Given first game jitters, a somewhat unorthodox Division II opponent, and the adjustment of playing someone other than teammates for the first time, it’s difficult to read too much into the University of Washington’s 69-61 victory over Seattle Pacific University last night in Bank of America Arena.
Sometimes what matters most in games like these is getting a sense of not only what a team is a capable of, but also additional things to work on.
“You have to love exhibition games,” said coach Tia Jackson. “They reveal a lot about the things we have to work on to get ready for a pretty competitive pre-season and even more competitive conference play.”
One of the things the Huskies will definitely have to work according to Jackson is defending perimeter shooters. Seattle Pacific was led by local product Daesha Henderson who scored a game-high 26 points and shot 5-6 from the three-point line. While the rest of the team only 4 of 14 from the three-point line, many of those attempts were uncontested as Husky defenders were either a few seconds late on rotations or unable to get a hand up. It’s something they’ll have to work on before entering the pre-season schedule.
“They’re not a traditional team,” said Jackson about Seattle Pacific. “It’s not often that you come across a team that relies on the three so heavily. But they rely on it and they’re very, very good at it. So it’s something they’re extremely consistent in.
“We’re going to face a lot of that four out action with BYU. We’re going to face it with Portland State who does a lot of the motion offense, which is four out. So we’re prepping to get ready for our pre-season.”
On the offensive end, the Huskies relied heavily on the production of their seniors. Center Laura McLellan scored 18 points on 8-10 shooting, getting a number of easy scoring opportunities in the post. Guard Sara Mosiman also had an efficient scoring night with 14 points on 7 of 12 shooting, coming off screens and softly floating mid-range jumpers through the friendly Bank of America Arena rims.
“She’s been super consistent all summer, all pre-season, so I think she definitely showed that,” said senior guard Sami Whitcomb of Mosiman’s performance. “She comes off the screen really well – she reads it really well – and just has a really nice mid-range jumper and I think she showed that tonight.”