March 8, 2001
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Washington can clinch a share of its first Pac-10 title since 1990, and complete the greatest turnaround in the conference's 15-year history when it visits Southern California on Thursday.
The Huskies (19-7, 12-5) finished ninth in the Pac-10 last year, but need a win against the Women of Troy, or in their season finale at UCLA on Saturday, coupled with a loss by Arizona in either of its final two contests to clinch the conference title outright.
Regardless of what the Wildcats do, Washington can clinch a share of the conference crown by beating USC (11-15, 6-10). Two Washington victories would also give the Huskies outright possession of the Pac-10 championship.
It would be the Huskies' third conference title and certainly its most surprising after a dismal 8-22 mark last season, which included a 4-12 record in its first 16 conference games.
Megan Franza scored 14 points and buried her school-record 193rd career 3-pointer as the Huskies took over sole possession of first place in the conference with Saturday's 80-64 triumph over Washington State.
Washington has won three in a row and eight of nine.
"This (Pac-10) race has been unbelievable all year," Washington coach Jane Daugherty said. "It has been crazy, wacky, wild. We are going to control what we can control and hopefully stay healthy and keep taking it one day at a time and one game at a time. It has worked so far and we are not going to change our M.O."
Crazy, wacky and wild would also be an apt description for the last meeting between the Huskies and Women of Troy on Jan. 7.
Franza scored six of her 18 points in the third overtime when Washington finally pulled away for a 91-79 triumph over USC.
It was the first triple-overtime game in Huskies history and the second for the Women of Troy, who also went three overtimes at Long Beach State on March 1, 1982.
Washington can also complete its first 20-win campaign since 1994-95.
The Huskies lead the all-time series, 17-12.