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Huskies Host Cal In Pac-10 Opener Tuesday
Release: 12/15/2005
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Dec. 15, 2005

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Tuesday, Dec. 20
California (8-2) at Washington (7-2)
Bank of America Arena • Seattle, Wash. • 7 p.m. PT
Radio - KKNW AM 1150 • Live Webcast - GoHuskies.com

-- UP NEXT --
Thursday, Dec. 22
#10/11 Stanford (4-2) at Washington (7-2)
Bank of America Arena • Seattle, Wash. • 7 p.m. PT
Radio - KKNW AM 1150 • Live Webcast - GoHuskies.com

This Week:
After culminating its non-conference schedule with a 7-2 record, Washington women's basketball makes its Pac-10 debut hosting California (8-2), Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies, who return to the floor after a seven-day break for final exams, are in the midst of their longest homestand of the season, a four-game stint that concludes Thursday versus No. 10/11 Stanford (4-2), at 7 p.m. Washington brings a nine-game home winning streak into its contest with the Golden Bears, including a perfect 5-0 record this season.

Radio Coverage:
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.

Rankings:
For the third-straight week, Washington received votes in this week's Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Polls (Dec. 12-18). The last time UW was ranked in the AP poll was March 3, 2003 (25).

Earliest Pac-10 Start:
Tuesday's Pac-10 opener versus California marks the earliest Pac-10 start for Washington in conference history. However, it's not the first year the Huskies have opened Pac-10 play before Christmas. The only other time Washington played a Pac-10 game prior to Christmas was versus Washington State during the 2001-02 season (Dec. 21, 2001). Every other season since Pac-10 play began in 1986-87, conference games have started after Dec. 25.

Please Note Schedule Change:
Washington's game at Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., Thursday, Dec. 29, has been moved back to 6 p.m. MT (5 p.m. PT). The game will still be televised live by FSN Northwest.

TV Coverage:
After this week's games with Cal and Stanford, Washington's next three road games will all be televised live on FSN Northwest: Dec. 29 at Arizona State (5 p.m. PT), Dec. 31 at Arizona (3 p.m. PT) and Jan. 7 at Washington State (1 p.m. PT).

Scouting California (8-2, 0-0 Pac-10):
The Golden Bears won four straight before taking a nine-day break for finals, having last played versus South Carolina State, Dec. 10. Cal's two losses have come to a pair of teams currently ranked in this week's Associated Press poll: No. 5 Baylor (58-75) and No. 18 New Mexico (46-55). Cal is averaging 67.1 points and shooting 43.1 percent from the field. The Bear defense has held opponents to 52.7 points per game and a 34.8 FG shooting percentage. Cal has three players averaging in double-figures led by Ashley Walker with 13.6 ppg. Devanei Hampton (13.3 ppg) and Alexis Gray-Lawson (11.7) also averaging double-digits.

All-Time Series Versus California:
Washington leads the all-time series with California 37-8 and has won the last 10 consecutive meetings dating back to the 2000-2001 season. Last year, the Huskies defeated the Golden Bears 65-52 in Berkeley (Jan. 2, 2005) and 80-76 in Seattle (Jan. 29, 2005).

Dawg Bites:
• Washington has a nine-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 5-0 at home this season, thanks to wins over No. 23 Utah (Nov. 23), San Diego (Nov. 26), Rice (Nov. 27), Michigan (Dec. 9) and Eastern Washington (Dec. 12). UW's last home loss was to Stanford (Jan. 27, 2005).

• UW's only losses this season came at No. 5 Baylor (Dec. 2) and Texas A&M (Dec. 4). Prior to those losses, UW opened the season 5-0 for the second time in three years and the third overall under head coach June Daugherty. UW opened 2003-04 5-0 and 1997-98 10-0.

• Dating back to last year, the Huskies are 12-4 in their last 16 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.

• No. 5 Baylor was the fourth NCAA Tournament team the Huskies faced in the first five games, with UW going 3-1 versus those teams. UW picked up wins versus Florida State, then-No. 23 Utah and Rice.

• UW's 86 points versus Rice (Nov. 27) were a season-high and the most points scored by a Husky team since the first round of last year's Husky Classic (86 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee). The Huskies are averaging 71.3 points, an improvement upon their 67.2 points per game last year.

• UW won its 12th Husky Classic title over Thanksgiving weekend, defeating San Diego and Rice by a combined 40 points. UW's 24-point winning margin over Rice (86-62) was a season-high.

• Junior guard Cameo Hicks is the team's leader in scoring (16.0 ppg) and rebounding 6.3). Hicks scored at least 21 points in three-straight games including a career-high 26 versus San Diego in the first round of the Husky Classic. She has reached double-figures in scoring seven times in nine games.

Last Time Out:
Junior Cameo Hicks led four Huskies in double-figures, but it was Washington's defense which carried the team to a 68-57 victory over cross-state rival Eastern Washington, Dec. 12. With its offense struggling much of the night - the Huskies shot just 29.9 percent as a team and hit just 22 of 35 free-throw attempts (.629) - it was up to Washington's defense to preserve the team's streak of consecutive home wins which reached nine with the victory. In the first half, the Huskies held Eastern to a 29.0 FG shooting percentage (9-of-31) and put the game away with an 18-2 run. In all, UW forced Eastern into making 29 turnovers, while limiting the Eagles to just 32 percent shooting on the night. Hicks, who turned 21 that day, led all UW scorers with 16 points, her seventh double-figure scoring game this year. Sophomores Emily Florence, Dominique Banks and Andrea Plouffe all chipped in 10 points, while Hicks, Florence and junior Breanne Watson shared the team rebounding lead with eight apiece. Jordan Chadd led all Eastern Washington scorers with 19 points, including five three-pointers.

