Huskies Lose Overtime Heartbreaker to Colorado

Dec. 21, 2004

SEATTLE - Veronica Johns-Richardson scored 17 points, including four in overtime, to lead Colorado to a 76-74 win over Washington before 2,436 fans at Bank of America Arena.

It took a heroic effort from Washington (4-6) just to force overtime, after trailing by seven points, at 66-59, with just over a minute to play in regulation. Freshman guard Dominique Banks - who scored a career-high 19 points in 25 minutes off the bench - started the Husky rally with her seventh basket of the night, a jumper in the lane that cut the lead to five. Just nine seconds later it was Banks again, this time finding junior guard Kayla Burt for a three-pointer to make it a two-point game.

Both teams proceeded to miss numerous chances to add to their totals from the line, each missing three free throws in the final 50 seconds of play. After Johns-Richardson split a pair of free throws to put the Buffs up 67-65 with 16 seconds remaining, Banks brought the ball up the floor before kicking out to Castro for an 18-footer that rimmed out. The rebound, however, fell into the hands of Jill Bell, who knocked down a nine-footer in the lane to send the game to overtime.

The two teams traded the lead for the first four minutes of the overtime period, before Johns-Richarson again put Colorado up two, this time at 74-72 with 22 seconds to play. Washington junior Kayla Burt slashed through the lane for a layin to tie it with just nine ticks left, but the Buffaloes whipped the ball up the floor to Jackie McFarland, who cut left-to-right along the baseline behind the Husky defense for a layin of her own with 1.9 seconds to play.

A long inbounds pass set up Banks for a potential game-winner, but the freshman's 30-footer struck the front rim and fell to the floor as time expired.

'I was really proud of the team,' said ninth-year head coach June Daugherty. 'We were down seven and able to get back and force overtime. I thought we had the momentum and the kids showed a lot of toughness tonight. I'm sorry for them that they didn't get the 'W'. To lose that way in overtime was a tough thing.'

The loss was the fifth in six games for the Huskies, who will enter Pac-10 Conference play with a losing record for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. Colorado, meanwhile, won its third straight to improve to 5-4 on the year.

Washington opened a nine-point lead late in the first half, and did not trail for the first 29 29 minutes of the game. The Huskies' fifth different starting lineup of the season did not include Banks, whose 19 points, six rebounds and four assists were all career-highs. Bell also added a career-high 14 points while Burt scored nine.

Poor shooting, however, doomed the Huskies in the second half. As Washington struggled to find its stroke from the field, shooting just 37 percent in the period, Colorado went on fire, draining 70 percent of its baskets to turn a seven-point halftime deficit into a seven-point lead with a minute to play, before the Huskies' last-minute heroics sent the game to overtime.

The non-conference season behind them, Washington turns its attention to its Pac-10 opener Monday, Dec. 27 vs. Arizona at Bank of America Arena.

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