HUSKIES LOSE: Nia Jackson was so happy for Barlow and “the awesome defense” she played on her Saturday, but in the end, Jackson pulled out another Ducks win. UO won 68-64 to close out basketball games played at Mac Court. “They did not want to lose this game,” Westhead said. “It is a forever win. Five years, 10 years, 84 years from now, someone will be remembering. And the anthem we will remember.” Jackson said her Ducks want to become known for their steals as much as their scoring, getting 15 against Washington. She led, finishing with a game-high 22 points, seven assists, and five picks. Kingma led her team, making a career-high-tying six three-pointers for 21 points and seven rebounds. But Heard’s eight turnovers to mare an 18 and 12 night hurt, in addition to the Huskies shooting 9 of 17 from the FT line. “We just weren’t making smart decisions,” Kingma said. “We worked on it this week. If they had three (players) up, it would go in a certain place and if they didn’t, it would go somewhere else. I don’t know if it was the crowd noise or Oregon plays so fast, but we didn’t make good decisions.” Too bad, because UW’s defense again was working, getting UO to shoot 28.6 percent in the second half. They also kept the running team from scoring a point on fastbreaks. It’s still early in the conference season, however, and the schools split the series last year. So, UW can count the positives, like Rogers’ numbers. She played just 15 minutes and finished with 12 points and nine boards. Morton continues to hit Kingma in the right spot, finishing with seven assists and Heard is a Sami Whitcomb replacement in a sense, playing a football style of basketball to inflict pain on opponents. Williams also was OK. She played seven minutes in her first game back from a concussion and had two points. “There was tremendous inside-outside attack,” Jackson said of her postgame speech to the team. Washington (6-7, 1-3 Pac-10) returns to play No. 4 Stanford and California this week at Hec Ed. Oregon (11-4, 2-2) plays its inaugural game at Matt Arena on Jan. 23 against rival OSU.
TIMEOUT?: Yes, Tia Jackson called a timeout with 1.7 seconds remaining, getting showered with boos from the 2,854 in attendance that wanted to start the celebrations. UO was up by four. “We don’t quit,” Jackson said. “I don’t ever want them to think that’s the case. It was just, if we could get a tip, get a steal, put Regina on the ball, we would have tried to get a tip off of that…They were still able to get it in.” Nia Jackson collected the inbound pass and simply held on as time expired.
NEW TRADEMARK?: What the…Oregon isn’t know for defense at all, but you’d think they were UCLA the way they are forcing UW into countless turnovers off in-bound passes. Argens was almost called for a five-second violation, Kingma unable to get loose from the Ducks’ coverage. Coach Paul Westhead has his team playing a full-court press and Nia Jakcosn is all over Kingma. Freshman Mercedes Wetmore was called for another turnover, unable to break the press and running right into Kristi Fallin, who locked her up into a travel.
HAWKS WATCH: The Seahawks have taken a 24-20 lead! Sorry I didn’t place that bet in Vegas. Oh, well. Here in Eugene there’s a good game going on, too. UW is getting back on track, down 45-41 after a Morton jumper. There’s 11:58 on the clock.
I’M HOTTER: Nia Jackson has had enough of Kingma stealing her spotlight. She picked off two more UW in-bound passes and made a three-pointer to pull together a 13-0 run for her team. UO leads 45-33 with 14:24 left in the game. Jackson has 17 points on 6 of 11 shooting.
SCOREBOARD: Man, has anyone checked out what’s going on around the Pac-10? No. 12 UCLA is making USC look stupid on FSN, leading 51-29 with 7:41 remaining in the game. No. 4 Stanford leads ASU 55-17 early in the second half while Cal is killing Arizona 50-36. OSU is up 30-29 against Washington State with 18:54 remaining the the battle of the conference-winnless teams.
UW LEADS: Yeah, this is Kingma’s game. She nailed her fifth three-pointer of the game to give the Huskies a 33-32 lead with 18:34 remaining in the game. Somebody might want to check her.
HALFTIME: It was all Canepa to close out the opening half for the Ducks with a modest 32-28 lead. She scored her team’s final four points and had a block on Morton, continuing to play well off the bench in Oregon’s past four games. UW was led by Kingma’s 12 points, shooting 4 of 5 from three-point range. One more and she ties the career record set on Thursday against OSU. She also has five boards along with Argens and Heard. But UW only has three offensive rebounds compared to nine for UO, getting outscored 6-5 on second-chance points. It’s the bench points that truly hurt, however. Canepa’s 10 have the Ducks reserves outscoring the Huskies 13-8. UW also has 13 turnovers for nine Oregon points. It’s going to take a similar theme of taking care of the ball and making better decisions on offense for UW to win this one. You can tell Kingma is ready for the upset.