New Look Lineup:
After going with the same starting five the first seven games, UW head coach June Daugherty started junior forward Breanne Watson for senior Kristen O'Neill at the No. 4 forward position vs. Michigan (Dec. 9). O'Neill, who has played anywhere from the No. 1-4 positions on the floor, had started the last 57-straight games of her career until Friday. The senior didn't let her reserve role get her down, scoring a season-high 17 points versus the Wolverines. Watson remained a starter for the next game versus Eastern Washington (Dec. 12).

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.

Pac-10 Openers:
Washington is 13-6 in Pac-10 openers but have lost the last two straight, both to Arizona (L, 63-67 - Dec. 27, 2004; L, 74-89 - Dec. 27, 2003).

Happy To Be Home:
Washington's longest homestand of the season couldn't come at a better time. After playing four of their first seven games on the road and opening the season at a near frantic pace, the Huskies will have remained at home for four games in three weeks by the end of this homestand. UW was thrown into the fire early, playing its first five games in 10 days, including a cross-country road trip that took them nearly 3,000 miles away from home. And yet, the Huskies opened the season 5-0, passing their early season endurance test with flying colors. After playing three games at home, it was back out on the road for UW, traveling to Texas to face Baylor and Texas A&M where it suffered its only losses in the non-conference season.

Home Sweet Home:
Washington has a long standing tradition of a stellar home record. UW is 279-68 all-time on its home court (80.4 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 5-0 on its home court in 2005-06.

Home Winning Streak:
Washington has won its last nine-straight home games, dating back to last season, a streak that equals its seventh-longest all-time and its second-longest since the arena re-opened in 2001. The Huskies won 18-straight from Nov. 29, 2002 through Dec. 19, 2003.

Ranked Opponents:
Washington is 1-1 against ranked opponents this year, defeating then-No. 23 Utah (Nov. 23) and falling to No. 5 Baylor (Dec. 2). Washington is 38-97 overall versus Top-25 opponents, and 5-27 against Top-5 teams. UW has yet to defeat a Top-5 team away from home, going 0-8 on the road and 0-7 on neutral courts. The last time the Huskies defeated a Top-5 team was Dec. 6, 1997 versus then-No. 5 Vanderbilt (82-71).

Beyond The Arc:
After struggling from beyond the arc in the first few games, the Huskies seem to have emerged from their three-point shooting slump. UW failed to shoot better then 31.8 percent from three-point range in its first five games, including a season-low 18.2 percent clip (6-for-33) in its season opener at Alabama. The last our games have been a different story. The Huskies hit at least eight three-pointers in three of those four contests, including a season-high 10 treys at Baylor and nine versus Michigan. UW shot at least 40 percent in three of the last four games, including a season-high 57.1 percent clip at Texas A&M (8-for-14). Senior guard Kayla Burt leads the squad in three-pointers made with 14, shooting a team-high 38.9 percent from three-point range. Going into this week, Washington ranked second in the Pac-10 with 6.63 three-pointers per game, behind USC (7.13).

D-D-D-Defense:
As the defense goes, so go the Huskies. In its season-opening five game winning streak, UW held four of its five opponents to 62 points or less, with only Florida State scoring as many as 69. The Huskies are 7-0 when holding their opponents to less than 70 points. Washington is also forcing its opponents to commit an average of 21.8 turnovers per game, including a season-high 29 by Eastern Washington (Dec. 12). The Huskies average 10.1 steals per game, led by Cameo Hicks with a team-high 17.

Crashing The Boards:
Washington's increased inside presence has been reflected by its improved rebounding numbers. The Huskies are averaging 41.7 rebounds per game, up from last year's average of 37.6. In fact, the Huskies are 4-0 when outrebounding their opponent. UW's 54 rebounds vs. Utah surpassed its season-high from all of last year (52 at Washington State, Jan. 22, 05). Washington has especially excelled on the offensive glass. As of Dec. 11, the Huskies lead the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (19.25).

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 8.2 points per game to go along with a rebounding average of 3.4. She has reached double figures in scoring four 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. Plouffe even appears to be finding her knack for long-range shooting. After making the first three-pointer of her career at Baylor (Dec. 2), she followed that with a career-high 2 three-pointers at Texas A&M (Dec. 4) and sank another one in UW's last game versus Eastern Washington (Dec. 12).

Hot Hicks:
Sophomore guard Cameo Hicks is off to a hot start this year, leading the squad with 16.0 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. She looks to be emerging as a much-needed go-to player, as no Husky averaged double-figures in scoring last year. Hicks has been UW's leading scorer in seven of nine games and the team's top rebounder in five (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 twice has Hicks failed to score at least 10 points, with eight versus Rice (Nov. 27) and seven at Texas A&M (Dec. 4). Her 16.0 scoring average is a huge improvement upon her average of 9.5 ppg during her sophomore campaign. Hicks recorded her second-career double-double with 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds versus Utah, Nov. 23. 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).

Ranked Opponents:
Six teams on Washington's schedule are ranked in either of this week's Associated Press or USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Polls (Dec. 12-18): Baylor (No. 5 AP/No. 5 WBCA), Stanford (No. 10 AP/No. 11 WBCA), Arizona State (No. 12 AP/No. 10 WBCA), UCLA (No. 24 AP/No. 24 WBCA), Utah (No. 22 AP/No. 22 WBCA), USC (No. 24 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 59.

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. Just nine games into her senior season, O'Neill continues to move up both career lists for three-pointers made and three-pointers attempted. She ranks eighth with 112 treys made and seventh with 327 three-pointers attempted.

The Schedule:
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.

Reaching 600:
Washington's win over Utah (Nov. 23) was also the 600th in program history. UW's all-time record is 604-304, 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 161-117, and a career record of 284-191. 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.

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