Women's Hoops Meets USC, UCLA in Final Pac-10 Games
March 6, 2001
This Week: The No. 22 Washington women's basketball team (19-7, 12-4), in first place in the Pac-10, plays its final two Pac-10 games on the road. First up is Southern California (11-15, 6-10) at 7 p.m., Thurs., March 8 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Following that is the final regular season game at UCLA (4-23, 3-13) at 1 p.m., Sat., March 10. Both games can be heard on KKOL radio 1300 a.m.
NCAA Tournament Selection Show
NCAA First and Second Rounds
Huskies on Radio
June Daugherty Radio Show
What's Going On?: Heading into the final week of the regular season, Washington can clinch at least a tie for the Pac-10 title and the Conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament with a win at USC Thursday. Arizona State could also capture at least a share of the Pac-10 crown with a pair of wins this weekend over California and Stanford and a USC or UCLA win over Washington. Stanford would need road wins at Arizona and Arizona State, plus help from other teams to keep its title hopes alive.
In the event of a tie for the conference title, co-champions will be declared. To determine the Pac-10's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament, the first tie-breaker is head-to-head record between tied teams. The second tie-breaker is comparing each team's record against the next highest placed teams in the conference standings, with the evaluation continuing against each team in order of conference finish, until the tie is broken. The final tie-breaker is a coin flip conducted by the Commissioner.
Probable Washington Starters
Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown Pts., Rbs.
Top Twenty: Washington is one victory away from a 20-win season for the first time since 1994-95 ... the Huskies finished 25-9 that year and advanced to the NCAA Mideast Regional Semifinal before falling to Texas Tech (67-52) ... Washington has posted 11 twenty-win seasons since 1974-75 ... UW's highest win total was in 1990, when that team finished 28-3 after advancing to the Elite Eight (where it lost to Auburn, 76-50).
Top Dawgs: If Washington were to win the Pac-10 women's basketball title this weekend, it would be the third conference crown for a Husky sports team this year. The men's and women's soccer teams each won Pac-10 titles, as did the Husky football team.
The men's soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament while the women reached the Sweet 16. The Husky football team earned a berth in the Rose Bowl where it defeated Purdue, 34-24.
Bottom to Top: If Washington finishes the conference season in first place, it would mark the single greatest turnaround by a team, from one year to the next, since Pac-10 play began in 1986-87. The Huskies, who enter this weekend in first place, finished ninth last year. No other team has ever made that great a leap in one season. Previously, the most dramatic turnaround was an Oregon team that went from fourth place in 1997-98 to Pac-10 champions in 1998-99.
Down the Stretch: If the NCAA Tournament Committee wants to see teams that are playing strong down the final stretch of the regular season, Washington certainly fits the bill. The Huskies have won eight of their last nine games, including five in a row at home. They are averaging 80.8 points per game in that stretch and hitting 44 percent of their shots from the field. They continue to lead the Pac-10 in rebounding at 43.3 boards per game, and in rebounding margin, with a +4.7 differential over opponents. It's a balanced attack as five different Huskies have led the team in rebounding in that stretch.
Pac-10 History: Washington has claimed two Pac-10 titles since the conference began women's play in 1986-87. The Huskies won the second title awarded, in 1988, when they finished with an overall record of 25-5 and 16-2 in conference play. That team advanced to the NCAA West Region Semifinal, where it lost to Long Beach State, 104-78, in Long Beach. The Huskies were co-champions with Stanford in 1990 when they posted Washington's best record ever, at 28-3 overall, with a 17-1 conference mark. The Huskies, who finished the year ranked No. 3, advanced to the Elite Eight, where the season ended with a 76-50 loss to Auburn at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.
In 14 years of Pac-10 play, the conference's automatic qualifier has hosted NCAA first round games. In 1990, when Washington and Stanford were co-champions, both were No. 1 seed and hosted tournament games. When UCLA and Oregon shared the title in 1999, the Bruins had the automatic bid and hosted while the Ducks played at Iowa.
NCAA Tournament History: On the strength a remarkable regular season that has seen the Huskies engineer one of the greatest turnarounds in the country, Washington hopes to make its 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The most recent appearance came in 1998 when the current Husky senior class were freshmen. Washington has an overall mark of 11-12 in tournament games and advanced as far as the Elite Eight in 1990. Husky teams are 10-1 in NCAA games played at (Bank of America Arena) Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
Senior Salute: Six Huskies play their final regular season games this weekend in Los Angeles. It will be the regular season appearance for Sarah Duncan, Melissa Erickson, Megan Franza, Carli Halpenny, Jill Pimley and LeAnn Sheets. Together the class has combined to lead Washington to a 78-63 record over the last four years, including the Huskies' most recent NCAA Tournament appearance, when they were freshmen in 1997. They helped lead UW to a 10-0 start and a No. 7 national ranking in `97 and have engineered the fourth-greatest turn-around in the country, from one season to the next, this year. All six players will graduate in June.
