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Huskies Drop Final Non-Conference Game
Release: 01/02/2000
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Jan. 2, 2000

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SEATTLE - The Florida International womens basketball team finished the game with a 14-0 run and handed Washington its third straight loss, as the Golden Panthers defeated the Huskies, 82-68, in front of 1,443 fans at Mercer Arena for the Les Schwab Challenge.

Washington finished the non-conference portion of its schedule with a record of 4-8. The Huskies open Pacific-10 Conference play on the road, at UCLA Jan. 7 and at USC Jan. 9.The Golden Panthers improve to 4-5.

Megan Franza and Loree Payne led the Huskies in scoring with 19 points each. Payne had 15 of her points in the second half as the Huskies rebounded from a cold first half shooting (32.3) to hit 57.1 percent in the second half and finish at 44.1 percent from the field for the game. Melissa Erickson also reached double figures with 10 points and Heather Reichmann added a career-high 11 rebounds. FIU had four players in double figure scoring, led by Viktoria Nagy with 23.

The Huskies had their biggest lead of the first half, 13-6, after a running scoop shot by Franza at the 12:22 mark. Franza would be the only Husky to score from 14:43 down to 4:10 remaining in the first half. Florida International hit two free throws at 10:15 to take a 14-13 lead. Gergana Slavtcheva hit two three pointers down the stretch and the Golden Panthers led 30-23 at the break.

Washington tied the game three times in the second half, but never regained the lead. Payne hit three straight field goals to cut the lead to four, 39-33, with 14:43 to go. Washington used a 6-0 run, fueled by driving layin from Franza, to tie it at 56 with 6:04 remaining. It went back and forth after that, with the Huskies tying the game at 66 and 68 points but never taking the lead. That was it though as the Panthers sank 10-of-10 free throws in their 14-0 run to end the game.

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