SEATTLE – Washington women’s basketball opens the season on Thursday night at 7 p.m. with an exhibition game at the Alaska Airlines Arena. The Dawgs welcome Concordia for their lone tune-up before beginning the regular season next week at St. Mary’s.
Admission to Thursday night’s game is free. Trick-or-treating will be available on the concourse for our young fans in costume.
Thursday’s game will be a blend of old and new. Returning are four starters and most of the coaching staff that led the Huskies to back-to-back 20-win seasons and trips to the WNIT. The change comes with former lead assistant Mike Neighbors taking over as the head coach, along with an influx of new and exciting talent.
Never before have the Huskies had a High School McDonald’s All-American on the floor. Thursday, the Huskies will have two in the starting lineup with redshirt freshman Katie Collier and true freshman Kelsey Plum.
Neighbors takes over for departed the Kevin McGuff, but is in his third season with the Husky program. He retains four starters, including two-time All-Pac-12 player Jazmine Davis who was recently named to the Wooden Watch List as one of the top-30 players in the country.
The Huskies face a daunting non-conference schedule, but will begin with a tune-up against Concordia. This is the third season in a row that Washington will host the Cavaliers, winning last season’s matchup, 92-46.
The Dawgs were picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12 in a poll of conference coaches, behind Stanford, California and Colorado. In the first national poll, Washington is unranked, while Stanford and Cal are top-10 teams and UCLA is just inside the top-25.
Expectations are high for this year’s Huskies, who also have the advantage of the Pac-12 Tournament being played at KeyArena and acting as a host for the NCAA First and Second Rounds. The Dawgs would play at home at the Alaska Airlines Arena if they were to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Following Thursday’s game, the Dawgs open the regular season in Moraga, Calif., when they face St. Mary’s at 6 p.m. on Nov. 8. The home opener comes Friday, Nov. 15, when Portland comes to Seattle for a game at noon.