Ladies win Seattle Times Husky Classic

The Washington Huskies won the Seattle Times Husky Classic for the third straight year as they knocked off the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in the finals at Bank of America Arena on Saturday night. Washington was led by Gioconda and Giuliana Mendiola as they used many different runs to post a dominating 89-65 win over Oklahoma State. The win brings the Huskies to 4-0 on the season as they get set to host Notre Dame next week.

Washington's win over Oklahoma State was somewhat of a payback from 1999 when the Cowgirls defeated the Huskies in the finals of the 1999 Husky Classic 87-76 to claim the title.

Huskies head coach June Daugherty was very happy with the way her team went out and put forth a solid effort on two consecutive nights.

"We knew that we were going to get tested," said Daugherty after the game. "First with Gonzaga and then with Oklahoma State. Both teams were really athletic."

The Huskies jumped out to an early lead in the first half, but the Cowgirls let it be known that they were not going to go down quietly. OSU, led by talented post Trisha Skibbe, went on a 10-3 run to take a 15-14 early lead, which prompted a timeout.

Once the timeout ended, Washington came out roaring. With their pesky defense causing turnovers by the bunches, the Huskies went on a 23-8 run that saw their lead rack up as the minutes went by and kept that lead the rest of the way.

OSU's Skibbe did more than her part to try to keep her team close. Playing nearly the entire game, the senior from Oxford, Kansas was nearly unstoppable most of the night. Skibbe had 17 points in the first half and 13 in the second to finish with 30 points and six rebounds.

Combined with Nina Stone, Skibbe and Stone accounted for 43 of the team's 65 points with only 12 points coming from the Cowgirls bench. That was where Washington held another significant advantage.

"Our bench really came in and contributed, more than the last couple of games," said Daugherty. "We want scoring and more touches from everybody."

The start of the second half was much like the end of the first. Within seconds, a Cameo Hicks three-pointer got another run rolling.

Mendiola, the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, also began to take charge. After a relatively quiet first half, Mendiola looked like her old self as she scored 23 points in the second half with long-range shots on one play and making acrobatic plays on the next. "Giuli" had another one of her "box score" nights with 30 points, eight rebounds, and six assists on 10-of-15 shooting with 4-of-4 from beyond the arc in route of being named tournament MVP.

Mendiola felt that she was in a "shooting slump" and said that she hoped that this game will help her gain her rhythm back.

"I was thinking way too much about my shot, but tonight I started to relax," she said. "I got some easy looks to get me going, then once I hit some shots I gained some confidence and kept shooting."

Also getting in on the act was older sister Gioconda. "Gio" added nine points but also dished out a career high 10 assists.

The Huskies led by as many 30 points in the game before OSU made a brief last run to make the game a little more interesting.

Defensively, Washington was just as unstoppable as they were offensively. The pesky Husky defense forced Oklahoma State to turn the ball over 27 times. They did so by playing pickpocket very well most of the evening with 17 steals.

Freshmen Jill Bell also created havoc for the OSU offense with her long arms being able to "change shots" as Daugherty put it. Bell contributed with three points but hauled in eight rebounds and had four steals on the night.

As a team, the Huskies also out rebounded a taller OSU team 39-25

"We're really excited about the direction we're heading defensively," said Daugherty. "Forcing a team like that to have 27 turnovers and out rebound them the way we did."

Gonzaga defeats Yale: Gonzaga, led by Reanna Jewell and her 16 points, defeated Yale by a score of 69-48 in the consolation game. Tied at 23-23 at halftime, the Bulldogs went on a terror in the second half to pull away with the victory. Gonzaga improves to 2-3 while Yale remains winless at 0-5.

Getting nasty: With just over a minute left to go in the game, OSU's Trisha Skibbe came down hard over the back of Washington's Maggie O'Hara and was charged with an intentional foul. O'Hara was briefly on the ground, but it was her teammate that Skibbe had to answer to. Gioconda Mendiola took exception to Skibbe's physical play and made sure Skibbe knew about it. The 5'8" Mendiola made her way towards the 6'2" Skibbe before the two players had to be separated.

"I defended my team because this is my team and I'm going to protect my team," said the senior guard after the game.

All Tournament Team:
Erica Davis – Yale
Rachel Kane - Gonzaga
Ashley Anderson – Gonzaga
Trisha Skibbe – Oklahoma State
Andrea Lalum – Washington

Tournament MVP: Giuliana Mendiola - Washington

Husky Stats:
Scoring: Giu. Mendiola 30, Lalum 14, Gio. Mendiola 9, Jones 9, Watson 8, Hicks 7, Castro 5, O'Hara 4, Bell 3
Rebounds: Giu. Mendiola 8, Bell 8, Lalum 5, O'Hara 4, Gio. Mendiola 4, Castro 2, Hicks 2, Watson 1
Assists: Gio. Mendiola 10, Giu. Mendiola 6, Watson 3, Hicks 2, Lalum 1, Castro 1, O'Hara 1 Steals: Bell 4, Gio. Mendiola 3, Giu. Mendiola 2, Lalum 2, Castro 2, Jones 2, Watson 1, O'Hara 1 Blocks: O'Hara 1

Up Next: The Huskies will play host to 17th ranked Notre Damn on Sunday, December 7th at 1pm at Bank of America Arena. This game will also be a nationally televised broadcast on Fox Sports Net. Top Stories