Women's Basketball Hosts UCLA, USC in Pac-10 Openers
Jan. 3, 2001
at Bank of America Arena (10,000)
This Week: The Washington women's basketball team (7-3) plays host to UCLA (1-10) and USC (5-5) in its opening weekend of Pac-10 action at Bank of America Arena. The Bruins visit first at 7 p.m., Thurs., Jan. 4. followed by a Sunday afternoon game against the Women of Troy. Tip-off for the USC game is 1 p.m., Sun., Jan. 7, moved from its original date of Jan. 6 in order to provide a live television broadcast on Fox Sports Northwest.
The Huskies, who are off to their best start since 1998, play the final two games of a seven-game home stint. They return from a six-day break following a 66-64 loss to Colorado State (Dec. 29), a game that snapped a six-game win streak for the Dawgs. Three Huskies are averaging double figure scoring, led by senior Megan Franza at 14.0 points per game, and followed by freshman Giuliana Mendiola (12.5 ppg) and sophomore Kellie O'Neill (11.2). Three other players are right behind, averaging nearly seven points a game, to give UW a balanced attack this season. Loree Payne, last season's leading scorer, continues to improve and played 21 minutes against Colorado State. UW leads the conference in rebounding at 45.0 boards per game and is third in scoring with 70.7 points per game.
The Bruins are led by junior guard Michelle Greco, who leads the Pac-10 in scoring at 18.7 points per game. She also ranks first in free throw percentage with a .912 mark (31-34) and has made her last 20 straight free throws. As a team, UCLA leads the league in steals, with 11.09 per game. The Bruins are coming off an 89-55 loss to fourth-ranked Georgia (Dec. 30).
USC stands at an even .500 on the season, but enters Pac-10 play on a three-game losing streak. Most recently, the Trojans fell, 70-61, to No. 3 Notre Dame. Freshman Aisha Hollans, who missed the first six games of the season, leads the team in scoring at 13.5 points per game, followed by Tiffany Elmore (10.5 ppg) and Denise Woods (10.3). The Trojans are led by Chris Gobrecht, who was head coach at Washington from 1985-96. During her tenure at UW, she led the Huskies to a mark of 243-89 (.732) and nine NCAA Tournament appearances. In her fourth season at USC, she has compiled a record of 40-51.
GAME CHANGE: Washington's game against USC has been moved to Sun., Jan. 7 at 1 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Northwest. It was originally scheduled for Sat., Jan. 6.
Series Notes UW leads the series with UCLA, 20-10, but the Bruins have won the last two ... UW leads USC, 16-12, but the Trojans have won the last two.
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Looking Back: After 10 games last season, Washington had a record of 4-6 and after two more losses, entered the Pac-10 season with a three-game losing streak ... this year, the Huskies are 7-3, and were on a six-game win streak before losing by two points to Colorado State.
Pac-10 History: Washington is 10-4 all-time in Pac-10 season-opening games and 4-2 when it opens league play at home ... the Huskies have won the Pac-10 title twice, in 1987-88 and again in 1989-90, when they shared the title with Stanford ... UW's all-time Pac-10 record is 168-84 (.667), second-best in the conference behind Stanford (215-37/.853).
Dawgbite: Washington's 7-3 start on the year is its best since the 1997-98 season when the Huskies jumped out to a 10-0 mark and a No. 7 national ranking. That team finished 18-10 and advanced to first round of the NCAA Tournament. A victory over UCLA would give the Huskies eight this year and equal Washington's win total from last season.
So Far, So Good: Washington wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule with a mark of 7-3, its best non-league record since 1997-98 when it was 9-0. Included in that record is a 3-1 mark on the road. The only three losses of the season came in overtime at the buzzer at Indiana, at the hands of No. 1 Connecticut and a two-point loss to a 10-1 Colorado State team. The third straight road win, at Oklahoma State Dec. 3, equalled UW's mark from all of last season. The wins have been impressive, beginning with a 73-60 thumping of a Michigan team that had knocked off Louisiana Tech two nights earlier. The Huskies rebounded from the UConn loss by cruising past Boise State, 87-67, and followed with the win at OSU and its first home victory in the new arena, against Nebraska. The Huskies have a home mark of 4-2. Helping the cause this year has been increased scoring from the bench and a versatile rotation that is nearly three deep at every position.
