McLellan Helps Huskies Defeat UCLA, 59-49
Feb. 20, 2009
SEATTLE - Behind a game-high 16 points from junior forward Laura McLellan, Washington snapped its 12-game losing streak with a 59-49 victory over UCLA in Pac-10 women's basketball action at Bank of America Arena, Friday night.
It was the first victory for the Huskies (6-18, 2-12 Pac-10) since a Jan. 3 win over Washington State in its Pac-10 opener, breaking their longest losing skid in school history. UCLA (15-9, 6-7 Pac-10) which began the day tied for fourth place in the Pac-10 with USC, dropped to fifth place after the loss.
McLellan sparked Washington off the bench with her 11th double-figure scoring effort of the season. She was 6-of-8 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line. She also equaled a career-high with a team-high three assists.
It was the Huskies' defense that proved to be a deciding factor, allowing a season-low 49 points to the Bruins and holding UCLA to just a 29.8 percent clip from the field.
'It was crucial,' UW head coach Tia Jackson said with regards to the defensive tone her Huskies set early. 'We knew that we generally force 23 turnovers a game and wanted to be pretty much on that. We wanted to mix up our defenses and felt that we could confuse them, especially with Doreena Campbell out of the game...It benefitted us tonight.'
The Bruins were in fact without their leading scorer in Campbell who suffered an eye injury in practice on Wednesday. The Bruins did receive a double-double from guard Athonye Nyingifa with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while reserve guard Darxia Morris also added 13 points.
With the exception of the opening minutes of the game, the Huskies led the entire contest. UW led by as many as eight points twice in the opening stanza including the eight-point halftime lead (27-19).
Washington then built as much as a 14-point lead (41-27) at the 11:50 mark in the second-half, but was then held without a field goal for as many as five minutes while the Bruins closed to within five (50-45). But the Huskies responded with a 9-1 run, sparked by a layin through traffic from freshman center Mackenzie Argens, and UW led by as many as 13 (59-46) with 52 seconds left.
The Huskies also got help from junior guards Sami Whitcomb and Sara Mosiman who each pulled down a team-high six rebounds. Mosiman also added nine points and two steals while Whitcomb contributed six points and three steals. Freshman guard Kristi Kingma added eight points as well.
Washington shot 40.8 percent from the field, including a 47.4 clip in the second-half. UCLA ended up with the advantage on the boards, 39-30.
'I think we all believed we could do it,' Whitcomb said. 'But having it actually happen is huge for us. Now we can maybe go on a little run in these last five games and get a different kind of streak going. It will just give us a little more confidence.'
The Huskies will look to build on the win when it next hosts USC, Sunday, on Senior Day. The 2 p.m. contest will feature a special pre-game ceremony for seniors Michelle Augustavo and Heidi McNeill, along with senior student manager, McCall Hall. After Sunday's contest, Washington will play its final three games of the regular season on the road at Arizona State (Feb. 26), Arizona (Feb. 28) and Washington State (March 6).