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Washington makes Pac-12 Networks debut, hosts Arizona on Seahawks Sunday

posted by Jayda Evans: Womens Hoops Blog
Monday, January 7, 2013 at 8:43am EST

Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"

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HUSKIES WIN: UW won 76-65 before 2,o43 fans at Alaska Airlines Arena. Walton and Davis finished with 20 points apiece, Walton adding a season-high 13 rebounds. “She’s starting to get a little bit more of a balance in her game,” McGuff said of Walton. “For a while there she’d settle for exclusively three-point shot. She’s still shooting the three, but now she’s putting the ball on the floor.” Kingma used her leadership and regained shooting touch to lead the Huskies out of its muck in the second half. She had 15 of her 18 points after the break. Kingma made six free throws to close the game. Across the court, UA captain Whyte was trying to do the same for her team. She scored 12 of her final 17 points after the break. She also had 10 rebounds. “Arizona is a team that we knew from the beginning that could put up numbers really quickly," Kingma said. "Davellyn is a great player and they have some really good shoots. I think that for a while we lost our focus and we let them back. Against teams that are maybe predicted to finish a little bit higher, those lapses can’t happen." Like, oh, next week against No. 16 UCLA (11-2, 2-0 Pac-12). The Huskies also play USC on the road next. For now, UW is undefeated to start conference play for the first time since 2006-07 when it started 5-0. After the game, Davis and teammate Deborah Meeks joined reporters in the media room to watch part of the conclusion of Hawks playoff win. They were kicked out because they were rooting for the 'Skins. Davis was recovering from vomiting before and during halftime of Sunday's game. She said it was from a bad breakfast and is unlikely to miss any practices or games. "It's always something with our team," Kingma quipped. "Someone's sick or someone's hurt. We've just got to be resilient and play through it."

WETMORE OUT: Wetmore fouled out with 25 second left and UW up 74-65. The Huskies used a small 6-2 run to regain some breathing room in the matchup.

CLAWING BACK: The Wildcats have scratched deep into the Huskies' lead behind a 17-5 run. Whyte, a senior, has been the floor leader and never playing like the game was over. It's 63-56 UW with 5:01 remaining. Whyte has 15 points, eight rebounds and dour assists. Washington has missed 10 of its 12 shot attempts since its 58-39 lead to drop to 34.6 percent shooting in the second half.

SCOREBOARD: No. 7 Cal had to fight for a 53-49 at No. 20 Colorado. No. 16 UCLA is down 34-24 at the break at Oregon State while Washington State is leading Arizona State 70-57 with 2:39 left in the second half. In Eugene, USC and Oregon are in a tight one with 3:57 on the clock. Trojans lead 58-57. No. 4 Stanford beat Utah 70-56.

 

LULL: Neither team is making much happen on the court. It's 58-45 with 9:21 left. Hawks, however, are down 14-3 in the second quarter.

FOUL TROUBLE: Wetmore has been an unsung hero in this game and is now on the bench with four fouls. Freshman G Heather Corral replaced her in the lineup. Wetmore has 10 points, three rebounds and two assists. UW is shooting 50 percent in the second half, 3-for-6 from three-point range.

BASKETS DROP: Arizona made back-to-back layins to make the deficit 58-39 and McGuff didn't like it. He called time, his team not playing the Wildcats correctly defensively on the baseline.

FREEBIE: Washington's run is getting a little ridiculous. It's up to 21-4 now, Whyte hitting a free throw to at least get something in the net with 13:13 left in the game.

SPOTTED: Former Washington defensive stopper Charmaine Barlow and former football star turned Seattle City councilmember, Bruce Harrell, are seated behind the UW bench. Harrell has a daughter that plays hoops and could be in purple one day.

FAST WORK: The Huskies are on a 14-3 run to start the second half. It's been all Kingma and and Wetmore getting the activity going as more attention is paid to Walton and Davis. Walton did have a pull-up jumper that seemed to bounce around every spot of the rim before dropping.

SNAPPIN' NETS: Kingma busted out with back-to-back three-points and Williams beat the Wildcats for a rebound, UA coach Niya Butts calling an immediate timeout with 19:20 left in the game. Butts spread her hands in exasperation as her team headed to the bench to discuss the less than desired start to the second half. It's 43-33 UW.

