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Huskies falter in second half to lose sixth straight

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Women's hoops USC

Amber Melgoza drives in the lane and is fouled on a scoring attempt in Washington's 66-58 loss to Arizona on Jan. 19, 2020 at Alaska Airlines Arena.

The Washington women’s basketball team once again had a double-digit lead heading into the break, but was unable to pull through in its 81-78 overtime loss to USC.

The overtime period itself was a rollercoaster with three lead changes and neither team leading by more than four points.

The Huskies’ (10-9, 2-6 Pac-12) final possession came down three points and with 7.9 seconds remaining. Instead of attempting a shot from deep to tie the game, they found Haley Van Dyke under the basket for a layup that cut the lead to one with just under a second remaining.

The Trojans (11-8, 3-5 Pac-12) then inbounded the ball and knocked down two free throws to seal the game after Washington fouled.

But Sunday afternoon’s game is another ‘what if’ moment for the Huskies, who had another shot at a road victory, but couldn’t hang on for their sixth straight loss. 

It didn’t take long for the Huskies to start heating up in the first quarter, they jumped out to a 9-0 lead in just over five minutes. They then cooled down significantly to miss their final 11 attempts of the quarter.

The Dawgs kept the Trojans at bay during that drought, only allowing four points in the opening 10 minutes.

The rim got a lot bigger for both teams in the second quarter, with 49 total points being scored, after just 13 in the first quarter.

The Huskies knocked down 6-of-7 from three to contribute to a 12-point lead going into the break. Great ball movement helped open things up, as they had nine assists on 15 made baskets and only turned the ball over five times.

Mai-Loni Henson was the lead scorer in the first half, she poured in 14 points, with four made three-pointers. Henson and Van Dyke each finished the game with 16 points and Melgoza led the way with 17.

Washington inched its lead up to 13 a couple minutes into the third quarter, but USC took little time mounting a second half comeback. The Trojans went on a 14-0 run in just over three minutes of game time to take its first lead of the game in the third quarter.

The teams traded baskets for most of the fourth quarter, but neither could create enough separation to win in regulation. UW held the largest lead of the quarter with a six-point edge coming with just over four minutes to play after Van Dyke knocked down a triple.

The Huskies then went on to lose its sixth straight game and is now 0-3 in overtime games this season.

Washington will head home to play top-10 Stanford on Friday at 7 p.m. and California on Sunday at noon.

Reach reporter Josh Eddy at Twitter: @JoshTreEddy

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