Huskies Make it Three Straight over USC with 97-87 WNIT Win

March 17, 2002

By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) - Giuliana Mendiola had 18 points and five assists as Washington defeated Southern California 97-87 Sunday in the second round of the women's NIT.

The win was the 100th for head coach June Daugherty at Washington, and it came against the school's former coach, Chris Gobrecht. The Huskies will host Oregon in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The Ducks beat Oregon State in the final seconds 50-48 on Sunday. Washington lost to Oregon in the Pac-10 tournament.

Loree Payne also scored 18 points for Washington (19-11), which was playing Southern Cal for the third time this season. The Huskies won the two previous games by a total of seven points.

Aisha Hollans scored a career-high 34 points on 14-of-21 shooting and had five assists and four rebounds for Southern Cal. Ebony Hoffman added 25 points, seven assists and eight rebounds for the Women of Troy, who ended their season 16-14. Both players were named to the Pac-10's first team.

These teams are accustomed to playing close games, but it didn't happen this time. Washington's 3-point shooting was too good and the Huskies' swarming defense in the paint made it difficult for USC's post players much of the game. Washington made 10 of 19 3-pointers with five different players scoring them.

The last three meetings between the teams in Seattle had gone to overtime, including Washington's 80-79 win Jan. 6. The Huskies won the second meeting 69-63 on Feb. 1 in Los Angeles.

Payne was 4-of-6 from 3-point range for Washington, which has won nine of 11. Sarah Keeler matched her season-high with 12 points and Emily Autrey added 11 for Washington.

The Huskies forced 21 turnovers, including 13 in the first half.

Mendiola, held out the first half of Washington's first-round win over North Texas on Thursday for violating a team policy, shot 7-for-13 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the free throw line.

The Huskies used an 11-2 run midway through the opening half to break the game open. The spurt featured a play in which Mendiola and her sister, Gioconda, executed consecutive behind-the-back passes that led to a basket by Andrea Lalum.

Payne's 3-pointer 5:38 before halftime made it 32-17 and the Huskies kept the momentum for a 47-34 halftime lead.

USC's Jessica Cheeks was whistled for a technical foul with 1:35 left in the half for spiking the ball downcourt after fouling Washington's Kayla Burt. Cheeks scored seven points before fouling out with 7:01 left.

The teams combined to shoot 2 of 11 with five turnovers in the first four minutes. But Washington shot 54.8 percent in the first half to Southern Cal's 45.2.

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