Huskies Break Through Beavers' Defensive Dam in 82-56 Win

Jan. 25, 2003

SEATTLE - All-America candidate Giuliana Mendiola equaled a school-record with 13 assists Saturday and brought the crowd of 5,964 to its feet repeatedly with spectacular layins, leading Washington to an 82-56 win over Oregon State at Bank of America Arena.

Mendiola - the UW's season leader in points, rebounds and assists -tied the school record for assists set by Leteia Hughley in 1983 and later equaled by Katia Foucade in 1994. The junior point guard also added 13 points against the Beavers to tally her fourth double-double of the season.

Junior guard Leilani Estavan led all scorers for Oregon State (10-8, 4-5) with 24 points - including buzzer-beating shots at the end of each half - while Mendiola and senior forward Emily Autrey shared the UW team lead with 13.

'Giuliana played an amazing game,' said seventh-year head coach June Daugherty. 'She's the best player in the conference. Tell me who else in the country helps her team more - assists, scoring, rebounding, and on down the line. It's time we get the word out that we've got the best player in the Pac-10 playing right here in Seattle.'

Washington (15-3, 7-2) shredded an Oregon State defense which entered the game leading the Pac-10 with just over 55 points allowed per game. The Huskies did most of their damage from outside, draining three of its Pac-10 season-high 11 three-pointers in the first three minutes while taking a lead it would never relinquish.

The Huskies led by as many as 24 points in the first half while opening up a 43-21 lead at the intermission. Separate runs of 9-2, 10-0 and 7-0 sparked Washington's first-half output, as the Huskies outrebounded OSU, 25-11, before the break.

Oregon State closed the gap to 17 with a 12-0 run midway through the second half, but Mendiola sparked an 11-0 Husky run in response with four points and her record-tying 13th assist, as the Huskies extended their lead to a game-high 29 points in the final minute.

'That's the best rebounding effort I've seen by a team here in seven years,' Daugherty said. 'We played 40 minutes of tough, in-your-face basketball, and we're really excited about what we saw today on the floor.'

Washington celebrated its history before the game with the annual Alumni Game, and introduced the alumni present at halftime of the Pac-10 contest. Among those introduced was former UW guard Michelle Perkins, who was presented with a bouquet of flowers by former Husky Kayla Burt. Perkins was one of the paramedics who responded to Burt's sudden heart failure earlier this year, an ailment which forced Burt to end her UW career prematurely.

With their first home sweep of the Oregon schools since 1993 behind them, Washington will welcome in USC on Thursday at 7 p.m., and UCLA at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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