HUSKIES WIN: Players gave Jackson a Gatorade bath in the locker room after the 62-53 win, which secured a three-game win streak to close the season for UW. The Huskies played inspired defense against a down trotted Oregon team on a six-game losing streak. Since the Ducks aren’t known for their defense, it’s not much that Washington only had three turnovers after the break. But Lilley did try to get her three-point shot working late, so holding Oregon to a low 53-points was a positive for UW. Rogers led all scorers with 15 points and eight rebounds. Lilley finished with 14. Next up for UW is the Pac-10 tournament on Thursday where Washington faces Oregon State at 8:15 p.m. in LA.
CLOSE IT: Rogers did her part for UW to give the Huskies an 11-point lead, but Oregon’s shooting ability is working their way back in late. Jackson put all the seniors back in the game so they could have their due, but Lilley hit a three-pointer to pull the Ducks within 58-53. There;s 1:06 on the clock.
STRETCHING OUT: Whitcomb still hasn’t scored, but Rozier connected with Kingma for a three-pointer to put UW up 44-40. It’s the Huskies’ largest lead of the game.
HUSKIES LEAD: A three-pointer by Morton, her ninth of the season, gave the Huskies a 38-36 lead with 15:24 remaining in the game.
HALFTIME: It must have been the pregame celebration that had Washington in a fog when the game tipped off. About 15 minutes into the game, UW began to connect on the open shots Oregon gave them. Oregon still outscored Washington 16-8 on fast breaks. A layin by Ducks wing Jasmin Holiday gave her school a 30-29 lead at the break. Kingma led Washington with eight points. Whitcomb is scoreless from the field in seven attempts. Holliday had seven for Oregon, which is on pace to score below their average.
PRETTY PLAY: Freshman Jeneva Anderson gave senior Mosiman a nice send-off highlight, getting the ball to her on a fast break. Mosiman spun and laid the ball in over her back to make the score 28-27 with 10 seconds remaining in the opening half.
HUSKIES CLICKING: Solid defense and a three-pointer by Kingma worked UW back into the game, tying the score at 25 points apiece with 1:36 remaining before halftime. The arena is lively as UW is showing some serious fight.
FRANZA HONORED: Former Husky Megan Franza was honored during a first half timeout. She brought her husband and baby on the court with her. Franza, who ranks second all-time in three-pointers made (211), is currently an eigth-grade teacher who coaches basketball and volleyball.
PAGING ARGENS: For some reason Argens has started throwing a slight elbow as she establishes space in the paint. It’s an illegal move and I’m not sure why she picked it up, displaying it the past three games. Washington got a little offensive action going with a Williams steal to Rozier for a layin. But the inspired play, which included a Kingma three-pointer, still has them trailing 22-16 with 7:20 on the clock.
NO SHOT: Washington can’t blame Oregon’s defense for their spiraling 17.6 percent (3-for-17) shooting. McLellan missed at the hoop, Mollie Williams missed from three-point range, and Mosiman missed a short jumper — all with open looks at the basket. Oregon is only up 13-9 with 11:52 on the clock.
RUNNIN’: Oregon is in overdrive and have Washington frazzled. The Ducks lead 13-4, getting fast break layins. Washington is shooting 2-for-9 from the field and has three turnovers, Kingma tossing the ball right into Oregon’s hands once. There’s 15:30 remaining in the opening half.
REDUX: Two quick fouls and Rogers is on the bench with 19:23 remaining in the opening half. Ducks lead 2-0.
SENIOR MOMENT: Crowded by family and friends, seniors Whitcomb, Sara Mosiman, Laura McLellan, Young, and Christina Rozier were presented with flowers and honored pregame. The Huskies also presented Ducks seniors Lilley, Cocks, and Lindsey Saffold of Tacoma with small bouquets of flowers. After the spiel on each UW senior, the team swarmed around them for pictures and hugs in a touching moment. Fans who gathered early at the arena stood and applauded.
Hec Ed is flipping action photos of the Washington seniors on the jumbotron and fans are filing in for the season finale/Senior Day matchup against Oregon.
With Arizona’s loss to UCLA on Saturday, UW is locked in at No. 7 and Oregon is the No. 6 seed, so little is riding on the game besides a celebration of the graduating class. But don’t expect Huskies coach Tia Jackson to take that opportunity to start all of the seniors.
She said on Tuesday she wouldn’t because there’s too many in the upcoming undergraduate classes to set that precedent. Only four are able to play Saturday since Lydia Young is out with a career-ending knee injury.
“We’re trying to win games,” Jackson said.
UW is an extreme long shot for postseason play and winning is key to make its record look more attractive to WNIT and WBI tournament officials. Jackson said earlier that the team did receive an invite to the NIT, but hadn’t given it further thought at that point.
Oregon was thought to have a better season after winning their opening three conference games to be at 12-3. The Ducks continue to ride their offensive game while playing little defense, which led to a streaky season in first-year coach Paul Westhead’s since the Pac-10 debut. His team wadded through a pair of five-game losing streaks.
The Huskies had trouble keeping up with the Ducks in an 82-71 loss at Mac Court, however. UW hasn’t gained any speed since then, but is playing better defensively. Add the emotion of the day and it could be enough to avenge the defeat.
Let’s get to it with your starting lineups:
F Micaela Cooks
F Victoria Kenyon
C Amanda Johnson
G Nia Jackson
G Taylor Lilley
F Sami Whitcomb
F Mackenzie Argens
C Regina Rogers
G Sarah Morton
G Kristi Kingma
Tonight’s officials are Lisa Jones, Mary Whatford, and Wanda Szeremeta.