March 14, 2006
NCAA FIRST ROUND SAN ANTONIO REGIONAL
No. 8 Minnesota (19-9) vs. No. 9 Washington (18-10)
Sat., March 18 Memorial Coliseum Nashville, Tenn. 9 a.m. PST
Radio - KKNW AM 1150 TV - ESPN2
Washington women's basketball (18-10) received the No. 9 seed in the San Antonio Regional and will face No. 8 seed Minnesota (19-9) in the first round of the NCAA Div. I Women's Basketball Championship, Sat., March 18. The contest will be held at 9 a.m. PST at Memorial Coliseum in Nashville, Tenn., and will be televised live on ESPN2. Saturday's first round winner will play the winner between No. 1 seed LSU (27-3) and No. 16 (Florida Atlantic), on Mon., March 20. The Huskies are making their 15th trip to the NCAA Tournament, and first since 2003. Washington is one of six Pac-10 teams to earn NCAA Tournament bids, a conference record. The Huskies finished the regular season tied for fourth in the Pac-10 with USC (11-7). Once they hit the floor on Saturday, the Huskies will not have played a game in exactly two weeks - a much needed rest considering UW lost its last three-straight contests. Washington was ousted by rival USC in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament, March 4, after a pair of losses to end the regular season. Washington and Minnesota have met four previous times, with UW leading the all-time series 3-1. The Huskies defeated the Golden Gophers last season in Seattle, 72-67 in overtime.
ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Full Court will combine to present all 63 games from the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. Washington's game versus Minnesota on Saturday will be televised live on ESPN2 with play-by-play announcer Dave O'Brien, analyst Ann Meyers and sideline reporter Jimmy Dykes providing the commentary. UW's game can also be heard live on the radio at KKNW AM 1150 and GoHuskies.com with Steve Sandmeyer and Elise Woodward calling the action.
Scouting The Huskies:
The NCAA Tournament bid has brought new life to a Husky team that has lost its last three straight games, and four of its last six...UW opened the season 7-2 against non-conference opponents, both losses coming to NCAA Tourney teams Baylor and Texas A&M on the road...the Huskies continued their hot streak when Pac-10 play begin, opening the conference slate 5-1 - a stretch that included wins over regular season Pac-10 Champion Stanford and Pac-10 Tournament Champion UCLA...UW's strengths have been its rebounding and defense...UW led the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds the majority of the season and has been among the conference leaders in steals throughout the year...shooting just 39.0 percent from the field, UW has put its offensive rebounding to good use and still averages 71.0 points per game...UW is a relatively young team, its starting lineup featuring three sophomores and two juniors the majority of the season...senior leadership has come from tri-captains Kayla Burt, Kristen O'Neill and Nicole Castro...O'Neill has started nine games, and leads the team in three-pointers made (32) and steals (47), is third in scoring (8.3 ppg)...Burt's career was cut short in mid-January...she decided to end her career after her internal heart defibrillator was activated during UW's Jan. 12 game with UCLA...Burt had played with the defibrillator for the last year and half, implanted after she suffered cardiac arrest on New Year's Eve, 2002...Burt sat out a year and a half and returned to the team in August, 2004...junior guard Cameo Hicks, an All-Pac-10 selection, has been UW's go-to-player, leading the team in scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.5)...sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe has bolstered the Huskies' inside presence, averaging 10.8 points and 4.3 rebounds...UW received votes in both the Associated Press and WBCA/USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll for a majority of the season...UW cracked the Top-25 in the Coaches' poll Jan. 9...head coach June Daugherty is in her 10th season at the helm of the Husky program, having led UW to five NCAA appearances in her career - including an Elite Eight run in 2001.
UW Tournament History:
Fourteen NCAA appearances have seen Washington post an overall record of 14-14. The farthest a Husky team has advanced was to the Elite Eight twice (1990, 2001). The Huskies first appeared in 1985, the fourth year of the tournament, and had a string of seven-straight years in which they advanced to NCAA's. After missing out in 1992, when they finished 17-11, the Huskies returned five times in six seasons from 1993-98. In 2001, the sixth-seeded Huskies made an improbable run to the regional final, knocking off Old Dominion (67-65), Florida (86-75) and Oklahoma (84-67), before falling to Southwest Missouri State in the Elite Eight (87-104). Washington is 7-4 in first round games, 5-5 in second round games, 2-3 in regional semifinal games and 0-2 in regional championship games. UW owns a record of 2-6 in NCAA Tournament games played on a neutral court.
