Amber Melgoza finished with a season-high 29 points and Missy Peterson added 18 as the Washington women’s basketball team beat Seattle University 69-58 on Friday night.
With Amber Melgoza bullying to the basket and Missy Peterson dropping daggers from outside, the Washington women’s basketball team took control early and held on late Friday night for a 69-58 victory at Seattle University.
“They certainly have great chemistry,” UW coach Jody Wynn said. “They’re close off the court and they’re developing something special on the court as well.
“To have them play off of each other and create shots for each other and create shots for everybody else, it certainly helps our program.”
Melgoza finished with a season-high 29 points and Peterson sank a career-high four three-pointers for 18 points, which tied her personal best.
“Missy did a great job shooting the ball and doing what she does,” Melgoza said. “Once she got hot, she let it fly. Me and her have a connection on the court where I know if I find her she’s going to knock it down.”
UW’s dynamic duo took over early in the second quarter after SU tied the score at 17-17.
From there, the Huskies (4-3) took control of the game with a decisive 21-0 run over the next 6 minutes, 25 seconds.
During the spurt, Melgoza and Peterson each scored nine points.
“Amber just got on a mission all of a sudden,” Wynn said. “She showed a sense of leadership. She wasn’t shooting the three-ball very well.
“She could have put her head down very easily and got a little frustrated, which sometimes she tends to do in the past. But she was locked in and dialed in. It didn’t matter that she wasn’t scoring from the three. She got paint touches.”
Melgoza, who was 0 for 5 on three-pointers, went to work inside where she sank 9 of 21 shots. She also had six rebounds and five assists.
Meanwhile, Peterson was efficient while converting 6 of 8 shots, including 4 of 6 behind the arc. In addition, she tallied five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Peterson capped the 21-0 run with a three-pointer that gave UW a 38-17 lead just before going into halftime ahead 38-22.
During the spurt, the Huskies forced six turnovers. SU had 21 on the night that led to 29 points.
“That’s the game right there,” Redhawks coach Suzy Barcomb said. “I thought we ran really good things in the third quarter. We got them on their heels a little bit. It just wasn’t enough gas in the tank.”
Seattle U outscored UW 19-16 in the third quarter and 17-15 in the fourth. The Redhawks cut their deficit to seven (63-56) when junior guard Kamira Sanders sank a layup with 41 seconds left.
However, Melgoza, who made 11 of 11 free throws, canned six at the line the rest of the way to close out the Redhawks (0-7).
It was the 12th straight victory for the Huskies against their crosstown rival, which gave UW an 18-3 lead in the series.
After winning the WAC tournament and advancing to the NCAA tournament – a pair of first-ever feats – last season, SU is off to a rocky start partly due to the loss of two players (Makenna Schoenhofer and McKenzi Williams) to season-ending injuries.
With just nine healthy bodies, Sanders is forced to carry the load like she did Friday when she finished with 17 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Madeline Dopplick added 13 points and Delaney McCann 11 for SU.
The Redhawks expect freshman guard Courtney Murphy will return next month from a foot injury. They’ll also add junior guard Olivia Crawford, who sat out the first month of the season after transferring from Hawaii.
“We keep moving forward and plugging away,” Barcomb said. “It’s all about the WAC. If we can get healthy and get into the WAC and start winning some games, then we’ll be in good shape.”