Nov. 29, 2005
Undefeated Washington (5-0) will square off with another undefeated team this week as the Huskies travel to Waco, Texas to face fifth-ranked and defending NCAA Champion Baylor (6-0), Friday, Dec. 2. The game will take place at the Ferrell Center at 5 p.m. PT. UW will continue its Texas road trip and travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M (2-2), Sunday, Dec. 4, at 12:30 p.m. PT at Reed Arena. The Huskies are 5-0 to open the season for the third time during head coach June Daugherty's 10-year tenure at Washington. Last week, UW defeated nationally ranked Utah (63-56) before going on to win its own Husky Classic title with convincing victories over San Diego (77-61) and Rice (86-62). Washington's already tough non-conference slate keeps getting tougher. Baylor will be the fourth 2005 NCAA Tournament team UW has faced in five games and its 26-game winning streak is currently the longest in the nation. The Lady Bears came to Seattle twice last year, playing their first and second round NCAA Tournament games at UW's Bank of America Arena, after a regular season meeting with the Huskies, Dec. 15.
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. Fan can also listen to games on the internet at www.gohuskies.com with a Dawg Channel All-Access pass.
Washington received votes in this week's Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Polls. UW received 49 votes in the AP poll, two spots out of the Top-25. The last time UW was ranked in the AP poll was March 3, 2003 (25).
UW is 5-0 to open the season for the second time in three years and the third overall under head coach June Daugherty. UW opened 2003-04 5-0 and 1997-98 10-0.
Dating back to last year, the Huskies have won 10 of their last 12 games.
UW's 86 points versus Rice (Nov. 27) were a season-high and the most points scored by a Husky team since the first round of last year's Husky Classic (86 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee). The Huskies are averaging 70.6 points, an improvement upon their 67.2 points per game last year.
UW has outrebounded its opponents the last three straight games by a combined total of 32 boards. UW's 54 rebounds vs. Utah surpassed its season-high from last year (52 at Washington State, Jan. 22, 05).
UW won its 12th Husky Classic title over Thanksgiving weekend, defeating San Diego and Rice by a combined 40 points. UW's 24-point winning margin over Rice (86-62) was a season-high.
Sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe has emerged as a strong inside presence for the Huskies. Plouffe, the Husky Classic MVP, had back-to-back career-high scoring games with 13 and 17 points, respectively, and recorded her first career double-double adding 10 rebounds in the championship game. Thus far she is averaging 3.8 rebounds per game and 12 of her 19 total boards have been offensive rebounds.
Junior guard Cameo Hicks is the team's leader in scoring (17.8 ppg) and rebounding 7.0). Hicks scored at least 21 points in three-straight games including a career-high 26 versus San Diego in the first round of the Husky Classic. She has reached double-figures in scoring in four of the first five games.
UW Wins Husky Classic Title:
Sophomore forward Andrea Plouffe used a 17-point, 10-rebound performance to lead Washington to an 86-62 victory over Rice in the championship game of the Husky Classic, Sunday. It was the first career double-double for Plouffe, who earned tournament MVP honors. Sophomore guard Emily Florence added 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while senior guard Kayla Burt scored 14 points off the bench including four three-pointers. Florence and junior guard Cameo Hicks earned All-Tournament Team honors, along with Rice's Lauren Neaves, Penn's Jennifer Fleischer and San Diego's Tiara Harris. UW led wire-to-wire versus Rice, taking control of the game with a 9-2 run off the opening tip and never looking back. The Huskies led 34-25 at the half and never let Rice close within nine the rest of the way. UW led by as many as 28 points in the final two two minutes of play. The Husky defense held the Owls to just a 33.3 percent shooting percentage from the field and forced 24 turnovers. UW advanced to Sunday's championship after a 77-61 victory over San Diego in the first round. Hicks led the Huskies with a career-high 26 points, to go along with five rebounds and four steals.
Baylor returns seven letterwinners and three starters from last year's NCAA and Big 12 Champion team, including senior All-American and National Player of the Year candidate Sophia Young. The Lady Bears have reeled off six straight wins since opening the season, averaging 82 points per game and allowing just 64.7 per game. Baylor defeated then-No. 8 Georgia in its season opener, 84-72, overcoming an 18-point second-half deficit. Washington is the third Pac-10 team Baylor has faced this season, after defeating UCLA (93-85) and Cal (75-58). Young leads the team with 21.5 points per game and 11.8 rebounds. Also scoring in double-figures are sophomore guard Angela Tisdale (16.7) and junior forward Abiola Wabara (11.2).
