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Huskies Nip Cougars By One
Release: 02/06/2000
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Feb. 6, 2000

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SEATTLE, Wash. -- Sophomore point guard Julia Gray sank a free throw to put Washington ahead by one point with 1:44 remaining and the Huskies held on to win, 56-55, over Washington State in front of 2,935 fans in Pac-10 action at Mercer Arena.

The Huskies, who have won two of their last three, improve to 7-14 overall and 3-6 in the Pac-10. The Cougars drop to 4-15, 1-8.

Megan Franza, the leading scorer in the Pac-10, had a team-high 13 points, followed by LeAnn Sheets with 11. Freshman Loree Payne, the second leading scorer in the Pac-10, was held to single digit scoring for the first time in her career, with eight points. The Cougars had three players in double figures, led by Alke Dietel with 22, Yvonne Volkman with 15 and Kelley Berglund with 10.

The Cougars jumped out early, holding UW without a field goal until 14:41 and led 21-4 with 9:57 to go in the first half. After falling behind 32-14 with 3:49 to go, the Huskies ended the half on a 13-2 run, scoring 11 of those 13 points off Cougar turnovers. Franza led the Huskies with eight points during the run. Still, the Cougars led 34-27 at the break.

A Payne three pointer at 15:55 pulled the Huskies within two, 40-38, but a pair of baskets by Volkman put the Cougars back up by six. UW's Melissa Erickson then hit back-to-back baskets for her first points of the game, and Emily Autrey followed with a pair of free throws to even the score at 44 at the 12:20 mark. It was Erickson who tied it up two more times after that, the most recent at 48 all with 7:52 remaining. Sheets gave the Huskies their first lead of the game, 53-52 at 4:11, when she picked up a rebound and put it back in.

With 2:19 to go, Autrey fouled Dietel, who went to the line and made all three shots to tie it back up at 55. Then Gray went to the line, missed her first foul shot but sank the game winner at 1:44 to end the scoring. WSU called timeout with 5.8 seconds on the clock and tried to set up a shot but it was no good.

Washington plays at Arizona Thursday, Feb. 10 and at Arizona State, Saturday, Feb. 12. The ASU game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net at 2 p.m. MST (1 p.m. PST).

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