February 11, 2010

Cardinal goes to Washington

When the Washington teams came to Maples in January, I ignored Tara's warnings against complacency and suggested that it would be an easy weekend for the Cardinal.

Wrong! So I make no predictions about the second-round games against the Huskies and Cougars — just some recollections and facts.

Washington Huskies

The Huskies came to the Bay Area in January on a three-game winning streak, thinking that they had reached a turning point in a difficult season. They found a Cardinal team lacking in fire, aggressiveness and energy and lacking two of their point guards. The Cardinal managed to win anyway, but it was one of our most discouraging games of the season.

Since then the Huskies have lost four of five games. They lost by narrow margins to UCLA, USC and Arizona State (in overtime), but were trounced 80-50 by Arizona. Their one victory was against Washington State.

Their statistical rankings within the conference haven't changed much in the past month.. They still have the fewest rebounds in the Pac-10 and score the second-fewest points per game.

During the celebration of Stanford's 1989-90 championship team last week, I was surprised to learn that their only loss that season was to Washington. I had almost forgotten how the Huskies used to dominate the Pac-10 ... the scary game each season in a sold-out Hec Edmundson Pavilion ... against Jamie Redd, the Mendiola sisters, Cameo Hicks, Emily Florence ...

Although the Huskies haven't been that good for a while, they still have a loyal fan base. They average close to 3000 fans at home games. Watch out, Cardinal!

Washington's win-loss record (9-12 overall, 4-7 conference) and RPI (140) place them 8th in the Pac-10, their strength of schedule (34) places them 4th.

Here are their 2009-10 statistics and their roster.

Washington State Cougars

The Cardinal's prior game against the Cougars actually was easy — an 80-43 victory, with double-doubles from Nneka and Kayla and solid performances from Jayne, Ros and Lindy.

After that the Cougars lost to Cal, USC, UCLA, Washington and Arizona. Then last Saturday they had the heady experience of their first conference victory — 66-62 over Arizona State in Tempe!

Head coach June Daugherty said of that game, "Our defense really wreaked havoc." But the Cougars' defense is generally their weakness. They have the poorest scoring margin and second-worst rebounding margin in the Pac-10.

What keeps them in the game is double-digit scoring from their three speedy guards who together score about 60% of the team's points:

  • April Cook leads the way with 14.6 points per game, the ninth best in the Pac-10. She is sixth-best in 3-point field goals (tied with Kayla), with 1.68 per game. She scored a career-high 33 points in the ASU game and was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week.
  • KiKi Moore continues her stellar freshman season with the most steals (3.18), the fourth-most assists (3.59) and the 15th most points (13.2) in the Pac-10. She has a lot of turnovers, but her assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.74 is surprisingly the 8th best in the Pac-10.
  • Jazmine Perkins is the Cougars' best rebounder with 5.9 per game and scores 10.4 points per game
Washington State's win-loss record (6-16 overall, 1-10 conference) places them last in the Pac-10, their RPI (159) places them 9th, and their strength of schedule (40) places them 6th.

Here are their 2009-10 statistics and their roster.

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