All-Time Series Versus Baylor:
Washington is 0-1 against Baylor, with the Lady Bears winning the first meeting 74-58 in Seattle last season (Dec. 15, 2004). The Huskies jumped out to an early 13-4 lead in the first four minutes against the Lady Bears and led by as many as 11 points in the first half. UW was unable to hold on, as Baylor came back to tie the score at 38 with 2:14 left in the half, and twice more with 1:29 remaining. With the score tied 42-42 at the intermission, guard Cameo Hicks had the first basket of the second half to put UW ahead, but it was the last lead the Huskies would hold. Baylor went on a 10-0 run and even though UW came back within four points midway through the second-half, Baylor put the Huskies away for good with an 11-0 run. UW made only six second-half field goals and just one in the final nine minutes of the game. Sophia Young led Baylor with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Chameka Scott added 15 points and 10 boards. Hicks was UW's leading scorer with 15 points, while Kayla Burt had 14 points all in the first half.
Scouting Texas A&M:
The Texas A&M Aggies were a postseason team last year, advancing as far as the WNIT quarterfinals and finishing with a 16-15 record. The Aggies return four starters from that squad led by sophomore forward Morenike Atunrase, last year's Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Texas A&M is 2-2 this season and has lost the last two straight to DePaul (71-84) and Hawaii (66-68). Atunrase leads the team with 13.8 points per game, while freshman guard Danielle Gant (12.5) and senior forward Tamea Scales (11.8) also average in double-figure scoring. Scales is the team's top rebounder with 8.5 boards per game. As a team, the Aggies average 72.5 points per game and allow their opponents 60.0 points.
All-Time Versus Texas A&M:
Sunday's meeting will be the first for Washington versus Texas A&M.
The key to the Huskies' 5-0 start has benn their gritty and tenacious defense efforts. UW has held its opponents to an average of 60 points per game, with only one team (Florida State) scoring more than 62. UW held two teams under 60 points - Alabama (52) and Utah (56). The Huskies have forced opponents into committing at least 19 turnovers a game, including a season-high 27 by San Diego.
Sophomores Emily Florence and Andrea Plouffe came up big for Washington in last weekend's Husky Classic, a pair which together averaged 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds last season. Florence has started all but three games of her career at point guard, but hasn't been known for her offensive numbers as much as for her pesky defensive play. Plouffe solidified her spot in the frontline this year averaging just 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds as a freshman. The duo combined for 30 points and 17 rebounds in UW's Husky Classic championship win over Rice, Sunday. Plouffe led the way with her first double-double and career-highs of 17 points and 10 rebounds. Florence also had a big day, with a career-high of 13 points and a career-high tying seven rebounds. Florence also tied for the lead dishing four assists and nailing 2-of-3 three-pointers. Thanks in part to back-to-back double-figure scoring games, Plouffe is second on the team in scoring with 8.4 points per game.
Washington is 1-0 against ranked opponents this year, defeating then-No. 23 Utah (Nov. 23). Washington is 38-96 overall versus Top-25 opponents, and 5-26 against Top-5 teams. UW has yet to defeat a Top-5 team away from home, going 0-8 on the road and 0-7 on neutral courts. The last time the Huskies defeated a Top-5 team was Dec. 6, 1997 versus then-No. 5 Vanderbilt (82-71).
Sophomore guard Cameo Hicks is off to a hot start this year, leading the squad with 17.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. She looks to be emerging as a much-needed go-to player, as no Husky averaged double-figures in scoring last year. Hicks has been UW's leading scorer in four of five games and the team's top rebounder in three (ties included). Hicks' early 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). Sunday's game versus Rice was the first time Hicks failed to score 10 or more points, scoring eight points after a scoreless first half. Her 17.8 scoring average is a huge improvement upon her average of 9.5 ppg during her sophomore campaign and thus far she has accounted for 25 percent of the team's scoring in 2005-06. Hicks earned her second-career double-double with 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds versus Utah, Nov. 23. 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).
No Rest For The Weary:
Washington passed its early season endurance test with flying colors. Opening the season with five games in 10 days, including a cross-country road trip that took them nearly 3,000 miles away from home, UW still came away with five straight wins. The good news for the Huskies is that they are undefeated thus far, but the bad news is the schedule doesn't get any easier. Although getting a four-day break between games, UW will counter No. 5 Baylor on its home court in Waco, Texas, Friday, followed by another road contest with WNIT team Texas A&M. After this weekend's road trip, UW will return to Seattle to host its longest homestand of the year (four games).
Home Sweet Home:
Washington has a long standing tradition of a stellar home record. UW is 277-68 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. UW is 3-0 on its home court in 2005-06.
Washington's win over Utah was also the 600th in program history. UW's all-time record is 602-304, its inaugural season being 1974-75.
Washington's 2005-06 schedule features nine opponents that appeared in last year's NCAA Tournament including the defending NCAA champion Baylor Lady Bears. Baylor highlights a formidable preseason slate that includes the likes of Florida State, Utah and Rice, while Pac-10 steams Stanford (Elite Eight), Arizona State (Sweet 16), USC, Oregon and Arizona are also squads that participated in postseason play last year.
