Whitcomb Leads UW To Husky Classic Title

Nov. 25, 2007

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SEATTLE - Behind a game-high 19 points from tournament MVP Sami Whitcomb, Washington women's basketball defeated Arkansas State, 69-59, en route to winning its own Husky Classic at Bank of America Arena, Sunday.

Washington (3-4) won its third-straight Husky Classic title and 14th overall in the 21-year history of the tournament. The Huskies, who snapped the Lady Indians' (4-2) four-game winning streak, created a winning streak of their own with their first back-to-back victories of the young season.

Whitcomb led five Husky players in double-figures with her career-high 19-point scoring output. She sank five three-pointers and scored all but three of her points in the first-half. Senior point guard Emily Florence, who joined Whitcomb on the All-Tournament team, tallied 11 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.

'We really stuck to the game plan,' UW head coach Tia Jackson said. 'We knew that Arkansas State was going to be an aggressive, driving team so we wanted to limit that by going into our zone and playing a sagging man. We executed that to perfection. I loved the effort that the ladies put out there today.'

A 20-4 run to finish out the first half proved to be the deciding factor for the Huskies who after leading by as many as 21 points (53-32) with 13:09 left in the game, survived a late rally from Arkansas State to hold on for the victory. ASU used a 14-2 spurt to cut the Husky lead to six (55-49) with just over five minutes remaining, before freshman Katelan Redmon hit back-to-back buckets to hold ASU at bay and UW went 6-of-7 from the line down the stretch.

ASU guard Caroline Starr sparked the comeback for the Lady Indians, scoring all of her 17 points in the second-half including five three-pointers.

'Arkansas State is a good team,' Jackson said regarding the Lady Indians' second-half comeback. 'I don't think they were expecting us to do what we did. A credit to their coaching staff who made the adjustments. They started to attack us much more aggressively.'

Other Huskies to reach double-digits in scoring were Redmon (11), sophomore forward/center Laura McLellan (10) and sophomore guard Sara Mosiman (10). McLellan also grabbed nine rebounds and blocked two shots.

Starr was joined in double-figure scoring by fellow guard Angie Criner who added 12 points. Criner earned a nod to the All-Tournament Team, as did Idaho's Hannah Wells, Weber State's Sara Tuomi.

Weber State claimed the tournament's third-place trophy with a 56-48 win over Idaho in the consolation contest.

The Huskies will have exactly one week off before continuing its current four-game homestand hosting UC Irvine, Sunday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m. UW concludes the stint entertaining Pepperdine, Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m.

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