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The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

January 1, 2009 at 8:05 PM

Washington freshman Liz Lay makes solid debut

LizLay.jpgKansas State coach Deb Patterson took a brief look at Washington freshman Liz Lay and saw the player’s future. “She reminds me of Marlies Gipson,” Patterson said in comparing her own undersized post to the 6-foot-1 Lay. “[Liz] will have more pizzazz.”
The Huskies could use some pizzazz off the bench, especially while their reserve crop is depleted due to injury to Sara Mosiman (ankle). Lay was fearless in her debut on Tuesday, barreling inside for layins and grabbing rebounds. In eight minutes in the loss to the No. 18 Wildcats, the Oklahoma product finished with five points on 2 of 4 shooting and two boards.
The comparison to Gipson is flattering. Patterson says the unassuming senior has a basketball knowledge she wishes she could “inject” into everyone and against the Huskies, Gipson finished with 17 points and six blocks in 29 minutes. Plus, Patterson can spot a good post when she sees one, developing Minnesota Lynx center Nicole Ohlde.
It’ll be interesting to see what Lay (pictured right) can do against a younger frontline in Washington State on Saturday. She admits her conditioning isn’t there and she’s only 65 percent healthy after spring surgery on her right knee while in high school.
The Cougars are confident after a 7-4 non-conference schedule. They’ll have guard Jasmine Williams back in the rotation, who was benched due to violating team rules. And coach June Daugherty is itching to break the 26-game win streak she helped set while coaching 11 seasons at Washington.
But I’d look for Lay to show more of that “pizzazz” in making it 27 UW wins. If the Huskies don’t get the victory, they could face a five-game losing streak, immediately traveling to the Bay Area to play No. 11 Stanford and No. 13 California next week.

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