Last Time At The Tournament:
Washington's last appearance at the NCAA Championship was in 2003, when the Huskies earned a No. 9 seed and traveled to very familiar Eugene, Ore. for a contest with No. 8 seed Wisconsin-Green Bay at McArthur Court. Giuliana Mendiola scored 22 points, while the sister tandem of Kellie Dalan and Kristen O'Neill each added 14 and 12, respectively, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Phoenix which won, 78-65. Tiffany Mor came off the bench to lead UW-Green Bay with 15 points, one of five players to reach double-figures. The Huskies, who trailed 29-36 at halftime, were behind by just one, 50-49, with 11 minutes left. But the Phoenix took over in the final 10 minutes, going up by as many as 14 points as the Huskies lost steam. UW-Green Bay advanced to the second round for the first time in school history with the win.
UW Tourney Experience:
Just three Huskies on this year's squad have previous NCAA Tourney experience. Seniors Kristen O'Neill and Nicole Castro, along with redshirt junior Erica Schelly were on the 2003 squad that fell to Wisconsin-Green Bay in first round action three years ago. Redshirt juniors Jill Bell and Angie Jones were also members of that squad, but used their redshirt seasons in 2002-03. Senior Kayla Burt was a student assistant coach for the 2003 squad during the NCAA Tournament, after announcing her initial retirement following a cardiac arrest episode on New Year's Eve, 2002.
Like the Huskies, the Golden Gophers earned an at-large bid and are one of five Big Ten teams to receive a spot in the 64-team field. It is the fifth-straight NCAA appearance for Minnesota, which brings a 19-9 overall record to Saturday's contest. Minnesota is ranked No. 25 in the final AP poll and fell from the Top-25 in the final week of the WBCA/USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll. Minnesota opened the season 17-4, but is just 2-5 in its last seven games leading up to NCAA Tournament action. The Gophers are coming off a 61-46 loss to Indiana in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament, March 3. Minnesota is led by junior forward Jamie Broback who averages 14.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. As a team, the Gophers are averaging 67.5 points per game, while allowing opponents to score an average of 63.6 per game.
Washington owns a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series with Minnesota, having won the last three straight meetings. These teams met as recently as last season, with the Huskies upsetting then-No. 14 Minnesota, 72-67, in overtime in the WBCA/BTI Classic in Seattle, Nov. 15. Cameo Hicks scored 14 points to lead the Huskies, while Breanne Watson added 11 points and Kristen O'Neill had 10. Jill Bell tallied 11 points and eight rebounds. Minnesota was led by the double-double of Jamie Broback with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Until last season, Washington and Minnesota had not met since the 1988-89 season. UW defeated the Gophers, 74-59 on Dec. 31, 1988, in Minneapolis, following an 83-64 win in Seattle the previous season (Jan. 2, 1988). UW's only loss in the series was by one-point, 80-79, on Feb. 26, 1982 on a neutral court at the Northern Lights Invitational in Anchorage, Alaska.
Washington and Minnesota have played three common opponents this season: Stanford, Washington State and Michigan. The Gophers defeated Stanford, 84-77, on their home court on Nov. 20. Minnesota also defeated Pac-10 rival Washington State in Minneapolis, 83-57, on Dec. 10. The Gophers swept both meetings with Michigan, winning 85-57 in Ann Arbor (Jan. 19) and 83-48 in Minneapolis (Feb. 5). The Huskies split their season series with Stanford, swept the series with Washington State and defeated Michigan at home, 82-60.
