Feb. 5, 2010
Huskies On The Rebound After OT Loss To Arizona State
The University of Washington women's basketball team (9-11, 4-6 Pac-10) is aiming for a split of the Arizona schools on the road after a 67-61 (OT) loss to the Sun Devils in Tempe. The opportunity comes on Saturday against Arizona (10-10, 4-6) at the McKale Center in Tucson at 11:00 AM (PST). The Wildcats are coming off a win over Washington State on Thursday night.
Against ASU, the Huskies rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit and had a lead in the final minute, but couldn't sustain momentum at Wells Fargo Arena. Laura McLellan scored a season-high 18 points in the loss.
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.
About the Huskies
Sami Whitcomb leads Washington in scoring with 14.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest. The senior has also compiled a team-high four double-doubles this season. The Huskies are 5-8 on the road, including 2-4 in Pac-10 Conference games. Last year, the Huskies won just one Pac-10 road game.
Washington's bench outscored the Sun Devils' bench 24-15. Overall, Washington's bench is plus 14 against their opposition.
Regina Rogers hit four of five shots from the floor to increase her team-leading field goal percentage to .542. Rogers left the game in the second half after bumping knees with an ASU player on the defensive end.
UW is third in the Pac-10 in blocks per game, averaging 4.2 over 20 contests. Mackenzie Argens and Regina Rogers are ninth and 11th in the Pac-10 in blocks with 1.1 per game. Kristi Kingma and Whitcomb are seventh and 13th in the league, respectively in steals (1.9 and 1.5).
Whitcomb is second in the conference in free-throw percentage, with 74 made in 84 attempts for a .881 average.
Charting Washington's Results
UW ran its win streak over rival Washington State to 29 straight with a 76-70 OT win over the Cougars in Pullman. Sami Whitcomb's career-high 32 points carried UW to the win to snap a four-game losing streak.
The win over WSU came after a pair of tough losses by the same 69-65 score to UCLA and USC at Bank of America Arena, 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. The Huskies shook off a limited Whitcomb (foul trouble) to defeat the Beavers, who were 9-2 going into the game. 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.
Arizona is coached by Niya Butts, who is in her second year with the program. The Wildcats are 10-10 on the season, 4-6 in the Pac-10. Butts played for the legendary Pat Summitt at Tennessee, where she was a four-year letterwinner and won back-to-back National Championships (1997-98)
The Wildcats are coming off a 12-19 season, which included a 4-14 mark in Pac-10 play.
Freshman star Davellyn Whyte leads the Wildcats in scoring with 18 points a game, and is the early favorite for Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Her scoring mark ranks third in the Pac-10.
Forward Ify Ibekwe leads the conference in rebounding, averaging 11.9 boards per contest. That's nearly two rebounds better than the Pac-10's second-leading person, Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogwumike.
Reiko Thomas leads the Pac-10 in free-throw percentage (.927).
Arizona posts the worst turnover margin in the Pac-10 (-2.4)
Whyte led all scorers against Washington State with 20 points. Soana Lucet added 18 while Ibekwe chipped in with 12.
Arizona has a 4-1 record against the Pacific Northwest contingent of the Pac-10, including a home sweep of the Oregon schools.
Series Record: For much of the teams' history, Washington has controlled the matchup, as evidenced by their 32-18 advantage. The Huskies beat the Wildcats in the first-half of Pac-10 play, using a late rally to cruise to a 69-59 win at Bank of America Arena in January.
The Huskies last won at the McKale Center on Feb. 24, 2008, escaping with a 60-58 victory over the Wildcats.
Noteworthy: Assistant coach Sue Darling was an assistant with the ABL's Seattle Reign from 1996-97. ... Prior to joining the Wildcats last year, Darling was a police officer in Boulder, Colo. ... Soana Lucet hails from the tiny island of New Caledonia, which is 1,500 km east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean. ...Davellyn Whyte's father, Devon, played Major League Baseball for 17 years. He was a three-time All Star and a seven-time Gold Glove winner.
Up Next For The Huskies
The Huskies return home to face the Bay Area schools on Feb. 12 and 14. Washington will open against No. 2 Stanford before turning around to play the much-improved Cal Golden Bears, who have rebounded from their early season slump.