Husky women blow past No. 6 Cardinal

Back-to-back road losses in Arizona last week had Husky coach June Daugherty stressing one thing in practice in the week leading up to Thursday night's showdown with the No. 6 Stanford Cardinal – rebounding. Daugherty's words paid dividends when the teams hit the court tonight, as Washington won the battle on the glass, 37-28, and in doing so cruised to a 92-68 victory in front of 8,083 fans at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Stanford's 24-point defeat was its largest in nearly 12 years, and only its second loss in its last 16 games.

The Cardinal's only other defeat in conference came at USC on Jan. 26.

"Our mission was to come out and play more physical defensively," said an enthused Daugherty after the game. "Tonight that mission was accomplished."

"We got killed on the boards last time we played them," said Husky point guard Giuliana Mendiola. "We wanted to prove ourselves rebounding-wise.

"We knew it was going to be a battle, and we stepped up tonight."

Mendiola led the Huskies with 20 points, and also chipped in a team-high five rebounds. Andrea Lalum, a junior, added 16 points and four boards.

Loree Payne (13) and Kellie Dalan (10) rounded out the Husky double-digit scorers.

The Huskies took an 11-point lead to intermission, but lost control of momentum in the final minute of the half when Stanford took advantage of a technical foul called on Daugherty to close with an eight-point run.

Stanford held even with the Huskies for the first eight minutes of the second half, trading baskets and maintaining hopes of closing the gap. Washington still couldn't breath easy.

Back to back buckets by Stanford sophomore Chelsea Trotter with 12 minutes remaining drew the Cardinal to within 11 as the Husky crowd sat squirming in their seats.

But on the Huskies' next possession, Mendiola dribbled up to the three point line, and without hesitation, unleashed a three-point bomb that touched nothing but net. With the lead back up to 14, Stanford (19-3, 11-2 Pac-10) never threatened again.

In fact, they never even closed the gap under 14 for the rest of the game.

"We beat a really good team tonight," Daugherty said. "This is definitely a big step for us."

All-world junior forward Nicole Powell led the Cardinal with 20 points, but even her efforts failed to keep Stanford in the game.

Trotter and Kelley Suminski, a shooting guard, each added 14.

From the opening tip, Washington (18-5, 10-4 Pacific-10) took little time to move out to an early lead, and once there, the Seattle team didn't look back.

As has been the case all season, the Huskies did so behind their incredible ability to drain the three-point shot. They connected on four long-range attempts before five minutes had elapsed in the game, moving ahead 14-8 and getting the crowd into the game.

The hot-shooting didn't stop there.

Washington continued to pour it on, going on a 19-4 run over a six-minute span late in the first half to break out to a 15-point lead.

Daugherty's troops finished the first half shooting 57 percent from the field, including 8-14 from three-point land.

For the game, they shot 54 percent from the field.

"We did a great job of setting screens for one another," Daugherty said. "We work hard moving without the basketball, and tonight we got a lot of good looks."

Washington went into halftime holding a 49-38 advantage.


Game Notes:

Up Next: The Husky women face California on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff for the second-to-last home game of the year is at noon. Washington will then head down south for two games against the Oregon schools next week, and return home for the regular season finale versus Washington State on March 1. That game tips off at noon.

Bone Sighting: Former Mariner rightfielder Jay Buhner attended the game, sitting on the baseline at the west end of the arena. "Bone" hasn't managed to grow any hair since retiring prior to last baseball season.


Husky Stats:

Points: Giu. Mendiola 20, Lalum 16, Payne 13, Dalan 10, Autrey 9, O'Neill 8, Keeler 4, Gio. Mendiola 3, Sorenson 3, Castro 3, Heathcote 2, Schelly 1

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

Assists: Giu. Mendiola 7, Payne 2, Dalan 2, Lalum 2, Gio. Mendiola 2, Sorenson 1, O'Neill 1, Keeler 1

Steals: Autrey 4, Giu. Mendiola 2, O'Neill 1, Sorenson 1

Blocks: none

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