Giuliana Mendiola Named 2003 Pac-10 Player Of The Year

March 6, 2003

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Washington junior guard Giuliana Mendiola has been named the 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year as voted upon by the league's coaches, the conference announced Thursday. Also honored today were senior guard Loree Payne, named to the All-Pac-10 team for the second straight year, and junior forward Andrea Lalum, selected to the All-Pac-10 honorable mention team, also for the second-straight year.

Mendiola, Washington's leader in scoring (17.3), rebounding (6.5) and assists (5.4), is the first Husky ever to garner Pac-10 Player of the Year honors. She earned conference Player of the Week three times this season, also the first Husky to accomplish the feat. Mendiola has led Washington to its first 20-win regular season record under head coach June Daugherty with an overall record of 21-6 and a Pac-10 record of 13-5. It is also Mendiola's second-straight All-Pac-10 team selection.

A second-year team captain, Mendiola has scored in double-figures in all but two games this season, while recording seven double-doubles. For good measure, she has scored at least 20 points in seven of the last nine games heading into this weekend's Pac-10 Tournament. She finished the regular season leading the Pac-10 in assists (5.41 per game), and is second in 3-point shooting percentage (.447) and free-throw percentage (.843). She also ranks fourth in scoring (17.3), field-goal percentage (.452) and assist-turnover ratio (1.74).

Mendiola set a single-game school-record with 43 points vs. UCLA, Feb. 1, the highest output in the Pac-10 this year and fifth-best in the nation to date. With that performance, Mendiola became the first UW player to score at least 40 points in a single game. She also equaled the Washington single-game assists record with 13 against Oregon State, Jan. 25.

Mendiola became the 18th player in Washington history to reach the 1,000-point plateau this season and currently has 1,209 points. She needs 121 to crack the UW top-10 scoring list. She also ranks second on Washington's all-time assists list with 146. Mendiola needs just 16 assists to surpass the record held by Leteia Hughley (559, 1982-85). Mendiola ranks sixth on the UW three-pointers made career list (108) and seventh on the three-pointers attempted list (289.

Payne, the most prolific three-point shooter in Washington and Pac-10 history, was named to the All-Pac-10 team for the second-straight season. The senior guard is the Huskies' second-leading scorer with 14.8 points per game and this season established herself as Washington's career leader in three-pointers made (242) and three-pointers attempted (713). She also ranks second all-time on both Pac-10 lists. Payne has tallied 19 double-figure scoring games, including twice scoring a career-high 29 points on two different occasions. She was recently named to the Verizon Academic All-District VIII first-team and is on the ballot for national honors.

It is the second-straight All-Pac-10 honorable mention nod for junior forward Lalum, who is Washington's third-leading scorer with an average of 11 points per game. Lalum is also tied for second on the team in rebounding with 4.7 boards per game. She has scored in double-figures in 17 games this season, including two performances of 20 points or more. Lalum scored a season-high 23 points vs. Iowa State on Dec. 22, including the game-winning last-second shot. She also recorded her ninth career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds vs. Houston Dec. 7.

Arizona's Shawntinice Polk was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, while Stanford's Tara VanDerVeer was honored as Pac-10 Coach of the Year.

The No. 2 seeded Huskies head to San Jose for the 2003 Pac-10 Tournament this weekend. Washington will face either No. 7 USC or No. 10 Washington State, Saturday, March 8, at 11 a.m. PT.

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