Husky Women Begin With Win

The Washington women's basketball team kicked off its 2002-03 campaign with an exhibition victory Sunday afternoon, beating Bay Area Pro-Am 82-64 in front of 2,356 fans at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

The Huskies were led by junior point guard, Giuliana Mendiola, who poured in 23 points on 9-11 shooting from the field.

A cast of other Huskies finished in double-digit scoring: Andrea Lalum (16), Loree Payne (14) and Emily Autrey (11).

It didn't come easy for Husky head coach June Daugherty's team, however.

"This was one of the better exhibition teams that we've played against in a long time. I thought we were tested by them," said Daugherty. "They just kept coming at us and it was good for our team to have to be poised and forced to settle down."

Washington's tremendous depth at every position made for a game filled with lineup substitutions and matchup shuffling. As a result, the team failed to settle into any sort or rhythm offensively.

Early on, though, it appeared that the Huskies may be able to pull away. They worked up to a 13-point lead midway through the first half behind tremendous play from Mendiola. The younger of the two Mendiolas on the team scored 11 points in the first five minutes of the game. She also drew an offensive foul and added a steal to guide the Huskies to a 26-13 advantage.

"It felt really nice," said Mendiola of her hot start. "My teammates were looking for me and I just tried to hit the shots when I had them."

Behind the hot shooting of Melanie Turner, who played collegiately at the University of San Francisco, Bay Area Pro Am hung around. They closed the gap to 41-32 by halftime, led by Turner's 16.

She finished the game with 23.

Bay Area Pro-Am stuck with the home team for much of the second half as well. The difference was a 6-0 run by Washington in a two-minute span midway through the half. A pair of free throws from Krista Knapp had narrowed the Husky lead to 54-51, but that's when Washington answered with the run, capped by a deep Kristen O'Neill three-pointer that pushed the margin up to 10.

That was a cushion the Huskies would need for the rest of the game, as the visitors would twice trim the Washington lead down to three.

Washington overcame the late charge, however, outscoring Bay Area Pro-Am 14-0 in the final 4:21 of the game.

"That team brought a lot of intensity," said Mendiola. "It looked like they were definitely ready to play."

"We were very encouraged by a lot of the things that we saw (today)," said Daugherty. "We felt like we were able to rotate a lot of our players and mix up our defenses and for the most part, we are pretty pleased coming out of this game."

Knapp chipped in 20 for Bay Area Pro-Am, its only other player other than Turner to score in double-digits.

In Attendance: Some familiar Husky faces were in the crowd today. Those we were able to recognize were Husky men's coach Lorenzo Romar and Husky men's football and basketball announcer Bob Rondeau.

Changing Names: Senior forward Kellie O'Neill was married over the summer and now goes by the last name of Dalan, ending the name confusion from last season when her sister, Kristen O'Neill, joined the team.

Castro Sighting: No, not that Castro! Redshirt freshman Nicole Castro, a shooting guard from Australia, got her first action in her Husky career in the final minute of the game. She didn't get a shot attempt, but made a nice pass to Autrey and was rewarded with an assist.

Next up: The Husky women head on the road for the regular season opener at Boise State on November 22. Game time is set for 6 p.m. PST. The home opener is set for November 29 at 7:30 p.m. versus St. Bonaventure as part of the Seattle Times Classic.

Points: Giuliana Mendiola 23, Lalum 16, Payne 14, Autrey 11, Dalan 8, O'Neill 5, Keeler 4, Gioconda Mendiola 1

Rebounds: Payne 8, Autrey 7, O'Neill 7, Giu. Mendiola 6, Dalan 6, Lalum 5, Gio. Mendiola 5, Keeler 4, Sorenson 3, Burt 2

Assists: Giu. Mendiola 5, Burt 3, Payne 3, Gio. Mendiola 3, O'Neill 3, Keeler 1, Lalum 1, Castro 1, Autrey 1, Dalan 1, Sorenson 1

Steals: Giu. Mendiola 3, Payne 2, Keeler 1, Lalum 1, Autrey 1, Dalan 1, Gio. Mendiola 1

Blocks: Burt 2, Autrey 2, Keeler 1 Top Stories