Dec. 20, 2005
SEATTLE - Led by 16 points from junior Cameo Hicks and a double-double 10 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore Andrea Plouffe, Washington outlasted Cal, 62-55, in the Pac-10 Conference opener for both teams at Bank of America Arena.
Washington (8-2) continued a number of impressive streaks, winning for the 10th-straight time at home, and for the 11th-straight time vs. Cal (7-3). Washington is 13-4 in its last 17 games dating back to last season, including 6-3 against Pac-10 opponents.
Guard Alexis Gray-Lawson and center Devanei Hampton combined for 41 points for the Golden Bears, whose streaks of four-straight wins and eight straight vs. unranked opponents were snapped. Gray-Lawson scored 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting, while Hampton added 20.
"It's great to start out the [Pac-10] season with a win," said 10th-year head coach June Daugherty. "Everybody knows that the Pac-10 is going to be an amazing race. Now we have to get ready for the Stanford game."
Playing its first game in eight days, Washington came out of the gate slowly, committing three turnovers in the first two minutes, and 17 in the opening half - just one shy of its season per-game average. Those turnovers limited the impact of Washington's swarming defense, which forced Cal into 15 first-half turnovers of its own, and held the Golden Bears without a field goal for more than 11 minutes during one first-half stretch.
Cal's defense was particularly effective against Hicks, who entered the game ranked sixth in the Pac-10 at 16 points per game. After hitting her third basket to give UW a 23-12 lead - its largest of the game - with 6:36 to play in the first half, the sophomore guard was held without a point for more than 20 minutes, as the Golden Bears mounted a 24-15 run to close within two, at 38-36, with 11:02 to play.
Five minutes later, with Washington leading 45-42, Hicks came out of her slump with a long three-pointer, extending UW's lead to six. Cal would never close within three again.
Hicks followed up her three-pointer with a layin three minutes later, then added four free throws - including two after a technical foul on Cal's Jene Morris - to pad the UW lead in the closing minutes.
"I don't think there was a time when we thought the game was getting out of control," Hicks said of Cal's second-half run. "I think we did a great job of staying poised, especially down the stretch."
Washington outrebounded Cal by a 48-29 margin, and forced the Bears into 24 turnovers, while committing 27 of its own.
Washington hosts 11th-ranked Stanford on Thursday at 7 p.m., before traveling to the desert for games against Arizona State (Dec. 29) and Arizona (Dec. 31). Both Arizona games will be televised live on Fox Sports Net Northwest.