HUSKIES WIN: WMU was hardly a tune-up for Georgia Tech, but bring on the Yellow Jackets. If the Huskies can continue to be aggressive offensively and hit their shots, the nonconference finale on Thursday at 5 p.m. has the potential to be an entertaining matchup. It surely will get the youngsters ready for Pac-10 play. And they saw some minutes due to foul trouble in the 59-40 win against the Broncos (3-9) on Monday. Kingma was the star with a game-high 25 points on 9-for-17 shooting. Morton added a stat-filled 11 points, five assists, and five boards while Williams and Argens combined for 13 points and 13 boards. “Coach J pushed this week in practice to keep shooting regardless of what was happening,” said Kingma of the eight days since the Huskies lost to UC Riverside behind 19 percent shooting from the field. “I came out and tried to be aggressive from the jump and shots were falling.” The sole blemish for UW was allowing WMU to have a bright spot in outscoring the Huskies 26-24 in the second half. If the Broncos were any better at shooting FTs (4-for-18), it could have been a different ballgame. But UW (5-3) was better at rebounding in the second half (19-13), to preserve its hold on the game. “We kind of had a letdown at halftime and that’s something we need to work on because Georgia Tech is going to be aggressive the whole game,” said Kingma, who also had seven boards. “Foul trouble continues to be our bug-a-boo, as Coach J would say. I’m out there playing the four (power forward) and I don’t get many reps of that in practice. We need to make sure we stay out of foul trouble and keep our composure.” Injuries is another issue. Williams (knee) and Barlow (thigh) were limping on Monday, but should play Thursday. Wetmore, whose injury Jackson would not elaborate on, is out until hopefully the conference opener. “You haven’t seen us, yet,” said Jackson of injuries hindering her team from playing to its potential.
GAME OVER: Kingma checked out of the game with 2:12 remaining and the Huskies up 57-37. She received a warm applause from the 1,577 fans in attendance for her game-high 25 points and seven boards.
NO FIRE: Washington is struggling slightly in the second half. The offense is still clicking, but the Huskies are giving Western Michigan some offensive opportunities and fouls. Williams fouled out with 7:01 remaining in the game and the Broncos are outscoring the Dawgs 20-14 in the second half, shooting 8-for-13 from the field.
FASHION TALK: Some of rage in the women’s basketball world last week was the orange leather blazer Tennessee coach Pat Summitt (mistakenly?) wore in a loss to Baylor. Well, they’re not purple, but I’d like to submit Jackson’s ruby-red leather pumps to the fashion file. They’re hot and perfect for a holiday party, or working the sideline at a basketball game, apparently. On the other end, WMU assistant coach Bo Bivens’ aqua blazer is a no-no, even if the reasoning is in honor of UCLA and the great John Wooden’s win streak. Anyway, UW is up 35-17 after a three-pointer by WMU to open the second half.
HALFTIME: Kingma’s buzzer-beater off an inbound play helped the Huskies take a commanding 35-14 lead into the break. The former Jackson High star has outscored the Broncos all by herself, finishing the half with a career-high 20 points. Kingma’s previous high at the break was 14 points done twice in her career, most recently at the Great Alaska Shootout in November, when she finished with a career-high 30 points in a loss to Kent State. UW has worked on offense this week and it shows, shooting 46.2 percent in the opening half and looking fluid. Not that WMU is offering much resistance. The Broncos are overmatched and not even hitting the free throws given, going 1-for-9 from the line. WMU is shooting 17.9 percent, led by Banktson’s nine points. Teammate Cleary has seven boards. Argens is leading the Huskies in rebounding with six, but UW is surprisingly getting outworked in that category 23-22. Now the question is whether UW can put a stamp on the this and close out the second half with fire. If this were the Huskies on the other side of the nation, they would go up 50 or 60. That would be interesting to see.
KING HER: Kingma is already off to a solid offensive night, leading the Huskies with 16 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field. She’s scored in double figures in eight consecutive games. No UW player achieved that feat last season. The Huskies lead 27-12 with 3:48 remaining in the half.
OUCH: WMU hasn’t hit a field goal since the 17:01 mark of the opening quarter. I’d like to say it’s due to aggressive defense, but I can’t give UW all the credit for this icy night. The Broncos are 2-for-8 from the field, missing some rare open opportunities and not getting a single second-chance point off six offensive rebounds. Washington leads 21-6.
TV TIME: UW-TV will air eight UW women’s Pac-10 home games, beginning with No. 9 UCLA on Dec. 31. The broadcast crew, former guard Sara Mosiman and play-by-play man Dan Giuliani are getting in a test run on Monday.
ROLL CALL: The Huskies are on a roll, even if it is a little messy and methodical because of the play of WMU. UW is on a 15-0 run since the game was tied at six points apiece with 16:40 on the clock. Instead of going inside, UW continues to hit outside shots to bury the Broncos.
TREY BIEN: The three-point ball is dropping for Washington. Morton and Kingma have hit one apiece to help build an early 10-5 lead with 15:51 remaining in the opening quarter. Actually offense looks solid across the board as Barlow added a jumper, too. The Dawgs are being outrebounded 5-3, but have no turnovers to start.
Depth suddenly could be an issue as Washington prepares to face Western Michigan at Edmundson Pavilion on Monday. Freshman G Mercedes Wetmore has an undisclosed medical condition and will not play against the Broncos.
Her absence is in addition to C Regina Rogers, whose out with a hamstring injury. While Rogers hasn’t played since the opener against Portland State, giving teammates plenty of time to adjust, Wetmore has been a factor off the bench lately. She averages 6.0 points and 2.6 assists in 26.0 minutes, starting once in her seven games.
If the Huskies (4-3) manage to stay out of foul trouble, the depth shouldn’t be a big problem. Western Michigan (3-8) lost six consecutive games before it defeated Youngstown State in overtime on Dec. 12. The Broncos don’t have a big lineup, giving the Huskies a chance to dominate inside.
Washington is looking to rebound from a four-point loss to UC Riverside last week. The players have completed finals, which has given them clear minds headed into the final two games of the nonconference schedule, according to Huskies coach Tia Jackson. UW hosts Georgia Tech on Thursday.
Let’s get to it with your starting lineups:
F DeAirra Goss
F Maria Iaquaniello
C Ebony Cleary
G Taylor Manley
G Brenna Bankston
F Charmaine Barlow
F Mollie Williams
C Mackenzie Argens
G Sarah Morton
G Kristi Kingma
Tonight’s officials are Marianne Karp, Cathi Cornell, and Kenneth Nash.