Husky women cruise in Exhibition

Kellie O'Neill led all scorers with 18 points to lead the Washington women to an 86-57 victory over the Seattle Lady Express Monday night at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

The game was the Huskies second exhibition game of the 2001-2002 season, the last before the regular season starts on Friday at Montana State.

O'Neill was one of four Huskies to finish the game in double-figures scoring, joining Loree Payne (15) Andrea Lalum (14), and Emily Autry (10) with at least 10 points.

"I think we all know that she's one of those players that when she hits one she's going to probably hit like five in a row," said Head Coach June Daugherty of O'Neill. "I stayed with her a lot longer tonight and I thought she responded very well to that. Whether she starts or comes off the bench she's ready to play."

Daugherty's Huskies broke the game open early, using a 14-0 run midway through the first half to break out to a 21-8 lead. The Lady Express never again threatened the lead.

Lalum, the sophomore center who at 6-4 is the tallest player on the team along with Sarah Keeler, paced the home team early with tough play both inside the paint and out at the perimeter. She scored nine points in the first 8:30 of play, and proved to be a mismatch for the Lady Express.

She played only 16 minutes for the game but led the team in assists with five, using her presence inside to pass the ball out to open shooters.

"Andrea is a very smart player on the block and she's one of the best passers out of the post that I've seen," said Payne, who herself benefited from Lalum's passing. "She knows how to play basketball. It's the inside out game. It worked for us last year and we're carrying it into this year."

With the Huskies comfortably ahead, the O'Neill sisters took over the scoring load. During a stretch, junior Kellie and freshman Kristen combined to score 17 of 19 Husky points to break the game wide open. Washington went to half ahead 40-24.

"It's fun to play with her, and we definitely have a connection out there," said Kellie of her younger sister. "It's gotten better every day because we're starting to get a better feel of how each of us play in an up-tempo college situation."

The smothering Husky defense limited the Lady Express to just 21 percent shooting for the contest, including a frigid 3-21 from the outside the three-point line. The visitors hit only 22-38 of their free throw attempts, also preventing them from ever making serious second-half run.

Regan Freuen, a 6-1 forward who played her college ball at Stanford, led the Lady Express with 17 points on 6-17 shooting. Guard Petra Jackson chipped in 10 and grabbed a team-high 14 rebounds.
Game Notes:

Up next: The Huskies begin regular season play on Nov. 16 at Montana State for a 7 p.m. tip-off. They continue play two days later on Nov. 18 at Wisconsin for a 4 p.m. game, and return home on the 23rd for an 8 p.m. tip-off against Northeastern.

In the house: The Dawgfather himself, Don James, was in attendance for the game with his wife. Among others was Megan Franza, the former Husky shooting guard who finished her career sixth all-time on the school's scoring list.

Washington ties: The Seattle Lady Express roster had two players connected with the University of Washington. Guard/Forward Tara Davis played collegiate ball at the UW from 1990-1994, and forward Kristin Erickson is the older sister of former Husky Melissa Erickson.

Burt sidelined: Freshman guard Kayla Burt missed tonight's game with a sore foot. "It's nothing real serious at this point," Daugherty said, "but the doctors wanted to rest her to make sure she's ready to go." Top Stories