HUSKIES WIN: Perkins was poignant in her postgame comments regarding the streak. “The streak never mattered to us,” she said. “You can go on and talk about other streaks with Cal, ASU and Oregon as well. But the streak didn’t matter. We’re just here to play basketball and get Ws but it just didn’t show up tonight.” Yes, while UW gets to hold onto its 32-game dominance over WSU, No. 2 Stanford has never lost to the Cougs and on down the list of conference opponents. What meant more was UW swapping positing with WSU, moving into six place in conference standings with two games remaining in the season. It’s the “best of the worst” slot, UW sweeping the season series against the Cougs and Golden Bears to own the tiebreakers headed in the conference tournament. UW won with its interior play, Argens and Rogers displaying the best tandem performance of the season — partly because Rogers is healthy and partly because Jackson is playing the pair together more. Argens led all scorers with 18 points and eight rebounds while Rogers added 13 points and six boards. UW and WSU travel to play the Los Angeles schools next week and will remain in LA to prepare for the conference tournament. “It’ll be so nice, we’re very lucky that we get that,” said Kingma who has plenty of teammates who are California natives. “We’ll probably get some extra time to rest our legs and just enjoy ourselves. That’s what it’s all about, enjoying yourself, so I’m excited.”
LOOSE ENDS: Morton suffered a hild right ankle sprain. She’ll be evaluated further when the Huskies return to campus. Heard suffered a gnarly bloody nose, but still played to uphold her female Jon Brockman title. Jackson even stated, “Up close it looks even more interesting but she took a pretty good blow. She’s a warrior. She follows the leadership of these guys up here and there’s never a time where she doesn’t want to get out there and fight. If you would have decapitated her, she would have found a way, I promise you.” As for the jabbering between Barlow and Perkins, the heat cooled in the chill of night. “There was a bit of miss communication,” Perkins said of the altercation. “People felt disrespected and that’s basically what it was. It was quashed at the end of the game.”
SO BOARD: Jackson has waived the flag, putting in the deep reserves with a minute remaining. Barlow is getting serious props, finishing with 10 rebounds. Kingma won’t get her record tonight, missing all five of her three-point attempts. UW is up 65-48 with 50 seconds left.
MORTON OUT: Morton has been riding the stationary bike for a while, now having her right ankle evaluated. With UW up 61-44 with 3:00 on the clock, I doubt she’ll re-enter the game. I’ll have more later. Morton finished with eight points, five boards, six turnovers and one steal in 29 minutes.
AND ONE: Another old school three-point play by Rogers has helped UW build a 49-38 lead with 9:16 remaining in the game. There’s only one row of purple in the building and you can hear them over everyone else. Can you say 32 and counting?
HEATED: Barlow was tagged with a tech, wolfing with Perkins after the Husky blocked her shot with 13:18 left in the game. Ortega called both coaches over to discuss the penalty, then Jackson went over to talk to Barlow. Perkins was also called for a tech, drawing the personal foul. She made both to make the score 37-32 UW.
HALFTIME: The Paula Abdul chorus to “Rush Rush” always pops in my head when watching the Cougs. Why do they rush so much? WSU made solid defensive moves to pick off Heard inside and Morton on the dribble up court, but ripped NBA-length three-pointers like there was only two seconds on the clock. There was one minute left in the half. And they’re 3-for-14 from that range. UW, being the more patient team, collected themselves and the miscues to snap its own scoring drought and take a 30-25 lead into the break. UW committed 12 turnovers in the opening half and is shooting 46.4 percent from the field with Argens leading the team with 10 points. WSU is getting outscored 22-6 in the paint, shooting 32.3 percent from the field and tallying 11 turnovers. Madison leads with five points.
NICE PASS II: G Jazmine Perkins made a smooth layin and then on the next offensive play, cut to the hoop and made a swift cross-court pass to Amojo, who nailed a three-pointer to close within 26-23. It got the crowd pumped.
