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November 14, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Game thread: Washington at Portland State

WHAT A FINISH: Jackson speaks very frankly, but it can sound bad. Today she said PSU was, “Designed for them to win this game, honestly,” after a 67-66 finish at Stott Center. It was a great design. Valentine came off a perfect screen by sophomore teammate Katy Wade and nailed a 15-footer. Mosiman, who was on the bench, said her team was expecting a different play, but Valentine was defended for the game-winner with 0.3 on the clock. The killer was it could have just been a game-tying shot if Whitcomb would have made a FT at the 14-second mark. The Vikings looked good and were actually upset at playing Washington close despite being the mid-major. “I know it’s Pac-10, but we’ve beaten some others and expect to win every game,” said PSU coach Sherri Murrell. “I just didn’t expect the bad play that we had.” The Vikings had 23 turnovers – eight of which Murrell blamed solely on Faucher for trying to do too much. The others were the Huskies’ defense. UW had 22 turnovers and missed seven free throws. At least one could have helped the team win, but Jackson refused to blame one play. Whitcomb finished with 22 points and 10 boards while Valentine led all scorers with 24 and had nine boards. UW plays BYU on Wednesday for its home-opener. It’s the first time since 1980 that the Vikings have beaten the Huskies and it was a game to remember.
MO OUT: Mosiman committed her fifth foul on a reach against Karley Lampman’s layin. Lampman also made the FT to make the deficit 64-59 with 2:39 on the clock. Mosiman was key in the Huskies staying ahead, finishing with 14 points and four boards.
BAKERY SHOP: PSU had three consecutive turnovers to burn the momentum they built. UW only converted one into points — a sweet high-low pass from Argens to McLellan to make the score 62-56. There’s 3:31 remaining in the game.
GETTING TIGHT: Bishop made things interesting with a three-pointer to pull the Vikings within three with 6:24 left in the half. Rogers made a FT and the Huskies have possession of the ball, trying to create something. If both teams could hit their FTs, this matchup would be decided either way already. UW ahead 60-56 with 5:18 on the clock.
FOUL?: Jackson did a 360-degree spin in anger over the officials not calling a foul on a Whitcomb lay. It is real aggressive out there and the Vikings won’t stop the pressure, of course, trying to get back into this season-opener. But Whitcomb and Mosiman are a one-two punch, keeping the Huskies up 58-50 with 7:27 left on the clock.
MO MONEY: Mosiman helped give the Huskies a 12-point lead that quickly shrunk after another three-pointer by Valentine. UW leads 52-43 with 10:59 left in the game. Speed is picking up and the solid shooting has returned. Both benches are getting into it, screaming for teammates. It’s an entertaining setting.
NOT FAST ENOUGH: The Huskies have increased their lead to 39-31, preventing the Vikings from scoring until the 15:42 to start the second half. Back-to-back buckets by Rogers helped the mini run, but Jackson couldn’t get her post out of the lineup quick enough before Rogers was tagged for her third foul at the 16:33 mark. UW leads 41-33 with 15:30 remaining in the game.
PRETTY PLAY: Whitcomb took flight like Dwyane Wade to collect a pass an lay it in to put UW ahead 33-31 with seconds remaining in the half. On defense, Lay tipped a Vikings pass and Morton grabbed the steal to keep PSU from tying the score. UW couldn’t convert on two attempts during the final five seconds, but getting the lead after a tough half is good. The Vikings hurt themselves by missing five FTs. Argens leads the Huskies with nine while Valentine and Bishop lead the Vikings with eight points apiece.
MCLELLAN HURT: The Vikings play aggressive and McLellan knows first-hand by the play inside. She was trampled by Erin Yankus during a play under the basket. The Vikings collected possession of the ball and charged down court to score while McLellan was slow to rise. The UW senior remained in the lineup, though, telling officials she was OK. Lay replaced her while Argens was at the FT line to pull UW within 28-27 with 2:04 on the clock.
LAY IN: Lay is the lineup with Morton, Whitcomb, McLellan, and Mosiman. And as billed, she drew a foul in her first defensive possesion, then scored a layin. UW up 24-20 with 6:09 on the clock.
SPOTTED: For those who always ask about the Storm scouting locals and whether they’ve seen various players, I can now say they cover the Pacific. Director of Basketball operations Missy Bequette is here with some former members of the team’s front office. She’ll report back if she sees anything worthy.
UW LEADS: A layup by Morton gave the Huskies a 19-18 lead with 9:58 remaining in the opening half. The Vikings’ shooting has dropped to 36.8 percent while the Huskies are shooting 53.3.
QUICKIES: Rogers collected her second foul seconds after being re-inserted in the game. This time Faucher drew the penalty with a hard drive to the hoop, she made the bucket but not the ensuing FT after a time out at the 11:59 mark. The Vikings lead 18-15.
GOING DEEP: Jackson has inserted true freshman F Jeneva Anderson in the game along with sophomore F Mollie Williams. The players are playing well, Anderson getting an assist to Argens inside early in the first half. But UW is down 16-13. PSU has some stronger shooters, going 6 for 12 from the field.
Washington fans had trouble finding the Stott Center for today’s afternoon regular-season debut and it’s understandable why. Like Seattle U.’s Connolly Center, the facility is a full-on rec center for students only the Stott Center has just one basketball court.
In finding it, you walk by an African dance class, complete with drums, power lifters and a racquet ball court. Outside there’s a farmer’s market. Whew.
But the real action is on the basketball court where the Huskies are set to tip-off their third season under coach Tia Jackson. Senior G Sara Moisman is especially pumped, working with teammates during the offseason to improve and shed last year’s 8-22 finish.
UW received some good and bad news prior to tip-off, too. Sophomore F Liz Lay will play, despite being limited in practice with knee soreness. She did not play in either exhibition win for the Huskies.
Yet, sophomore G Kristi Kingma will be out due to sickness. She was the Huskies’ leading rebounder during the exhibition season, so hopefully someone steps in there. Sophomore F Mackenzie Aregens is starting in her place.
The teams are ready, so let’s get to it with your starting lineups:
F Claire Faucher
F Kelli Valentine
C Katy Wade
G Eryn Jones
G Lexi Bishop
F Sami Whitcomb
F Mackenzie Argens
C Regina Rogers
G Sarah Morton
G Sara Mosiman
Tonight’s officials are Lisa Jones, Bob Scofield, and John Weeks.



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