies are headed to Los Angeles and the Pac-10 Tournament. Washington is currently the seventh seed and will play No. 10 Oregon State on Thursday, March 11. UW is coming off a 67-49 victory over the Beavers.