March 1, 2010
Seniors Look For Sweep Of Oregon St. In Final Homestand Of Season
The Washington women's basketball team (10-16, 5-11) will honor its seniors this weekend, starting with a Friday tilt against Oregon State (9-18, 1-15) at 7 p.m. The Huskies are coming off a satisfying win over their cross-state rivals in Washington State, a 70-54 victory that snapped UW's six-game losing streak. In the contest, Regina Rogers set a new career-high with 23 points, doing so in dominant fashion against the Cougars. With the win, the Huskies also extended their winning streak over WSU to 30 in a row. Sami Whitcomb also set a new personal best with 13 rebounds in that game, while also collecting a season-high six steals.
Oregon State is coming off a weekend sweep by the Los Angeles schools at Gil 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.
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 at GoHuskies.com.
About the Huskies
Sami Whitcomb leads Washington in scoring with 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest. The senior has also compiled a team-high five double-doubles this season. The Huskies are 5-5 at home, including 3-4 in Pac-10 Conference games.
Regina Rogers had a career afternoon against the Cougars, tallying 23 points. And despite being a 42 percent shooter from the FT line entering the game, Rogers hit 5-of-7 shots (71 percent) from the charity stripe.
The Huskies held the Cougars to just 35 percent from the floor. And despite their ranking in 3-point defense (10th), Washington limited WSU to just 4-of-20 from beyond the arc.
UW is fourth in the Pac-10 in blocks per game, averaging 3.5 over 26 contests.
Kristi Kingma and Whitcomb are seventh and 12th respectively in steals at 1.9 and 1.6.
Whitcomb is the Pac-10's No. 4 free-throw shooter at 85 percent.
Charting Washington's Results
The Huskies snapped a six-game losing streak with a 70-54 rout of rival Washington State at home, which came after a sweep at the Los Angeles schools. This trip came after an OT loss to Cal and a 58-36 defeat at the hands of No. 2 Stanford at Bank of America Arena. Prior to the homestand, the Huskies were swept away in Arizona, where a tough OT loss to ASU preceded an 80-50 decision in Tucson to Arizona.
Washington's last win came at WSU in OT on Jan. 29, which took the sting off a pair of losses by the same 69-65 score to UCLA and USC at home, 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. 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 first 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.
About Oregon State
The Beavers are coached by LaVonda Wagner, who is in her fifth year with the program. The Beavers are 9-18, 1-15 in conference play. Oregon State has not won a game after losing to Washington on Jan. 3, a 69-64 defeat at Gil Coliseum, a streak that's stretched to 15 games.
The Beavers, nevertheless, are coming off a successful season that saw them notch a 20-12 record, 9-9 in the Pac-10. OSU then advanced to the third round of the WNIT before losing to New Mexico, 61-56, in Albuquerque.
Talisa Rhea leads the Beavers with a 16.3 ppg average, which ranks fifth in the Pac-10. The junior is shooting just 34 percent from the field, along with 28 percent from 3-point range.
The Beavers return seven letterwinners from last year's team, a squad that lost three starters. Wagner is juggling the addition of six newcomers this year.
Oregon State is next-to-last in the Pac-10 in field goal defense (.433), just ahead of Washington State. OSU is last in assists (10.4), assists/turnover ratio (0.6) and defensive rebounds per game (21.6)
The Beavers are one of the better teams in the Pac-10 in limiting the total points of their opponents. OSU is giving up just 60.4 points per game, a mark that ranks fourth in the conference.
Series Record: Washington has controlled most of the series historically against the Beavers, owning a 48-27 record all-time. Yet it wasn't until the win in January that allowed the Huskies to snap a two-game losing streak to Oregon State. In the team's first matchup this season, Kristi Kingma scored a team-high 18 points, which helped the Huskies notch their first Pac-10 win of the season. Rhea scored a game-high 22 points for the Beavers.
Noteworthy: Current Washington assistant Judy Spoelstra was the long-time coach in Corvallis, where she was the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2000. ... Current UW coach Tia Jackson took over LaVonda Wagner's vacated assistant coaching position at Duke University. ... The Beavers have three players from the state of Washington, including a Seattle-area product in senior Julie Futch (Auburn). Rhea attended the same Alaska High School (Juneau-Douglas) as NBA pro Carlos Boozer.
Up Next For The Huskies
The Husky seniors will play their final home game of their careers on Sunday against one of the program's most-heated rivals - Oregon. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. on March 7.