Huskies Take Over Second Place with 68-50 Win Over ASU

Feb. 9, 2002

Seattle - The Washington women's basketball team won its fifth straight game and took over sole possession of second place in the Pac-10 Conference on the strength of a 68-50 victory over Arizona State in front of 4,735 fans at Bank of America Arena.

The Huskies, who bumped the Sun Devils out of second place, improve to 15-8 overall and 10-4 in the Pac-10. The Sun Devils drop to 19-7, 10-5.

Junior co-captain Loree Payne led Washington in scoring for the third straight game, tallying a game-high 20 points on 8-of-15 from the field, including three from long distance. She is averaging 21 points per game over the last three games. Sophomore guard Giuliana Mendiola added 15 points, five rebounds and seven assists while junior Kellie O'Neill was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field with seven rebounds to highlight the effort.

Washington held ASU's Amanda Levens, the second-leading scorer in the Pac-10, to two points on 1-of-12 from the field as the Sun Devils managed just 30 percent shooting. Cian Carvalho led ASU with 15 points and Melody Johnson added her fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

The Huskies jumped out to a quick start in the game, leading 9-2, after Mendiola buried a three-pointer at the 15-minute mark. The game see-sawed back and forth until O'Neill closed the half with a layup and a three-pointer to put the Huskies up by 11 with under a minute to go. ASU's Betsy Boardman hit a jumper with five seconds remaining and Washington took a 33-24 lead at the break.

Payne opened the second half with a three-point basket and Emily Autrey added a bucket and a free throw to increase the lead to 15, 39-27, at 18:57. Boardman responded with her own three-pointer and Johnson collected a rebound and basket to cut the margin to 10 points, 39-29, at 17:38 but that was as close as the Sun Devils would get.

A three-pointer from O'Neill followed by another from Payne gave the Huskies their largest lead of the game, 61-41, with 6:31 remaining.

'It was defense,' said Washington coach June Daugherty. 'We have worked really hard on our defensive pressure and forcing them to rush shots with the shot clock winding down. It made a huge difference for us.'

Washington makes its final regular season road trip next week when it plays at Stanford Feb. 14 and at California Feb. 16. Arizona State hosts USC and UCLA in Tempe.

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