Women lose season finale

In an ideal situation, the four Huskies seniors would have walked out of their final home game with a win to wrap up their up and down college careers. However, the balance and the athleticism of the Arizona Wildcats (22-7, 14-4) was too much as the Wildcats defeated Washington (16-11, 9-9) in front of 6,562 fans at Bank of America Arena.

"We just ran out of some steam," said Huskies head coach June Daugherty. "When you can't hit shots down the stretch like we did, Arizona obviously capitalized on that." Washington shot a miserable 28.8 percent from the floor on Saturday afternoon and found almost no balance in scoring for their offense.

Seniors Giuliana Mendiola and Andrea Lalum played virtually the entire game as the two available senior leaders tried desperately to take over the game while the rest of the team struggled to find an offensive rhythm.

With the exception of single Cheri Craddock free throw towards the end of the game, only four Husky players including Mendiola and Lalum registered points on the day. The two seniors led the way for a team that had five freshmen and a sophomore going up against an Arizona team, which is regarded as one of the deepest teams in the conference.

Washington was without the services of senior guard Gioconda Mendiola. Mendiola was suspended for her final home game of her collegiate career for what the athletic department labeled as "unsportsmanlike conduct following Thursday night's game against Arizona State." Mendiola allegedly slapped ASU's Kylan Loney in an altercation after Thursday's 63-55 win at home.

Her younger sister Giuliana tried ever so hard to make up for her sister's absence. The younger Mendiola showcased another gutsy performance to lead the team with 22 points and Lalum added 19 points and eight rebounds. But even they could not stop Arizona's Shawntinice Polk.

Polk scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and had her way with the Huskies in the paint. In fact, so did the rest of the Wildcats. Arizona outscored Washington 40-16 in the paint and out-rebounded Washington 47-39.

Arizona used a combination of many different runs to build their lead and while the Huskies tried on many occasions to start a run of their own, the Wildcats failed to back off and silenced the Washington offense repeatedly.

"Arizona is a heck of a team," said Daugherty. "They played very, very well today and they have so many weapons and so many ways of wearing you down offensively and defensively and they certainly capitalized on that today."

"It's difficult not to have our seniors go out with a win, but I think they know the team and themselves played really hard and they left it out there and that's all we can ask."

The Huskies will now rely on a strong showing at the Pac-10 Tournament in San Jose to hopefully improve their chances at receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.


Notes:
Seniors honored: Before the game, Andrea Lalum, Sarah Keeler, as well as Gioconda and Giuliana Mendiola were honored during senior ceremonies. The four of them came to Washington together in 2000 and while Lalum and the Mendiolas enjoyed wonderful careers, Keeler's career came to an end last season after going through her sixth knee surgery in four years.

Gio's statement: Gioconda Mendiola made a written statement prior to the game to apologize for her actions: "I want to apologize for what happened Thursday after the game," Mendiola said. "The situation could have been handled a lot better and I'm sorry for letting my emotions get the best of me. I did not intend for my actions to take away from the game. It was a great game between two great teams and I should not have detracted from that. To my coaches and teammates, and the University of Washington, I apologize for putting all of you, as well as myself, in a bad position to have to suspend me. I understand that it is something that had to be done and I will take my punishment and learn from my mistake."


Husky scoring:
Points: Giu. Mendiola 22, Lalum 19, Hicks 8, Bell 4, Craddock 1
Rebounds: Lalum 8, O'Hara 7, Giu. Mendiola 6, Hicks 6, Bell 5, Jones 4, Craddock 1, Castro 1
Assists: Giu. Mendiola 4, Lalum 1, Bell 1, Hicks 1, Castro 1, O'Hara 1
Steals: Lalum 1, Bell 1, Castro 1
Blocks: Bell 3, Jones 1, O'Hara 1

Attendance: 6,562

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