'Cats Outlast Husky Women in Pac-10 Opener

Dec. 28, 2004

SEATTLE - Dee-Dee Wheeler scored four of her game-high 18 points in the final minute as Arizona held off a spirited Husky women's basketball team for a 67-63 win before 3,387 at Bank of America Arena.

Arizona (9-2), which entered the game with the nation's 17th-ranked offense and a string of six wins in seven games, led by as many as 10 points on three occasions, but could not put away a Washington team (4-7) seeking to open Pac-10 play on a positive note, after losing five of its last six non-conference affairs.

Sophomore Cheri Craddock and freshman Dominique Banks led the Huskies back from a 40-30 deficit with 14 minutes to play, with Craddock hitting a trifecta of three-point field goals in a two-minute span to cut the lead to one, at 45-44, and Banks adding jumpers on consecutive possessions to cap a 21-10 UW run and tie the game at 51-51 with 7:42 to play.

Arizona's Ashley Wisonant scored each of the next two times the Wildcats had the ball, however, and Wheeler added a pair of free throws to make it 57-51 Arizona with 5:27 remaining. After swapping baskets for the next two minutes, Washington cut the Wildcats' lead to two with a pair of free throws by Maggie O'Hara, and a Kristen O'Neill layin off a nifty O'Hara assist.

Washington, however, would never get closer, as Wheeler scored the next four straight points to provide Arizona a six-point cushion in the final minute.

Craddock finished the game with 14 points to match a career-high, while O'Hara led all UW rebounders with 10, matching her career-best. O'Neill added 12 points for Washington and Banks finished with 11, as the Huskies suffered just their sixth loss in 19 Pac-10 season openers.

'[The team] did everything we asked of them in this game,' said ninth-year head coach June Daugherty. 'I saw an attack mode out of this team tonight, and I liked it. We're going to build on this energy right into ASU. This was a huge step.'

The Huskies will welcome Arizona State (9-2) to Bank of America Arena this Wednesday at 7 p.m., before traveling to California and Stanford over the New Year's weekend.

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