UW Women Edged By Northern Colorado, 65-63
Dec. 21, 2008
CANCUN, Mexico - Junior forward/center Laura McLellan scored a career-high 22 points, but Washington women's basketball lost hold of a 12-point second-half lead and was edged by Northern Colorado, 65-63, in the finale of the Caribbean Classic at the Moon Palace Resort, Sunday afternoon.
The Huskies (4-5) led by six at halftime and by as many as 12 points five minutes into the second-half. Washington was up five (60-55) with 3:53 to play, only to have the Bears mount an 8-0 run, giving them a 63-60 advantage. UW senior guard Michelle Augustavo hit a long three-pointer to tie the game at 63 with 30 seconds on the clock.
Then on Northern Colorado's (5-6) final possession, the Huskies nearly forced a turnover but the Bears picked up the loose ball and senior forward Jamie Schroeder drove through traffic to lay in the winning basket with 4.3 seconds left. On UW's ensuing possession, sophomore guard Sarah Morton dribbled up court but was called with a dribbling violation as time expired.
'I think when it was crunch time we got outworked,' UW head coach Tia Jackson said. 'Northern Colorado made a pretty tough basket at the end there and it was a careless turnover at the end on our part. But it's never about one possession. We had several breakdowns defensively that should not have occurred.'
McLellan was Washington's bright spot, shooting 8-of-19 from the field and going 6-for-6 from the line. Her 22 points were the most scored by a Husky this season. Augustavo added 12 points on four three-pointers and junior guard Sami Whitcomb pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
Schroeder scored a team-high 21 points for Northern Colorado, including 11 in the second-half and the Bears' final four points of the contest. Kaisha Brown (12 points) and Courtney Kranz (10) rounded out the top three UNC scorers.
Northern Colorado hit 11 three-pointers, including nine in the first-half alone, and shot 44 percent from long range. Washington finished with a 26-20 scoring advantage in the paint and won the battle on the boards, 36-28, but committed 20 turnovers. The Huskies shot 42 percent from the field including a 57.1 clip in the opening half. UNC shot 43.1 from the field, but made the most of its 11 made baskets from long range.
Washington trailed for the first 10 minutes of the game, but strung together an 11-0 run to take control and didn't relinquish its lead until the final two minutes. McLellan scored 14 of her 22 points in the opening frame, but junior guard Sara Mosiman suffered a sprained ankle mid-way through the first half and did not return. Mosiman had been UW's leading scorer in its previous two contests of the tournament.
Washington culminated the 2008 Caribbean Classic with a 1-2 record, falling to top-ranked Connecticut (51-109) on Thursday, but bouncing back to defeat Florida State (62-60) on Friday.
The Huskies will now return to Seattle and after breaking for the Christmas holiday, will wrap non-conference action hosting 23rd-ranked Kansas State on Tuesday, Dec. 30, at Bank of America Arena. The game will tip-off at 5 p.m. PT and is the first of a doubleheader with the Husky men's team. The contest will be televised live on FSN Northwest.