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January 15, 2009 at 6:19 PM

Washington vs. Oregon game thread

HUSKIES LOSE: The Huskies lost 75-55 to a very average Oregon team. In case you’re keeping count at home, that’s 125-points in losses in three games for the Dawgs. Next up? A revived Oregon State on Saturday at Hec Ed. But the Beavers did lose to Washington State by 13 tonight.
DUCK WALK: This is going to be Washington’s third consecutive loss, but it didn’t have to be. If the team would have had a better offensive showing, they would have won. Some misses were air balls and others were released too soft — none were really defended that well by Oregon. The Ducks don’t care, however, they used a 10-3 run to build a 61-43 lead and now lead 63-48, waddling to their first win at Hec Ed in eight tries.
THREE SPREE: Oregon is using the outside shot to build a 44-35 lead after a putback by Christina Rozier. McLellan made a jumper after Barlow collected a steal, but the Huskies are still struggling on the offensive end. The good news is that the team is showing a lot of energy despite their woes. UW is down 44-37 with 14:31 remaining.
WILD STRETCH: Give it up for Whitcomb for showing some hustle. After a bad miss by McLellan, she busted down court to block a layin attempt by Oregon. McLellan later collected a defensive rebound, which turned into a layin by Argens. Two blocks by McLellan on Oregon sophomore Ellyce Ironmonger’s attempts gave the Huskies two more chances to close a 24-23 gap, but Augustavo and Whitcomb misfired. Lilley capatilized with two three-pointers that helped her team take a 32-27 lead into the break. Washington is banging inside, but shooting 30.3 percent — missing all six three-point attempts. The Ducks are 13 of 29 from the field (44.8 percent), which is nullifying their 17 turnovers (11 of which were Husky steals).
STILL COLD: Washington had once chance to tie and one chance to take the lead that was killed by their shooting, again. They’re at 29.2 percent and down 24-21 with 3:38 left in the opening half.
TRAVELING LIDS?: Part of the reason the Huskies sank so early against Stanford and Cal last week is because they couldn’t hit a basket to save the game. Jackson stated it was like there was a lid on the hoop. And apparently that lid travels. After a McNeill miss, the Huskies are shooting 28.6 percent from the field to start against the Ducks. The inability to connect is thwarting the turnovers (six) they’re generating with their zone defense. Oregon, meanwhile, is burning clock and shooting 50 percent from the field. They lead 18-14 with 9:02 remaining.
HUSKY PRIDE: Well, the Huskies have at least 11 fans behind them. The male students just bared their chests to spell out “GO HUSKIES!” complete with a space and exclamation point. The Dawgs are behind 8-6 with 16:00 after Mosiman made a nice recovery jump shot.
NEW THING: The Huskies debuted a new introduction highlight reel. All of the players and coaches had their heads cranked back to view it on the jumbo screen, giving a collective laugh at Barlow’s dancing and the end where Jackson played “keep-away” with a basketball with her team. The chorus was a “A new thing is about to begin.” Hopefully. Lay kicked off play by getting a steal in the opening seconds. A good sign. But Lilley responded with a layin, the first score of the game.
There’s nothing like music to change the mood and Washington appeared to be using their pregame cuts to get them in the groove. Newcomers Liz Lay and Lydia Young taught Mackenzie Argens how to “Get Silly” to the track by Soulja Boy. And later, while the team stretched, transfer Regina Rogers and student manager McCall Hall demonstrated the moves in unison on the sideline.
Those embarrassing losses? Yeah, they may be a thing of the past. But the ball has yet to be tipped against Oregon. And everyone in purple pegged this as a huge game.
The Ducks had a two-game win streak snapped by a loss to Arizona State on Sunday (81-53). But Oregon is sixth in the Pac-10 and could surprise some teams. They are playing without PG Nia Jackson (knee, out for season), G/F Rita Kollo (broken right foot), and F/C Nicole Canepa (left sprained ankle).
Washington coach Tia Jackson said she did a lot of teaching within the blowout losses against Stanford (77-points) and California (28-points) that didn’t show much in the final outcome — except for the fact that UW was even with Cal (25-25) in the second half of that defeat. The Huskies are using that tidbit as a confidence builder for tonight.
Jackson is starting another new lineup, using the two previous days of practice as the deciding factor. Leading-scorer Laura McLellan (10.0) is going to be benched for a second consecutive game while Sarah Morton is taking over the starting point guard responsibilities again.
Freshman F Charmaine Barlow is still wearing a white bandage over her right eye to protect the gash she suffered from the head-butt against California G Alexis Gray-Lawson on Sunday. She’s able to play, however, and so is G Sara Mosiman. Freshmen SG Kristi Kingma still has her left ankle wrapped and isn’t dressed tonight.
A small crowd has filtered into Hec Ed for the matchup. It’ll be entertaining if nothing else.
Here are the starting lineups:
F Sami Whitcomb
F Liz Lay
C Heidi McNeill
G Michelle Augustavo
G Sarah Morton
F Jasmin Holliday
F Amanda Johnson
C Ellie Manou
G Micaela Cocks
G Taylor Lilley
Tonight’s officials are Melissa Barlow, Darla Foutz, and Wendy Dailey.



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