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Husky Women Win First Round At Wahine Classic
Release: 11/26/1999
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Nov. 26, 1999

HONOLULU -- The Washington women's basketball team used balanced scoring and a strong defensive effort to win, 64-50, over the University of Portland in its first round game at the Wahine Rainbow Classic.

Washington evens its record at 2-2 overall and improves its series record against the Pilots to 8-0. Portland drops to 2-2 on the season.

The Huskies face Hawaii in their second round game Saturday at 1:20 p.m. HST (3:20 PST). The Wahine (2-2) defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 77-66, in their first game.

Washington put nine players in the scoring column, led by a 20-point effort from junior Megan Franza. Loree Payne also reached double figures, with 14 points. Balanced rebounding also keyed the Husky victory, as freshman Emily Autrey had a team-high six boards and five other players added five rebounds each. As a team, Washington outrebounded Portland, 47-44.

Sarah Green, Portland's 6-3 center, was the leading scorer for the Pilots, with 19 points, but she could manage just 3-of-15 attempts from the free throw line.

Payne jumped started Washington when she scored six of the Huskies first eight points, hitting a three pointer and three free throws in the opening minutes. Fellow freshman Kellie O'Neill added five more on a jumper and three free throws to put UW up, 15-9, midway through the first period. Then Franza got going, scoring seven straight points and Payne hit her second three pointer to cap a 14-3 Husky run, extending the lead to 30-14 with 3:03 to go. Payne and Franza closed the half with 11 points each and Washington, which led by as many as 19, took a 34-19 advantage the break.

Portland opened the second half with a 7-2 run to cut it to an 11 point gap in the first three minutes. Trisha Felts added a jumper and two free throws and Washington's lead was into single digits, 41-34, with 14:17 remaining. A pair of Franza three pointers, with a short jumper by Melissa Erickson in between, put the Huskies back on top, 49-34. The Pilots used a short 5-0 run to pull within 10 with 2:17 remainging, but Franza answered with her fourth trey of the game to seal the victory.

"We took a tremendous step as a team," said UW coach June Daugherty. "We still need to be more poised at the end of the game. Our post players were way more aggressive and physical . Everyone did the dirty work and hustled around the court. Sarah Duncan gave us unbelievable minutes today. Emily Autrey was very, very strong, banging around down there."

"This is a team game and that's how we need to play to win this year," added Jill Pimley, who came off the bench at point guard and hit 4-of-6 free throws down the stretch. "It's posts, guards, the point guard, everyone. When Julia (Gray) plays the way she did today, Im proud to come off the bench and relieve her. Sarah (Duncan) got in there and took a charge. We just have to make sure we do that for 40 minutes. We need to keep our poise the whole game. We cant rely on Megan and Loree the whole time, like we sometimes did last year with Amber (Hall) and Jamie (Redd). That can always backfire."

The game continued an ongoing series between the Northwest neighbors. The Huskies and Pilots met in first round action of the WNIT last season, with UW grabbing a 67-63 win, back in Seattle March 12. After travelijng all the way to Hawaii to play, the teams could potentially meet again as Portland plays in The Seattle Times Husky Classic, Dec. 18-19.

In earlier first round action at the Wahine Classic, Texas defeated Long Beach State, 74-55, and Virginia defeated Grambling, 100-79. {30

Rainbow Wahine Classic

First Round

Washington 64 (2-2)
Portland   50 (2-2)

FG: UW 20-63 (.317), UP 18-59 (.305) 3FG: UW 7-17 (.412), UP 1-14 (.071) FT: UW 17-23 (.739), UP 13-29 (.448)

Rebounds: UW 47 (Autrey 6), UP 44 Assists: UW 14 (Gray 5), UP 12 Turnovers: UW 13 (Gray, ONeill 3), UP 17

Blocks: UW 3, UP 6 Steals: UW 8 (Payne 3), UP 7

Halftime: UW 34, UP 19

UW Scoring: Gray 1-6 1-2 3, M. Erickson 3-9 0-0 6, Duncan 1-4 0-0 2, Franza 8-16 0-0 20, Payne 3-13 5-6 14, Autrey 0-3 2-3 2, ONeill 2-6 3-4 7, Diggins 0-2 0-0 0, Pimley 0-1 4-6 4, Reichmann 2-3 2-2 6.

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