Defense Leads Huskies to 69-57 Win Over Nebraska

Dec. 6, 2000

SEATTLE, Wash.. - Senior guard Megan Franza was one of four Huskies in double-figures, finishing with 21 points as the Washington Huskies kicked off a seven-game homestand Wednesday night with a 69-57 win over the University of Nebraska in the fourth-annual Les Schwab Challenge.

The win, Washington's first-ever in the newly-remodeled Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, improved the Huskies to 4-2 on the season, while the loss dropped the Cornhuskers to 4-3. Monique Whitfield and K.C. Cowgill led Nebraska with 10 points each.

Just 7-for-26 shooting for the game, including a career-high tying 13 three-point attempts, Franza was at her best in the game's closing minutes, tallying nine points in a crucial 17-5 Husky run that snapped a 52-52 tie with 6:58 to go.

Washington's defense stifled the Cornhuskers, a 1999 NCAA Tournament participant, forcing 19 turnovers while limiting the visitors to just 31.8 percent shooting and taking a 53-46 rebounding advantage.

'Our defense was outstanding,' said fifth-year UW head coach June Daugherty. 'We owned the rebounding and played great defense, and those were our two goals coming in. Our front line did a super job.'

Two front-liners, sophomore Kellie O'Neill and freshman Andrea Lalum, finished with 10 points apiece, while freshman guard Giuliana Mendiola tallied her second straight career double-double, with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

'I am pretty excited to see my point guard (Mendiola) with 11 boards,' Daugherty said. 'That is a dream come true.'

The Huskies, who lost the only previous game at the Bank of America Arena to top-ranked Connecticut, now face six consecutive games at home, including a December 17 match-up with St. Mary's, and the annual Seattle Times Husky Classic on December 21-22.

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