Six teams on Washington's schedule are ranked in either of this week's Associated Press or USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Polls: Baylor (No. 5 AP/No. 5 WBCA), Stanford (No. 12 AP/No. 11 WBCA), Arizona State (No. 15 AP/No. 13 WBCA), UCLA (No. 23 AP), Utah (No. 25 AP/No. 22 WBCA), USC (No. 25 WBCA).
Huskies On Television:
At least six of Washington's games have been picked up for television broadcasts by FSN including a pair of national telecasts. UW's home game with Washington State (Sunday, Feb. 5, 1 p.m.) and a road game at UCLA (Saturday, Feb. 11, 1 p.m.) will be shown to a nationwide audience. UW will have four more games televised regionally by FSN Northwest versus Eastern Washington (Dec. 12, 7 p.m.), at Arizona State (Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. PT), at Arizona (Dec. 31, 3 p.m. PT) and at Washington State (Jan. 7, 1 p.m.). Two dates remain "wildcard" time slots national telecasts by FSN - UW's home game versus Oregon State (Feb. 18) and a road game at Cal (Feb. 25). Selections for wildcard broadcasts will be made two weeks prior to those dates.
Huskies Take Down No. 23 Utah:
Washington used stifling defense and a 54-38 advantage on the boards to win their third-straight, a 63-56 victory over Utah in UW's home opener Nov. 23. Junior guard Cameo Hicks came through, just as she has in UW's previous two games, recording her second-career double-double with 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Junior forward Breanne Watson added eight points and six rebounds off the bench. Utah was led by three-time All-American Kim Smith who had 21 points and eight rebounds. Fellow All-American Shona Thorburn added seven points, six rebounds and eight assists. UW held Utah to a 33.3 shooting percentage, but in turn shot a 34.3 clip. Washington opened the game on a 15-6 run, taking its largest lead of the half at the 10:24 mark. Utah came back to cut their deficit to three points (27-24) at halftime. The Huskies put together a 10-0 run in the second half and led by 13 points (48-35) with 7:21 remaining. Utah came back again, coming within six points twice (56-50, 1:40; 59-53, 52.7) both times on three-pointers by Heidi Carlson. The Huskies held on down the stretch, nailing their free-throws while the Utes continued to foul.
UW Picks Up Two Big Road Wins To Open Season:
Washington traveled about as far away from Seattle as it could to open the season Nov. 18-20, and despite the rigors of the trip and facing SEC school Alabama and ACC school Florida State, came away with a pair of "w's." The Huskies won their fifth-straight season opener with a 56-52 victory over Alabama, Friday. UW overcame a poor shooting night with scrappy play down the stretch to come away with the win. The Huskies only shot 27.9 percent from the field, but pulled down 25 offensive rebounds and forced the Crimson Tide to commit 19 turnovers. The Huskies led by as many as 12 points twice in the first half but found themselves down a point (33-32) at the intermission. UW shot a dismal 19.4 percent in the second half (sinking just seven field goals) but was able to hold off Alabama down the stretch by hitting their free-throws and dominating the glass. Junior guard Cameo Hicks and sophomore guard Dominique Banks led UW with 13 points apiece. Senior guard/forward Kristen O'Neill added 12 points and five rebounds. The story was somewhat similar at Florida State, Sunday. UW jumped out to an early lead, this time leading by as many as 16 points in the first half. The Seminoles staged their comeback and closed the gap to two-points. Hicks then hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Huskies a five-point (cushion), 40-35, at halftime. FSU came back to lead by as many as eight points with eight minutes left. UW got back in the game, capitalizing on its free-throw opportunites (shooting 5-for-6 from the line) in the final minutes. Burt hit a huge three-pointer with a minute and a half left, to give UW a 69-68 lead. After FSU's Alicia Gladden made just one of two free-throws in the final minute, Hicks' left-handed driving layin was the gamewinning basket with 6.9 seconds left. FSU's Holly Johnson's desperation shot at the buzzer missed. Hicks had a game-high 21 points, while junior forward Jill Bell added 10 points off the bench. Burt also had a team-high six boards off the bench.
UW Picked Sixth In Pac-10 Media Poll, Seventh In Coaches Poll:
The Huskies were picked to finish sixth in the Pac-10 according to a poll of media members who regularly cover the league. UW was tabbed to finish seventh according to the Pac-10 Coaches Poll. Stanford was selected by both the media and the coaches to claim this year's conference title.
Head Coach June Daugherty:
June Daugherty enters 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 159-115, and a career record of 282-189. 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 will be presented the V Foundation Trophy prior to a game this season. 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.
Sophomore guard Stefanie Clark is redshirting the 2005-06 season.