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January 9, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Game thread: Arizona at Washington

COACHES HYPED: Washington has started to chill in the final 30 seconds, irking Jackson. She’s yelling to keep up the intensity until the final horn. Meanwhile Butts is riding the officials for missing calls, she already was called for a tech. No matter, time dribbled out and the Huskies won 69-59. It the school’s first sweep of the Arizona schools since 2002. Kingma, who said she took an ice bath on Friday to prepare for the game, tied career highs in scoring (25) and rebounding (seven) while setting a career mark in steals (five). McLellan finally broke out of her season-long slump, finishing with 15 points and six boards. Ibekwe was still a force with 16 points and 15 rebounds, but the four fouls made her timid late. Plus she received virtually no help from teammates after the break as the Wildcats shot 23.3 percent from the field. “We swept this weekend — that feels pretty good,” Jackson said. “Our free throws down the stretch were huge for us. We held a very good team to 29 percent shooting, a lot of credit to our defense.”
QUICK CHANGE: Washington coach Tia Jackson gave Barlow a low-five for racing back toward the locker room with Whitcomb to swap shorts with the senior. Whitcomb had blood on hers and would have had to leave the game with 5:41 remaining. There was no penalty and Kingma drained a three-pointer on the ensuing play to give UW a 58-50 lead.
FOUL TROUBLE: McLellan is emerging, luring Ibekwe into her fourth foul and scoring four consecutive points — two at the free throw line — to give the Huskies a 53-48 lead. UW has waited a while for her game to return.
RUNNIN’ AGAIN?: It’s been methodical, but the Huskies appear to be taking control of the game, again. Senior post Laura McLellan blocked Whyte like she stole something and Kingma has teamed with Christina Rozier to provide some offense. A layin by Mollie WIlliams off an assist from McLellan gave the Huskies a 49-48 lead with 7:22 remaining in the game. It’s a 9-2 run for Washington.
FREEBIES: Washington continues to put Arizona on the line and the Cats are a perfect 9 of 9 from the stripe in the second half. Adding a 12-5 run to open the half — capped by a breezy, fast break layin by Frazier — and Arizona owns a comfortable 48-42 lead. It’s a different Wildcat team than the first, more energized. But the Huskies are starting to get back into the matchup, Kingma grabbed a steal — her career-high fifth — and laid it back in to make the score 48-45. Arizona was forced to call time with 9:27 left.
STUFFED: Argens is starting to play good defense on Ibekwe, blocking a shot attempt with authority. It was payback for Ibekwe swiping an attempt by sophomore Charmaine Barlow. Huskies down 40-35, putting the Wildcats on the line way too much and not connecting on the short layins. There’s 12:52 remaining in the game.
BUZZER SMUZZER: The Huskies are making a habit of hitting shots at the halftime buzzer. Today, Kingma worked down the clock with the crowd counting allowed until the guard found a pass for Argens. The post turned and softly laid it in before the buzzer, tying the score at 28 points apiece with Arizona. The Dawgs started hot, but are shooting 29.4 percent. The saving grace is outrebounding Arizona 25-20 and the Cats shooting 35.5 percent. Washington is the stronger team, they’re just going to have to fight harder in the second half. Blame the afternoon start — why are these scheduled, again?
PURPLE CHILL: The Dawgs were shooting 0-for-6 from the field until Kingma made another short jumper. UW trails 26-23 with 2:57 remaining in the half.
GETTING WILD: The Cats are breaking away from the Huskies with three-pointers (3-of-9) and Ibekwe’s play inside. She had a smooth spin move on Rogers for a bucket and then had a fast break layin. Arizona leads 26-21 with 6:06 remaining in the half.
LOVE YOU JAMIE: A fan belted his admiration for Redd when she was honored for her play at UW during a timeout with 11:03 on the clock. “We Love you Jamie,” he screamed. The rest of Hec Ed gave her a standing ovation. UW leads 17-16.
RUNNIN’ START: The Huskies are on a 8-0 run capped by a pretty mid-range jumper by Kingma with 14:42 remaining in the opening half. UW is creating turnovers and grabbing rebounds. Arizona looks a little flat and Whyte, aka “Agent Zero,” hasn’t found her shot, yet. UW leads 12-6.
LAY RETURNS: Washington sophomore F Liz Lay returned to the bench, undergoing successful knee surgery on Wednesday. With four players out due to injury, the Huskies almost have more hurt players than Arizona has active. The Wildcats play with eight.
We’re getting off to a late start today. Here are some links advancing today’s matchup:
— Ours discussing Washington’s chance to get its first three-game win streak since 2008.
— And the Everett Herald’s preview of the game.
It’s Dad’s and Daughter’s afternoon at Hec Ed and the place is filling up nicely. F Sami Whitcomb said it’s her favorite promo the school does, sharing tales about her father being her first AAU coach.
“He’s why I play the way I do,” Whitcomb said, noting her scrappy style.
Washington ranks third in the Pac-10 in attendance, averaging 2,034. Stanford leads (4,635) while Oregon State is last (747).
Huskies legend Jamie Redd will be in attendance, honored for her play at Washington, including being the program’s leading scorer (2,027). Redd is currently a coach at Pacific Lutheran University.
So, let’s get to it with your starting lineups:
WILDCATS
F Brooke Johnson
F Ify Ibekwe
C Soana Lucet
G Davellyn Whyte
G Ashley Frazier
HUSKIES
F Sami Whitcomb
F Mackenzie Argens
C Regina Rogers
G Sarah Morton
G Kristi Kingma
Tonight’s officials are Marianne Karp, K. Jeneane Pence, and Michol Murray.

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