HUSKIES WIN: The streak is broken. UW gets its first season-opening win since 2005 off a miracle 15-footer by Williams. The miracle part is that after missing her previous nine FG’s, she wasn’t hesitant to take the kick-out shot with PSU’s Katy Wade charging at her. The bucket with 24 seconds remaining on the clock was enough for a 51-50 win before 2,003 at Hec Ed. Williams said afterward that she didn’t allow the misses mess with her. She simply did other things, like grabbing a career-high 13 boards and dishing out a team-high five assists. “I shocked myself,” she said of the stats. “I didn’t know I had all that.” The junior had the wind knock out of her on the intentional foul in the opening half, saying she’s fine now. Rogers suffered from a hamstring pull, but also declared herself healthy. She teamed with Kingma to contribute game-high 18 points apiece. Jones, who missed a potential game-winning jumper with seven seconds on the clock, led the Vikings with 14 points and five boards. After the game, PSU coach Sherri Murrell told Jackson they should stop playing each other because of the heart-attack finishes. UW still has areas to improve, however, like the horrid 7-for-23 showing from the FT line and the shared 4:10 where neither team scored down the stretch. But the Dawgs play strong defense and find ways to stay in games, so it’s a moot point. “My first time getting a win my first game (of the season) as a Husky feels awesome,” said Kingma, who bravely dared to chest-bump with the 6-foot-3 Rogers mid-second half. “I came out of the chest-bump alright…Maybe that’s why I missed my free throws. I don’t know if you could tell, but I was having a great time out there.”
TAKE THAT II: Hold up! Seems Washington has some fight down the stretch. back-to-back three-pointers by Kingma and a driving layin by Rogers put UW back up 47-46 with 6:05 on the clock.
BASKETBALL JONES: There has been a 21-point swing since the opening of the game, Jones doing her part to keep the Vikings ahead with her shooting. The Lynnwood product has scored eight of her team-leading 12 points in the second half to build a 44-37 lead with 10:38 left.
ALL DAY: Put Rogers on the block for the turnaround jumper for 30 minutes and I swear UW would go undefeated. Of course conditioning would be key in this happening. Anyway, she made another of the patent shots to tie the score at 31 points apiece. But the Vikings countered with a Jones three-pointer to inch back ahead. PSU up 34-31 with 15:15 remaining in the game.
WILLIAMS BACK: Williams is back starting the second half and Rogers is on the stationary bike warming up. Looks like both won’t be hindered by injuries to finish the game.
TAKE THAT: The Vikings got two offensive boards, Jones getting the opportunity to nail a quick jumper before the buzzer sounded. PSU takes a 27-24 lead into the break. Both Williams and Rogers were off the court, leading to PSU getting easier offensive boards. Before the final possession, the Huskies duo helped hold the Vikings to three offensive rebounds. The Huskies were also going to Rogers a lot for offense. They could keep control of the ball to get good shots without her on the court. Rogers appears to have a leg injury while Williams, who was intentionally fouled by Samms, took a hard hit to the back and the trainer was tending to that before the teams left the court for halftime. Washington will have to make their free throws, get back on the rebounding track, and find more offensive options to pull out the win. But PSU was the team leaving the court with all the energy after being down 14-0 to start the game. Rogers has 10 points while Williams has nine boards to lead UW. PSU is led by VanBrocklin’s nine points. No Vikings player has more than three boards.
FREEBIES: The Huskies are 6 of 16 from the FT line, a big reason they don’t have a bigger lead than 25-22 with 1:25 remaining before the break. Jackson said the Huskies were going to focus on the free shot in the week between the exhibition and opener. UW still needs more focus. Score now tied at 25 after another three-pointer by Bishop.
CLOSING IN: A sweet step-back jumper by Jones inched the Vikings within 19-17. PSU has used a 17-5 run to get out of the early deficit, forcing turnovers and doing a better job on the boards. There’s 4:43 remaining in the half.
GAME CHANGE: The Vikings are finding a flow, going on a 13-5 run to shrink the deficit to 19-13 with 7:47 remaining before halftime. VanBrocklin, a transfer from Boise State who hails from Deming, is leading with nine points. Jackson spoke of the G being dangerous earlier this week. Now the Huskies see why.
STREAK OVER: It was an impressive run, even thought the game might make the front page of ESPN.com as the first shutout in NCAA women’s hoops. Alas, Williams committed a foul, sending Courtney VanBrocklin to the line where she made 1 of 2 FTs. UW up 14-1 with 11:59 remaining in the first half.
SPOTTED: Former Chicago Sky coach Steven Key, a good friend of Jackson, and UW men’s coach Lorenzo Romar’s wife and children are among the sparse crowd at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Key invited former UW standout Sami Whitcomb to the Sky’s training camp last summer. Whitcomb is currently working as the Huskies’ director of video operations. UW up 11-0 with 13:38 remaining.
HUSKY ROLL: The Dawgs came out like they mean business. Junior Regina Rogers is seemingly uncontainable inside and Wetmore is helping Kingma run the point. Huskies lead 8-0 with 15:27 remaining in the opening half. The Vikings are 0 for 6 from the field while UW is 3-for-4. Kingma leads with six points.
We’re back! But some things are staying the same. Washington is tipping off its season against Interstate-5 foe Portland State, but the Huskies again have to deal with injuries. Senior PG Sarah Morton is out with a sprain left ankle.
Morton, who averaged 5.7 points and 2.7 assists last year, suffered the injury in practice on Monday and wore a boot on Tuesday, using crutches to walk. She is walking on her own Sunday, but still using a boot to protect the ankle.
Early in the week, coach Tia Jackson was hopeful she’d have her floor leader on the court. Jackson has already lost Liz Lay (knee) and sophomore Jeneva Anderson (hip surgery) in addition to meshing a new roster after five seniors graduated. But now freshman PG Mercedes Wetmore will be immediately tested as Morton’s replacement in the lineup. But not starting lineup. Kingma will run the point with Charmaine Barlow as the SG. Freshman Marjorie Heard will be on the wing with Mollie Williams and Mackenzie Argens inside.
The Vikings aren’t dealing with injuries. Yet PSU did lose do-everything G Claire Faucher, who’s currently an assistant at Oregon State. The Vikings defeated the Huskies by one in Portland to open the season last year.
And it doesn’t matter the opponent or injury, openers are rough for Jackson. She’s 0-3 at UW, looking for that first break. Getting Kingma and Barlow off to a hot start, limiting foul trouble and defending PSU is going to be key.
The opening weekend of NCAA women’s hoops has already had some highlights, like OSU defeating Long Beach State 71-39. We’ll see what Washington can add to the mix.
Let’s get it started with your starting lineups:
F Kelli Valentine
F Lexi Bishop
C Shauneice Samms
G Eryn Jones
G Karley Lampman
F Mollie Williams
F Marjorie Heard
C Mackenzie Argens
G Kristi Kingma
G Charmaine Barlow
Tonight’s officials are Brenda Pantoja, Rick Showers, and Richard Waters.