Jan. 22, 2010
Huskies Looking For A Home Split With UCLA On Horizon
The University of Washington women's basketball team (8-9, 3-4 Pac-10) is hoping to shake off a tough, 69-65, loss in the opener of their Pac-10 homestand against USC. They have a chance to do so against UCLA on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Bruins are coming off a win at Washington State.
Against USC, Sami Whitcomb led all scorers with 22 points and 11 rebounds, but it was not enough as Trojans' star Ashley Corral led a second-half charge with 19 points, which included a flurry of back-breaking 3-pointers.
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 13.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest. The senior has also compiled four double-doubles this season.
The Huskies are 4-2 at home, including 2-1 in Pac-10 games.
Washington out-rebounded the Trojans by their largest margin of the season (16) against any opponent.
Kristi Kingma is second on the team in scoring, averaging 9.6 points per game. She pumped in 19 points against USC on Thursday, showcasing her consistency with the mid-range jumper. Kingma leads the team with 30 steals.
Regina Rogers played a season-high 25 minutes against the Trojans. The post ended up with eight points and six rebounds, right around her average (7.5 and 4.6, respectively).
UW is second in the Pac-10 in blocks per game, averaging 4.4 over 17 contests.
Mackenzie Argens is seventh in the Pac-10 in blocks with 1.2 per game. Kingma and Whitcomb are ninth and 13th in the league, respectively in steals (1.9 and 1.6). br> Whitcomb is second in the conference in free-throw percentage, with 49 made in 55 attempts for a .891 average.
Charting Washington's Results
The Huskies put up a fight against California and No. 2 Stanford in two tough losses, which preceded a late loss to USC at Bank of America Arena on Jan. 21. 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. The Huskies shook off a limited Sami Whitcomb (foul trouble) to defeat the Beavers, who were 9-2 going into the game. 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 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.
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 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.
A trip to Florida earned the squad a split against USF and UCF. The Huskies ensured a late win over the Knights when Whitcomb converted a three-point play in the final minute to give her team a 62-59 win. Washington returned to the Northwest to grit out a 58-53 win over city rival Seattle University.
The Bruins are led by second-year head coach Nikki Caldwell. She joined UCLA after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee under Pat Summitt for the 2003-08 seasons. During that time, the Lady Vols were 195-24, with two NCAA championships and five trips to the Final Four. As a player, Caldwell was a star at Tennessee, and ranks among the all-time top 10 at Tennessee in three-point field goals made (128) and three-point shots attempted (364).
UCLA is coming off a 19-12 record in 2008-09. They finished tied for fourth in the Pac-10 and advanced to the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals. Their 19 wins were the most since the 2005-06 season.
The Bruins have the distinction of playing conference giant Stanford closer than any Pac-10 team has this season. UCLA almost erased a 20-point first-half lead by the No. 2 Cardinal before falling 65-61 on Jan. 10 at Pauley Pavilion.
Sophomore guard Jasmine Dixon leads UCLA in scoring with 13.7 points per game and is second with 7.9 rebounds per game. Markel Walker, a 6'1 true freshman forward, leads the team with 8.1 rebounds per contest and averages 11.2 points per game.
The Bruins return 10 letterwinners from their 2008-09 squad, including four starters.
Series Record: UW leads the all-time series 27-21, including a 59-49 win in the teams' most recent meeting on Feb. 20, 2009 at Bank of America Arena. The Bruins had won the previous four contests, and have taken the last nine of 12 meetings. The Huskies own a 15-7 mark at home against UCLA - in fact, their last four wins against the Bruins, dating back to 2003, have all been on UW's home court.
Noteworthy: This matchup marks the first time Regina Rogers has faced her former team since transferring. The redshirt sophomore left UCLA after her freshman season and sat out last season for eligibility reasons. ... The Bruins' six losses this season have been by a combined total of 37 points, and all to teams with above .500 records.
Junior forward Christina Nzekwe hails from Seattle and played at Chief Sealth High School as a teammate of Rogers and Charmaine Barlow.
During their playing days, Huskies coach Tia Jackson beat UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell in the 1993 Mideast Regional Game, giving Iowa a berth in the Final Four over Tennessee. Jackson scored a game-high 21 points in the win.