Mendiola's Homecoming Sparks Huskies to 69-63 win at USC

Feb. 1, 2002

Los Angeles, Calif. - Sophomore guard Giuliana Mendiola made the most of her homecoming as she scored 20 second half points and led the Washington women's basketball team to a 69-63 victory over Southern California in front of 814 fans in Pac-10 action at the Sports Arena.

Washington, which completed a season sweep of the Trojans, improves to 12-8 overall and 7-4 in the Pac-10. USC drops to 11-10, 7-5.

Mendiola's career effort came in the second half, when she rallied the Huskies from a two-point halftime deficit to score 20 of her 22 points en route to the victory. She hit 9-of-11 from the field and passed out six assists, with two steals and only two turnovers in 33 minutes of play. The 22 points equals her career-high reached last year at California and again in the season-opener at Montana State this year.

Ebony Hoffman led the Trojans with 19 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while Aisha Hollans added 14 points and Rachel Woodward had 10.

USC opened the game by jumping to a quick 7-2 lead early. Washington took its first lead of the game midway through the first half when a Kayla Burt shot made it 17-16 at 11:44. The Huskies then went on a 12-4 run to move ahead by seven, 27-20, at 6:10.

USC used a 13-4 run to close the half, taking a 33-31 lead at the break, and then started quickly in the second, moving its lead back up to five, 39-34, before Washington called a timeout in the opening minutes.

The call was effective as sophomore Andrea Lalum rattled off three consecutive baskets to put the Huskies back on top, 44-43, with 12:34 to go in the game. It was all Washington after that as Mendiola scored 12 of the Huskies' next 16 points to put UW up by eight, 62-54, with 3:17 remaining. She capped the run with an acrobatic flip of the ball from her back with one second remaining on the shot clock as she tumbled to the court.

Washington led by 10 points, 66-56, after a Kellie O'Neill basket with 2:02 to go. USC responded with back-to-back three pointers to cut it to four, 67-63, in the final minute but the Huskies hit three free throws down the stretch to close the game.

Washington kicks off Super Bowl Sunday with its next game, at 11 a.m. Feb. 3 at UCLA. The game will be televised live to a national audience on Fox Sports Net television. The Bruins are coming off a 79-55 victory over Washington State Friday night.

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