Feb. 17, 2006
Coming off a dramatic come-from-behind win over Oregon Thursday evening, Washington women's basketball (17-7, 10-5 Pac-10) will host Oregon State (12-11, 6-9 Pac-10) in its regular season home finale Saturday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. Saturday marks the final regular season home appearance for UW's senior tri-captains Kayla Burt, Nicole Castro and Kristen O'Neill, who will be honored in a special pregame ceremony. Thursday's win moved Washington into a tie for third-place with UCLA. Oregon State's 59-50 win over Washington State, Thursday, gave the Beavers sole possession of seventh place in the Pac-10 standings. The Huskies will look for the season sweep over Oregon State following its 70-53 win in Corvallis, Jan. 19. Next week, Washington will close out the regular season at Stanford (Feb. 23) and Cal (Feb. 25) before making its second-straight Bay Area trip for the Pac-10 Tournament in San Jose, Calif., March 3-6.
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.
Saturday's game will not be shown live, but can be seen on a tape-delayed basis on GoHuskies.com.
Washington's three seniors will be making their final regular season appearance at Bank of America Arena, Saturday - Kayla Burt, Nicole Castro and Kristen O'Neill. All three are fifth-year seniors and team tri-captains. Although having already announced her retirement in January, Burt's career on and off the court have made a definite impact on the Husky program. In all, Burt played two complete seasons - her freshman and junior years - while playing the first half of her sophomore and senior campaigns. She ranks 10th on UW's career list for 3-point FG percentage (.349) and three-pointers made (89). Burt is best known for her courageous comeback to basketball after suffering cardiac arrest on New Year's Eve 2002. Among her honors, she was selected the 2005 recipient of the V Foundation Award and was a nominee for the 2005 ESPY for Best Comeback. Castro has been a leader both on and off the court, providing the Huskies with great speed and stellar defensive play. A two-time member of the Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention team, Castro was named UW's top defender in 2003-04 and received the Tyee Community Service Award in 2004-05. Always a consistent contributor, O'Neill will go down as one of Washington's top three-point shooters and top defenders. Going into this week, she ranks fifth on UW's all-time list for 3-pointers attempted (395), seventh for three-pointers made (131) and 10th for steals (188).
Scouting Oregon State (14-10, 5-9 Pac-10):
The Beavers have won two straight coming into Saturday's contest. Prior to Thursday's 59-50 win at Washington State, Thursday, OSU defeated Arizona at home, 91-83, on Feb. 11. That 91-point effort was a season-high for a team averaging 62.1 points per game. Oregon State is 6-6 on the road, 3-5 in Pac-10 play. The Beavers' road wins have come at Arizona (64-48) and California (63-55), in addition to WSU. Oregon State has three players averaging points in double-figures, led by the 18.4 per game by Kim Butler who also averages 4.8 rebounds. Mandy Close also averages 12.8 points and Anita Rivera averages 12.4 per game. Tiffany Ducker leads the team with 6.9 rebounds per game.
All-Time Series Versus Oregon State:
Washington leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 43-24 and has won the last four straight meetings, dating back to last season. Earlier this season, Washington took care of the Beavers in Corvallis, 70-53. In 2004-05, UW swept the regular season series by winning 84-53 in Seattle and 75-64 in Corvallis, while also defeating the Beavers (81-68) in the first round of the 2005 Pac-10 Tournament. Washington is 22-9 against the Beavers in Seattle, its last loss coming on Feb. 21, 2002 - a 73-71 overtime defeat.
Last Time Versus Oregon State:
Sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe scored a career-high 19 points while junior guard Cameo Hicks added 14 as Washington cruised by Oregon State, 70-53, in Corvallis, Jan. 19. The Huskies used stifling defense to put the Beavers away early, holding Oregon State to just 15 first half points and in turn shooting 53.3 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes. Hicks scored 12 of her 14 points before halftime, including six-straight during an 11-0 Husky run that gave UW a 10-point lead in the first eight minutes. Washington built as much as a 26-point lead courtesy of a 22-2 run and led by 24, 39-15, at the intermission. Sophomore Emily Florence and senior Kristen O'Neill helped spark a UW defense that forced 18 first-half turnovers by OSU. O'Neill had four of her five steals in the first half, while Florence grabbed three of her four in the opening half as well. The Beavers weren't about to go down too easily, outscoring Washington 38-31 in the second-half but it wasn't enough to overcome their first-half hole. The Huskies 48.3 field goal shooting percentage (29-for-60) for the game was a season-high. Tiffany Ducker led all Beaver players with 16 points, 10 of which came in the second-half. Anita Rivera and Kim Butler each added 13 and 12 points, respectively. For Washington, sophomore guard Dominique Banks had a team-high eight rebounds, including five on the offensive glass.