Scouting LSU/Florida Atlantic:
LSU, ranked fifth, earned the No. 1 seed in the San Antonio region, making the field of 64 for the 16th time in the program's history and seventh-straight season. It is the second-straight No. 1 seed for the Lady Tigers, and third overall. LSU is 27-3, its only losses coming at UConn (48-51), at Florida in overtime (78-79) and vs. Tennessee in the SEC Tournament final (62-63). LSU is led by 2005 National Player of the Year Seimone Augustus, who averages 23.0 points and 4.6 rebounds. Sophomore center Sylvia Fowles averages 16.7 points and 11.6 boards. Florida Atlantic (20-10) earned an automatic bid to the Tournament by winning the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament for the first time in school history. The Owls will be making their first NCAA appearance since 1992-93 and since moving into Division I. FAU made three appearances in the Division II NCAA Tournament.
Pac-10 Makes NCAA History:
A record six Pac-10 teams earned bids to the 2006 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Earning the automatic berth was Pac-10 Tournament champion UCLA, which earned a No. 5 seed in the Cleveland Region. Joining Washington with at-large bids were No. 3 seed Stanford (San Antonio Region), No. 4 Arizona State (Albuquerque Region), No. 8 USC (Bridgeport Region) and No. 10 Cal (Albuquerque Region). Last year, five Pac-10 teams earned NCAA berths, with all five winning their first-round games.
Pac-10 Tournament Recap:
Washington met a disappointing run in the Pac-10 Tournament, falling to USC in the quarterfinals, 70-67, Saturday, March 4, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The Huskies outscored the Women of Troy, 47-38, in the second half but it wasn't enough to pull themselves out of a deep first half hole. UW shot just 19.4 percent from the field in the opening frame, and got 18 of its 20 first-half points from junior guard Cameo Hicks. Sophomore point guard Emily Florence had the first bucket of the game, and Hicks took over as the only bright spot in the first 20 minutes, scoring 18-straight points. USC led by as many as 15 points in the opening minutes of the second-half but Washington closed to within 55-53 when Hicks hit a putback with 6:08 remaining. Jamie Hagiya and Shay Murphy each hit key 3-pointers over the next 1:30 which kept USC in front by six points, a lead the Women of Troy carried into the final minute. Down three, Florence put up a desperation shot at the final buzzer but fell short. Hicks and Florence equaled their career-highs in scoring with 26 and 13 points, respectively, while sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe added 12. Murphy led USC with 21 points, while Camille LeNoir aded 17.
Regular Season Recap:
Returning all five starters and 14 letterwinners from last year's squad, the 2005-06 Huskies looked to build upon their strong finish from 2004-05. Led by senior tri-captains Kayla Burt, Nicole Castro and Kristen O'Neill, that is exactly what they did. Not backing down from a tough preseason schedule, UW opened the season with road wins at Alabama (No. 18) and Florida State (Nov. 20) to get the ball rolling. In fact, UW opened the season winning five straight and nine of its first 11 games - its best start since opening the 2002-03 season 9-2 as well. The Huskies knocked off Top-25 opponent Utah in their home opener (Nov. 23) before defeating San Diego (Nov. 26) and 2005 NCAA Tourney team Rice (Nov. 27) enroute to the Husky Classic tournament title. The Huskies hit the road again and suffered its first defeats of the season falling at defending NCAA champion Baylor (Dec. 2) and Texas A&M (Dec. 4). The Huskies responded by going 4-0 in their longest homestand of the season, which included wins over Michigan (Dec. 9) and Eastern Washington (Dec. 12), as well as Pac-10 victories over Cal (Dec. 20) and then-No. 10 Stanford (Dec. 22). After the Christmas holiday, UW headed right back into the Pac-10 schedule, falling to Arizona State (Dec. 29) in Tempe, only to respond with three-straight wins. Big Pac-10 victories for UW came versus UCLA (Jan. 12) in Seattle and in double overtime at USC (Feb. 9). UW closed out its home slate with a pair of wins over the Oregon schools to end the season 12-2 at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies certainly did not end the regular season the way they wanted to, losing by 31 points at Stanford (Feb. 23) and by 23 at Cal (Feb. 25). To make matters worse, UW lost its third straight, falling to USC (70-67) in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament. Junior guard Cameo Hicks has been the Huskies' go-to player on the floor all season, leading the team in scoring, rebounding and field goal shooting. The emergence of sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe as a powerful inside presence has bolstered the UW frontline, along with the consistent play of junior forward Breanne Watson. Senior guard Kristen O'Neill, although relegated to a reserve role after the first seven games, has given UW valuable minutes off the bench and leads the team in steals and three-pointers made.
