HUSKIES LOSE: Well, I can eat a real dinner tonight. Nothing will probably taste good to UW, which lost 51-46 before a reported 2,132 at Hec Ed on Saturday. Jackson insisted the loss was not indicative of the growth lately, but Washington was on fragile ground and it may have simply crumbled against Oregon State. If we’re being honest, and playing with hated hypotheticals, the Huskies only truly started to dominate Oregon once G Nia Jackson injured both knees. The Washington State victory was ugly basketball on both sides. California had issues, which its has since corrected in winning four of its past six and the Beavers allowed a 16-0 run to practically give Washington a three-point win in January. Those are Washington’s four conference wins. So really, who are these Huskies? You know their defense is exciting. Kingma has skills. And Rogers has accepted her role to post back-to-back double-doubles, recovering from a hamstring injury. But as a whole, where are these Huskies and what does their performance say about the coaching staff? Players were insistent that Saturday’s loss had nothing to do with coaching, however. Kingma confirmed that playing three games in the shortened week played a factor in her shot. But after Thursday’s performance and all of the close games UW has played this season, I’d expect them to finally have a grasp on how to win. Especially against a scrappy team on its own court. Rogers led with 17 points and 12 rebounds while Indendi had 17 points for OSU. “I feel like a million bucks,” said Rueck, who coached George Fox to a D-III championship with Indendi as his star. “It’s surprising that we got one on the road or that we got any…To win in the Pac-10 with only one player who’s ever played real Pac-10 minutes and a majority of a team who’s never played college basketball — to come in and win at this elite level, that speaks volumes to how quickly this team has grown and the heart they play with. We have to defend to make up for our deficiencies offensively and lack of experience, which I thought showed itself today. We’re throwing passes out-of-bounds and doing weird things and it’s like, ‘Gosh! Here we go, again?’ Or can we actually do it?” On Saturday, Oregon State (8-14, 1-10 Pac-10) finally did it. UW drops to 9-11, 4-7, traveling to the Bay Area next week to face No. 4 Stanford and Cal.
YIKES!: If Washington wins this game, I’m eating the stat sheet. No where in basketball should you be able to shoot 28.6 percent in a half and have 16 total turnovers after getting the defensive stops you want with the zone defense and still win. It’s still close, OSU leading at 39-30 with 7:25 remaining, so I’ve got the salt and pepper on standby. Greer (10 points and 10 rebounds) and Indendi (11 points) are leading the Beavers, who’ve cooled to a 23.5 percent in the second half. The Beavers have 11 turnovers.
HUSKY HONOR: Former UW standout Traci Thirdgill was honored during a timeout. She played for the Huskies from 1987-90. She currently resides in Tacoma, working for its public schools’ after-school programs. Thirdgill also coaches youth teams. UW is down 39-29 with 9:56 remaining in the game. Kingma is 1 of 4, from three-point range, not even hitting when open and the posts are drawing fouls.
ARGENS SHOW: Argens is getting UW started right after the break, making a turnaround jumper and getting a block early. She has seven points and six points overall.
HALFTIME: Normally I would give you stats, like how OSU is shooting an impressive 45.8 percent from the field to close the half with a 28-19 lead. How the Beavers are outscoring the Huskies 10-4 in second-chance shots, limiting UW to 6 for 21 shooting and five offensive rebounds. But since both teams are notorious this season for playing better basketball in the second half, we won’t put too much into the opening half numbers. Let’s just say both teams have a lot to clean-up if they want to lockdown a win — especially Washington.
UGLY STRETCH: OSU’s offense is clicking, but they’re having trouble getting it to shine as a bevy of fouls and turnovers are called. The Beavers are getting their biggest boost on second-chance shot looks, outscoring the Huskies 10-2 in that category to help build a 23-12 lead with 3:53 remaining in the half.
SAGE ADVICE: You might want to guard Indendi. She was feeling it in a loss to Washington State on Thursday, finishing with a career-high 22 points, and apparently the flame hasn’t burned out. In a 8-0 run to build a 16-7 lead with 9:40 remaining, Indendi scored five of the points. Washington, which scored a season-high 90 points on Thursday, is 3 of 14 (21.4 percent) from the field and getting outrebounded 14-9.
BEAVERS UP: Rogers checked into the game for Argens, shifting around the interior play after Williams collected her second foul. She just got her first three-point play of the game and a block to help pull the Huskies within 8-7. OSU is outrebounding UW 7-5 and after Indendi nailed a three-pointer with the shot-clock winding down off and offensive board the Beavers had no business grabbing, Jackson called a timeout to talk to her team. There’s a better effort with 13:11 remaining in the opening half.
Washington redshirt junior Regina Rogers is getting a lot of press, helping the Huskies win three of their past five games since returning from a nagging hamstring injury. The victories include Thursday’s overtime match against Oregon, where Rogers finished with a season-high-tying 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.
If UW were to win Saturday, it would have a three-game win streak for the second time this season. It won’t finish in the top half of the Pac-10 conference as it had hoed prior to the season and UW finishes on a tough stretch — just two of its final six games are at home. But considering injuries this more of the type of season coach Tia Jackson envisioned in her fourth season.
That’s if the Huskies can win on Saturday.
Oregon State is no slouch, despite being winless in 10 conference games. The Beavers have only lost three Pac-10 games in double figures, undergoing a mucky coaching change that left two players on the roster. First-year coach Scott Rueck filled the massive voids with standouts from other OSU sports, D-III stars, walk-ons, and freshmen.
Losing to No. 4 Stanford by 30 points, Cal by 13, and No. 10 UCLA by 12 were nearly predictable. But the other losses, including a three-point defeat to UW where OSU led by 16 last in the second half, were by an average 5.1 points.
Closing is the biggest problem for OSU. We’ll see if they can do that in the rematch against Washington or if Rogers remains the force off the bench to keep the Huskies headed in the right direction.
Let’s get you started with your starting lineups:
F Sage Indendi
F Earkysia Marchbanks
C El Sara Gree
G Alexis Bostick
G Alyssa Martin
F Charmaine Barlow
F Mollie Williams
C Mackenzie Aregens
G Sarah Morton
G Kristi Kingma
Tonight’s officials are Melissa Barlow, Darren Krzesnik, Rick Showers.