Feb. 13, 2010
Resurgent Cal On Tap In Valentine's Day Matchup For Huskies
The University of Washington women's basketball team (9-13, 4-8 Pac-10) will look to put an end to its three-game losing streak when Cal ventures to Bank of America Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m. (PST).
The Golden Bears (13-10, 7-5) have rebounded from a slow start to the season and are now fifth in the Pac-10, despite starting one of the youngest teams in the conference. The Huskies are coming off a 58-36 loss to Stanford in the opening game of the weekend homestand. Regina Rogers led UW with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting, and the Huskies held Stanford to a season-low in points. Washington could not rebound from shooting just 13 percent in the first half. Leading scorer Sami Whitcomb was held to eight points.
Cal is coming off a 62-44 win over Washington State at Beasley Coliseum.
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.
The California game will also be broadcast on FSN. Tracy Warren and Paul Sunderland will be on the call.
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 14.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest. The senior has also compiled a team-high four double-doubles this season.
The Huskies are 4-4 at Bank of America Arena, including 2-3 in Pac-10 Conference games.
Washington out-rebounded Stanford 35-33; the Cardinal came into the game holding a plus-13.7 edge of the boards against opponents.
Regina Rogers hit five of nine shots from the floor against Stanford to increase her team-leading field goal percentage to .543.
UW is fourth in the Pac-10 in blocks per game, averaging 3.9 over 22 contests. Mackenzie Argens and Regina Rogers are tied for 10th in the Pac-10 in blocks with 1.0 per game. Kristi Kingma and Whitcomb are seventh and 12th in the league, respectively in steals (1.9 and 1.5).
Whitcomb is second in the conference in free-throw percentage, with 79 made in 90 attempts for a .878 average.
Charting Washington's Results
The Arizona trip ended on a sour note after an 80-50 loss to U of A led to a weekend sweep. The Huskies had also lost, in overtime, to ASU to begin the trip.
Before heading to the desert, UW ran its win streak over rival Washington State to 29 straight with a 76-70 OT win over the Cougars in Pullman.
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 Sami 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 fi rst 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.
Cal is coached by Joanne Boyle, who is in her fifth year at the Berkeley school. In her relatively short tenure on the East Bay, Boyle has transformed the Golden Bears into a national power. Last year, the school enjoyed the first Sweet 16 appearance in its history for women's basketball. The national accolades have come for Boyle during her Cal tenure. In 2007-08, she was named the Russell Athletic/WBCA Coach of the Year.
The Golden Bears are coming off a spectacular 27-7 season, which saw them advance to the Sweet 16, where they fell to eventual National Champion UConn.
Cal lost a considerable bulk of its scoring with the departure of Ashley Walker (who now plays for the Seattle Storm) and Devanai Hampton.
Senior Alexis Gray-Lawson leads Cal in scoring with 17.9 ppg, a mark that ranks second in the Pac-10. Freshman DeNesha Stallworth (a McDonald's All-American from Richmond, Calif.) is second on the team with 12.6 ppg. Fellow freshman Layshia Clarendon averages 9.4 a game for the Bears.
Cal has the fourth-best team scoring average in the Pac-10 (67.3 ppg). The Golden Bears are the best offensive rebounding team in the conference as well, compiling 17.8 O-boards a game.
Series Record: Historically, Washington has been the dominant team whenever the two have met. Lately, the Golden Bears have been the more victorious team, having won seven of their last nine meetings with the Huskies.
In their first meeting this season, Cal rallied in the second half to roll the Huskies 60-43 at Haas Pavilion on Jan. 14. Regina Rogers led Washington with 13 points, while Alexis Gray-Lawson scored a game-high 19.
Cal swept all three games against UW last season, including the second round of the Pac-10 tournament in Los Angeles, 61-41.
Noteworthy: The Golden Bears had the No. 1 ranked recruiting class for 2009-10 ... Cal was ranked 13th in the Associated Press poll to begin the season ... Cal coach Joanne Boyle was an assistant at her alma mater, Duke, a few years before Tia Jackson arrived as an assistant ... Senior post Rama N'diaye is a native of Senegal, but played high school ball in Japan.
Up Next For The Huskies
The Huskies are back on the road to Los Angeles, where they'll face UCLA on Feb. 18 before turning around to play USC on Feb. 20. UW will be looking for revenge after the LA schools swept the Huskies at Bank of America earlier this season.