COOLED OFF: WSU has scored a few buckets to inch within 26-18 with 3:39 remaining, but it’s really one-and-done for both sides. The three-pointers aren’t failing the Cougars and the inside play for UW is still getting good looks, but they aren’t going in. Kingma also bricked the sole open look WSU gave her.
ROSIER OUTLOOK: Daugherty switched point guards and Rosetta Adzasu’s jumper with 9:07 remaining in the half helped put a brief stop to the massive run UW is putting together. The Huskies were on a 16-0 surge, putting on an offensive clinic on how to play in the post. Especially Heard’s off-balanced rebound and putback where she didn’t take a dribble. Good teaching there. UW is up 22-14 with 7:42 on the clock.
BALLIN’: UW is on a smooth 10-0 run to take a 14-10 lead with 13:19 remaining in the opening half. The posts are much better than in the first meeting when they made a collective two baskets and Morton is more aggressive offensively. It’s nullifying the fact that WSU is hitting its three-pointers and Kingma hasn’t scored.
NICE DISH: UW coach Tia Jackson has a routine of pulling Williams and Argens for freshman Marjorie Heard and junior Regina Rogers about three minutes into the game, but sometimes it fails the team when Argens is hitting. Tonight is one of those times. Argens said she was mad about the performance against the Arizona schools and she’s off to a hot start. Due to Heard getting tagged for a hard foul and cut, Argens was able to get back on the court and contribute, scooping up a nice bounce pass in the paint from freshman Mercedes Wetmore and laying the ball in. Two FTs by Rogers later pulled the Huskies within 10-8 with 14:40 on the clock.
BAKE SALE: UW opened with three consecutive turnovers which WSU converted into a three-pointer and short jumper. Argens went strong to the hoop to put the Huskies on the board with 17:59 remaining in the opening half. Washington is down 5-2 with 17:18 on the clock.
SENIOR MOMENT: Well, nothing beats the flashback video that Morton received for her “Senior Night.” WSU had a nice touch, giving Morton some flowers and showering its players with floral bouquets while reciting their achievements at WSU.
There is actually a baseball double-header game going on across from Beasley Coliseum. Sure, we’re rolling into March but it’s 17 degrees outside. Washington State is hardcore (and killing their stud pitcher’s arm, in my opinion).
Inside the arena there’s a building skip-the-establishment attitude as the facility pumps “Bang! Bang!” by The Knux and the Cougs get ready for their fourth television appearance.
You’d think it would point to Washington’s 31-game streak being broken. Especially since WSU has added drama mixed in the evening with the matchup being the final home game of the season and the “Cougs Have a Heart” promo. WSU coach June Daugherty suffered from cardiac arrest in 2007 and now helps support sudden cardiac arrest awareness.
While streaks are meant to be broken, UW has worked this week on regaining its defensive moxie and getting more offensive flow going than from just junior sharpshooter Kristi Kingma. The guard is three three-pointers from becoming the single-season leader in Washington history. Her five in the last meeting between the cross-state rivals helped her total a game-high 29 points.
WSU also has been working on its defense, losing Kingma too many times in the last meeting. The team has six new players this season and the group is still find its groove with each other. Plus PG April Cook isn’t 100 percent after missing the nonconference season due to two bulging disks in her back. She also suffered a calf strain against Stanford. Daugherty said Cook looked like “her old self” on Wednesday, however, it just depends on the day.
The Cougs are going to honor seniors Katie Calderwood and Katie Madison in a pregame ceremony. Let’s see if they have a historic exit, getting you prepared with the starting lineups:
F Charmaine Barlow
F Mollie Williams
C Mackenzie Argens
G Sarah Morton
G Kristi Kingma
F Katie Madison
F Ireti Amojo
C Carly Noyes
G April Cook
G Sage Romberg
Tonight’s officials are Anita Ortega, Darren Krzesnik, and Cheryl Flores.