HUSKIES LOSE: This was a shocker. UW had the size and more talented shooters, but they faded tonight in a 52-42 loss at Galen Center. Tilleman had 11 rebounds for her team and kept kicking the ball out to Futch for jumpers. Futch, an Auburn Riverside product, finished with a team-high 17 points on 5-for-11 shooting from the field. Kingma fouled out in the second half as nothing worked for the Huskies. It’s doubtful they play in any postseason tournament, hosting the NCAA first round next week. Whitcomb led the Huskies with 18 points while McLellan added eight. OSU will face No. 2 seed UCLA in the second round on Friday.
BEAVER RUN: You can hear the collective groans on the Washington bench as shots fail to drop now. The Beavers are on a 11-2 run to take a 47-38 lead with 4:15 left in the game. Washington also isn’t getting offensive rebounds, preventing a chance to get back into the game. OSU’s zone is blocking entry passes to the paint.
THREE BALL!: Shots are dropping like rain in Seattle (bad time to tell you it was 70 in LA today?). Futch made back-to-back three-pointers and Morton had one of her own. The score is tied at 36 points apiece with 10:40 remaining.
WHOSE GAME?: Beavers took a brief 26-25 lead, but Whitcomb drove coast-to-coast to put the game back in UW’s hands. Add a short jumper by senior Laura McLellan and the Dawgs are up 29-26 with 15:25 on the clock. But it’s anyone’s game. OSU is playing more inspired, shooting 37.5 percent from the field.
HALFTIME: Talk about your turnarounds. OSU closed on a 18-2 run to pull within 24-22. Whitcomb led all scorers in the half with 13 points while Futch and Palmer had seven apiece for the Beavers.
CLEVER BEAVERS: Now OSU is forcing turnovers and connecting on its shot attempts to pull within 24-20. It’s a 6-0 run led by Palmer, the freshman. She had a similar spurt in the teams’ last meeting and was shutout in the second half for the Husky win. We’ll see what happens tonight.
SHOOTING SAMI: Whitcomb is bursting with offense after missing all 10 of her attempts in the season finale against Oregon on Sunday. The senior is 5 of 7 from the field for 13 points as Washington has built a 24-14 lead. The Huskies’ focus on defensive rebounding has allowed the Beavers into the game, but clearly not by much.
STILL CLICKING: UW is using its defense to pull ahead 15-2 with 11:09 remaining before halftime. The team has forced seven turnovers and didn’t allow the Beavers to connect on a basket until the 12:42 mark when Palmer made a layin. Whitcomb leads with seven points.
GOOD START: The Huskies are forcing turnovers, diving on the floor for loose balls and connecting on their jumpers to take a 7-0 lead with 16:08 remaining in the opening half. OSU is 0-for-4 from the field.
It’s lively downtown, but all of the action is definitely at the Staples Center for the men’s tournament. There are billboards advertising the conference highlight through out the Los Angeles area and fans draped in their school’s color are bustling all over.
Not far down from there is the new Galen Center across the street from Southern California’s campus. There’s just the two play-in games Thursday night, so it’s a little quieter in terms of hoopla. The facility also isn’t surrounded by restaurants, so milling about is pointless.
Inside, however, No. 9 seed Washington State created some drama. Down 33-27 at halftime in the first-round game against No. 8 Arizona, the Cougars used a scoring flurry to pull within 62-60 in the waning seconds. Freshman PG KiKi Moore missed a jumper with 0.9 seconds left that could have tied the game.
After the Wildcats missed a free throw attempt, the Cougs had one more chance for the tie or win and out of a timeout with 3.5 seconds on the clock, sophomore April Cook missed a desperation three-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
Arizona, which was led by F Soana Lucet’s 22 points, will play top-seeded Stanford at 1:15 p.m. on Friday.
No. 7 seed Washington raced on the court shortly after the game finished. They’ll play No. 10 seed Oregon State. The Huskies swept the Beavers by an average of 11.5 points this season.
Washington coach Tia Jackson said her team has finally found its “niche,” looking forward to its performance in the tournament. The Huskies won their opening round game last year and are entering this season’s matchup on a three-game win streak, which matches their season’s best.
Without further ado, here are your starting lineups:
F Talisa Rhea
F Kristen Tilleman
C El Sara Greer
G Haiden Palmer
G Julie Futch
F Sami Whitcomb
F Mackenzie Argens
C Regina Rogers
G Sarah Morton
G Kristi Kingma
Tonight’s officials are Clarke Stevens, Darren Krzesnik, and Rick Showers.