Irish find little luck in Seattle

Led by Giuliana Mendiola's 27 points and a career-high 24 from freshman Cameo Hicks, the Washington women's basketball team handed coach June Daugherty her 250th win with a 85-74 victory Sunday over perennial Big East powerhouse Notre Dame.

It was the 17th consecutive home win for the Huskies (5-0), who stayed undefeated after five games for the first time since the 1997-98 season.

Both Mendiola and Hicks had a terrific day shooting the ball. Mendiola, a four-year starter at guard, hit 11 of 19 shots including a trio of three-pointers en route to her second-highest output of the season. Hicks, a newcomer from Tracy, Calif., took advantage of her ability to get to the basket and connected on 11 of 13 field goal attempts.

"I wanted to clean up as much as I could and get offensive and defensive boards," said Hicks, whose dad was in attendance for the first time in her college career.

Andrea Lalum added 14 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double by any Husky player this season. It was Lalum's ninth of her career.

"That was a good win," said Daugherty. "We knew that Notre Dame was going to come in here with an enormous amount of talent and athletic kids."

The Huskies broke ahead of the Fighting Irish (3-4) by as much as eight midway through the first half, sparked by the hot-shooting of Mendiola and Hicks. Notre Dame answered, however, with a six-point rally to draw to within two with 6:48 remaining in the half. Mendiola put the team on her back in the final minutes leading up to intermission, scoring nine-straight points for a 39-35 Husky lead.

Mendiola scored 16 in the first half. Hicks, who didn't miss her first shot until her eighth attempt 4:21 into the second half, had nine points by the time the teams headed to the locker rooms.

"I love her intensity," said Mendiola of Hicks. "She can drive real strong. It's hard to stop her, she's real quick. She doesn't have any fear when she goes down the lane.

"And I think she's a great rebounder for a guard. She's got a good nose for the ball and is a great anticipater."

Lalum, sidelined with two personal fouls, was limited to seven minutes and scored just two points in the first half.

Washington stretched its lead to 10 points five minutes into the second half behind three high-percentage shots from Hicks. They hung on the rest of the way behind the reemergence of Lalum - who came on to score 12 and pull down eight boards in the second half alone - and tough, physical team play inside the paint.

Notre Dame never pulled closer than five the rest of the way.

"Andrea came back huge in the second half and used her maturity and experience," said Daugherty. "I thought she played a great second half."

"I wanted to come in and make a difference," said Lalum," and I couldn't do that from the bench."

The Huskies out-rebounded the Irish 43-33, and took advantage for 24 second-chance points. Notre Dame managed only 10.

"Obviously our rebounding was a big difference," said Daugherty. "Post-wise we did a pretty good job on their big guys, which was a big concern. I'm just really pleased defensively and with our rebounding to get this big win."

Jacqueline Batteast, a 6-foot-2 junior forward from South Bend, Indiana, led the Irish with 19 points. Megan Duffy (17) and West Valley (Yakima) product Teresa Borton (11) rounded out the double-digit scorers.

"This is a good win for us, but I think our focus is on Colorado now," said Lalum. "(They) are a good team."

The Huskies travel to Colorado to face the Buffalos on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

Game Notes:
Up Next: After the Colorado game, the Huskies return home Dec. 16 with a matchup against Denver at 7 p.m.. They face powerhouse Texas Tech three nights later on Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Big Crowd: Sunday's attendance of 5,526 was a season-high.

Game Stats:
Points: Giu. Mendiola 27, Hicks 24, Lalum 14, Gio. Mendiola 6, Watson 5, Bell 4, Castro 3, O'Hara 2
Rebounds: Lalum 10, Hicks 8, Giu. Mendiola 7, Watson 5, Gio. Mendiola 4, Castro 2, Jones 2, Bell
Assists: Giu. Mendiola 8, Gio. Mendiola 3, Castro 3, Lalum 2, Hicks Steals: Gio. Mendiola 2, Giu. Mendiola, Jones, O'Hara
Blocks: Watson, O'Hara Top Stories