Notes on the Weekend: Washington is alone in first place in the Pac-10 and can clinch a share of the title and the automatic tournament bid with a win Thursday night ... the Huskies have won three straight and eight of their last nine ... they own a 6-4 overall record on the road, with a 4-3 mark in conference games ... the Huskies will be looking for their first Pac-10 road sweep ... the Trojans return home after sweeping Stanford (62-59) and California (91-74) on the road, a move that snapped a four-game losing streak ... in conference play, USC is 2-5 at home and 4-5 on the road ... UCLA is on a three-game losing streak after upsetting Oregon by two points back on Feb. 23 ... junior guard Michelle Greco led the Pac-10 in scoring until just last week ... with 19.7 points, she sits behind OSU's Felicia Ragland (19.8 ppg).
Top Turnaround: Washington has engineered a dramatic turnaround from last season, when the Huskies played their home games in downtown Seattle, were continually plagued by injuries and lacked a senior class. After 26 games last season, Washington had a record of 7-19 ... this year, the Huskies are 19-7 ... they were 3-13 after 16 Pac-10 games in 2000 ... this year they are 12-4 and in first place in the Pac-10.
With an overall record of 19-7, Washington has more than doubled its win total from last season when it finished 8-22. Here is a look at how Washington ranks among other teams around the country that have also posted similar turnarounds this season:
Team 99-00 record (%) 00-01 record (%) differential
Travel Plans: The Huskies are schedule to return to Seattle Saturday night, on Alaska Airlines flight 223, due to arrive at 10:04 p.m.
In the Rankings: Washington moved into the Associated Press Top 25 for the second time this season, this week at No. 22. The Huskies, who lead the Pac-10 by one game with two to play, broke into the poll for the first time this season at No. 23 on Feb. 12. They dropped out the following week after losing at Oregon but have won three straight since. Washington was the only newcomer in the poll this week.
When Washington moved into the rankings Feb. 12, it marked the first time a Husky team had been in the top 25 since the 1997-98 season. They were ranked the week of Feb. 28, 1998, at No. 23. The current six-player senior class was in its freshman season then and helped lead Washington to its last NCAA Tournament appearance. That team was ranked as high as No. 7, after starting the season on a 10-0 run.
UW's highest ranking in the AP Top 25 was No. 3 in the final poll of the 1990 season.
Hear the Roar: Washington's home attendance has increased dramatically this season, the first year of play in the newly remodeled Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The Huskies are bringing an average of 4,185 fans per home game, up from last year's mark of 2,338 from last season and 3,608 from the 1999 season. That's an increase of 1,847 from last year to this year and up 577 from two years ago.
Franza was 4-of-4 from 3-point range and her career total of 193 is third in conference history. She has 1,516 career points and moved into seventh place on Washington's all-time scoring list.
Joanna Smith scored 19 points and hit five 3-pointers while Kelley Berglund notched her fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds for Washington State.
The victory combined with Arizona State's 72-64 loss at Oregon State on Saturday afternoon put the Huskies alone atop the conference. Washington has won eight of its last nine games this season, and 12 straight against the Cougars.
The Pac-10 leader in 3-pointers made, the Huskies found the range late, hitting eight 3-pointers in the second half, paced by three from Franza.
Leading by nine points at halftime, Washington opened the second half with a 13-6 run that included two Franza 3-pointers and led by double-digits the rest of the way.
Franza has one more 3-pointer than former teammate Jamie Redd (1996-99) and eight points more than Carlin McClary (1979-82).
Both teams close out the regular season next week with games at USC and UCLA.
Dawgbite: Washington ranks sixth in the nation in three point field goals made per game. The Huskies average 7.4 per contest. The national leader is Iowa State at 9.2. Stanford, which tied UW's Pac-10 record 16 threes in a game Feb. 24, is the only other Pac-10 school in the top 25, at No. 20 with 6.4 per game.
Three Point Barrage: Washington's streak of eight victories in the last nine games has been aided by 84 three point baskets made in that span ... Washington is first in the Pac-10 in three point field goals made with 192 in 26 games ... the team has far surpassed the previous season high of 150 three pointers made in 1998. With two regular season games remaining, the Pac-10 single season record of 213 treys is not entirely out of the question. The Huskies already broke the single game mark when they sank 16 from long range against Arizona Feb. 8. Stanford tied that mark when it hit 16 against Washington Feb. 24.
Some Pac-10 Comparisons: UW continues to lead the Pac-10 in rebounding, at 43.4 boards per game ... UW (16.85), USC (16.73) and UCLA (15.63) are the top three in the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds ... USC is second in blocked shots (4.54) ... the Bruins lead the league in steals (10.89), USC (10.04) is second and UW is ninth (8.35) ... the Huskies lead in assist/turnover ratio with a mark of 0.92 ... UCLA's Michelle Greco (19.7 ppg) is No. 2 in scoring and Megan Franza is No. 3 (16.1 ppg).
