Dec. 8, 2009
City Rivalry Set As Huskies Hit The "Road" Again
The University of Washington women's basketball team (3-4, 0-0 Pac-10) is on the road for the third consecutive game, but this time there isn't a near 5,000-mile round trip flight involved. Instead, the Huskies will bus three miles to Capitol Hill to tip off against Seattle University (2-8) on Dec. 9 at the Connolly Center. The RedHawks are in year two of their transition to full Division I status.
Last Time Out For Washington
The Huskies split a pair of road contests at USF and UCF. With the latter, Washington had to overcome a furious rally by the Knights on Dec. 6, hanging on to a 62-59 win on the strength of a Sami Whitcomb three-point play in the final minute.
Whitcomb led her team with 14 points, shaking off a shooting slump that saw the senior net just two points in the Huskies' 61-50 loss to South Florida on Dec. 4. In the opening game of the trip, Mollie Williams came off the bench to tie a career-high with 12 points while Regina Rogers continued her consistent stretch of play with 11 points and a season-high four blocks.
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.
Charting Washington's Results
Washington enters Wednesday's game at Seattle University on the heels of having split a tough road trip against a pair of foes who enjoyed postseason success. The Huskies dropped the first game against USF after the Bulls ran off a late 11-0 run at the finish. The trip ended on a high note when the Huskies halted UCF's momentum in the final minutes.
The Huskies started the year with 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 Sami 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 rebounded 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.
Who Leads The Huskies?
Senior Sami Whitcomb has been the do-everything player for the Huskies this season. The guard/forward is averaging a team-high 14.1 points per game, which currently ranks 10th in the Pacific-10 Conference. Whitcomb is also leading the team in rebounds with 6.0 per game, including a pair of 10-board performances. Redshirt-sophomore Regina Rogers has come on strong lately, having tallied five double-digit scoring outputs in seven games. So far, Rogers is averaging 9.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, which rank second on the squad in both categories. Senior Sara Mosiman is third on the team with an 7.5 ppg average, while sophomore Mollie Williams has steadily increased her production this season. The forward combined for 22 points and 10 rebounds on the Florida trip.
Seattle University is an independent school located just three miles from the University of Washington. The RedHawks are coached by Joan Bonvicini, who is in her inaugural season coaching SU. Bonvicini has plenty of experience in collegiate basketball, having compiled 614 career wins with Arizona and Long Beach State. Bonvicini had considerable success at both schools, including a WNIT Championship with the Wildcats.
The RedHawks are 2-8 this season, having played a mix of opponents from Division I to Division III. Their two wins came this season against Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Pacific Lutheran, where former Husky great Jamie Redd is an assistant coach. Seattle University is led on the court by Ashley Brown, who is averaging a team-high 14.4 points per game. The Kirkland, Wash., native has taken a team-high 88 3-pointers and has connected on 35 percent of them. Maggie McCarthy is second on the team in scoring with 8.1 ppg. SU went 20-9 last season under ex-coach Dan Kriley.
Series Record: Washington and Seattle played regularly until the 1984 season, which was the last time UW has played on SU's campus. The programs rekindled their rivalry last year at Bank of America Arena, where the Huskies ran away with an 82-56 victory. Overall, UW is 11-3 against Seattle.
Noteworthy: A pair of former Huskies are working with the RedHawks program. Kristen O'Neill, who also enjoyed a productive professional career, is an assistant coach with Seattle. Michelle Augustavo, who graduated from Washington last season, is an intern with the team. SU coach Joan Bonvicini has an extensive history with UW going back to her days as the coach of Arizona.
Injury Report: Freshman guard Amanda Johnson underwent microfracture surgery in late November on her knee and will miss the remainder of the season. Liz Lay continues to remain on day-to-day status with knee tendinitis, but did not play in the Husky Classic opener against Eastern Washington, nor did she accompany the team on their road trip to Florida. Lydia Young will not play again this season after doctors recommended she have surgery on her knee to fix a degenerative condition. Sara Mosiman is day-to-day with shin splints, while Laura McLellan has recovered from a right knee injury she sustained against UCF.
Up Next For The Huskies
The Huskies have 10 days off before they play again. This time, they'll pack their bags for a long trip to Michigan, where the team will face Michigan State (currently No. 21 in the AP poll) and Western Michigan. The trip is a return home for senior forward Lydia Young, who is from Detroit.