Hicks paces Washington past No. 20 Utah

SEATTLE (AP) -- Cameo Hicks was surprised she had 14 rebounds,
but she wasn't surprised the Washington Huskies had another victory
and this time against a ranked opponent.

"We know now we can play with anyone," the 5-foot-10 junior
guard said Wednesday night after getting 21 points and a
career-high 14 rebounds in the Huskies' 63-56 victory over Utah (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 23 AP).

"We're really excited about this," Hicks said.

The Huskies (3-0) overcame a 21-point performance by the Utes'
Kim Smith. Smith scored 12 points in the final 8:32, fouling out
with 24.7 seconds left and Washington ahead 62-55.

Hicks shot 7-for-16, including 2-for-5 from 3-point range, and
was three points shy of her career high of 24 points, set in a loss
to Notre Dame last season. Smith was 7-for-16.

Hicks said she intends to have a much better season than her
sophomore year, when she averaged 9.5 points. In her first three
games this season, she's averaging 18.3 points.

"The biggest improvement I think I've made has been my
conditioning," said Hicks, who said she worked hard during the
summer, lifting weights to get ready for this season.

Her previous career rebound mark was 11, set last season against
Oregon State.

The Huskies said they were stung when they were picked to finish
seventh in the Pac-10 preseason coaches poll, Hicks said.

"I think they're changing their minds now," she said.

Washington coach June Daugherty agreed. "I told everybody that
on media day," Daugherty said.

Senior guard Kristen O'Neill said the Huskies' fast start isn't
a fluke.

"We do have a lot more experience," she said.

Washington withstood a late rally by Utah (1-1) after the
Huskies went ahead by 13 points -- at 48-35 -- on a 3-pointer by

The Utes cut their deficit to six points at 56-50 on a 3-pointer
by Heidi Carlsen with 1:39 on the clock and to six again at 61-55
on another Carlsen 3-pointer with 37.8 seconds left.

Washington used 10 players and all of them scored, with Hicks
playing a team-high 33 minutes.

Washington led 27-24 at halftime, getting 13 points on 5-for-9
shooting from Hicks in the first half. The Huskies led 15-6 with
10:24 to go in the opening half after a 3-pointer by O'Neill and
22-14 with 4:51 left on a 3-pointer by Hicks.

Washington won on a night when the Huskies had a 54-38
rebounding advantage, but shot just 34 percent (23-for-67). The
Utes shot 33 percent (21-for-63).

The Huskies opened the season with close road wins over Alabama
and Florida State last weekend. They were 14-16 last season,
including an eight-point loss at Utah last December.

Utah coach Elaine Elliott said Washington's 25-17 edge in
offensive rebounds was a key in the game.

"We couldn't contain them," she said. "They just out-toughed

Elliott said she didn't expect to see her team ranked again

"You won't see us again," she said.