Huskies lose at UTEP in WNIT quarterfinals
Washington’s run in the WNIT came to an end Monday night with a 70-63 loss at UTEP. After winning three games in the tournament, the Huskies fell short in the quarterfinal game.
Seattle Times news services
EL PASO, Tex. — Washington’s run in the WNIT came to an end Monday with a 70-63 loss to UTEP in front of a raucous crowd of 10,227.
The Huskies had won three straight games in the tournament, beating Hawaii, Oregon and San Diego to advance to the quarterfinals.
Talia Walton led the Huskies (20-14) on Monday with 22 points.
Seniors Kristine Volta (21 points, 13 rebounds) and Kayla Thornton (20 points, 13 rebounds), led the Miners. UTEP (28-7) will host South Dakota State in the semifinals on Wednesday. The WNIT championship game will be played Saturday.
The Huskies were outrebounded 49-35 by the Miners.
Washington finished the season with a third-straight 20-win season, accomplishing that feat for the first time since they did so from the 1988-89 season through the 1990-91 season.
The Huskies will return 10 players as seniors Mercedes Wetmore and Kassia Fortier have now completed their careers. Wetmore played in her 126th game on Monday, a Husky record.
Washington led 12-4 just over five minutes into the game. Washington made three three-pointers, two coming from Wetmore.
UTEP would battle back, before the Huskies extended back to an eight-point lead with 8:49 to play in the half. That would prove to be the biggest lead of the game for Washington as UTEP finished the half on a 19-9 run to take a 32-30 advantage at the break.
• Washington coach Mike Neighbors was honored Monday by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Neighbors is one of five finalists for the Maggie Dixon rookie coach of the year award. The other finalists for the award are Dan Burt of Duquesne, Bunky Harkleroad of Sacramento State, Billi Godsey of Iona and Megan Gebbia of American.