Hicks Named To All-Pac-10 Team:
Junior guard Cameo Hicks was named to the 2005-06 All-Pac-10 team as voted upon by the league's coaches, the conference announced March 2. It is the first All-Pac-10 team selection for Hicks, who earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors as a sophomore and was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team in 2003. Hicks is the first Husky to earn an All-Pac-10 nod since Giuliana Mendiola and Andrea Lalum did so in 2003-04.
The Huskies have tallied at least 18 wins five times in the last six seasons. Washington's 11 Pac-10 wins were the most since winning 13 conference games in 2002-03.
The Huskies closed out another strong season at home, finishing the year with a 12-2 record at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies' 12 home wins is the most since UW went 14-0 at home in 2002-03. Dating back to last season, Washington has won 16 of its last 18 home games.
UW received votes in either the Associated Press or WBCA/USA Today/ESPN polls for 13 straight weeks, a streak that ended Feb. 27. The Huskies cracked the Top-25 of the WBCA poll, ranking 25th in the Jan. 9 billing.
The Huskies have lost their last three straight-games, marking the only time UW lost three in a row this year. Prior to this stretch, UW only lost back-to-back games at Baylor and Texas A&M.
The Huskies' losses in their last two regular season games were their worst defeats of the season, falling by 31 points at Stanford (Feb. 23) and by 23 points at Cal (Feb. 25). Until then, UW's biggest loss was by a 14-point margin at Texas A&M (Dec. 4).
The Huskies have lost their last four-straight road games, the last road win coming in double overtime at USC (Feb. 9).
Washington has won 13 of its last 21 games and is 23-12 in its last 35 games dating back to last year.
The Huskies are 6-8 on the road this year, 4-5 while playing at Pac-10 opponents. UW is 0-1 on neutral courts this season, losing the lone contest to USC in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals.
Going into this week, Washington led the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (17.64) and turnover margin (+4.11). UW also ranked in the conference Top-5 in steals (2nd, 10.14), scoring offense (3rd, 71.0), rebounding offense (3rd, 40.5), rebounding margin (4th, +3.0), assists (5th, 14.54), and three-point FG made (5th, 5.86).
Junior All-Pac-10 honoree Cameo Hicks is the team's leader in scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.5), and is second in assists (2.4). Hicks, selected the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 19-25, has reached double-figure scoring 22 times in 27 games including seven 20-point efforts. Going into this week Hicks ranked eighth in the Pac-10 in scoring, eighth in free-throw percentage (.769), ninth in offensive rebounds (2.48), eighth in 3-point FG percentage (.373), and 10th in steals (1.63).
Sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe is not far behind Hicks when it comes to offensive numbers. On the season, Plouffe averages 10.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. She has reached double-figures in scoring 16 times in the last 20 games.
Junior forward Breanne Watson led UW in both scoring and rebounding twice in the last three games. In fact, Watson has been the team's top rebounder four times in the last seven games. She led the Huskies with 12 points and seven rebounds at Stanford (Feb. 23) and with 13 points and seven rebounds at Cal (Feb. 25). The previous road trip at USC and UCLA, Watson notched back-to-back double-doubles - the first two of her career.
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.
What A Difference A Year Makes:
Last year at this time, the Huskies were making their spring break plans - and they didn't include postseason basketball. Washington finished 2004-05 with a 14-16 record, just its second losing season in program history. It was definitely a rebuilding year, as UW was one of seven NCAA Div. I programs without a senior on its roster. Not a single player had a scoring average in double-figures. But the Huskies finished strong, winning five of their last seven games with a hope the momentum would continue on into 2005-06.
