Feb. 15, 2010
UCLA Beckons In L.A. For Overtime-Weary Huskies
The University of Washington women's basketball team (9-14, 4-9 Pac-10) is showcasing a flair for the dramatic lately, coming off yet another overtime game. But the Huskies will head to Los Angeles to play UCLA (16-7, 9-3) on Thursday at 7 p.m. for their final regular-season road trip on the heels of a four-game losing streak after Cal escaped Bank of America Arena with a 75-68 win in OT on Valentine's Day. The Golden Bears shook off a miracle 3-pointer just before the end of regulation that gave the Huskies new life and sent the game into the extra session. But UW could not withstand a monster game from Cal senior Alexis Gray-Lawson, who dealt with foul trouble and a sprained ankle to pump in 35 points, a season-high for a Husky opponent this season. Regina Rogers led the Huskies with 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
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.
About the Huskies
Sami Whitcomb leads Washington in scoring with 14.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest. The senior has also compiled a team-high four double-doubles this season.
The Huskies are 5-9 on the road, including 2-5 in Pac-10 Conference games.
Washington out-rebounded the two best teams in that category over the weekend at Bank of America Arena. Stanford and Cal came into the series nearly a combined +19 on the boards.
Kristi Kingma set a new career-high with seven assists against Cal, inlcuding the pass to hit Whitcomb for the game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation.
The Huskies dished off 14 assists against Cal, just the fourth time in conference play the Huskies have topped an opponent in that category.
UW is fourth in the Pac-10 in blocks per game, averaging 3.87 over 23 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 eighth and 13th in the league, respectively in steals (1.86 and 1.48).
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 Huskies are in the middle of a four-game losing streak after an OT loss to Cal followed 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.
In the first game of the road trip, the Huskies pulled away at WSU in OT, 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 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.
UCLA is coached by Nikki Caldwell, who is in her second year in Los Angeles. Despite her short time in Westwood, Caldwell has turned a Bruins program into a Pac-10 contender. UCLA currently resides in second after thumping cross-city rival USC 74-56 at Pauley Pavilion before 8,006 fans - the fifth-largest crowd in Bruins' history.
The Bruins are coming off a 19-12 season, as well as a fourth-place finish in the Pac-10 in 2008-09. UCLA came into the season loaded with experience, boasting a roster with eight upperclassmen.
UCLA has won six of its last seven games, and the only loss was a 74-53 decision at No. 2 Stanford.
Jasmine Dixon leads the Bruins in scoring with 14.2 points per game. The transfer from Rutgers excelled against UW in the team's previous matchup this season, scoring 25 points and pulling down nine rebounds in UCLA's 69-65 win in Seattle.
Markel Walker is the team's leading rebounder with an average of 7.9 on the boards. The Bruins are a near +6 on the glass this season.
UCLA is ranked 27th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 56.1 points per game. The only Pac-10 school with a better mark is No. 2 Stanford.
The Bruins average almost 15 assists on offense, which ranks third in the Pac-10.
Series Record: The Huskies own the overall edge in their lifetime matchup with the Bruins, 27-22. But UCLA has lately had the upper hand in Los Angeles, where it leads 13-11. Washington has lost seven in a row at Pauley Pavilion, though in all but one of those games the margin has been eight points or less.
Washington has not won at Pauley since Feb. 3, 2002, a 68-48 decision over the Bruins.
Noteworthy: This will be the first opportunity for Huskies post Regina Rogers to face her former team at Pauley Pavilion. The Seattle native, who transferred from UCLA following the 2007-08 season, was held scoreless in her first matchup against the Bruins earlier this year in Seattle ... Bruins' junior Christina Nzekwe played with Rogers at Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle ... Nikki Caldwell and Tia Jackson squared off in the 1993 Mideast Regional game in the NCAA Tournament, with Jackson's Iowa Hawkeyes defeating Caldwell's Tennessee Volunteers to advance to the Final Four.