As good as Washington SG Kristi Kingma is, it’s hard to believe Monday’s announcement that she’s Pac-10 Player of the Week is a first in her career. But it is, the junior getting the nod after scoring a game-high 29 points in UW’s 64-52 win against cross-state rival Washington State on Sunday.
She is the first UW player to earn the honor this season. A Stanford player won the weekly award in three of the previous four weeks.
Kingma, a 5 foot 10 former star from Jackson High, made a career-high 11 field goals and set a career-high with six steals. She made five three-pointers while her teammates were a combined 6 for 35 from the field.
Scoring 17 points in the opening half, Kingma’s biggest shot was a three-pointer with 3:21 remaining in the game to stop a 13-0 WSU run. She was wide open for the basket, Cougars coach June Daugherty later stating her players were late to their coverage, bumping in transition as they prepared to setup their matchup zone defense.
“My coach and teammates were yelling ‘SHOOT!’ That usually doesn’t happen for me,” Kingma said of the moment where she stepped into the shot, first trying to decide if she should take the three or drive to the hoop.
“I honestly didn’t have anyone near me and that’s uncommon,” Kingma said.
Washington (8-10 overall, 3-6 Pac-10) hosts the Oregon schools at Edmundson Pavilion this week. The Ducks defeated the Huskies by four earlier this month, forcing a season-high-tying 25 turnovers. Kingma nailed a career-high six three-pointers in finishing with 21 points.
UW defeated Oregon State 55-52, Kingma finishing with a team-high 15 points and 11 rebounds. A noted scorer in high school, her defense has been the most impressive development under coach Tia Jackson.
“Being a leader, I know that in crunch-time there needs to be a basket or there needs to be a steal, whether or not I’m the person doing it, I need to make sure that we understand what needs to get done,” Kingma said. “When they (WSU) went on their run we came together and just said, ‘They’re going to on a run but as long as we rebound and take care of the ball then we’ll withstand it.’ Just my intensity, I think, was more intense than it has been.”