By Chris Trujillo
SEATTLE-The remnants of a home-court beating just three days earlier lay fresh on the minds of the University of Washington women’s basketball team entering a non-league game against Boise State.
The only thing surfing the team’s psyche today is a 99-50 dismantling of the Broncos on Tuesday at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in front of a crowd of 2,210.
“We had a great response tonight,” said UW coach June Daugherty, who became the UW’s second-winningest coach after a 81-42 victory over Northeastern last weekend. “Our goal was to move better and we did that. We made it really tough for them (Boise State).”
The Huskies dropped out of the AP 25 and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll after suffering a 71-56 loss to Santa Clara last weekend in the championship game of the Husky Classic.
Washington, after watching a double-digit lead dwindle to just seven points at halftime, exploded in the second half and went on a torrid 38-6 run. By the end of the game, Washington had outscored the Broncos 57-15 in 20 minutes of action. Defensively, the Huskies held Boise State to 16 percent shooting from the field, while converting 16-for-29 (55 percent).
Emily Autrey, who recorded her third career double-double, ignited the spurt early in the second half, scoring six consecutive points as the Huskies’ lead grew to 66-37 with 11:22 remaining in the game. Boise State missed 14 consecutive shots and went scoreless for nearly nine minutes.
Autrey scored 16 points and pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds. Loree Payne finished with a game-high 23 points, which included going 7-for-13 from the field and 4-for-8 behind the 3-point stripe.
Meadowdale High School graduate Kristen O’Neill hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to give Washington a 69-39 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the game. She would give the Huskies a 46-point lead with 3:34 remaining in the game. Kristen, a freshman and sister Kellie, each finished with 10 points.
“I am just trying to understand the system,” Kristen O’Neill said. “All I want to do is help the team. I try to go game by game. This is a great learning opportunity.”
UW got off to an impressive start thanks to the hot perimeter shooting of Payne, who caught fire from behind the arc en route to an 18-point first half. Leading 25-15, Payne, who scored five consecutive Husky points and half of the team’s first 30 points, drained a 3-pointer from the left side to give Washington a 28-15 lead.
The Huskies built their biggest lead of half of 16 when forward Cheryl Sorenson hit a 12-footer from the baseline, giving the team a 34-18 lead. Kellie O’Neill picked up the slack when Payne left the game and scored six points, four of which came off a pair of athletic fall-away jump shots.
That advantage, however, shrank quickly as the Broncos came alive in the final five minutes of the half, going on a 17-8 run to trail by just seven at half time.
Abby Vaughan, who led the Broncos at the half with 11 points, dropped in a 3-pointer to get the Broncos within 13. Teammate Camille Woodfield and Mandy Welch exploited a Husky shooting slump by nailing back-to-back 3-pointers in the final three minutes to narrow the Huskies’ lead to 42-35 at the half.