SEATTLE – The University of Washington women’s basketball team will try to win its ninth home game in a row when the Huskies play host to Eastern Washington at 7 p.m. today at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
Washington, coming off an 82-60 victory over Michigan on Friday, also will try to win for the 12th time in its past 16 games dating to last season. The Huskies (6-2) are 17-1 all-time against Eastern (4-3), but they have not played the Eagles in a decade.
Washington shook up its lineup against Michigan and now has more recognizable players coming off the bench than it does in the starting lineup. All three Husky captains – seniors Kayla Burt, Kristen O’Neill and Nicole Castro – are reserves, as is honorable mention All-Pacific-10 forward Jill Bell. That gives the Huskies solid bench play. Burt averages 7.9 points per game and is shooting 40.6 percent on 3-pointers. O’Neill, coming off a season-high 17-point game, averages 7.3 points.
Against Michigan, coach June Daugherty inserted Breanne Watson into the starting lineup at power forward for O’Neill. Watson and center Andrea Plouffe face a difficult challenge against Eastern. The Wildcats have a pair of all-conference forwards in 6-foot-2 senior Julie Page (8.7 points, 5.0 rebounds) and 6-2 senior Felice Moore (8.3 points, 6.7 rebounds).
Cameo Hicks continues to be Washington’s top scorer, averaging 16 points and shooting 45.7 percent from the floor. She also leads the team in rebounding (6.1). Hicks is the only Husky averaging in double figures. Plouffe averages 8.0 points and Dominique Banks averages 7.8 points and 5.3 rebounds.
The Huskies are likely to get after Eastern defensively, as they are forcing 20.9 turnovers a game and Eastern is turning it over 21 times a game.
Eastern has won three in a row, including a 63-57 victory over Portland on Saturday, and is holding teams to 34.8 percent shooting from the floor and 57.1 points. The Eagles’ leading scorer is 5-8 junior guard Joanna Chadd, who averages 11 points and is 14-for-31 on 3-pointers.
Eastern also has 6-2 freshman Sydney Benson of Snohomish and 6-5 freshman Tara Holgate from Snohomish County Christian on its roster. Benson averages 6.6 minutes, 1.9 points and 1.6 rebounds and has played in every game. Holgate has yet to see action this season.
Today’s game is the final non-conference contest of the regular season for the Huskies, who open Pac-10 play Dec. 20 at home against California.