Mendiola's Second-Half Surge Leads Huskies to Rout of USC

Jan. 30, 2003

SEATTLE - All-America candidate Giuliana Mendiola took control of a close game with 14 second-half points, leading Washington on a 34-17 second-half surge to rout USC, 94-76, before 4,335 fans at Bank of America Arena.

The win was the 10th in a row at home for Washington (16-3, 8-2), its longest such streak since the 1981-82 season.

Mendiola, who finished just two assists shy of the school's first triple-double since 1978, scored 14 of her 22 points after halftime, adding 10 rebounds and eight assists in the contest.

Junior center Ebony Hoffman led the Women of Troy with 27 points, equaling her career-high.

Both teams shot well from the field, the Huskies hitting 51.6 percent of their shots (32-for-62), and USC (9-12, 4-6) firing at a 41.9 percent clip, as the squads traded baskets for the game's first 30 minutes.

With the Huskies ahead, 60-59, at the 10:32 mark of the second half, however, the Huskies' junior point guard took control. Mendiola first hit junior Andrea Lalum for a three-pointer - one of a career-high five by the UW center - before draining one of her own less than a minute later, igniting an 8-0 Husky run. From that point, Washington would never look back, closing out the Women of Troy with a 34-17 run over the game's final 10 minutes.

'I hate it when I look up and see it tied, or us up by two or down by two,' said Mendiola. 'That's when I decided to try to be more aggressive offensively, whether that's getting a shot for myself or dishing it.'

Washington as a team hit 12 three-pointers in the contest, the second most-ever by a USC opponent, while racking up the third-highest point total ever by a UW team against the Women of Troy.

The Huskies also excelled under the boards, pulling down nine of the game's first 10 rebounds and finishing the contest with an advantage on the glass for the third-consecutive game, after losing the rebounding battle in five of the previous six games.

'I was really pleased to see the rebounding against a team like that,' said seventh-year head coach June Daugherty. 'I thought we pushed the tempo tonight off our defense and off our rebounding. It was exciting to see us get back in our running game a little bit. We were rotating a lot of players, and the bench, in particular, responded well.'

Now 8-2 in Pac-10 play, Washington battles UCLA (12-7, 7-3) on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies will host a silent auction to include autographed team memorabilia and special events with members of the Husky program prior to the contest, at 11:30 a.m. in the Hec Edmundson Pavilion Addition. The game will also celebrate National Women and Girls in Sports Day, with a special ceremony at halftime to recognize Seattle-area female athletes.

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