Dec. 9, 2005
For the first time since taking her place in the starting lineup 10 games into her sophomore season, Kristen O'Neill wasn't on the court for the opening tip-off against Michigan on Friday.
But that didn't stop her from having a huge impact on the game.
The senior out of Edmonds, Wash., seemed unfazed by the move to the bench as she poured in bucket after bucket, finishing the game with a season-high 17 points to equal Cameo Hicks for the UW game high.
"I don't mind coming off the bench," O'Neill said. "I'll do whatever I can to help the team."
After finishing second on the team in scoring last year with an average of 9.5 points per game, O'Neill came into Friday's game averaging only 5.9 this season. That may be attributed to the constant need for her to step up and play other positions, as minor injuries have forced UW to shift O'Neill inside and out as needed.
Whatever the case, the contributions she has made haven't gone unnoticed.
"Kristen is a phenomenal leader, a great kid, and she will do anything for this team and this program," said coach June Daugherty. "We've had her bombarded playing the 1, 2, 3 and 4 and it's nice that we're getting the help from Watson and Bell so that she can concentrate on what I think is her natural position and that's playing guard."
No matter what position O'Neill is destined to play, she can be counted on to continue to make an impact.