HUSKIES WIN: UW won 57-48, sending Cal into a tizzy. The Bears were in the locker room with everybody talking for about 30 minutes after the game. Boyle said things will probably have to be blown up and start over as she tries to figure a way to get her players to play with purpose and pride. “The whole trip has been evaluating ourselves,” said Boyle, who hasn’t faced this type of challenge with a team in at least 17 years. “We’re not a team that’s competing, we’re not working hard, and we don’t play together. I’m uncertain of what’s going on…It’s not an us or them, it’s what can we do to get in a better place? Right now, we’ve done a lot of talking this week. It’s time to stop talking and put up.” Washington finally “put up” keeping the bigs out of foul trouble, rebounding the ball, and finding more scorers than Kingma so that the shooter could find her game. She led with 15 points, 10 in the second half, while eight other teammates also scored — a season-high. Morton added 12 points and Rogers led with eight rebounds. Defense was key, though. “They’re focused,” Jackson said. “They get out and whatever our game plan is defensively, they do it. We have enough players that have been in the system long enough that they’re able to pull a Marjorie or Mercedes along. They know more that anything else, defense is what’s going to win it.” Washington leaves Wednesday to play the Arizona schools this week.
SCOREBOARD: UW coach Tia Jackson said No. 4 Stanford was “doing it to everybody” in terms of margin of victory. Well, the Cardinal beat the Cougs 94-50 on Sunday. It’s not a final in the desert, but Arizona State is up 71-38 against Arizona. UW is holding onto a 52-46 lead against Cal with 2:15 remaining.
HUSKIES LEAD: UW is on a solid 16-5 run to build a 43-35 lead after the break. Barlow highlighted the run with a pass to Morton for an open three-pointer. Both players pointed at each other to give respect. There’s 12:05 on the clock, Cal coach Joanne Boyle calling time. She’s never been swept by the Washington schools on the road.
HALFTIME: I’m not impressed by Cal. As mentioned in the comments section, the Huskies are getting out played in several areas and do only trail 30-27 at the break. UW has helped force a three-second lane violation and picked up five steals in the opening half. But is getting outrebounded 19-10, shooting 34.6 percent from the field and has two posts in foul trouble, again. Cal is undefeated in nine games it led at the half, which doesn’t bode well. But they are beatable. With only two seniors, who are reserves, they make plenty of young mistakes that UW should capitalize on, but aren’t. Kingma leads the UW with five points. Lyles has nine off the bench and teammate Stallworth has five boards.
BEARS RUN: Playing a smaller lineup due to two fouls on Argens and Rogers being worked on by trainer Jen Ratcliff, Cal was able to go on a 10-0 run for a 26-19 lead. The Bears got the ball inside to Stallworth for a turnaround jumper and freshman Mikayla Lyles nailed a three-pointer during the spurt.
BOARD WATCH: UW still isn’t getting the offensive rebounds, picking up two as it shoots 30.8 percent from the field. There have been 15 fouls called in the game, so neither team really has a rhythm. Two FTs by the Huskies helped them tie the score at 16 points apiece with 7:48 remaining, shooting 8 of 10 from the line.
TAKE THAT: The Huskies freshmen are playing stronger than Cals, pulling UW within 16-14 with 8:37 remaining in the opening half. Heard took a charge and PG Mercedes Wetmore collected a steal and made a pair of FTs to help Washington.
TIMEOUT: Washington is down 9-2 early, shooting 1 of 5 from the field and only getting one offensive rebound. Cal has five points off their four offensive boards. There’s 15:30 on the clock.
We’re getting started a little late due to the Storm’s “Winter Warm-up” held at Hec Ed’s practice court. Coach Brian Agler wanted a rare photo-op and I had to pose with this cool poster of the 2010 championship team, so forgive me.
For those who are fans of both, Agler does feel strong about free agent Swin Cash returning, signing a hopeful multi-year deal when able in February. F Camille Little is another priority and then replacing reserves Jana Vesela and Svetlana Abrosimova. Getting any European will be tough due to EuroBasket play, but Agler was confident about the free agents on his negotiating list.
The Storm is staying to watch the game, a big one for Washington. A loss moves them behind Washington State in the Pac-10 standings and further away from the goal of competing for the top-5 slots in the conference. Not good for coach Tia Jackson’s fourth season.
You can point to injuries and youth, but that has been the excuse since Jackson took over the position in 2007. No one faults how hard the team plays or motivation — only that it has to translate to wins at some point.
Visiting California lost to WSU on Friday. They’ve had trouble with energy and their own youthful fumbles. We’ll see which struggling team prevails, beginning with your starting lineups:
F Lindsay Sherbert
F DeNesha Stallworth
C Talia Caldwell
G Eliza Pierre
G Layshia Clarendon
F Charmaine Barlow
F Marjorie Heard
C Mackenzie Argens
G Sarah Morton
G Kristi Kingma
Tonight’s officials are Michael Price, Charles Gonzalez, Kenneth Nash.