January 08, 2015

Next: Away in Washington

The Cardinal are playing their first conference road games this weekend in Washington:
  • In Seattle vs the University of Washington on Friday evening at 7:00
  • In Pullman vs Washington State on Sunday afternoon at 1:00
Both games will be televised by Pac-12 Networks, streamed online by Pac-12 Networks, and broadcast by KZSU. Washington live stats here; Washington State live stats here.

Lili drives against Jazmine Davis at Maples last season

  University of Washington Huskies (aka The Dawgs)

Washington took a while to adapt to its new coach (Mike Neighbors) last year, but came on strong towards the end of the season. They finished sixth in the Pac-12 with a .588 winning percentage and advanced to the Elite Eight of the WNIT.

They're continuing that strong play this season. They're the highest scoring team in the conference and the 12th-best in the nation with an average of 80.4 points per game.

They entered the season with one of the top returning backcourts in the country – Jazmine Davis and Kelsey Plum. Both earned All-Pac-12 honors last season, while Plum was the conference Freshman of the Year. They've increased their scoring a bit this season to a combined average of 40.5 points per game, which is the second-best in the nation for a backcourt. Their ball distribution has also improved, with Davis averaging a career-best 4.9 assists per game and Plum adding 3.7.

After losing their first game of the season, the Dawgs went on an 11-game winning streak capped with a 70-45 victory over #5 Texas A&M. That victory got them into the national Top 25 rankings as #23 in the Coaches Poll.

They began conference play last weekend with a loss to Arizona State, which dropped them out of the Top 25 to 26th place in both polls.

It's going to be an exciting weekend in Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Three major school records are on the verge of falling – Jazmine Davis is 58 points shy of the all-time scoring record, Aminah Williams 29 short of the rebounding record and Talia Walton 12 short of the blocks record.

The starting players are expected to be:

  • #10, 5'8" sophomore guard Kelsey Plum is the second-best scorer in the nation with an average of 25.0 points per game (just 0.7 less than the leader, Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State). She takes about 30% of her shots from beyond the arc and makes 42% of them, for an average of 2.0 per game. She averages 3.7 assists per game and has a decent assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.3. She is the most-fouled Dawg and the best free throw shooter – she earns more than a third of the team's total free throws and makes 89% of them. She also tallies 2.0 steals and 3.2 rebounds per game.

  • #32, 5'7" senior guard Jazmine Davis runs the point for the Dawgs. She averages 4.9 assists per game (#5 in the conference), with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.4. She averages 15.5 points (#7 in the conference), 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.

  • #3, 6'2" redshirt junior forward Talia Walton averages 12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks (#2 in the conference) per game. She takes 46% of her shots from beyond the arc and makes 38% of them, for an average of 1.9 per game (#9 in the conference).

  • #23, 6'0" senior forward Aminah Williams is the leading rebounder with an average of 10.0 per game (#4 in the conference). She averages 9.0 points per game.

  • #21, 5'10" redshirt freshman guard Brianna Ruiz averages 5.7 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.
The Dawgs' win-loss record (12-2 overall, 1-1 conference) places them in fifth place in the Pac-12. Their RPI (17) places them second and their strength of schedule rank (80) places them seventh.

Here are the Dawg statistics and roster.

  Washington State Cougars

Under the guidance of head coach June Daugherty, now in her eighth season at WSU, the Cougars continue their climb up the Pac-12 ladder.

They made major strides last season when they finished in seventh place with a .500 winning percentage after a very tough non-conference schedule. They advanced to the WNIT, their first postseason tournament appearance since 1991.

This year the Cougars are off to their best start in 24 seasons with a 10-2 record. Their usual tough non-conference schedule included three ranked teams — they defeated Dayton (#22) and Maryland (#10), but lost to Nebraska (#16).

The Cougars aren't ranked, but they have received votes in the national polls for the past several weeks.

With most of their core group returning, the Cougars have their sights set on returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time in more than two decades. Tia Presley and Lia Galdeira have picked up where they left off last season, leading the team in scoring and among the Pac-12 leaders in both scoring and steals.

The starters in every game this season have been:

  • #3, 5'11"junior guard Lia Galdeira leads the scoring with 19.5 points per game (#2 in the conference) and is the second-most productive three-point shooter. She takes 37% of her shots from beyond the arc; she makes only 26% of them, but that comes out to 1.7 per game. She averages 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.2 steals (#2 in the conference) per game.

  • #5, 5'10" senior guard Tia Presley scores a bit less than Lia (18.9 points per game, #3 in the conference), but is the better three-point shooter. She also takes 37% of her shots from beyond the arc but makes 41% of them for an average of 2.1 per game (#4 in the conference). She averages 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.9 steals (#9 in the conference) per game.

  • #23, 6'4" senior center Shalie Dheensaw is a strong presence in the post. She gets the most rebounds (7.2 per game, #10 in the conference) and the most blocks (1.8 per game, #3 in the conference). She scores 8.3 points per game.

  • #11, 5'9" junior guard Dawnyelle Awa dishes 3.0 assists per game and has a very good assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.1 (#6 in the conference). She scores 5.1 points per game.

  • #34, 6'1" junior forward Mariah Cooks averages 5.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per game
The Cougars' win-loss record (10-3 overall, 1-1 conference) places them in sixth place in the Pac-12. Their RPI (42) places them fifth and their strength of schedule rank (154) places them ninth.

Here are the Cougar statistics and roster.

No comments: