Huskies Win Third Straight, Down Arizona 60-58
Feb. 21, 2008
TUCSON, Ariz. - Washington hung on for yet another close victory as the Huskies escaped the McKale Center in Tucson with a 60-58 win over Arizona in Pac-10 women's basketball action, Thursday night.
The Huskies (12-15, 7-8 Pac-10) won their third-straight but it wasn't easy. After opening the second-half with a 19-4 run to lead by 15 (47-32) with 12:25 left in the game, the Wildcats (9-17, 3-12 Pac-10) chipped away with their own 11-2 run and then battled back to trail by just three points with 1:15 remaining.
Senior center Andrea Plouffe made a nice baseline move for a layin with 52 seconds to give the Huskies a five-point cushion (59-54). After teams traded free-throws, Arizona's Rheya Neabors hit a big three-pointer with 19 seconds on the clock to close within two points, 58-60. On the Huskies' next possession, Arizona reserve Ashley Gilpin fouled Sami Whitcomb but Whitcomb missed both attempts from the charity stripe.
The Huskies' stifling defense then prevented Arizona's leading scorer - senior point guard Ashley Whisonant who ended with a game-high 23 points - from getting a final a shot off before the buzzer.
The win completed the season sweep by Washington over Arizona, and was the sixth-straight win for the Huskies over the Wildcats in the series. UW's current three-game winning streak, which began at home with a sweep of the Oregon schools last week, equals its longest of the season. The victory was also Washington's second road win of the year.
Four Huskies finished in double-figure scoring led by 11 points apiece from freshman guard/forward Katelan Redmon and Whitcomb. Plouffe had her fourth-straight double-figure scoring effort with 10 points to go along with six rebounds. Sophomore forward/center Laura McLellan also contributed 10 points including eight in the second-half. Freshman center Kali Bennett pulled down a team-high seven rebounds before fouling out with 7:40 left in the game.
Joining Whisonant in double-figures for Arizona was Neabors with 10 points, while forward Ify Ibekwe had nine points and a game-high nine rebounds.
After both teams went into the locker room tied up at 28, the Huskies came out with a 19-4 run led by six points from Redmon and four points each from Plouffe and Bennett.
The first-half saw seven lead changes and five ties including the 28-28 halftime score. Five of the Huskies' 10 first-half field goals came from long-range including three from Whitcomb and one each from Redmon and Plouffe. The Huskies' largest first-half lead was a six-point spread with 5:53 until the intermission. Arizona's biggest lead was two twice.
The Huskies will wrap up their final regular season road trip facing Arizona State, Sunday, Feb. 24, at 11:30 a.m. PT at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. The contest will be televised live on FSN with Jim Watson and Mary Murphy calling the action.