Dawgbite: If Washington defeats UCLA, it will give fifth-year Husky coach June Daugherty career victory number 190. She enters the game with a 12-year mark of 189-135 ... she has a mark of 66-59 in her fifth year at Washington ... her win total is third among seven Husky coaches over the years.
Mendiola Magic: Freshman guard Giuliana Mendiola is off to a great start in her first season as a Husky. The Seattle Times Classic MVP, she leads the team in rebounding with an average of 7.8 boards per game. She is the second-leading scorer with 12.5 per game and has three double-doubles to her credit, against Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Colorado State. Mendiola, who plays the one, two and three guard spots, has started eight games already and is averaging 29 minutes per contest. She is fourth in the Pac-10 in rebounding and seventh in field goal percentage (40-79/.506) ... Mendiola, the younger sister of teammate Gioconda, takes care of the ball well, with only one turnover in her first college game, at Indiana, none at Boise State and none against Loyola Marymount.
Payne Returns to Action: Sophomore guard Loree Payne played for the first time this season when she entered the game in the first half against Loyola Marymount, Dec. 21. She played 10 minutes and was 3-of-5 from the field, including a three pointer and a free throw, for eight points. Against James Madison, she played seven minutes and scored three points with one assist and one steal. Her playing time increased to 21 minutes against CSU when she scored nine points. Payne, UW's leading scorer as a freshman last season (17.4 ppg), missed the first six games after being sidelined by a stress fracture in her left foot.
Huskies Honor UW Football Player: The women's basketball team is wearing a patch with the initials "CW" on its jerseys this season, to support senior football player Curtis Williams, who suffered a spinal cord injury during the Oct. 28 football game at Stanford. Williams, who attended the Rose Bowl, is currently in a rehabilitation center in San Jose, Calif.
Injury Update: Freshman Sarah Keeler had surgery Nov. 10 to repair a minor meniscus tear in her left knee. She has returned to practice and could possibly play prior to the Pac-10 season. Loree Payne missed the first six game with a stress fracture in her left foot but has returned. She saw her first game action Dec. 21 against LMU, playing 10 minutes. Cheryl Sorenson has been nursing tendinitis in her knee and is playing sparingly. LeAnn Sheets suffered a left ankle sprain at Boise State and missed the Nebraska and Oklahoma State games. She returned to action against St. Mary's and was in the starting lineup.
The Series with UCLA
Last Meeting vs. UCLA: (March 11, 2000) UCLA used a 20-0 run to break open a close game and went on to win, 85-66, over Washington at KeyArena. It was the final regular season game for both teams. UW finished the year with a record of 8-22 overall and 4-14 in the Pac-10, the first losing season in school history for the Huskies. UCLA finished at 18-10, 12-6. Naismith Award finalist Maylana Martin led all scorers with 24 points and also added 12 rebounds to the effort. The duo of Loree Payne and Megan Franza, who entered the game with 498 points apiece this season, again led UW. Payne finished the day with 23 points, including three treys to go with a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Franza followed with 17 points and LeAnn Sheets added a career-high 13 rebounds. Payne powered UW with 17 first half points. UCLA jumped out to a quick 14-4 lead before the Huskies starting chipping away and pulled even on a Payne three pointer with 5:48 to go in the half. The Huskies led by six with 38 seconds to go before Nicole Kaczsmarski hit a pair of treys, in between two Payne free throws to make it a 40-38 UW lead at the break. The Huskies scored the first four points of the second half but then UCLA scored the next 20 over a span 7:34, to make it 58-44 at the 10:41 mark. The closest UW could get after that was 12, 64-52, at 7:53.
The Series with USC
Last Meeting with USC: (March 9, 2000) USC rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit and scored 22 points in overtime to down Washington, 88-76, at KeyArena. Washington, which will go the season without winning back-to-back games, dropped to 8-21, 4-13. All five Trojan starters scored in double figures with Tiffany Elmore leading the way with 21 points. Danielle Golay added 13 of her 15 points after halftime. The Huskies were led by Loree Payne, who equalled her career-high with 28 points. She became UW's all-time freshman leader in scoring in the first half of the game. Megan Franza finished the night with 15 points, including a clutch three pointer that sent the game into UW's first overtime contest of the year. UW shot 50 percent from the field and led by as many as 17 in the first half, holding a 31-14 advantage with just over six minutes to play before the break. The Trojans' first lead of the game came at 12:09 in the second half, 45-44, on the strength of a 19-4 run. Franza hit her only three pointer of the game with 0.5 on the clock to send it to overtime. Franza carried the momentum into overtime, scoring the first bucket on a driving layin, but it was all USC after that as the Trojans scored the next 11 points to put the game away.
