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January 1, 2010 at 6:58 PM

Game thread: Washington at Oregon

HUSKIES LOSE: Well, Oregon surpassed its win-total from last season (nine) with a 82-71 win against Washington. Lilley was obviously a factor with her record setting eight three-pointers. The final — a pretty 25-footer– shut the door on the Huskies. You can see UW making steady progress, but without a consistent fiery scorer or strong passer to constantly get the ball inside, they continue to be overmatched against anyone that’s not a mid-major. Whitcomb had 15 points in the second half and Argens finished with a career-high 21 on 8-for-12 shooting, getting into foul trouble late. She also had nine boards — seven on the offensive glass. The Huskies were relatively upbeat after the loss. Coach Tia Jackson thought officiating and the environment at The Pitt played a part, stating UW should have won. We’ll see in the rematch in March at Hec Ed. Until then, Washington prepares for the methodical pace at Oregon State on Sunday. The Beavers defeated Washington State tonight and enjoy playing defense, not caring much for scoring.
TREY BIEN: Lilley became Oregon’s all-time three-point record holder with one at the 3:54 mark in the second half. She’s hit 190 in her four-year career to pass Missy Croshaw (1990-94). Ducks lead 77-63.
BURIED AGAIN: Well, Oregon won the momentary three-point war and is back up 70-60 with 6:25 remaining in the game. The Ducks are crowding Whitcomb, again, who has been unable to hit another shot since her flurry.
MATCHING THREES: Whitcomb is matching three-pointers with Lilley, hitting back-to-back from atop the arch. The shots moved UW within 56-53 and has the crowd worried. There’s 10:06 left in the second half.
SLOWED DOWN?: Washington closed the gap to 53-46 after Argens muscled another bucket in the hoop. (UO fans wanted a foul for a blatant elbow to the defender’s gut, but…) The pace has slowed — slightly. Lilley pushed the lead back up, however, with her fifth three-pointer of the game. There’s 11:23 remaining in the matchup.
CAPTAIN KRAAYEVELD: Oregon is honoring its past as it shuts the door on McArthur Court. Lake Washington High’s Catrine Kraayeveld was the first honorary captain, introduced during pregame. She was part of the last Ducks’ team to reach the NCAA tournament in 2005 and won a WNIT title in 2002. She said the latter is her favorite memory because of the crowd. “It can get really loud,” said Kraayeveld, who plays for the New York Liberty. The post sported a boot on her left leg, however, stating its the only way to really rest her plantar fasciitis. She’s been wearing it for the past week, but will play in Prague when she returns this weekend.
HALFTIME: The Huskies entered the half down 43-30. The Dawgs shot 40 percent from the field, but the stretch where they were turning the ball over and the Ducks were hot really hurt. Argens leads with 15 points and four rebounds. Lilley has 16 for Oregon, which is shooting 53.1 percent from the field. Both teams have 12 turnovers overall and Oregon is winning the rebounding battle 20-14.
SLOPPY PLAY: Jackson (Chief Sealth high) collected a third foul on an unnecessary reach. The Ducks are getting careless with the ball, turning it over on four consecutive possessions. This is after an impressive 10-0 run that gave them a 17-point lead. Washington is continuing to work its alley-oop pass to get the ball inside. It’s not entirely successful, but UW is only down 37-26 with 3:27 remaining in the half.
RECORD BOOKS: With three consecutive baskets, Lilley scored her 1,000th career point. She’s the 21st Duck to do so. The clincher was a three-pointer with 12:42 remaining in the half. Ducks are up 25-18 after another trey by Lilley.
THAT FAST: Argens is off to a great start, again, scoring six of UW’s opening 10 points. But Oregon has the 14-10 lead due to Jackson’s quick feet and passing, even when stumbling to the court. The Ducks have only missed one shot attempt at the first timeout with 15:57 remaining in the first half.
Pac-10 play has already jumped off to an interesting start with No. 19 Arizona State losing to Southern California this afternoon. As you probably read in our story today, first-year coach Michael Cooper is primed to shake things up in the conference with his pro experience in the NBA and WNBA.
The other new coach this season makes his debut in Oregon coach Paul Westhead against Washington (5-5). The schools have an intense rivalry no matter the sport, but the Ducks (9-3) haven’t lost to the Huskies at home since February 2006.
It’s Washington’s final game at McArthur Court. The quaint facility will close and Oregon will play its games at the new Matthew Knight Arena, hoping to open in December. If you haven’t seen it, the palatial facility seems big enough to hold a football game.
UO and UW have had ample time to prepare for the conference opener, playing their respective final nonconference games on Dec. 22. Washington, which has won three of its past four, defeated Western Michigan while Oregon lost to Utah by three in overtime.
Westhead said he spent the break working on pressing and running, leading the conference in scoring (86.6). Washington worked on slowing the pace and getting stronger with its backcourt play — especially getting the ball inside to the posts.
It’ll be interesting to see who’s able to impose their style.
“I’ll know more about this league as I start going through it,” said Westhead, who rested his players’ legs with a slow practice on Thursday. “But it looks to me that there’s a cluster of teams that on any given night that can beat each other. Everybody talks about the one or two standouts that you’re going to have trouble beating — Stanford as an example. For the most part, it looks like it’s a league where you show up and you better be ready to play. You’re not that much better than anyone or that much behind the eight-ball that you can’t win.”
Well, with ASU and USC, that proved to be true. Let’s see what happens tonight.
Here are your starting lineups:
F Sami Whitcomb
F Mackenzie Argens
C Regina Rogers
G Kristi Kingma
G Sarah Morton
F Micaela Cocks
F Victoria Kenyon
C Amanda Johnson
G Nia Jackson
G Taylor Lilley
Tonight’s officials are Melissa Barlow, Anita Ortega, and Michelle Russi.



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