UW Wins Basketball Travelers Husky Classic with 81-63 Victory Over Northern Iowa

Nov. 26, 2006

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SEATTLE - Led by senior forwards Breanne Watson and Jill Bell, Washington claimed the 2006 Basketball Travelers Husky Classic title with an 81-63 victory over Northern Iowa at Bank of America Arena, Sunday.

Watson, the tournament's MVP, scored a team-high 14 points to lead the Huskies, while Bell, named to the all-tournament team, notched her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The win was the third straight for Washington, which improved to 3-2 on the season. Northern Iowa, which picked up its first win in the first round of the tournament, fell to 1-4. UW claimed its 13th Husky Classic title and second-straight.

Joining Watson and Bell on the all-tournament team were UW senior guard Cameo Hicks, Tara King (Northern Iowa), Tyler McIlwraith (Saint Louis) and Amanda Jackson (Miami). Miami edged Saint Louis in the consolation game, 85-83.

Watson followed up her 16-point performance versus Saint Louis, Saturday, with another double-figure scoring game on 6-of-9 shooting. Bell came off the bench to lead the Huskies to a 46-32 rebounding advantage with her 10 boards, and also dished a team-high four assists. UW senior guard Cheri Craddock added a season-high 12 points from the bench as well.

The Huskies shot 46.6 percent from the field, while holding the Panthers to a 35.1 clip. UW made good use of its offensive rebounding prowess, recording 21 offensive boards compared to Northern Iowa's 12 and tallying 22 second-chance points.

Washington's top two scorers, Hicks and junior center Andrea Plouffe were held to a combined eight points - with all eight coming from Hicks. In the Huskies' previous game versus Saint Louis, Hicks contributed 21 and Plouffe a career-high 23 points.

Megan Keefe led the Panthers with a team-high 12 points.

'I think Northern Iowa is a tough team, well coached and very disciplined,' UW head coach June Daugherty said. 'They too have played a very tough preseason schedule and you could see it. They didn't fold by any stretch of the imagination. We didn't have our regular go-to players firing on all cylinders tonight like they were last night, with Hicks and Plouffe. But what is exciting is to see the rest of the team step up and play big like they did. I thought our bench was huge.'

Washington held as much as a 13-point lead with 1:56 left in the first half, but the Panthers came back to within five points, 33-26, by the intermission. UNI posted a 6-0 to close the half, with Lindsey Swanson contributing four of the six points.

The Huskies came out of the locker room and quickly reclaimed their double-digit lead with an 8-2 run to start the half. After that, the closest UNI would come was within seven and the Huskies held no less than a 10-point advantage through the last 10 minutes of the game. UW led by as many as 19 points with 50 seconds left.

Washington will head back out on the road this coming week, playing at Kent State (Nov. 30) and No. 6 Ohio State (Dec. 3).

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