LAS VEGAS -- Washington (4-3) travels to Las Vegas this week for the Duel in the Desert Tounament at Cox Pavilion on the campus of UNLV. Washington will play three games in three days beginning with Louisiana-Monroe (4-5) on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Friday, the Dawgs will face DePaul (5-3), again at 2:30, before finishing up the tournament on Saturday with a matchup against Pittsburgh (6-4) at noon.
All three games will be available via webcast from the UNLV website with the link above. As always, games will also be broadcast on 1150 KKNW with Steve Sandmeyer on the call for the Dawgs.
What To Look For
- After an 0-2 start, Washington has won four of its last five with the only loss coming at No. 23 Texas A&M.
- After allowing 91 points in each of the first two games, the Dawgs are allowing an average of just 63.2 points per game over the last five contests.
- Washington is averaging 76.7 points per game and has scored in the 80's four times.
- The Dawgs are allowing a Pac-12 worst 38.9 percent shooting from 3-point range, although have drastically improved beginning with the second half vs. Wisconsin. UW has its opponenets to 5-36 shooting since then.
- Jazmine Davis is on both the Wooden Award and Naismith Award Watch Lists. She is Washington's all-time leading scorer through two seasons, both in which she made All-Pac-12 First Team.
- Kelsey Plum had 20+ points in her first three games at Washington and is now averaging 17.1 points per game is currently 10th in the Pac-12. Plum is also fifth in the conference in free throw shooting at 87.5 percent (21-25).
- The Dawgs have a (-0.4) rebounding margin on the season, ninth in the Pac-12. Aminah Williams leads Washington with 10.3 rebounds per game and has double-digit boards in four-straight games.
- Heather Corral is fifth in the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting percentage at .458 percent (11-24).
- Jazmine Davis has scored in double figures in 12-straight games dating back to last year. For her career, she has double figures in 61-71 games.
- Katie Collier has come off the bench to score in double figures in each of the last two games.
- The Dawgs are mostly healthy with the exception of Chantel Osahor who is out this week with a foot injury. Brianna Ruiz and Kassia Fortier are out for the season with injuries.
- Plum is the only Husky that currently ranks in the top-10 in minutes played in the Pac-12. Washington had four in the top-10 last season, showing improved depth with this year's squad.
- Washington has three guards that can handle the point guard duties. Davis, Plum and Mercedes Wetmore each brings the ball up the court and has combined for 77 of Washington's 101 assists this season. Wetmore leads the team with 4.7 assists per game, which is fourth in the Pac-12. She also leads the conference in assist to turnover ration at 3.0 (33 assists/11 turnovers).
- Washington is coming off a second-consecutive 20-win season and back-to back trips to the WNIT. The Dawgs last won 20 games in back-to-back seasons in 1993-94 and 1994-95.
- The Dawgs placed in the fifth in the Pac-12 in 2013. Their 11 conference wins were the most since 2007.
The Warhawks come to Las Vegas with a record of 4-5, coming off a blowout victory over Alcorn State. Louisiana-Monroe is led by Ashleigh Simmons who is averaging 17.4 points per game, while shooting 61.4 percent from the floor. She is also their leading rebounding at 8.4 per game. This will be the first-ever meeting between Washington and Louisiana-Monroe.
DePaul is 5-3 on the season, although their three losses have come to No. 4 Notre Dame, Northwestern and No. 5 Kentucky who are a combined 28-2 on the season. The Blue Demons have four players who average in double figures and as a team score 86.2 points per game. Washington is 2-1 all-time against DePaul, but the school's have not faced off since 1990 when UW won, 77-53. That previous March, UW defeated the Blue Demons 77-68 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in front of the second-largest crowd (8,170) to ever watch a women's basketball game at Hec Edmunson Pavilion.
The Panthers are 6-4 on the season and on a two-game win streak with recent victories over Wagner and Old Dominion. Pittsburgh is led by leading scorers and rebounders Brianna Kiesel (15.9 p, 6.2 r) and Asia Logan (11.6 p, 7.3 r). Washington and Pittsburgh will be meeting for the first time in women's basketball.
The Dawgs continue to shoot the 3 at a high rate this season, averaging 22.9 attempts per game. Washington is making 7.1 3-pointers per game, which is third in the Pac-12, but shooting just 31.3 percent from beyond the arc. Defensively, the Dawgs are allowing a Pac-12 worst 38.9 percent from beyond the arc and opponents are making 7.0 per game.
Spreading It Around
Washington is using a more balanced attack than in previous seasons with three players averaging 13+ points per game and another nearly in double figures. Jazmine Davis has seen her scoring average drop this year to 17.3 points per game, but she is shooting a much more efficient 42.9 percent. In addition, Kelsey Plum is averaging 17.1 ppg, while shooting 40.4 percent. Talia Walton is scoring 13.3 points per game, while shooting 35.7 percent. The Dawgs best shooter from a percentage standpoint is Aminah Williams, who is averaging 9.3 points per game, while shooting 51.9 percent. As a team, Washington is shooting 43.0 percent, up from 35.3 percent last season. Washington is also averaging 11 points more per game than a year ago.
On The Glass
After being the worst rebounding team in the conference last season, Washington has been better so far in 2013. The Dawgs have a rebounding margin of -0.4, which is 9th in the Pac-12. On the recent roadtrip to Texas, the Dawgs outrebounded Houston, 50-39, but were outrebounded by No. 23 Texas A&M, 47-42. Aminah Williams is having another tremendous season on the glass, averaging 10.3 rebounds per game. Talia Walton is adding 8.0 rebounds per game, while the additions of Katie Collier and Chantel Osahor to the roster give Washington much more frontcourt depth than they had last season.