THE BREAK: Get board, get out and score -- that's been Washington's recipe late in the opening quarter to use a 10-4 run and take a 37-31 lead into the break. Williams has nine rebounds, helping Walton (12 points) and Davis (10) get the crowd to say Seahawks who? FYI, the Hawks-Washington Redskins are scoreless with 10 minutes remaining in the opening quarter. UW has nine second-chance points and eight in transition. UA appeared headed to another three-point happy night, making 3 of 6 attempts with 11:37 left in the half. It has been 0 for 7 since. Poston and Gloyd lead the Wildcats with six points apiece. Whyte is 2-for-6 (1-5 three-point range) for five points and four rebounds in the first half. The halftime show was the always fun unicycle crew.

RIP: You probably know the rough state the newspaper biz is wading through with the tough economy and Internet. Women's hoops lost another solid writer due to the 1-2 sucker punch. The Everette Herald let go of four reporters on Friday, UW beat reporter Scott Johnson being one. That leaves me and sometimes The Associate Press. Miss you already, Scott!

HUSKIES LEAD: UW not running much, but is starting to get out there with Williams snagging some boards. Walton gave the Huskies its first lead with a jumper with 4:50 remaining and then had a sick pass to Wetmore, smartly spotting a double team headed her way and Wetmore open for the layin. It's 31-27 Washington with 3:42 left.

TECH ISSUES: Updates will be a little slow due to a rare bad connection in the arena. Williams has perked up inside and UW's defense is playing better to pull within 25-22 with 6:52 left in the opening half. Williams scored underneath, shying from her trademark earlier, and grabbed a big rebound to set up a nice Davis drip to the hoop to force UA to call time. Walton leads with eight points and Davis have five.

TIMEOUT: The Wildcats are starting to ease into their game. It's shooting 64.3 percent from the field. UW is grabbing rebounds now (nine) but its shooting has dropped to 37.5 percent (6 of 16). Just as I wrote about Walton, she flung an airball three-point attempt

T-TIME: Walton has always had a beautiful shot...it just didn't go in when needed enough. She's started off well on Sunday, making 3 of 5 from the field. UW is down 17-14 with 13:52 on the clock. UW is getting into early foul trouble and not getting enough second-chance shot opportunities. It's getting outrebounded 6-2 to Arizona early.

This game is going to take some juggling. Not for Washington coach Kevin McGuff and is lineups against a high-powered Arizona backcourt that includes senior Davellyn Whyte, a three-time all-Pac-12 honoree. I'm talking about you and that all-to-important Seahawks playoff game that starts 30-minutes into the game at Alaska Airlines Arena and Washington's debut on the Pac-12 Networks.

Yeah, were all going to be flipping around trying to get score updates and watch the Washington women, who've started off with a conference-opening win for the first time since 2009. AT least you have a TV and computer. A good crowd, despite the apparent sports conflict, as shown for the game. Plenty in Hawks gear and jersey's, however.

UW (9-3, 1-0 Pac-12) swept Arizona (9-3, 1-0) last season. The Huskies won 77-48 at Alaska Airlines Arena and then pulled out a gritty 68-59 win at McKale Center. The Huskies trail in the overall series 32-21, but have won nine of the past 14 matchups.

UA is another team that excels in UW's weaknesses. The Wildcats force 20.8 an average turnovers this season. The goal is 25. UW has improved on taking care of the ball, averaging  14..7, but can have trouble early in games, which often leads to deficits and struggles in trying to win late. The Wildcats are a better rebounding team (41.3) and just as quick with the steals.

Pac-12 prognosticators didn't care for Arizona in preseason outlooks. The Wildcats were selected last in the conference while the Huskies were also selected to finish in the the bottom half. This weekend has been important in establishing separations in the standings that could be key come conference tournament seeding later. Lets see if the Huskies can continue to assert itself with another win at home.

Here's your starting lineups:

WILDCATS

F Kama Griffitts

F Carissa Crutchfield

C Chesi Poston

G Davellyn Whyte

G Alli Gloyd

 

HUSKIES

F Kristi Kingma

F Aminah Williams

C Talia Walton

G Jazmine Davis

G Mercedes Wetmore

 

Tonight's officials are Lisa Jones, Cathi Cornell, and Shelley Nakasone.

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