Huskies win Battle for the 'W'

After receiving a drubbing in Lubbock, Texas to #13 Texas Tech, the Huskies have turned the page and rolled through their non-conference schedule. They continued their winning ways Monday against Wisconsin 81-69 at Bank of America Arena in front of 2,730 fans.

Early on the Huskies were able to stifle the Wisconsin offense. The Badgers were unable to get a shot off for the first 2:31. Former Redmond Mustang Emily Ashbaugh got Wisconsin on the board with a banked layin from the right post.

It was a homecoming of sorts for Ashbaugh and she had many supporters behind the Wisconsin bench. After two Andrea Lalum free throws, Loree Payne scored the next eight Husky points to spark the Huskies. After nailing a wing three pointer, Payne was able to penetrate the Badger defense to get the Huskies within two at 9-11. The next trip down the floor brought another Payne three pointer to give the Huskies the lead at 12-11.

6-7 Lello Gebisa was able to give the Badgers a boost with her post presence. A Shawna Nichols three pointer gave the Badger women a mini 5-0 run but was the spurt was squelched by the hot shooting of Payne. Payne was once again unstoppable from outside but showed an ability to score with penetration as well. The 6-foot guard from Havre, Montana drained three pointers on three consecutive possessions.

Wisconsin coach Jane Albright tried to stop the bleeding with a time out but Payne scored on the next possession as well to give her eleven straight points on her way to 19 in the first half on seven of nine from the field and five of seven from three.

The Husky women slowly built a lead to take into half time, mostly behind the hot shooting of Payne. Giuliana Mendiola once again was the catalyst of the offense. Giu dished out four first half assists and chipped in with five points. At halftime Washington held a 13 point lead at 43-30, but the Badgers remained in striking distance. Giu added four more assists in the second half to finish with eight for the game.

Coming out of the break the Huskies pushed their lead to 20 once again following Payne's lead. The All-America candidate was unstoppable tonight, she finished with 27 points while shooting a blistering 10 of 13 from the floor including six of nine from behind the arc. As a whole the Huskies shot a very human 40 percent from outside, a contrast from what Husky fans saw over the weekend at the Seattle Times Husky Classic.

The Badgers tried to come back behind the three point shooting of Stephanie Rich. The Junior from Iowa was six of eight from deep tonight and finished with 20 points and six rebounds.

But the Huskies continued to get open looks from the perimeter through the motion offense. The Huskies effectively held the ball and milked the clock in the last four minutes of the game while they held a comfortable double digit lead. Giuliana Mendiola provided the highlight of the night when her high arching teardrop from behind the backboard dropped over the backboard and into the hoop after the Huskies had milked the shot clock to zero in the final moments. Boos were heard from the crowd as the shot was disallowed.

Double digit scoring from Giu Mendiola and Lalum helped the Huskies to the final 12-point margin. But the star of the night was without a doubt Loree Payne. Her 27 points moved her into 9th on the all-time list at Washington. Payne, the senior knows that there's a long way to go. "We're on a roll, we're happy that we're playing so well and have gotten three wins. After Texas Tech we definitely needed it," Payne said.

The proverbial battle for the W will continue on Thursday when the University of Wyoming men will come to town to face the Washington men's team who lost a heartbreaker in overtime tonight against the #25 Gonzaga Bulldogs. Hopefully the men will be able continue what the women started tonight at Hec-Ed. Top Stories