Emotional Huskies Improve to 11-2 With 69-56 Win Over ASU

Jan. 9, 2003

SEATTLE, Wash. - An emotional University of Washington women's basketball team rolled Thursday to a 69-56 win over visiting Arizona State in its Pac-10 home opener. The win improved Washington to 11-2 overall, the team's best start since opening the 1989-90 season 12-1.

The 4,017 in attendance gave a standing ovation to Husky sophomore Kayla Burt, who was introduced as an honorary starter prior to the contest. Burt was forced to retire from basketball earlier in the week due to a heart condition.

'I was trying not to yell too loud, but it was amazing to be back on the bench again,' said Burt, whose life was spared on New Year's Eve after teammates performed CPR to help restart her heart, which had stopped suddenly. 'It was definitely different to be sitting with the coaches. I can't say enough about how hard the girls played, and how tough they were. It was inspiring for me to be able to be a part of it.'

The Huskies, now 3-1 in Pac-10 play, were led by All-America candidate Giuliana Mendiola, who finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, all game highs.

Mendiola had a hand in each of Washington's first 14 points, hitting three field goals, assisting on two others, and adding four free throws as the Huskies opened a 14-5 lead over the first 7:40. She also added seven of Washington's nine points in a 9-0 run to close the half, helping Washington to a 33-14 advantage at the break. Mendiola finished the half with 17 points - three more than ASU - while her six field goals equaled the output by the entire Sun Devil team, which shot just 6 for 29 (.207) before the break.

The junior, who turned 21 on Thursday, was serenaded by friends and family to strains of 'Happy Birthday' as she left the court for the final time in the second half.

The Huskies' defense was outstanding throughout, limiting ASU freshman Jill Noe, the Pac-10's sixth-highest scorer, to just five points on 1 of 8 shooting, and holding the Sun Devils to just 2 for 11 shooting (.182) from beyond the three-point line.

'We knew that, given the circumstances, this was going to be a very emotional evening, but our team came out and played tonight with a lot of fire and heart,' said seventh-year head coach June Daugherty. 'Obviously, everyone knows who we're playing for. Having Kayla on the bench was pretty special.'

Washington will look for its third-straight win in conference play when it hosts No. 18 Arizona (10-3, 4-1) at 8 p.m. Saturday, in a game to be televised live from Bank of America Arena by Fox Sports Northwest.

Washington Women's Basketball vs. Arizona State
Jan. 9, 2003
Bank of America Arena, Seattle, Wash.

Points: WASH 69 (Giu. Mendiola 22), ASU 56 (Denson 18). Rebounds: WASH 37 (Giu. Mendiola 10), ASU 42 (Kovesdy 10). Assists: WASH 20 (Giu. Mendiola), ASU 11 (Kovesdy, Noe, Buckner, Young 2). Steals: WASH 6 (O'Neill 2), ASU 11 (Kovesdy 4). Blocks: WASH 2 (Giu. Mendiola, Keeler), ASU 2 (Buckner, Stagg). Turnovers: WASH 17 (Giu. Mendiola 4), ASU 19 (Denson 5). Fouls: WASH 18 (O'Neill, Keeler 4), ASU19 (Luney, Noe 4).
Fouled Out: WASH - none, ASU - none.
Technicals: WASH - none. ASU - none.
Officials: Bob Scofield, Jeneane Pence, Jay Schuaker.

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