Nov. 3, 2005
Washington opens its 32nd season of women's basketball hosting an exhibition game with Baden Sports, Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. The contest will take place at Bank of America Arena on the UW campus, and leads off a Husky hoops doubleheader as the men's squad takes on Simon Fraser in an exhibition at 6 p.m. Regular season ticket prices do apply for both games. The Husky women officially start the season on the road, traveling to face Alabama in the opener at Tuscaloosa (Friday, Nov. 18 at 3:30 p.m. PT), followed by a contest at Florida State in Tallahassee (Sunday, Nov. 20, 11 a.m. PT).
Reserved individual game tickets are $12 and subject to availability within reserved areas. General admission tickets are $6. Tickets are available online at GoHuskies.com, by calling 206-543-2200 or in person at the Husky Ticket Office located on the first floor of the Graves Building.
Live Video Streaming:
Sunday's exhibition game versus Baden Sports can be viewed live on the Dawg Channel at GoHuskies.com. Fans must purchase a Dawg Channel All-Access pass in order to see games broadcast on the web. A select number of home games this season can be viewed on the web. Stay tuned for more information.
With the exception of Sunday's exhibition contest, all Husky women's basketball games can be heard live on the radio at KKNW 1150 AM. Steve Sandmeyer, in his seventh season as the voice of UW women's hoops, will call the play-by-play. Former Husky Elise (Niemela) Woodward will join Sandmeyer as the color commentator for home broadcasts. Fan can also listen to games on the internet at www.gohuskies.com with a Dawg Channel All-Access pass.
Scouting Baden Sports:
The Baden Sports Women's Basketball Team is made up of former collegiate players and will play a series of exhibition contests against 10 Div. I opponents in 13 days, which began at Washington State, Oct. 31. After three games, Baden Sports is 0-3, falling to Washington State (58-73), Idaho (54-83) and Montana (51-66). The team will face Oregon State on Nov. 5, and then will divide to face both Washington and Oregon at their respective home arenas on Nov. 6. On the squad slated to face Washington will be a familiar face for Husky fans. Melissa Erickson, a 2001 graduate and member of Washington's 2001 NCAA Elite Eight team, is on the roster.
2005-06 Season Outlook:
The Huskies' outlook for the coming season is quite optimistic, considering they return 14 letterwinners and all five starters from last year's squad. Despite finishing the season with a sub-.500 record (14-16), UW won eight of its last 13 games - including five of the last seven. One of just seven NCAA Division I programs without a senior on its roster last year, the squad has a much more veteran look in 2005-06. The Huskies boast 10 upperclassmen (seniors and juniors) including senior tri-captains Kayla Burt (G), Nicole Castro (G) and Kristen O'Neill (G). Included among those upperclassmen are juniors Jill Bell (F) and Cameo Hicks (G), both All-Pac-10 honorable mention selections. Sure to also benefit from increased experience are junior forwards Breanne Watson and Maggie O'Hara, who started seven and eight games respectively last year. The underclassmen on the UW roster should certainly not be overlooked. Although just in their sophomore campaigns, guards Dominique Banks and Emily Florence saw quite a bit of playing time as rookies. Florence started all but three games at point guard, while Banks shared a starting role with Kayla Burt at the No. 2 guard. Banks was also named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention team. The Huskies welcome one newcomer in 6-3 freshman forward Heidi McNeill from Oak Harbor, Wash.
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 will open the season on the road at Alabama (Nov. 18) and Florida State (Nov. 20) before making its home debut on Wednesday, Nov. 23, versus Utah at 7 p.m. Please note that a date change has occurred since the original schedule was released. The previous Feb. 4 home date versus Washington State has been moved to Sunday, Feb. 5 to accommodate a FSN national television broadcast.
Huskies On Television:
Two of Washington's games have been picked up for national television broadcasts by FSN including 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.). Two dates remain "wildcard" time slots - UW's home game versus Oregon State (Feb. 18) and a road game at Cal (Feb. 25). Selections for FSN telecasts will be made two weeks prior to those dates. The remainder of the TV schedule should be released soon.
UW Picked Sixth In Pac-10 Media Poll, Seventh In Coaches Poll:
The Huskies were picked to finish sixth in the Pac-10 according to a poll of media members who regularly cover the league. UW was tabbed to finish seventh according to the Pac-10 Coaches Poll. Stanford was selected by both the media and the coaches to claim this year's conference title.
Husky Coaching Staff:
June Daugherty enters 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 154-115, and a career record of 277-189. 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 epidsode 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 a game this season. 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.
The Huskies are three victories away from reaching 600 in program history...UW's endurance will be tested early, as the team plays five games in the first 10 days of the season...included in that span is a trip to Alabama and Florida State...Kristen O'Neill enters her senior season already ranked on three career lists...she ranks ninth all-time in three pointers made (101) and three-pointers attempted (292)...she also ranks 10th in three-point field goal percentage with a 34.6 percent clip...just a junior, Jill Bell ranks eighth on UW's career list for blocked shots (56)...her 31 blocks last season ranked fourth all-time on UW's single-season list...junior Cheri Craddock (36.8) and senior Kayla Burt (35.6) rank seventh and eighth, respectively, on UW's career list for three-point shooting percentage.
The Boise Connection:
Washington's entire coaching staff, as well as two players, all have connections to Boise, Idaho. June and Mike Daugherty coached at Boise State from 1990-1996, and among the players they coached were current UW assistants Janet Soderberg and Kellie Lewis-Jay. Soderberg also coached with the Daughertys for one season at BSU (1995-96), and coached Lewis-Jay as a player from 1995-98. Junior Maggie O'Hara and sophomore Emily Florence both hail from Boise, Idaho, and were teammates at Timberline High School. Lewis-Jay coached the pair on an AAU Idaho Elite team during their prep careers.
The Pac-10 Conference plays host to the fifth annual State Farm Women's Basketball Tournament, March 3-6, 2006, at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. This year marks the fourth year the tournament has been held at that site. A total of nine games will be played, with the champion earning the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Arizona State won the inaugural tournament in 2002, while Stanford has won the last three.