Statistical Comparison UW UCLA USC
Megan on the Move: Senior guard Megan Franza moved onto Washington's career Top 10 scoring chart in the Seattle Times Classic championship game against James Madison. She now stands at No. 10 with 1,237 points, having moved past Amy Mickelson, who had 1,224 points from 1987-90. Franza, the Huskies' leading scorer this year at 14.0 per game, is 25 points shy of No. 9 Laurie Merlino (1,262, 1988-91).
Franza, a first team All-Pac-10 selection last year, has a career scoring average of 12.8 points per game.
She became the 16th Husky to top the 1,000-point barrier and only the eighth player to pass the mark as a junior last year. Dating back to last season, Franza, who was held to just nine points against Colorado State, has scored in double figures in 35 of the last 40 games. Franza has been in the starting lineup for 94 of UW's last 96 games.
More Megan: Franza entered the year at No. 2 on UW's career three point field goals made list, with 139. She has added 16 more in eight games this season for a total of 155, including a high of five at Indiana. Franza is chasing former standout Jamie Redd (1995-99), who tops the list with 192 treys. She is also No. 2 on the three point attempts list with 560, again chasing Redd who attempted 675 long range bombs during her career. Franza equaled her career-high for attempts, with 13 against Nebraska Dec. 6.
Last year at 17.2 ppg, Franza led the Pac-10 in scoring until the final two weeks of the season, while Loree Payne finished fourth with 17.4 points per game. Together they formed the highest scoring duo from the same school in Pac-10 history.
With the graduation of Maylana Martin (UCLA) and the redshirt season for Oregon's injured Shaquala Williams, Payne and Franza entered the 2000-01 season as the leading returning scorers in the Pac-10.
Huskies Among National Leaders in RPI Rankings Washington's impressive stand in the RPI rankings continues. In the Dec. 31 Collegiate Basketball News Women's RPI Ratings, Washington remained at No. 7 in the nation and its schedule is listed as the SECOND-toughest in the country. Tennessee, Connecticut and Notre Dame make up the top three in the RPI ratings. In strength of schedule, Washington is behind only Penn State. Pac-10-member Oregon is sitting at No. 9 in the rankings this week while Arizona is at No. 12 and Stanford at No. 13.
Washington has posted a record of 7-3 in the early season, including a six-game win streak that was just snapped by a 10-1 Colorado State team. The wins have been impressive. UW's victory over Michigan came against a Wolverine team that had knocked off then-eighth-ranked Louisiana Tech, a 2000 Final Four participant. Washington's season-opening loss at Indiana, at the buzzer in overtime, came against a Hoosier team that has gone on to post a record of 11-2. UW's other loss came at the hands of top-ranked and defending national champion Connecticut.
The Rating Percentage Index (RPI) is used by the NCAA women's basketball committee to supplement the selection of at-large teams and the seeding of all teams for the NCAA basketball tournament. It is derived from three component factors: Div. 1 winning percentage (25%), schedule strength (50%) and opponent's schedule strength (25%).
On the Rebound: Washington's rebounding efforts have improved tremendously from last season. After a cumulative -4.3 rebounding margin in 2000, the Huskies are at +6.1 in the early going this year. Aside from a five-rebound advantage by Connecticut and a one board margin to St. Mary's, the Huskies have outrebounded their other eight opponents. UW is averaging 45.0 rpg, third in the Pac-10, after 10 games. Freshman Giuliana Mendiola is currently the leading rebounder at 7.8 boards per game. LeAnn Sheets, who missed two games with an ankle injury, is at 6.4 rpg, after returning to the lineup against St. Mary's and Kellie O'Neill is at 5.7 rpg.
