Huskies Rebound In Cancun With Big 62-60 Win Over Florida State
Dec. 19, 2008
CANCUN, Mexico - Just over 24 hours after a lopsided loss to top-ranked Connecticut, Washington women's basketball responded with a big win of its own, taking down Florida State, 62-60, in the second round of the Caribbean Classic in Cancun, Mexico, Friday night.
The Huskies (4-4) didn't let a school-record loss get in their way just the previous day, using stifling defense to defeat a Seminole (9-3) team that is currently receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN/WBCA polls. It was just the third loss of the year for Florida State.
Washington came back from trailing nearly the entire first half and took the lead early in the second-half. Holding a single-digit lead for much of the final 20 minutes, the contest looked like it might have been in jeopardy late. UW had what seemed to be a comfortable six-point lead with a minute to go (62-60), but Husky junior forward Lydia Young fouled FSU's Mara Freshour on a made three-pointer. Freshour made the free-throw to complete the four-point play.
With 43 seconds on the clock, Washington turned the ball over on its next possession but then made the defensive stop it needed on Florida State. The Seminoles had 21.3 seconds on the clock and the ball, but UW pressured two missed shots at the end.
'We beat a very good team,' UW head coach Tia Jackson said following the game. 'Florida State's amazing in all positions...For us to really have a defensive focus like we did, to limit a lot of their looks, keep them under their average was huge for us. You know when the game is low in scoring it's in our favor. We were able to pull it off at the end and I'm very excited for the girls.'
For the second-straight game, reserve guard Sara Mosiman led the Huskies in scoring with a season-high 12 points. Junior forward/center Laura McLellan added 11 points despite getting in foul trouble. Mosiman also led the team in rebounding with four boards. Junior guard Christina Rozier added a spark off the bench as well with eight points, four assists, three steals and three rebounds.
Florida State had three players finish in double-figure scoring, led by 13 apiece from Jacinta Monroe and Alysha Harvin. Freshour added 11 points as well.
The Huskies forced Florida State to commit 26 turnovers and grabbed 11 steals. UW also forced the Seminoles' top post players and leading scorers - Monroe and Cierra Bravard - into foul trouble as the two ended up with three and four, respectively. The Huskies scored 23 points off turnovers and got good production from the bench, getting 31 points from their reserves.
After falling behind by 11 midway through the first-half (23-12), the Huskies chipped away at the Seminoles' lead sparked by Mosiman. UW went on a 8-0 run - including four-straight points from the Husky junior - to close with one (30-29) at the two-minute mark.
UW tied it twice in the last minute, on a three-pointer from Rozier and then a long jumper from Mosiman at the halftime buzzer to send the score knotted at 32 at the intermission.
Senior forward Heidi McNeill made the second of two free-throws to start the second-half, giving the Huskies their first lead of the game (35-34). After falling behind once more, UW responded with an 11-1 run to pad as much as a nine-point advantage with 12:04 remaining. Washington held on to its lead for the duration.
Florida State closed to within two points (58-56) with just over two minutes to go, but McLellan sank a pair of free-throws and Young hit a layin from Rozier to give UW back its six-point lead (62-56) with one minute on the clock.
It was then that Young fouled Freshour on the made three-pointer which was the fifth of the game for the Husky junior.
'Unfortunately she got the shot off before Lydia (Young) even got to her so with the momentum she had flying at her, she couldn't stop herself,' Jackson said. 'She understood the urgency so I can't get mad at her aggression, she reacted the way anyone would have. But for our kids to then really hone in on the defensive end of it because we ended up extending our pressure to just slow them down and take some time off the clock. By the time they thought they were going to get a shot, there were five seconds on the clock. Again, the girls' focus defensively was key for us.'
Washington will now have a day off to prepare for its final game of the Caribbean Classic versus Northern Colorado (4-6) on Sunday, Dec. 21, at 11 a.m. PT. Northern Colorado is 0-2 in the tournament thus far, with losses to Florida State (32-75) and Connecticut (40-85).