10:00 PM ET, December 22, 2005
SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington hopes to get some recognition after beating one of the top teams in the country.
Cameo Hicks scored 23 points and the Huskies answered Stanford's 14-0 scoring run in the second half with one of their own to eventually upset the Cardinal (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today; No. 10 AP) 77-72 Thursday night.
When asked what this huge win over a team that has finished the last four seasons ranked in the Top 10 should tell the rest of the conference, if not the nation, senior guard Kayla Burt said: "That we're experienced. And we're hungry."
Brooke Smith scored a career-high 24 points for Stanford but missed a free throw with 9.8 seconds left that would have cut Washington's lead to 3. The Huskies' Andrea Plouffe then made two free throws to seal the win.
The game ended with Washington coach June Daugherty raising both arms skyward, the Huskies hopping joyously inside a midcourt huddle, and 3,530 fans roaring their approval. The stunned Cardinal players walked glumly off the floor behind them.
"I'm just so proud and happy," Daugherty said. "This is a great win."
Washington (9-2, 2-0 Pac-10) used Hicks' fourth 20-point game this season to win its 11th straight at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Its last home loss was Jan. 27 to Stanford, 82-60. The Huskies' only two losses this season have been on the road, against Texas A&M and defending national champion Baylor.
Stanford (6-3, 1-1), winner of the last five Pac-10 regular-season championships, had beaten Washington four straight times. The Cardinal also split its first two games of a conference-opening road trip last season -- yet ended up 32-3 and in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament.
But that Stanford team had five seniors. This team has only one, Krista Rappahahn, and relies upon the scoring of dynamic, slashing sophomore Candice Wiggins.
Thursday, Wiggins was on the bench with four fouls throughout Washington's decisive, 14-0 spurt midway through the second half. She finished with 13 points on 5-for-11 shooting in 16 minutes.
"This is the way it is going to be for us," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "I try to stay positive about this team, but we don't have a lot of room for error -- especially with Candice in foul trouble."
Washington finished seventh in the Pac-10 and was 14-16 overall last season, its first losing effort in five years. But those young Huskies won five of their last seven games, including a win at NCAA tournament-qualifier Arizona.
That set up the eye-raising start to this season -- punctuated by Thursday's eye-opening win.
"Just look out for Washington," Hicks said. "We've known we're one of the top contenders in the nation. This just lets everyone else know that."
The teams traded turnovers on successive possessions in the final 1:08 with Washington leading 72-70. Then Hicks tied up Stanford's Clare Bodensteiner to force a held ball and Stanford's 23rd turnover -- nine over its season average coming in -- with 29.1 seconds left.
Kristen O'Neill then made three of four free throws to prompt the Huskies' celebration.
Washington rallied from 11 down in the first half to take its first lead with 16:16 left on Hicks' full-court drive and layup.
However, Stanford answered immediately. The Cardinal scored the next 14 points to take its biggest lead of the game. Rappahahn, sixth in the nation in 3-point shooting at 52 percent entering the night, made her third and fourth 3-point baskets of the game during the spurt. She finished with 18 points on 6-for-12 shooting on 3s.
Washington went more than 3 minutes without scoring during Stanford's run and trailed 51-38. Yet the Huskies rallied again. Emily Florence scored five points and assisted on four more during Washington's 14-0 response. That forged its second lead, 55-53, on Hicks' basket with 7:44 left.