Look at Lalum: Freshman Andrea Lalum (Bozeman, Mont.) blocked four shots in the game against St. Mary's Dec. 17. That mark is the highest by a Husky player since Amber Hall swatted four away at Texas on Dec. 2, 1996. Hall, then a junior, went on to finish her career as Washington's career-leading rebounder (1,003 rebounds, 1996-99).
Catching up with Kellie: Sophomore Kellie O'Neill is off to a hot start in her second season as Husky. A 6-1 guard-forward who started only nine games and averaged 6.4 points before suffering an ankle injury last season, poured in a game-high 27 points against Connecticut in Washington's home-opener Nov. 24.
O'Neill, who topped her previous career-best 16-point from December 1999, went 12-for-18 from the field, including a 2-for-3 effort from 3-point range. Even more impressive was who it came against. O'Neill put in the highest individual scoring effort against UConn so far this season. Only three players - including 2000 WNBA Rookie of the Year Betty Lennox - were able to score at least 25 points against UConn and its stingy defense last season.
She rebounded from a three-point performance at Boise State to nearly eclipse a Husky school record for field goal percentage at Oklahoma State. O'Neill hit her first nine shots from the field, en route to a 20 point, nine rebound effort against the Cowgirls. She was nearing former standout Karen Deden's mark of 10-of11 (.919) versus Arizona State back in 1989. O'Neill, one of three Huskies averaging double figure scoring, is third on the team at 11.2 points per game.
O'Neill, whose younger sister Kristen recently signed with Huskies for next season, finished her high school career at Meadowdale with 1,414 points, 810 rebounds, 213 steals and 170 blocks with a career field goal percentage of 50.9 percent.
What They're Saying about O'Neill "I like the way she plays," Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma said of Kellie O'Neill after she scored 27 points against them on Nov. 24. "You have to guard her at the 3-point line. She's really smart with the ball in the lane. Their guards (Megan Franza and injured Loree Payne) get a lot of mention and notoriety, and they should. But I think that kid (O'Neill) is really, really good."
Reichmann Honored: Junior forward Heather Reichmann received a special honor recently when her high school jersey was retired in a surprise ceremony Dec. 19. Reichmann, who prepped at King's High School in Everett, was honored at the girls homecoming basketball game against Kent. She was a three sport star in high school, earning letters in basketball, swimming and track. The 1998 Class A Player of the Year, Reichmann led her basketball team to a 25-3 record and the state title as a junior and a second place finish as a senior. She has played in 6-of-7 Husky games this season.
Halpenny Selected to Study Abroad Carli Halpenny is one of 25 University of Washington undergraduates selected to participate in a prestigious international study program during the spring quarter. She was chosen from a pool of 50 applicants to participate in the UW's Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) program.
Halpenny, a redshirt junior, will spend the spring, 2000 academic quarter at school in Rome, Italy in the program that involves the study of literature, architecture and the culture and language of the country. She was one of 12 students chosen from outside the UW architecture school to join the 25-person travel party.
The program allows Halpenny, who maintains a 3.75 grade point average, to complete her undergraduate degree in zoology and graduate in June, 2001. She has elected to complete her basketball eligibility at the conclusion of this season, a move that now gives the Huskies a six-player senior class. Halpenny joins Sarah Duncan, Melissa Erickson, Megan Franza, Jill Pimley and LeAnn Sheets in their final year of eligibility.
Halpenny, a 6-foot-3 center, enters this season healthy for the first time since her arrival in 1997-98. She has played in all six games this year and is averaging 10 minutes and 2.8 points per game. Halpenny suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee upon her arrival in 1997 and used a redshirt season for her rehabilitation. She saw limited action in her first two seasons, playing in eight games as a redshirt freshman in 1999 and nine games as a sophomore last year.
Home Sweet Home: Over the last year and a half, Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion has undergone an extensive renovation. On Nov. 24 the Huskies, who hosted defending national champion Connecticut, moved back into their on-campus arena - a venue that provides the charm of its original 1920s style along with all the modern conveniences of today. Over $40 million dollars in improvements have been made and the new transformation ensures that every person in the building has a great seat with no obstructed views.
The Huskies have enjoyed remarkable success in Hec Edmundson Pavilion, now called Bank of America Arena, building a long-standing tradition of top-notch women's basketball on the west coast and across the country.
