Husky Women Win N.C. State Tourney With 76-65 Win Over Houston

Dec. 7, 2002

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Washington women's basketball won its second tournament crown in as many weeks, taking home the GlaxoSmithKline Invitational title hosted by North Carolina State with a 76-65 win over Houston at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday night.

The Huskies (6-1) have now won five straight games and remain off to the second-best start ever under current head coach June Daugherty. Washington also won its own Seattle Times Husky Classic held Nov. 29-30. Houston falls to 4-3 overall with the loss. Host North Carolina State defeated Florida in the consolation game 81-77 prior to UW's game with Houston.

Washington was led by all-tournament team selections and All-America candidates, junior Giuliana Mendiola and senior Loree Payne. The pair joined junior Andrea Lalum scoring in double-figures vs. Houston.

Lalum had her ninth career double-double with team-highs in both points (20) and rebounds (10). Payne scored 17 points, including five three-pointers, to go along with five assists and four boards. Mendiola had 13 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Also named to the GlaxoSmithKline Invitational All-Tournament team were Shondra Bush (18 points vs. UW) from Houston, Kaayla Chones from N.C. State and Sarah Lowe from Florida. Houston's Chandi Jones, who had a game-high 29 points vs. Washington, was named tournament MVP.

UW and Houston stayed relatively close in scoring throughout a first half that saw nine lead changes. The teams were tied with just under seven minutes in the first frame until the Huskies went on a 10-4 run to take a 34-28 lead heading into the lockerroom.

'I thought the first half we were a little sloppy because they trapped us and we weren't really expecting it,' Giuliana Mendiola said of Houston's full court press on the Huskies. 'The second half we addressed it and did a lot better job passing the ball around and taking the drive when it was there.'

Washington did not relinquish its lead for the rest of the game, leading by nine points at least three times during the second frame. The Huskies shot 50 percent from the field (28-56), 45.8 percent from three-point range (11-24) and were 64.3 percent from the free-throw line.

Also having strong performances for UW were sophomore Kayla Burt with eight points, five assists and three rebounds. Senior Emily Autrey came off the bench to add nine points and six rebounds. UW outrebounded the Cougars 43-32, marking the fourth-straight game the Huskies have outrebounded an opponent.

'With regards to bench play, I believe Emily Autrey has played unbelievable the last four games in particular,' Daugherty said. 'I didn't care how tired she was, we had to keep her on the floor to break the press. Also, Gioconda Mendiola came in and really picked us up on both ends of the floor. And Kayla Burt, she broke that press, came down that left side and made great decisions because they were not going to let Giuli (Mendiola) get the ball. Our starters are doing terrific but our bench is producing in a big way.'

The Huskies, who return to Seattle to prepare for final exams, will not be in action again until two home games with San Francisco, Friday, Dec. 20 and with Iowa State, Sunday, Dec. 22.

Washington Women's Basketball vs. Houston
Dec. 7, 2002
GlaxoSmithKline Invitational - Championship Game
Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh, N.C.
Attendance: na

Points: WASH 76 (Lalum 20), UH 65 (Jones 29). Rebounds: WASH 43 (Lalum 10), UH 32 (Jones, Harris 6). Assists: WASH 20 (Burt, Payne 5), UH 12 (Oliver 5). Steals: WASH 6 (Six with one), UH 11 (Jones 3). Blocks: WASH 4 (Autrey 2), UH 2 (Bush, Jones 1). Turnovers: WASH 19 (Payne 4), UH 12 (Harris 4). Fouls: WASH 20 (Mendiola, Burt 4), UH 16 (Jones, Harris 4).
Fouled Out: WASH - none, Houston - none.
Technicals: None
Officials: Artie Bomengen, Bryan Brunette, Mike Utley

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