Dawgbite: Fifth-year Husky coach June Daugherty collected career victory No. 200 against Stanford Feb. 24 ... she enters the USC/UCLA weekend with a 12-year mark of 201-136. Daugherty is 78-63 in her five years at Washington. Her UW record is third-best among Washington coaches. Daugherty currently stands fifth among Pac-10 coaches in career victories, behind Stanford's Tara VanDerveer, Arizona's Joan Bonvicini, USC's Chris Gobrecht and Caren Horstmeyer at Cal.
UW Against Ranked Teams: Washington made a national statement the week of Feb. 8 when it knocked off both No. 22 Arizona and No. 23 Arizona State, the first ranked opponents UW had defeated this season. The Huskies had entered the week with a mark of 0-3 versus teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. The effort moved UW into the rankings, at No. 23, for the first time since 1998. The losses to ranked opponents have been as follows: No. 1 Connecticut (100-54), No. 22 Arizona (88-72) and No. 18 Oregon (67-53).
The Series with USC
Overall: Washington leads, 17-12
First Meeting This Season
Franza moved into ninth place on UW's career scoring list in the first triple-overtime game in Washington history. Loree Payne scored 21 points while Kellie O'Neill and Giuliana Mendiola added double-doubles. O'Neill scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Mendiola had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Tashara Carter had a chance to win it for USC in the second overtime period, but missed the second of two free throws with .5 seconds remaining in the period and the score tied 75-75.
Washington failed to convert on late opportunities to win at the end of regulation and the first overtime period.With the score tied at 66-66, Jill Pimley missed a short runner and Payne a 15-foot fadeaway
The Series with UCLA
First Meeting This Season
Statistical Comparison UW USC UCLA
Take Note: Washington, alone in first place after 16 games in conference play, was picked to finish sixth in a preseason vote of Pac-10 coaches. The Huskies were picked seventh in the media poll.
Fabulous Freshmen: While Washington's six player senior class has played a large role in the Huskies' success this year, the freshmen class has been just as vital to the winning season. Versatile guard Giuliana Mendiola and center Andrea Lalum are mainstays in the starting lineup and average 30 minutes and 22 minutes a game, respectively. Mendiola has a team-leading five double-doubles this year and Lalum has four.
Mendiola, who plays point guard and either wing position, has led the Huskies in rebounding all season and currently shares the top spot with LeAnn Sheets at 6.5 boards per game. She is the third-leading scorer, with 10.7 points a game and her assist to turnover ratio (1.70) is third in the Pac-10. Mendiola, who was the Husky Classic MVP earlier this season, has started 24 of 26 games this season.
Lalum, who moved into the starting lineup a month ago, is among the Huskies' leaders in field goal percentage at 41 percent from the field. She has averaged a team-best 47 percent from the field in conference games.
Lalum, who grew an inch last year up to 6-foot-4, is a versatile player who provides the Huskies with a physical inside presence but has also connected on 20 three-point shots this year. She was 3-for-3 from behind the arc as a part of her 19-point effort at Stanford. She also blocked four shots against St. Mary's Dec. 17, the highest single game mark by a Husky player since Amber Hall swatted four away at Texas, Dec. 2, 1996. Hall, then a junior, went on to finish her career as Washington's career-leading rebounder (1,003 rebounds, 1996-99).
Fellow freshman Gioconda Mendiola, the older sister of Giuliana, has returned to action after missing three because of surgery on her thumb. Mendiola graduated from high school in June, 1999 and then remained at home in California for a year before starting school. She and Giuliana wanted to start college at the same time and play four years together.
Rounding out the freshman class is Sarah Keeler, who is redshirting this season.
Senior Strength: Husky coach June Daugherty continually points to the six-player senior class as a major reason for UW's success this year, crediting the group with strong leadership in practice and during games. Senior captains Megan Franza and Jill Pimley headline the group. Franza has been a constant in the starting lineup since her freshman year and is a leader on the court. Pimley is in her second season as a team captain and is a vocal leader whether she is playing or on the bench. LeAnn Sheets, who has struggled with injuries throughout her career, is healthy and gives the Huskies a veteran presence in the post. Melissa Erickson, until she injured her knee Jan. 27, brought experience off the bench, giving the Huskies added height inside. Sarah Duncan was named Most Inspirational last season and continues to fill that role this year. Carli Halpenny rounds out the group. A redshirt junior, she has opted to graduate this year in order to spend the spring quarter studying in Italy. The move puts her back in the class she entered with in 1997 and strengths the leadership the six-player group provides. Washington had no seniors on its roster last season when it posted an 8-22 record.