Daugherty Nearing 300-Win Mark:
Tenth-year head coach June Daugherty needs just five more victories to reach 300 in her career. Her all-time record currently stands at 295-199. Only two other current Pac-10 coaches have reached the 300-career win mark: Stanford's Tara VanDerveer (655-177) and Arizona's Joan Bonvincini (591-252). Daugherty already reached a coaching milestone earlier this season, earning her 100th Pac-10 victory in UW's overtime win at USC, Feb. 9. Daugherty's record at Washington is 172-125.
Hicks Named To Academic All-District Team:
Junior guard Cameo Hicks was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District second-team as voted upon by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the organization announced Feb. 9. Hicks, UW's leader in scoring (15.1) and rebounding (5.5) all season and an All-Pac-10 honoree, has a 3.23 grade point average and is majoring in business administration.
Washington is 2-4 against ranked opponents, defeating then-No. 23 Utah (Nov. 23) and then-No. 10 Stanford (Dec. 22) while falling to then-No. 5 Baylor (Dec. 2), twice to Arizona State (Dec. 29, Jan. 28) and most recently to then-No. 15 Stanford (Feb. 23). Washington is 39-100 overall versus Top-25 opponents, including a 28-40 mark at home. UW is 2-1 at home against ranked opponents this season, and 0-3 on the road.
As the defense goes, so go the Huskies. UW is holding its opponents to an average of 67.2 points per game and is 14-2 when holding its opponents to less than 70 points. Washington is also forcing its opponents to commit an average of 21.0 turnovers per game, including season-highs of 29 by Eastern Washington (Dec. 12) and USC (Feb. 9). The Huskies began the week second in the Pac-10 in steals, led by Kristen O'Neill with a team-high 47. Both O'Neill and Cameo Hicks rank in the individual Top-10 in steals, with O'Neill eighth with 1.68 per game and Hicks in 10th with 1.63 per game.
Crashing The Boards:
Washington's increased inside presence has been reflected by its improved rebounding numbers. The Huskies are averaging 40.5 rebounds per game, the highest since a 42.2 average in 2000-01. In fact, the Huskies are 13-3 when outrebounding their opponent. UW grabbed a season-high 64 rebounds versus USC, Feb. 9, including an incredible 32 offensive boards. The offensive glass is where UW has especially excelled this season. The Huskies have led the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds the majority of the season (17.64).
Junior guard Cameo Hicks has emerged as the Huskies' much-needed go-to player, as no Husky averaged double-figures in scoring last year. This year, Hicks leads the team in scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.5). Hicks has been UW's leading scorer in 16 games and the team's top rebounder in 11 (ties included). Hicks' 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 five times has Hicks failed to score at least 10 points, with eight versus Rice (Nov. 27), seven at Texas A&M (Dec. 4), eight at Arizona (Dec. 31), nine versus USC (Jan. 14) and eight at Stanford (Feb. 23). Her 15.1 scoring average is a huge improvement upon her average of 9.5 ppg during her sophomore campaign. Hicks has two double-doubles this season (three in her career) with 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds versus Utah (Nov. 23) and 17 points and 10 rebounds versus UCLA (Jan. 12). 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). Her 23-point performance versus No. 10 Stanford earned her Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for the week of Dec. 19-25. Most recently, Hicks notched her fifth and sixth 20-point games this year with a team-high 25 in UW's double overtime thriller with USC, Feb. 9, and 21 points at UCLA, Feb. 11. She also matched her career-high with 26 points vs. USC in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals, to go along with eight rebounds and two assists.
Hicks Nearing 1,000-Point Club:
Having scored 912 points, junior Cameo Hicks needs just 88 more to reach 1,000 in her career. The last two Huskies to earn 1,000-point club membership were 2004 graduates Andrea Lalum (1,462 pts) and Giuliana Mendiola (1,928 pts). Nineteen Washington players all-time have scored at least 1,000 career points. Hicks has 407 points this season, nearly doubling her previous totals of 221 in 2004 and 284 in 2005.
