Laying the smack down

  • John Sleeper / Herald Writer
  • Friday, February 27, 2004 9:00pm
  • Sports

SEATTLE – Washington senior guard Giocanda Mendiola has been suspended from today’s game against Arizona, the last regular-season home game of her collegiate career.

Huskies coach June Daugherty announced Friday that she was suspending Mendiola for a slapping incident following Washington’s 63-55 victory over Arizona State on Thursday night.

“It’s unfortunate, but there is absolutely no place for unsportsmanlike behavior on or off the court,” Daugherty said.

Daugherty said she talked to eyewitnesses who said they saw Mendiola slap ASU guard Kylan Loney’s face in the post-game, congratulatory high-fives. Coaches and teammates from both teams separated the two following the incident.

Washington’s game with Arizona is the Huskies’ final regular-season contest. Mendiola will be able to play in the Pacific-10 Conference Tournament March 5-8 in San Jose, Calif.

The Pac-10 is not expected to take further action. Christine Hoyles, the Pac-10’s assistant commissioner for championships and administration, attended the game, as did Gooch Foster, the conference’s coordinator of women’s basketball officiating.

“They are allowing us to handle the situation,” Daugherty said.

Mendiola expressed regret for the incident Friday.

“I’m going to take my punishment and learn from it,” she said. “I’m sorry for everything that happened and for putting my coaches and teammates in a position of having to suspend me. I just hope they go out and play hard against Arizona.”

Mendiola’s absence doesn’t help a team already thin because of injuries. The Huskies will suit up just eight players for today’s game. Redshirt freshman Angie Jones will start in Mendiola’s place.

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