Last Time Out:
Junior Jill Bell earned her third career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds - including 10 points and four rebounds in one three-minute second-half stretch - to lead Washington to a 61-55 come-from behind victory over Oregon, Thursday. Oregon led by as many as 15 points in the game, and led by 11 (47-36) with 11 minutes to play before Bell took over. The junior from Bellevue, Wash., scored on five of the next six UW possessions, and stifled the Oregon offense with one block and four defensive rebounds as Washington used a 10-0 run to close within one, at 47-46, with 7:45 to play. Sophomore Andrea Plouffe checked in for Bell after a media timeout and kept the Huskies rolling, responding to two quick Oregon baskets with a pair of her own, including a reverse layin after a missed free-throw by Cameo Hicks, and a straightaway three-pointer on UW's next possession to tie the game at 51-51 with 4:04 remaining. Bell converted another jumper on UW's next possession to give Washington its first lead since the midway point of the first half, then rebounded a missed shot attempt by Oregon to set up another long two from Plouffe that gave the Huskies a 55-51 lead, and capped a 22-4 scoring run. Bell and Plouffe combined to score 19 of UW's 22 points during the run, with Bell adding six of her 10 rebounds and one block. Oregon's Gabrielle Richards and Hicks traded baskets on the next two possessions, but with a chance to tie in the final minute, the Ducks lost the ball out of bounds, giving possession back to Washington. Emily Florence and Maggie O'Hara each hit a pair of free-throws in the game's final moments, helping Washington complete the dramatic comeback. Plouffe scored 13 points while Hicks added 10.
Daugherty Picks Up 100th Pac-10 Win:
With Washington's win at USC, Feb. 9, UW head coach June Daugherty picked up her 100th Pac-10 victory, and needs just six more to notch her 300th career victory. Only two other current Pac-10 coaches have reached the 300-career win mark: Stanford's Tara VanDerveer (652-176) and Arizona's Joan Bonvincini (590-250).
With 17 wins so far, this year marks the seventh time in 10 seasons (under head coach June Daugherty) the Huskies have reached the 17-win plateau. Should Washington defeat Oregon State, Saturday, it would mark the second time in the last three years, the Huskies have tallied 18 wins. Washington's 10 Pac-10 wins are the most since winning 13 conference games in 2002-03.
The Huskies look to close out another strong season at home, going into Saturday's contest with an impressive 11-2 record at Bank of America Arena. Washington has compiled 11 or more home wins in a season seven times in the last eight years. (Does not include the 1999-2000 season when UW played its home games at Mercer Arena). Dating back to last season, Washington has won 15 of its last 17 home games.
The Huskies have yet to lose consecutive Pac-10 games this year. Only once has UW lost back-to-back games this season, coming at then-No. 5 Baylor and at Texas A&M.
Washington has won 12 of its last 17 games and is 22-9 in its last 31 games dating back to last year.
The Huskies have the third-highest scoring average in the Pac-10 going into this week (72.5 ppg) - a mark that is also tied for 24th in the nation. The Huskies have scored at least 83 points in three of their last four wins: 87 versus USC (Feb. 9), 83 versus Washington State (Feb. 5) and 91 versus Arizona (Jan. 26).
Going into this week, Washington leads the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (17.87) , turnover margin (+4.43) and steals (10.87). UW also ranked in the conference Top-5 in scoring offense (3rd, 72.5), scoring margin (5th, +6.3), rebounding offense (3rd, 40.7), three-point field goal defense (5th, .317), rebounding margin (4th, +3.6), assists (5th, 15.13), and three-point FG made (3rd, 6.30).
Junior All-America candidate Cameo Hicks is the team's leader in scoring (15.0 ppg) and rebounding (5.5), and is second in assists (2.6). Hicks, selected the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 19-25, has reached double-figure scoring 20 times in 24 games including six 20-point efforts. On the road last week, Hicks recorded back-to-back 20-point scoring efforts with 25 at USC (one shy of matching her career-high) and 21 at UCLA. In the Pac-10, Hicks ranks eighth in scoring, free-throw percentage (.779) and three-point FG percentage (.370), and 10th in steals (1.74).
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 13 times in the last 16 games. Plouffe is averaging 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in Washington's 14 Pac-10 games thus far.
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.
UW Benefits From Deep Bench:
The Huskies' level of play certainly doesn't drop when head coach June Daugherty goes to her bench. Leading the way have been a senior tri-captain (Kristen O'Neill) and a 2005 All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection (Jill Bell). In her reserve role, O'Neill is the team's third-leading scorer with 8.1 points per game and has a team-highs in three-pointers made (30) and steals (43). Although struggling with knee problems this season, Bell provides a stellar turnaround jump shot and tenacious rebounding when she's on the floor. In fact Bell, most recently had the game of her career, scoring 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds to spark UW's come-from behind win over Oregon, Thursday.