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 10.8 points per game to go along with a rebounding average of 4.3 per game. She has reached double figures in scoring 19 times, including back-to-back then-career high efforts versus San Diego and Rice in the Husky Classic, a performance that earned her tournament MVP honors. She established a new career-high for scoring with 19 points at Oregon State, Jan. 19. 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. Her second double-double was a 10-point, 10-rebound performance in the Pac-10 opener vs. Cal. She also had team-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (8) in UW's win at Arizona (Dec. 31) and scored a team-high 16 points in both contests versus Washington State (Jan. 7 in Pullman; Feb. 5 in Seattle).
Washington's starting frontline of forwards Breanne Watson and Andrea Plouffe both hail from Canada. Watson, a junior, is a native of Richmond, British Columbia and Plouffe, a sophomore, is from Edmonton, Alberta. Both players have spent time on Canadian national teams. Watson played for the Canadian National Women's Development Team at two World University Games - in Turkey in 2005 and in Korea in 2003. And before coming to Washington, Plouffe played for the Canadian Junior Development Team during the summer of 2003.
Kayla Burt Announces Retirement:
Washington senior Kayla Burt announced Jan. 16 that her playing career with the Husky women's basketball team has come to an end. The decision was reached through a mutual agreement between Burt, her doctors and the UW athletic department following information obtained regarding the cause for the activation of her internal heart defibrillator during Washington's game against UCLA, Jan. 12. After being admitted to the University of Washington Medical Center that night and undergoing a variety of tests through that Friday, it was determined that the defibrillator shocked Burt's heart due to an arrhythmia and was not caused by a malfunction or damage to the device. The defibrillator performed just as it was designed - to emit an electrical shock to the heart when an abnormality was detected. Doctors did not find any damage to Burt's heart but the dangerous rhythm she experienced raised concern due to the fact the cardiac arrest she suffered almost exactly three years ago was now not an isolated incident. Burt had the defibrillator implanted in the right side of her chest following a cardiac arrest she suffered on New Year's Eve, 2002. She was initially diagnosed with Long Q-T Syndrome but additional testing found it was unlikely she had the condition. She was then diagnosed with idiopathic ventricular fibrillation meaning doctors could not determine the cause of her arrest. With that new information, Burt expressed her desire to return to playing basketball and officially rejoined the team in August, 2004. Burt was honored for her courageous comeback, earning the 2005 V Foundation Comeback Award and being a nominee for the 2005 ESPY for Comeback of the Year. This year, Burt came off the bench in 15 games, averaging 6.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists. At the time of her retirement, she led the team with 20 three-pointers made. She reached double-figures in scoring three times, including a season-high 14 points in the Husky Classic Championship versus Rice. For her career, Burt averaged 7.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
Home Sweet Home:
Washington has a long standing tradition of a stellar home record. UW is 286-70 all-time on its home court (80.3 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 12-2 on its home court in 2005-06.
Washington's 2005-06 schedule featured nine opponents that appeared in last year's NCAA Tournament including the defending NCAA champion Baylor Lady Bears. Baylor highlighted a formidable preseason slate that included the likes of Florida State, Utah and Rice, while Pac-10 teams Stanford (Elite Eight), Arizona State (Sweet 16), USC, Oregon and Arizona are also squads that participated in postseason play last year.
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.
Six teams on Washington's schedule are ranked in either of the final Associated Press or USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Polls: Baylor (No. 10 AP/No. 10 WBCA), Stanford (No. 13 AP/No. 14 WBCA), Arizona State (No. 15 AP/No. 15 WBCA), Texas A&M (No. 20 AP/No. 22 WBCA), Utah (No. 18 AP/No. 19 WBCA) and UCLA (No. 21 AP/No. 23 WBCA).
Washington's win over Utah (Nov. 23) was also the 600th in program history. UW's all-time record is 615-314, its inaugural season being 1974-75.
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 172-125, and a career record of 295-199. 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 was presented the V Foundation Trophy by CEO Nick Valvano 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.
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.
Sophomore guard Stefanie Clark is redshirting the 2005-06 season.
Washington signed three players to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period this past November: 5-9 guard Sara Mosiman (Seattle, Wash./King's HS), 6-2 forward Laura McLellan (Campbell, Calif./Leigh HS), 5-10 guard Sami Whitcomb (Ventura, Calif/Buena HS).