Golden Bears no match for Husky women

By no means was it their best day at the office, but one thing for sure is that the Washington Huskies women know how to win at home. Saturday's game against the California Golden Bears was no different as the Huskies won their 13th straight game at home, defeating Cal by a score of 74-54 in front of 5,453 fans at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

"It was a big weekend," said Huskies coach June Daugherty. "We're really excited with both of these victories. I'm really proud of the way the team bounced back from the desert."

Washington shot 46.7% from the floor today, which in itself is right along the lines of their season average. However, compared to their last three home games, it was a significant drop in their shooting when they have been shooting an outstanding 56.5% from the floor.

It also helped that Cal seemed like they were still in shock over being the first team in two years to lose to Washington State. Cal shot a miserable 35.7% from the floor, without any three-pointers and with a majority of their shots coming from within the paint.

But still, Cal managed to keep the game close until the second half. With Washington holding a slight lead at 39-34, Cal had the opportunity to pull out the upset. Then the Huskies, led by senior Emily Autrey and sophomore Sarah Keeler, went on a 19-4 run to put the game away.

"You can't have scoring droughts against a team of this caliber at home," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "They are a great team."

Autrey, whom coach Daugherty referred to as the "human spark plug off the bench," came in to lead the team and all scorers with 17 points, with 12 coming in the second half and also grabbed five rebounds.

Senior guard Loree Payne and junior forward Andrea Lalum did not have their best game to say the least. The duo only combined for 15 points on 6-for-24 shooting.

With some of their top players struggling today, the Huskies managed to find players to step up and take charge. Daugherty was quick to praise the efforts of those players that are not in the spotlight as much.

Keeler, a sophomore forward, also came off the bench to have an outstanding game. With Lalum struggling from the field, Keeler stepped up to provide solid defense and a presence in the low-post.

"I thought Sarah turned the game around with her hustle and her defense," said Daugherty. Keeler finished the day with nine points, six rebounds, and three steals.

Cal made sure they were all over All-America candidate Giuliana Mendiola like white on rice. Whenever Mendiola got her hands on the ball, the Cal defense swarmed over to her to make sure she did not get any easy shots.

"They were definitely pushing me around a little," said Mendiola, who still scored 15 points, but only shot the ball seven times and nearly half of her points come on the free throw line.

Senior forward Kellie Dalan also had her best game of the season. Dalan chipped in 13 points and grabbed a season-high six rebounds on 6-for-6 shooting from the field.

Cal's Leigh Gregory added 17 points, with 13 from guard Nihan Anaz, and 10 from center Timea Ivanyi, who scored a career-high 24 points against Washington the last time they met.

Husky Heroes Honored: Before the game, the American Heart Association honored five members of the Huskies for their heroic efforts in saving the life of Kayla Burt on New Year's Eve. Loree Payne, Nicole Castro, Erica Schelly, along with Gioconda and Giuliana Mendiola received a standing ovation as they were escorted out to center court by Burt.

No Easy Shots: As it was mentioned above, the majority of Cal's shots came within the paint, but only shot 35.7%. How bad were they from within the paint? Out of the Golden Bears' 56 total shots taken, Cal was 20-for-39 in the paint.

"I think we may have set an NCAA record for missed lay-ups today," joked Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer after the game.

Senior Day: Washington has a chance to go undefeated at home for the first time since 1990. Washington will host Washington State on March 1st for their final home game of the season. It will also be the final home game for the five Husky seniors on the team. Loree Payne, Cheryl Sorensen, Kellie Dalan, Emily Autrey, and Alicia Heathcote will be playing on the Bank of America Arena court for the final time.

Husky Stats
Scoring: Autrey 17, Giu. Mendiola 15, Dalan 13, Lalum 9, Keeler 9, Payne 6, O'Neill 3, Gio. Mendiola 2

Rebounds: Dalan 6, Keeler 6, Autrey 5, Lalum 4, Giu. Mendiola 4, Sorensen 3, Gio. Mendiola 2, Castro 1, Payne 1

Assists: Gio. Mendiola 5, Giu. Mendiola 4, O'Neill 4, Lalum 2, Dalan 1, Payne 1, Autrey 1

Blocks: O'Neill 1, Sorensen 1

Steals: Giu. Mendiola 4, Autrey 3, Keeler 3, O'Neill 2, Lalum 1, Payne 1, Gio. Mendiola 1

Scoring        1st     2nd    Total
California      30      24      54
Washington      37      37      74 Top Stories