March 15, 2001
REGIONAL: West, First Round.
Washington looks to add to its remarkable turnaround when it faces Old Dominion in the opening round of the NCAA women's tournament.
The Huskies, 8-22 last year, rebounded to win a share of the Pac-10 conference title with Stanford and Arizona State. A victory against the Lady Monarchs would give Washington its first 20-win season since 1994-95.
To do so, the Huskies will have to beat one of the regulars in the NCAA tournament. Old Dominion is making its 11th consecutive appearance in the tournament, and the Lady Monarchs have advanced to Sweet 16 the last four years.
"Old Dominion has great tradition in women's basketball and they have been to the tournament many times," said third-year Huskies coach June Daugherty, who is taking Washington to the tournament for the second time. "I'm really excited about going to Florida and representing this school against a traditional tournament team."
Washington has a two-game losing streak that dropped the Huskies out of the final regular-season Top 25 poll.
Washington has three starters averaging double figures in scoring, led by Megan Franza (16.4 points). The Huskies led the Pac-10 in 3-pointers made with 208.
Old Dominion earned an automatic bid by winning its 10th consecutive Colonial Athletic Association title with a 66-62 win over James Madison in the conference tournament championship.
Lady Monarchs forward Hamchetou Maiga became the 10th ODU player to win CAA player of the year honors. The 6-foot-1 native of Senegal was among the Top 5 in scoring (13.8 points) and rebounding (7.4) while leading the league in field-goal percentage. Maiga was sixth in the CAA with 2.10 steals per game.
This will be the first meeting between the schools.
Washington is 1-4 on neutral courts in NCAA tournament.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Old Dominion - F Tiffany Thompson (6.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg), F Maiga (13.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg), F Monique Coker (8.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg), G Okeisha Howard (14.4 ppg, 2.9 apg), G Sharon Francis (9.4 ppg, 3.6 apg). Washington - LeAnn Sheets (7.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg), C Andrea Lalum (8.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg), G Loree Payne (10.4 ppg, 1.6 apg), G Franza (16.4 ppg, 3.5 apg), G Giuliana Mendiola (10.8 ppg, 4.0 apg)
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Old Dominion - Automatic bid, Colonial Athletic Conference champion. Washington - At-large bid.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Old Dominion - 29-16, 17 years. Washington - 11-12, 12 years.