Husky women win Times Classic

Once again the Washington women's basketball team was hot from behind the arc, but tonight they faced a team with comparable size and athleticism. The Kentucky Wildcats came out to the Seattle Times Husky Classic from the SEC and June Daugherty and her team did not take UK lightly. In the end the Huskies prevailed in grand fashion 88-56 in front of 3,606 fans at Bank of America Arena.

Washington dominated the glass in the first half especially on the defensive end. The Huskies held the Wildcats to only five offensive rebounds. Kentucky, for the most part, was held to one shot per possession. Washington came out hot and started off on a 10-1 run fueled by five points by center Andrea Lalum. Lalum used her post game for a 12 foot jumper and a three pointer from the right wing. The early Husky run caused Kentucky coach Bernadette Mattox burn an early time out.

The Huskies shot a blistering 71.4 percent on five of seven from three in the first half as it looked like they were trying to better last night's record performance of 16 three pointers made. Giuliana Mendiola was two for two from outside to pace the Huskies who also got three pointers from Loree Payne, Emily Autrey, and Lalum. Mendiola's 12 first half points led the Huskies. She finished with 21.

Kentucky's Sara Potts did her best to keep the Wildcats in the game by hitting four of five three pointers in the first half. At one point Potts had 14 of UK's 17 points on her way to earning a spot on the Seattle Times Classic all tournament team. On two occasions Potts hit from outside on consecutive possessions and looked like she wouldn't miss the rest of the night. But Washington caused twelve Kentucky turnovers and once again held their opponent to under 30 points in a half, which they did each half of the tournament. The Huskies went into the break with a 47-26 lead. Potts finished with 18, but was a non-factor in the second half

In the second half Kentucky came out with a new game plan and seemed intent to get to the rim against the Huskies zone defense. Shambrica Jones finished the game with 21 points and was able to break down the Husky defense with dribble penetration, but none of her teammates were able to duplicate her success. Jones sparked Kentucky early in the second half as UK scored the first six points before a Loree Payne three pointer got Washington back on track.

The Huskies continued to get good shots in the flow of their offense. Gioconda Mendiola was the offensive playmaker with seven assists. Gio typified the Huskies' unselfish play for the span of the tournament. For the second consecutive night Washington was assist happy. Giuliana Mendiola chipped in with five assists while Emily Autrey and Cheryl Sorenson had three each. " I'm really happy with the unselfish play of our team," said Daugherty.

Washington's three point shooting cooled slightly in the second half but Kentucky was not able to capitalize. The Huskies maintained a 20 point advantage in the second half before pulling away late. Frustration seemed to seep into the Wildcat players as two team control fouls were called late in the contest for elbows thrown. Washington ended the game on the free throw line, which allowed them to extend the final margin to 32 points.

The Huskies had three players join Sara Potts on the All tournament team. Andrea Lalum and Loree Payne were both named while Giuliana Mendiola was named tournament MVP. Lalum and Payne both finished the night with 18 points.

Winning their own tournament doesn't earn the Huskies a break. The Huskies will turnaround immediately and face a Big-10 opponent Monday in Wisconsin at Bank of America Arena. It will be the Huskies' third game in four days, but it doesn't worry Daugherty. "We're fired up to play. We don't care that it's so soon. It's another good opportunity for us to a good team from the Big-10," Daugherty said. Top Stories