Huskies Tame Wildcats, 91-73
Jan. 26, 2006
SEATTLE - Senior Kristen O'Neill scored 19 points - including 12 straight during a key second-half run - as Washington defeated Arizona, 91-73, before 2,772 fans at Bank of America Arena.
Washington (14-5, 7-3 Pac-10) won its first game at home since seeing its 12-game home winning streak snapped by USC on Jan. 14. The Huskies also completed a season sweep of Arizona (7-13, 3-7) for the first time since 1995.
O'Neill's 19 - just four shy of her career-best - led five Husky players in double figures, including a career-high 16 by junior guard Cheri Craddock, and matching 11-point totals by Breanne Watson, Cameo Hicks and Andrea Plouffe.
Washington dominated the game on the glass, holding a 39-20 rebounding advantage, and limiting the Wildcats to just three offensive rebounds, and zero second-chance points.
'We knew that they were a bit undersized, and coming in we were stressing the offensive rebounds, crashing the boards, and boxing out,' said Watson, who led UW with seven rebounds. 'I don't think we could have expected that but that was an awesome thing.'
That defensive dominance helped the Huskies break open a close game early in the second half. After seeing their 38-30 halftime lead cut to just two, at 44-42 with 16:41 to play, Washington held the Wildcats scoreless for nearly five minutes in a 16-0 run that put UW up 60-42, and ended Arizona's upset bid.
O'Neill capped the run with a steal, before converting a three-point play on a breakaway layin and free throw. Arizona brought an end to the scoring drought with consecutive threes, but O'Neill answered back with back-to-back threes of her own, then drained a third on Washington's next possession after an Arizona basket to extend UW's lead to 19, at 69-50.
Washington would lead by as many as 24 before allowing the Wildcats to close the gap late. A last-minute putback by reserve guard Angie Jones put the Huskies brought the crowd to its feet and put the Huskies over the 90-point mark for the second time in its past four games, including a 96-75 win over UCLA two weeks ago.
Washington hosts 19th-ranked Arizona State (15-5, 6-4) Saturday at 1 p.m. The Sun Devils defeated the Huskies, 64-51, in the team's previous meeting Dec. 29 in Tempe, Ariz.