Healthy Huskies: While crediting the senior class with leading the Huskies, coach Daugherty also points to a healthy lineup as cause for celebration. Washington's frontline was beset by injuries last season, causing Daugherty to constantly shuffle her lineup. No less than five different players were on the bench with injuries at one point or another last year. LeAnn Sheets missed the first eight games of the season after foot surgery. Cheryl Sorenson ended up redshirting after a torn ACL in preseason. Melissa Erickson was hampered by a sore shoulder during the non-conference portion of the schedule. Carli Halpenny was limited by a stress reaction in her hip and was initially declared out for the season and Kellie O'Neill had a premature end to her freshman year after suffering a severe ankle sprain midway through the season.
The healthy lineup has given the Huskies increased depth this season, a factor that was particularly evident in the triple overtime win against USC Jan. 7. The Trojans had four key players foul out while the Huskies were able to constantly rotate fresh players in the game.
Only recently have the Huskies been hit by the injury bug. Cheryl Sorenson missed the the last two weekends with a sore knee as did Carli Halpenny, with a sore hip. Sorenson returned against WSU and is expected to play this weekend while Halpenny is doubtful.
Dawgbite: Washington's 95 points against Stanford Feb. 24 marked the 12th time a June Daugherty-coached Husky team has topped the 90-point barrier, including three times this season. They scored 91 points at WSU, matched the effort in a triple overtime game against USC and then scored 98 against Arizona. The Huskies topped the barrier once last year, nearly reaching the century mark with 99 points against Idaho. Two years prior, in 1998-99, the high-scoring Huskies scored 90 or more points four times. The Washington school record for points in a game is 114 versus Weber State in 1985.
Megan on the Move: Senior guard Megan Franza continues to light it up in her final year as a Husky. She became the Huskies' career leader in three-point field goals made last week against WSU and continues as the leading scorer on the team with 16.1 points per game. Twice this season Franza has scored 22 points in the first half of a game, at California en route to a 30-point performance and again at home against Arizona. Here are a few notes on what Franza is doing in her final season as a Husky:
Franza on the UW Career Charts
Franza on the Pac-10 Conference Career Charts
Chart Topper: Megan Franza's game-winning shot with 4.5 seconds on the clock against Oregon State (Jan. 20), capped a 28-point performance for the senior guard. That was followed by her 30-point performance two games later at California. Here is a look at Franza's top seven scoring marks:
On the Rebound: Washington's rebounding efforts have improved tremendously from last season. After a cumulative -4.3 rebounding margin in 2000, the Huskies have a margin of +4.7 over opponents this season, a mark that leads the Pac-10. Washington has outrebounded all but nine opponents this season. The team is averaging 43.4 rpg, first in the Pac-10. Freshman Giuliana Mendiola and senior LeAnn Sheets lead the team, each averaging 6.5 boards per game.
Injury Update: Carli Halpenny has a sore left hip and will be further evaluated this week. Her status is questionable.
Loree Payne missed the first six game with a stress fracture in her left foot but returned Dec. 21. LeAnn Sheets suffered a left ankle sprain at Boise State and missed the Nebraska and Oklahoma State games. Sarah Keeler had a minor meniscus tear in December and is redshirting this season.
Erickson Out for the Year: Senior forward Melissa Erickson (Littleton, Colo.) tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee at California, Jan. 27, and is out for the remainder of the year. She had an MRI Jan. 31 to determine the extent of the injury and proceeded with surgery, Feb. 5. Erickson, who had played in 18 games this season, concludes her collegiate career having played in 92 games over four years for the Huskies. She had a career scoring mark of 2.46 points per game.Erickson, who started nine games as a junior, had career-bests of 13 points, at Hawaii, and 10 rebounds at Arizona, both last season She will graduate in June, with a degree in sociology, and plans to pursue a career in coaching basketball.
Huskies in Overtime: Washington's 64-60 overtime loss at Oregon Feb. 17 was its third extra period game this year. The Huskies have a mark of 1-2 in overtime games this season, with a 77-74 loss at the buzzer in one overtime period at Indiana and a 91-79 triple overtime win at home against USC. The triple overtime game against USC was the first in UW school history. Washington's all-time record in overtime is 8-10 since 1976.
Only one other time has a Washington team played three overtime games in one season, during the 1991-92 year. The Huskies were 2-1 in OT games that year.
Huskies Among National Leaders in RPI Rankings Washington's impressive stand in the RPI rankings continues. In the March 5 Collegiate Basketball News Women's RPI Ratings, UW stands at No. 17 in the nation and its schedule is listed at No. 21. The Huskies are the top Pac-10 school in the RPI report as four Pac-10 schools stand in the top 50. The Pac-10 Conference ranks No. in non-conference strength of schedule.