Huskies Topple No. 14 Minnesota in OT Thriller

Nov. 16, 2004

SEATTLE - Junior Jill Bell and sophomore Cameo Hicks accounted for 10 of Washington's 14 points in overtime Monday, leading the Huskies to a 72-67 overtime win over 14th-ranked Minnesota in the final game of the WBCA BTI Classic in Seattle.

The win was the first for Washington over a ranked non-conference opponent in more than three years, since an 84-67 Sweet 16 victory over No. 7 Oklahoma in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, and improved the team to 2-0 for just the third time in head coach June Daugherty's nine years at Washington.

'A lot of people stepped up today,' Daugherty said after the game. 'When this team plays hard, with their athleticism, let's see who can stand toe-to-toe with us for 40 minutes.'

Hicks led Washington with 14 points, while tournament MVP Breanne Watson added 11 and junior Kristen O'Neill scored 10. All-tournament team selections Jamie Broback and Shannon Schonrock led Minnesota (1-1, 0-0) with 18 and 12 points, respectively, while Liz Podominick added 10. UNLV's Sheena Moore, South Carolina's Lauren Simms and Washington junior Kayla Burt also garnered all-tournament team selections.

After having overcome deficits of 10 points in the first half, and a five points with just 4:47 to play, the Huskies took the lead with the first basket of overtime and never let it go, with Bell accounting for six of her eight total points in the extra frame.

The Huskies' 17 turnovers and 36.8 percent shooting kept the Gophers in the game despite 28 turnovers, including 12 during a key second-half surge. Tied at 40 with 11 minutes to play, Hicks drove to the basket on consecutive possessions, scoring six of her team-high 14 points on a pair of bucket-plus-one three-point plays that gave Washington its largest lead of regulation

The Gophers, however, showed the mettle which drove them to the NCAA Final Four in 2004, reeling off nine consecutive points over the next 3:12 to wrest the lead back. The two teams exchanged punches for the remainder of the half, with Minnesota increasing its advantage to 53-48, Washington responding with three-pointers from freshman Emily Florence and Kristen O'Neill to retake the lead, and Shannon Schonrock answering with a three for Minnesota, all within a hectic five-minute span.

It was the last lead Minnesota would have, however, as Watson tied the game with a pair of free throws at the 1:12 mark, and Bell put the Huskies ahead for good just 17 seconds into the overtime.

'We really wanted to win it in [regulation], but when we got into overtime, we said, `This is real, let's get this done right now,'' said Watson, who totaled 23 points and 10 rebounds in the tournament's two games. 'We got fired up and things started rolling.'

The Huskies return to action Monday at Michigan, before celebrating the Thanksgiving weekend with the 18th-Annual Seattle Times Husky Classic at Bank of America Arena, Nov. 26-27.