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December 30, 2008 at 4:52 PM

Kansas State versus Washington game thread

HUSKIES LOSE: Maybe it was the band playing “Living on a Prayer” but the Huskies showed a little more life in the final two minutes to make the close interesting — especially the back-to-back three-pointers by Augustavo. But UW needed to foul to gain possession and KSU made their FTs to retain the win. The Wildcats were led by their big three in Sweat (20 points), Lehning (19 points, 10 assists, and 10 boards), and Gipson (17). UW was led by Kingma (14) and Whitcomb (13). No. 22 K-State won 73-60.
RECORD BAREAKEARS: With 1:54 remaining it’s safe to say that this K-State team is going to break its record for best start in school history at 12-0. The previous mark, 11-0, was set the Wildcats’ inaugural year in 1968-69. A fan behind the K-State bench just started flashing a purple sign with the feat written in white.
SMACK THAT: Gipson just smacked Whitcomb’s shot attempt so hard, I could hear the skin connecting with the leather from my mid-level seat. One fan called it the best play we’ve seen all night, I wouldn’t say that, but it was gorgeous. K-State leads 61-46 with 4:15 remaining.
MIA: The Huskies are missing oomph. That’s what seems to keep them from being a higher tier. You can see potential in a Whitcomb, Kingma, Young, Lay and McLellan, but it’s just not there tonight. Who knows if it’ll be there this season? But the Huskies need to find it because teams like K-State, Gonzaga, and of course No. 1 Connecticut have it, which makes these matchups methodical beatings. The Wildcats are giving everyone a chance to shine in the final minutes, building a 59-46 lead while the Huskies search for oomph.
STANDS FILLING UP: Tonight’s game is the first of a double-header with the men, who face Morgan State. One ticket got you a seat to both games, although folks sitting up close for the women may have to move when season-ticket holders show for the men. There’s a good crowd for the women, but probably not many taking advantage of the deal as marketers would hope. As for the game, Sweat has taken over, giving her team a 45-37 lead against Washington.
HUSKIES ARRIVE: Whatever Jackson said during the last timeout worked because the Huskies have snapped out of that funk. Another Rozier bucket and a lucky turnaround jumper by McLellan has inched UW within 37-32 with 15:36 remaining. Still a ton of game left to play, but at least the Huskies are showing some grit and giving themselves a chance.
TIMEOUT: For instructions on how not to come out of the break, see the first two minutes of this half. The Huskies had a bad pass turnover by Whitcomb and allowed the Wildcats a 6-0 run to quickly build a 37-28 lead with 17:59 left in the game. Jackson was irked. We’ll see if UW can put a plug in K-State’s momentum.
HALFTIME: Some good substituting by Jackson and play by those players helped the Huskies hold at 31-28 going into the break. True, Lehning already has seven assists and K-State is shooting 44.8 percent, but the Huskies are minimizing their mistakes and have forced six of the Wildcats’ eight turnovers. Kingma and Whitcomb have nine points apiece for UW while Gipson is leading the Wildcats with eight points and two blocks. In order for the Huskies to win, however, they are going to have to rebound better (just four offensive rebounds) and they’ve got to stop the ball from getting inside for those high-percentage shots.
QUICK CHANGE: Don’t know if Lehning has a previous back injury, but she just stripped off a bunch of athletic tape from the area on the sideline. She’s resting on the bench as Rozier made back-to-back baskets to pull within 31-28 with 47.1 seconds left. UPDATE: Lehning suffered a hip pointer injury against Washington State on Sunday.
KING ME: With Lay back in the lineup, the Huskies are piecing together a good stretch where they are grabbing rebounds and making tough shots. Kingma just pulled the team within 29-24 with 3:32 remaining in the opening half with a three-pointer.
REMEMBER WHEN?: I can’t look up the score from here, but I was just reminded of one of Hec Ed’s earlier memories when an unknown Sheryl Swoopes came to town with Texas Tech to play Washington State in a double-header. It was one of Swoopes’ first games with the Red Raiders as a juco transfer and she lit up the place making everyone forget about the Cougs and wonder about her. Swoopes is currently calling the UW-KSU game for FSN.
LAY IT DOWN: Well, Lay made her debut and nix what I said earlier, her making all those shots does mean a thing. I think she was robbed on her first Husky bucket, a spin in the paint for a layin that was ruled a travel. No worries. Lay simply barreled through the paint on her next attempt for a made basket. Add a defensive board and her three minutes on the court were solid. She moved well on defense, but you could tell she still needs more conditioning. K-State leads 25-17.
NO SWEAT: There’s some nice passing going on. The Huskies had a sweet play where McLellan passed outside to Michelle Augustavo, who hit Whitcomb on the wing for a three-pointer. But the Wildcats quickly answered, moving the ball around on their end until they found Sweat underneath for a bucket to make the score 17-11 K-State.
It means nothing, but Washington freshman Liz Lay was on the court for warm-ups for tonight’s game against Kansas State and she didn’t miss a shot…until it was noted that she hadn’t missed a shot. Coach Tia Jackson still says the prized recruit is on track to play this season.
As for top reserve Sara Mosiman, a junior guard, she won’t be in the lineup against the No. 22 Wildcats. Jackson was upbeat in a telephone interview following the debacle in Cancun, Mexico, joking that she wished “there was more snow so Sara could walk around in it and keep ice on the ankle.” Obviously Jackson was laying on a beach and not slipping around un-salted Seattle to have that kind of humor. Anyway, Mosiman may be out the week due to an ankle sprain.
It’ll make these matchups tough, including the Pac-10 opener against Washington State on Saturday. But the Huskies are returning home after a month on the road. That alone should spark some good play.
Just in case, Jackson made a lineup change, benching F Heidi McNeill and Sarah Morton for junior college transfers Lydia Young and Christina Rozier. Can I go ahead and say that I called the Rozier swap in exhibition play?
OK, here are the starting lineups:
F Ashley Sweat
F Danielle Zanotti
C Marlies Gipson
G Shalee Lehning
G Kari Kincaid
F Kristi Kingma
F Lydia Young
C Laura McLellan
G Christina Rozier
G Sami Whitcomb



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