Women's Basketball Hosts Seattle Times Husky Classic
Huskies Aim to Extend Four-Game Win Streak Thursday and Friday
Dec. 19, 2000
This Week:The Washington women's basketball team (5-2), winners of four straight, continues a seven-game homestand when it hosts the 14th annual Seattle Times Husky Classic, Dec. 21-22 at Bank of America Arena. James Madison (5-3) and Western Michigan (1-5) meet in the first round at 6 p.m. Thursday, followed by the Huskies and Loyola Marymount (4-3) at 8 p.m. Plays continues Friday with the consolation game at 6 p.m. and the championship at 8 p.m.
The Huskies, who continue to move up in the RPI rankings, face a second straight opponent from the West Coast Conference when they meet LMU in the first round. They are coming off a 73-61 victory over St. Mary's last Sunday afternoon, in which four Huskies scored in double figures, led by senior captains Megan Franza (15) and Jill Pimley (14), respectively. They continued their run of stellar defense as well, holding the Gaels to 36 percent shooting and shutting down their top two scorers.
LMU is coming off a 77-66 loss at Baylor Monday night. Four Lions scored in double figures, but it was not enough as the Bears outrebounded them, 44-32. LMU, which posted a 13-15 record last season, has collected wins over San Diego State, Stony Brook, Northridge and Fresno State. Three players are averaging double figure scoring, led by senior guard Taryn Reynolds, at 15.9 points per game.
James Madison, out of the Colonial Athletic Conference, is coming off wins over West Virginia and Massachusetts. The Dukes are led by sophomore forward Shanna Price, who averages 13.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Western Michigan, from the Mid-American Conference, is coming off an 84-54 loss to unbeaten Notre Dame. The Broncos are led by forward Karen Deurloo and guard Sarah Hurrle.
First Round - Thurs., Dec. 21
Loyola Marymount Lions (4-3)
Second Round - Fri., Dec. 22
Huskies on Radio
June Daugherty Radio Show
Probable Washington Starters
Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown Pts., Rbs.
Dawgbite: Washington's 5-2 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.
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 is currently in a rehabilitation center in San Jose, Calif.
About the Seattle Times Husky Classic: This year marks the 14th edition of the Seattle Times Husky Classic, one of the longest-sponsored women's basketball tournaments in the country. Washington has won seven tournament titles since it began back in 1986. Other past champions include such names as Louisiana Tech (`87), Colorado (`94) and Kansas (`98). Oklahoma State, a team UW beat earlier this season (66-59, Dec. 3 at OSU), won the title last year, knocking off the hosts, 87-76, at Mercer Arena.
Look at Lalum: Freshman Andrea Lalum (Bozeman, Mont.) blocked four shots in the game against St. Mary's last week. 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).
So Far, So Good: Washington continues to roll through the non-conference portion of its schedule, winning four straight and compiling a 3-1 record on the road. The only two losses of the season came in overtime at the buzzer at Indiana and at the hands of No. 1 Connecticut. 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. They are 2-1 at home now, after beating St. Mary's last week. Washington has seen increased scoring from its bench and has a versatile rotation that is nearly three deep at every position.
Reichmann Honored: Junior forward Heather Reichmann received a special honor recently when her high school jersey was retired in a surprise ceremony Tuesday night, 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.
UW Versus the Conferences: Washington owns a 34-2 record against teams from the West Coast Conference. The most recent meeting with a conference team was just last Sunday, when the Huskies beat St. Mary's, 73-61. Washington has never played a team from the Colonial Athletic Conference. The Huskies have compiled a 6-0 mark against Mid-American Conference schools.
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. Sophomore Loree Payne has a stress fracture in her left foot and is nearing six weeks on recovery time. She has returned to practice in a limited capacity. 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.
Huskies Among National Leaders in RPI Rankings
Washington has posted a record of 5-2 in the early season, with victories over Michigan, Boise State, and Big 12 foes Oklahoma State and Nebraska. The Huskies have won four in a row and are 3-1 on the road. Their win 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 8-1, with its only loss a one-point setback to No. 8 Louisiana Tech. Its only 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:
Halpenny Selected to Study Abroad
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.
"I was honored to be selected as part of this group,' said Halpenny, "and it's an oppotunity I couldn't pass up. This is something I've always wanted to do. It will be a great educational opportunity and a chance to expand my horizons beyond life as a student and basketball player at Washington. Even though I won't play four years of basketball, I'm excited to graduate with Megan, Jill, Sarah, Melissa and LeAnn, the class I started with as a freshman."
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 four Huskies in double figures against St. Mary's, enters the Seattle Times Classic as the second-leading scorer on the team at 13.0 ppg.
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
Huskies Continue Community Service During the Holidays
Home Sweet Home:
Lalum in the Lineup:
Megan on the Move:
Dawgbite: With the win at Oklahoma State Dec. 3, Husky coach June Daugherty recorded her 185th career victory as a head coach ... she has a mark of 64-58 in her fifth year at Washington ... her win total is third among seven Husky coaches over the years. She is187-132 in her 12th season as a head coach.
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.
Off the Bench
The Schedule: As is tradition, the Washington women's basketball team faces a challenging schedule as it enters the 2000-2001 season. The Huskies face 11 teams that played in the postseason last year, seven in the NCAA Tournament, including none other than defending national champion Connecticut in the home opener Nov. 24. Four Pac-10 teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2000 and four opponents played in the WNIT, including national semi-finalist Colorado State.
Gold Medal Count: Sophomore Loree Payne capped a stellar freshman campaign with her selection to the USA Basketball R.William Jones Cup team that annually plays in Taiwan. The youngest player on the squad and the lone representative from the Pac-10, Payne helped lead the team to a gold medal in the four-game tournament. She finished with 16 points, three rebounds and four assists in three games played. Payne tallied 11 points in the gold medal game.
Huskies Among Returning Pac-10 Leaders
**1. Williams, Shaquala, ORE 31 189 53 118 549 17.7
Recapping 1999-2000: Faced with a spate of injuries to its front line and a young squad with no seniors, Washington suffered through its first losing season in school history with a record of 8-22 overall and 4-14th for a ninth place finish in the Pac-10. The season was not without its highlights though, the biggest coming back on Jan. 27 when the Huskies upset No. 24 Stanford and captured the 500th win for the women's basketball program. It was the second victory in a row over Stanford and career win No. 180 for coach June Daugherty. Washington was led by the scoring duo of Loree Payne (17.4 ppg) and Megan Franza (17.2 ppg), who combined to form the highest scoring duo from the same school in Pac-10 history. Franza was named to the All-Pac-10 First Team, continuing a tradition which has seen Washington have a player on the first team every year but two since the league began play in the 1986-87 season. Payne finished the year as one of the most prolific freshman players in UW history. She broke eight freshman records, highlighted by her scoring mark of 521 points.
Departures: Although Washington did not lose anyone to graduation, two players did not return to the team this season. Starting point guard Julia Gray transferred to UNLV and reserve center Tiffiany Diggins left the program. Washington returns four of its starters from a year ago.