UW Women Victorious In Husky Classic Opener With Idaho 73-57
Nov. 23, 2007
SEATTLE - Led by freshman center Kali Bennett's double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds, Washington women's basketball cruised to a 73-57 victory over Idaho in its home opener as a part of the first round of the Husky Classic at Bank of America Arena, Friday.
The win propelled Washington (2-4) into the championship game of its own tournament, as the Huskies advanced to take on Arkansas State (4-1) on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 2 p.m. The Lady Indians were 57-44 winners over Weber State in Friday's other Husky Classic first round game. Weber State (1-3) and Idaho (0-4) will meet in the consolation tilt Sunday at noon.
Bennett, who tallied career-highs in both points and rebounds coming off the bench, shared team-high scoring honors with freshman guard/forward Katelan Redmon who also added a career-high 18 points. Bennett was 5-of-7 from the field and 8-of-8 from the line with 14 of her 18 points coming in the second half. Redmon was 6-of-10 from the field including a 3-for-3 clip from beyond the arc.
Sophomore guard Sami Whitcomb (16 points) and junior forward Heidi McNeill (10 points) rounded out the four Husky players to finish in double-figure scoring. Senior point guard Emily Florence helped the rebounding efforts pulling down nine boards.
The Huskies used a strong start and a dominating presence on the glass to pick up their first home victory for first-year head coach Tia Jackson. UW built as much as a 19-point first half lead thanks to 12 points from Redmon and 11 from Whitcomb in the opening 20 minutes. The Huskies shot a scorching 52.2 percent from the field, while holding Idaho to 39.3 percent in the opening stanza.
Idaho ended up outscoring the Huskies in the second-half 34-31, but it wasn't enough for the Vandals to overcome Washington's strong first-half. UW's biggest lead was 23 points twice mid-way through the second-half.
'I thought we came out and executed our game plan defensively,' Jackson said following her first official game at Bank of America Arena. 'They weren't known to be a very good outside shooting team so we were giving them a bit of a cushion that played into our hands, creating 39 percent shooting for them in the first half. That was good for us. We've definitely got to do a better job of boxing out though. We're really hoping that we can see some carry over as we get ready for Arkansas State on Sunday.'
Washington finished the game with a commanding 46-29 advantage on the boards and made good use of its 15 offensive rebounds by scoring 18 second-chance points.
Three Idaho players finished in double-figure scoring with starting center Yinka Olorunnife and reserve forward Katie Schlotthauer contributing 12 points apiece. Forward Hannah Wells added 10 points for the Vandals.
The victory was the seventh-straight win in a home opener for the Huskies. UW improved to 28-6 in home openers.