KING ME: Where would UW be without Kingma? The junior, who went quiet after tallying 24 points, wiggled herself open for a big three-pointer with 3:15 on the clock to push the lead up to 54-46. There’s a timeout and 2:50 remaining.
NO QUIT: UW must have thought this game was over, once leading by 18 points. Amojo said no go, nailing a sweet jumper off an inbound pass to close WSU within 51-46 with 4:36 on the clock. Washington is getting sloppy, again. facing a familiar theme of having to play a tight game.
STILL HITTING: WSU is playing a little better in the second half and Daugherty has taken a seat, but Kingma es en fuego, nailing another three-pointer to tally 24 points with 11:39 remaining in the game. Amojo remains muffled and WSU has more turnovers than made baskets. Not good. UW up 49-33.
HALFTIME: Three consecutive three-pointers by Kingma helped UW take a 38-22 lead into the break. WSU’s zone defense was no match for the Huskies shooter who had a game-high 17 points on 6 for 10 FGs at the break. UW scored 13 points off 17 WSU turnovers and outrebounded its cross-state rival 20-15. Cook led the Cougs with seven points, UW holding WSU’s normal hot hand, Amojo, to 0 for 2 shooting. WSU is forcing plays and shots. If they played a little smarter, the half might be closer.
TECH CALLED: Not sure what the replay will show, but it seemed Cook was called for an unneeded foul. The ball was loose and seemingly before Cook could dive on the floor to battle Wetmore for possession, a foul was called on Cook. Daugherty was irate and called for a technical. Daugherty didn’t let it go once the half was over either, charging after official Brenda Pantoja with official Anita Ortega trying to separate the two. We’ll see if Daugherty is ejected or suffers some repercussion for her actions later. UW leads 38-22.
TRE BIEN: Ah, someone found their shot. Kingma swished two three-pointers through the net to help the Huskies build a nice 33-19 lead with 1:07 left in the half. UW looks pumped now.
FREE THROW HAPPY: Yeah, both teams are shooting below 30 percent with all the points since the 8:24 mark coming from the FT line. UW is finally getting the benefit of the calls after thinking it was robbed in Arizona, shooting 12 of 19 from the line. WSU is 4 of 6. Yet UW only leads 24-15 with 3:55 left in the half, so WSU could easily get back in this game.
TIME: It’s not a pretty game, but it’s this Apple Cup is starting to get some sparks. UW is picking off passes for Morton coast-to-coast layins. And Kingma grabbed a Morton miss to put it back in for a score. Amojo and Barlow also got into a tie-up for a loose ball where they needed to be separated. UW is on a 6-0 run, though, to build an 18-13 lead with 7:45 on the clock. WSU has 11 turnovers.
NO DICE: Both teams are forcing turnovers and getting good looks in transition, but unable to make the bucket. UW freshman Mercedes Wetmore had a layup rattle in and out but sank a three-pointer moments later to help increase the lead to 11-7 with 12:15 remaining in the opening half.
MO TIME: Morton is leading her team with one steal and a three-pointer to help give the Huskies and early 7-2 lead with 15:58 on the clock. Jackson has subbed out Williams for Heard and C Regina Rogers is getting ready to enter the game. The Huskies are getting get outside play, but WSU’s match-up zone defense is causing troubles for Kingma to get going. The Cougs are 1 for 5 from the field and outrebounding UW 4-3 early.
DO WHAT?: WSU brought props this year, rattling “BEAT THE DAWGS!” faux newspapers to cover their faces as Washington was introduced.
BIG APPLAUSE: WSU coach June Daugherty, who was fired from UW in 2007, received a warm welcoming from the crowd at Hec Ed. Since leaving the Montlake campus, Daugherty is 0-6 against her former program.
LINEUP CHANGE: Jackson pulled freshman Marjorie Heard from the lineup for junior Mollie Williams. Heard started 12 games due to injuries in the post, averaging 8.1 points and 5.2 boards this season. Williams suffered a concussion on Dec. 23 and was slow to fully recover. Jackson feels she can get about 15 minutes out of Williams, which is still about five minutes less than when she began the season as a starter.
The TV lights are on and the excitement is building inside Edmundson Pavilion as another Apple Cup matchup gets ready to begin on the basketball court. Washington State bounced off the floor flashing symbols to their small cluster of fans after pre-game warm-ups while Washington remained in character.
“We’ve definitely picked up some momentum after the three wins,” WSU junior April Cook told the Everett Herald. “I feel like we’re definitely going in the right direction.”
But now that the day is here, I’m not feeling it any more. I spent part of the weekend looking at clips of past Apple Cups on TV and there’s a history Kristi Kingma, Regina Rogers, and especially lone senior Sarah Morton don’t want to break.
No one wants to be that team. And although WSU (5-15 overall, 3-5 Pac-10) may get the win this season on their court, it doesn’t feel like it’ll end its three-game road trip with a victory.
The matchup begins a three-game home stand for UW. I feel like I’m repeating myself, but if the Huskies (7-10, 2-6) can manage a win, they can turn the dismal start to conference play into a positive. The team has had issues, leading to it not being able to pull out close games. But Sunday marks the halfway point of conference play and it’s now or see yourself planted in the basement of the Pac-10.
UW coach Tia Jackson said the scenario doesn’t trigger desperation with her team, simply its enjoyment of a challenge. None is bigger than Sunday afternoon — protect a 30-game win streak and your season.
Let’s get you prepared for the task with the starting lineups:
F Ireti Amojo
F Katie Madison
C Carly Noyes
G April Cook
G Jazmine Perkins
F Charmaine Barlow
F Mollie Williams
C Mackenzie Argens
G Sarah Morton
G Kristi Kingma
This afternoon’s officials are Brenda Pantoja, Anita Ortega, and Cathi Cornell.