March 9, 2001
LOS ANGELES (AP) - After failing on the first attempt, Washington hopes to capture at least ashare of the Pac-10 title and an automatic NCAA tournament bid in its seasonfinale at UCLA on Saturday.
The 22nd-ranked Huskies (19-8, 12-6 Pac-10) finished with a dismal 8-22 marklast season, but will claim at least a share of this year's conference crownwith a win over the Bruins. They will clinch the title outright with a win andif Arizona State loses to Stanford on Saturday.
It would be Washington's third conference title and definitely its mostunexpected one, considering the team finished ninth in the Pac-10 last season.
The Huskies could miss out on the championship altogether if they lose toUCLA and Arizona State beats the Cardinal. If both the Huskies and Sun Devilslose, there would be a three-way tie for the conference title betweenWashington, ASU and Stanford.
Washington lost its first opportunity to clinch at least a share of thecrown Thursday, losing 88-76 to Southern California. Andrea Lalum scored 19points to pace the Huskies, who fell behind by 18 points early in the firsthalf and never recovered.
Despite that defeat, the Huskies have put themselves in position to notchtheir first 20-win season since 1994-95 by winning eight of their last 10games.
The Bruins (5-23, 4-13) are coming off a 93-61 win over Washington State atPauley Pavilion on Thursday. Sophomore forward Kristee Porter scored acareer-high 32 points to pace UCLA and junior guard Michelle Greco added 25,including the 1,000th of her collegiate career.
The Bruins, who have lost 10 of their last 12 games, will finish last in theconference regardless of Saturday's outcome.
UCLA lost 73-54 at Washington on Jan. 4 in the first meeting this season.