TOO HOT: Kingma sank another three-pointer to make the score 27-24 with 4:21 left on the clock. A FT by Kenyon slowed the run to14-1, but UW turned the ball over three times on the in-bound play to prevent the offensive momentum from really taking over the Ducks.
CHECKMATE: Kingma nailed three consecutive three-pointers in the midst of an 11-0 run to help pull the Dawgs within 27-21 with 6:13 left in the opening half. The outburst was after a wordy timeout by Tia Jackson. UW being able to drive and kick-out to Kingma is obviously key, the Huskies are also starting to get some rebounds.
INTERIOR WORK: The UW posts are going to be out of sync, this is the first time since the season opener that all have been healthy. But Holliday is helping to make them look silly, getting a nice hi-lo pass to Nicole Canepa for a layin and an in-bound pass to Johnson for a score off a UW five-second violation. Johnson just scored again off another turnover by UW on an in-bound attempt to build a cozy 27-10 lead.
HAWKS UPDATE: I know you’re curious. The Seahawks are down 17-7 with 13:28 remaining in the second quarter.Dawgs are down 20-10 with 11:02 on the clock.
MS JACKSON: A three-pointer and a wicked baseline drive has Nia Jackson’s Ducks up 13-6 with 14:27 remaining in the opening half. Jackson played high school hoops with Barlow and Rogers. Williams did answer with a layin, but UW isn’t getting the boards to give itself more chances or stop Oregon.
SUBS IN: Jackson has gone to Rogers and Williams with 16:18 remaining in the opening half. Rogers made her first FG attempts and the Huskies are down 6-4.
TEAR IT UP: Roger McConnell played a Jimi Hendrix inspired national anthem for the last played at the facility. He got the crowd going, but took a minute to set-up, leading a fan to scream “Go Ducks!” into the silence. It was met with cheers until another fan belted “Go Dawgs!” The team cheered with their followers and the Ducks finally started to boo. After the anthem, McConnell kissed the court.
Full disclosure: I keep every media pass given. Don’t know what I’m going to do with them, but they’re stacked in boxes around the home office. I think I’ll do something special with the one passed out today, however, like frame it with the Madison Square Garden visits and WNBA championships.
Oregon (10-4, 1-2 Pac-10) is playing its final basketball game at the historic McArthur Court Saturday afternoon. The school will host a BCS viewing party at the 84-year-old facility on Monday for the football team, but the women shut the doors on hoops against Washington (6-6, 1-2). The men opened the building in 1927 with a win against Willamette and will debut the $227 million Matthew Knight Arena on Thursday against USC.
The Huskies haven’t been particularly successful on the Ducks’ turf, winning in Eugene three times in the past 10 years. Yet, the players are as geeked as me to play part in history. Given the rivalry between the schools, UW would like nothing more than have the famed building close its books with a loss to Washington.
A really good crowd, some who may have attended the inaugural game, is filing in from the slight drizzle outside. Oregon alum Cathrine Kraayeveld, who starred at Lake Washington High, is seated behind the Ducks bench wearing her own throwback T-shirt, “Cat’s Not Afraid of Dawgs” with her No. 33 on it. Others are draped in green and gold and snapping photos from every angle.
Washington has its own good news in F Mollie Williams being dressed for the first time since suffering a concussion against Georgia Tech on Dec. 23. She’s practiced this week, looking strong in shoot-around sessions. Her minutes could be limited along with C Regina Rogers, who returned Thursday after two-month absence.
Huskies coach Tia Jackson spoke of conditioning since neither has played in a bit, so she didn’t want to exasperate them. Their return does help UW inside, however. In Washington’s recent three-game losing streak, a big reason for the losses was lack of depth inside and younger players making mistakes due to logging heavier minutes than expected early in the season.
“We were able to close out a game,” said Jackson of Rogers’ minutes in a 55-52 win against Oregon State on Thursday. “It’s been a bugaboo for the last few games. We did it right, we wanted to play her between 12 and 15 minutes.”
F Mackenzie Argens said what she likes most about the building is it’s name, “Mac Court,” scoring a career-high 21 points in a loss to Oregon last year. She proclaimed the Huskies would have something for the Ducks, let’s see what it is by getting you ready with your starting lineups:
F Charmaine Barlow
F Marjorie Heard
C Mackenzie Argens
G Sara Morton
G Kristi Kingma
F Amanda Johnson
F Jasmin Holliday
C Victoria Kenyon
G Nia Jackson
G Ashley Buis
Tonight’s officials are Marianne Karp, Rick Showers, and Shelley Nakasone.