This season marks the 72nd year of service for the historical building that has an entirely new look on the inside. The renovation gives Washington a much-needed new competition and practice facility for several of its teams. The seating capacity has been increased from 7,900 to 10,000 and gone are the supports pillars that have obstructed views from the upper level seats since the buildings inception. The renovation design of Hec Edmundson Pavilion began in the summer of 1997. Construction began in March, 1999 with completion in the fall of 2000.
Coaching Staff: Head coach June Daugherty and her staff enter their fifth year at Washington, with one newcomer on list. Former Michigan Wolverine Yeshimbra "Shimmy" Gray joins the Huskies this season, replacing Hulett Brooks who left to pursue private business. Daugherty, who was inducted into the Ohio State Athletic Hall of Fame in September, and her assistants, Sunny Smallwood and Mike Daugherty, have been together since the 1996-97 season.
Player Notes 24 - Kellie O'Neill ... Had a career-high 27 points vs. No. 1 Connecticut ... 19 pts. in the first half ... limited to 3 pts. at Boise State but responded with 20 pts., 9 rebounds at Oklahoma State ... hit her first nine shots of the game at OSU ... team-high 8 rebounds vs. St. Mary's ... 10 pts., 7 rebounds vs. CSU.
42 - LeAnn Sheets ... Missed Nebraska and Oklahoma State games with sprained ankle ... returned to starting lineup vs. St. Mary's ... 11 pts., 7 rbs. vs. LMU and 10 rebounds vs. JMU ... Times Classic all-tourney team ... team-high 14 pts. vs. CSU.
14 - Megan Franza ... Veteran senior captain is again leading scorer with 14.6 ppg ... 23 pts. in season-opener at Indiana ... 21 pts. vs. Nebraska, including 9 pts. in a crucial 17-5 UW run en route the win over the Huskers ... tied her career-high with 13 3 pt. attempts ... moved to No. 10 on UW career scroring list vs. JMU ... has 1,228 points in 96 career games ... Times Classic all-tourney team ... held to 9 pts. vs. CSU, the second time this season under double figures (UConn).
13 - Giuliana Mendiola ... Impressive in first 10 games ... 19 points at Boise St., with 4 assists, 2 steals and no turnovers in 30 min. ... has started eight games ... 1 turnover in first collegiate game at Indiana and also hit 3-pointer to send game to OT ... three double-doubles, most recently vs. CSU (10 pts./11 rbs) ... plays point guard and either wing position ... leading rebounder with 7.8 rpg ... MVP of Seattle Times Classic ... 5 assists vs. CSU.
32 - Jill Pimley ... Has started 9 games ... tri-captain ... defensive stalwart ... "stat sheet stuffer" who does all the little things ... career-high 14 points vs. St. Mary's ... banked a 3-pointer for game highlight ... tied for second in Pac-10 in FT percentage (20-23/.870).
Off the Bench 4 - Melissa Erickson ... Senior leadership and inside presence ... had the flu this week but is expected to play.
12 - Sarah Duncan ... Top defender off the bench ... has played in 9-of-10 games ... 3 rebounds, 3 assists at Oklahoma State.
22 - Loree Payne ... saw her first action of the season against LMU (8 pts.) and JMU (3 pts.) ... 9 points in 21 minutes vs. CSU ... playing time should increase as rehab continues.
23 - Emily Autrey ... Came off the bench at Boise St. for a career-high 20 points on 8-11 fg ... 6 pts., 6 rbs. vs. LMU.
31- Gioconda Mendiola ... Averaging five minutes a game in first season ... speedy guard ... against LMU, followed a three pointer by her sister Giuliana with one of her own, for her first points of the season.
33 - Carli Halpenny ... Healthy for first time in three seasons ... has made tremendous improvement in strength and aggressiveness ... initially entered season as a redshirt junior but will complete her eligibility this season and study the spring quarter in Rome, Italy.
40 - Andrea Lalum ... Made her first start at Oklahoma State ... four blocked shots against St. Mary's is best for a Husky since Amber Hall in 1996 ... can pound inside or step and hit for three ... 4-of-8 from the field vs. CSU.
41 - Heather Reichmann ... Has seen limited action in first 7 games ... 3 rebounds at Oklah