10:00 PM ET, January 26, 2006
SEATTLE (AP) -- The Washington Huskies didn't give up an offensive rebound to Arizona in the first half, shot a blistering 50 percent from 3-point range in the game and won in a breeze.After the Huskies' 91-73 victory over the Wildcats on Thursday night, 10-year Washington coach June Daugherty was ecstatic and talked about where she thinks her team is headed."I don't think we have ever been able to do that," Daugherty said of Washington's feat of shutting out the Wildcats in offensive rebounds in the first half. And the Huskies gave up only three offensive rebounds in the game, outrebounding Arizona 39-20.The Huskies face No. 19 Arizona State on Saturday in Seattle. Arizona State beat Washington 64-51 in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 29 and won at Washington State 75-65 on Thursday night.Asked if Washington deserved to be ranked in the Top 25 for the first time this season if it defeated Arizona State on Saturday, Daugherty said, "If we take care of business on Saturday, I'll be able to answer that question. I think it's going to be a great game. We've worked hard for it."Against Arizona, Kristen O'Neill scored a season-high 19 points, including 4-of-5 3-point shots, and the Huskies broke open a close game with a 16-0 run in the second half.O'Neill, a senior who comes off the bench, had a dozen of her points in the second half, when the Huskies (14-5, 7-3 Pac-10) broke away from a 44-42 lead with 3:20 gone to score 16 unanswered points. That gave them a 60-42 lead with 12:08 to go.Washington improved its record to 9-1 on its homecourt this season.With Washington ahead 60-48, O'Neill sank 3 3-pointers in a row for the Huskies and junior teammate Cheri Craddock added a 3-pointer to put them ahead 72-50 with 7:19 on the clock.That 3-point spurt by O'Neill and Craddock was a key to the game, Arizona coach Joan Bonvicini said."It just took the wind out of our sails," she said.But she said Washington's big rebounding advantage was the major factor in the Huskies' victory."Tonight, the Huskies did a great job on the boards," she said. "We didn't rebound and that's the beginning and end of the game."The Huskies had five players in double figures, with Craddock getting a career-high 16 points, including 4-for-6 from 3-point territory. Cameo Hicks, the team's leading scorer, had 11 points, as did Andrea Plouffe and Breanne Watson for the Huskies.Washington made 9-of-18 3-pointers.O'Neill's 4 3-pointers were a season high and tied her career high set three times previously."That was incredible," she said. "It's always fun to play like that at home."The Wildcats (7-13, 3-7) got 14 points from sophomore Ashley Whisonant.The Huskies led 38-30 at halftime, going on a 12-4 spurt in the final 4:18 as Craddock hit a pair of baskets. O'Neill sank a 3-pointer, Dominique Banks made a 3-point play and Jill Banks made an eight-footer with 37.2 seconds left for Washington.Washington beat Arizona for the third consecutive time. The Huskies prevailed in Tucson 66-54 on Dec. 31 in the teams' first meeting of the season.
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