Stopping Nebraska center will be a tall task for UW women

  • Tuesday, December 5, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Herald staff

SEATTLE – It’s not difficult to figure how Nebraska is going to attack the Washington Huskies tonight in a non-conference women’s basketball game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Center Casey Leonhardt is a 6-foot-5 senior who averages 14.6 points a game and has scored in double figures in nine straight contests for the Cornhuskers (4-2).

Guarding her will be Andrea Lalum, a 6-4 true freshman from Bozeman, Mont., who has loads of potential, but little experience. And if the Huskies (3-2) expect to stretch their win streak to three, they’ll have to find answers for Leonhardt.

Lalum, in the lineup after a sprained ankle sidelined starter LeAnn Sheets, made her first start Sunday in the Huskies’ 66-59 victory over Oklahoma State. She, herself, could give Leonhardt trouble with her 3-point shooting range. Against the Cowgirls, Lalum was 3-of-6 from the floor, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Lalum added seven rebounds, a block and a steal to go with her eight points in 25 minutes.

Lalum figures to get ample help from sophomore forward Kellie O’Neill, who averages 13.6 points and 5.6 rebounds a game. Freshman Giuliana Mendiola also can give defensive help from her guard position.

Mendiola already has made an impact. After cracking the starting lineup against Connecticut, Mendiola had led the Huskies in rebounding at 6.6 a game. Her 11.8 points-a-game average has lessened the blow left by the absence of guard Loree Payne, who is out four weeks with a stress fracture in her foot.

Mendiola scored a career-high 19 points against Boise State, along with four assists, two steals and no turnovers in 30 minutes.

Nebraska comes in with a two-game losing streak, dropping games to No. 18 Wisconsin and unranked Creighton. The Cornhuskers committed 33 turnovers against Creighton.

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