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December 23, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Game thread: Georgia Tech at Washington

HUSKIES LOSE: After nine nonconference games, the scout against Washington is pretty easy to figure. Play zone with a focus on Kingma, rough up Morton and dare everyone else to shoot. Occasionally they’ll hit, but if you have a Montgomery type — and nearly six Pac-10 teams do — you’ll be able to outscore Washington. That’s if the doom and gloom Jackson intimated at during the postgame conference is true. Now it’s looking like Rogers and Wetmore may miss the conference opener on Dec. 31 against No. 9 UCLA and Williams was diagnosed with a concussion. Washington (5-4) finished with seven active players in 60-27 loss to G-Tech (9-4). Montgomery was near perfect, finishing with 20 points and eight boards. “Just coming out and showing my family and friends a good game, showing them what I’m capable of doing,” said Montgomery of her visions prior to the homecoming. Heard led UW with nine points and eight rebounds while Kingma had eight and seven, facing a zone that Jackson said surprised her. On tape, Georgia Tech is a pressing team defensively and this was the inaugural meeting between the programs. But the lopsided competition, where even the look of the players’ body types a glaringly different, makes you wonder what will happen in Pac-10 play when Washington plays teams deeper than Georgia Tech. Especially if UW is injured. “It concerns me,” Jackson said of the possible loss of more players. UW is going to rest and enjoy the holiday this weekend. They return to practice on Monday to prepare for the Bruins.
NUMBER WATCH: Well, Washington avoid the record books. A made FT by Kingma gave the Huskies 25 points. The all-time low was a 60-24 final to Washington State in Seattle on March 8, 1975. UW is down 59-25 with a minute left. This will be the fewest points scored since a 58-36 loss to Stanford in February 2010.
PRO TALK?: Montgomery will certainly find herself in the draft. She can play the point, shoot the three, rebound and defend. Hmm. Another future Storm player playing at Hec Ed? Montgomery has 20 points and five rebounds as Georgia Tech continues its slaughter, outscoring UW 24-6 in the second half. Things just got worse, too. Argens fouled out. She was scoreless and manged to get one board. Since Williams is hurt, Jackson went to walk-on Kassia Fortier, a 5-foot-8 guard.
SMACK THAT: Yeah, Heard ain’t taking no junk tonight. She’s not the most talented player but there is something to be said for hard workers. It paid off in a sweet block against Marshall where the hit on the ball could be heard in the nosebleed section. Marshall got the last word with a jumper stretching over Heard’s arms with 9:13 left in the game. Washington is down 46-23, shooting 2-for-9 after the break (22 percent).
SHOWING FIGHT: Montgomery scored the opening eight points for the Yellow Jackets in the second half matching UW’s 20 points at one point. But the Huskies aren’t quiting freshman F Marjorie Heard is playing strong inside since Williams is out and Kingma did a superwoman dive for a loose ball flying out of bounds, belly-flopping on the court. But she came up bleeding on the side of her face and had to be taken out. UW is down 38-23. Heard has six points and four boards to match Barlow and Williams as the high scorers for UW in the game. Kingma was 2-for-6 from the field.
WILLIAMS HURT: Scrambling for a loose ball, Williams appeared to hit her head in falling to the court. She’s being helped off by trainer Jenn Ratcliff and Jackson. No score as the second half has started.
HALFTIME: There’s a few folks wearing Storm championship gear at Hec Ed and they were treated to their dance troupe performing at halftime. Surely UW is getting treated to an earful from Jackson. The Huskies are showing good patience on offense, but need to add a little aggressiveness to it. When they do, they get shots like the open layin by Barlow while defender Daniella Hamilton-Carter was sleeping. But in the blink of an eye, a one-point lead ballooned to a 10-point deficit due to turnovers and missed opportunities. G-Tech entered the half ahead 26-18. UW is shooting 29.4 percent from the field, nearly getting dominated by Montgomery solo. She made all five of her attempts and has two steals. The only blemish are the five turnovers. Marshall has 10 points and six boards to form a tough tandem. The Yellow Jackets are shooting 42.9 percent from the field and need to watch their fouls and turnovers (nine) to stay ahead in the game.
WILLIAMS BACK: Williams has returned to the game, making one FT to give UW a brief 16-15 lead with 4:49 left in the half.
PURPLE POWER: Barlow is beating her chest and getting the crowd pumped after back-to-back jumpers to tie the score at 15 points apiece. Morton took a charge and the Huskies look primed to enter the break even or possible ahead. Of course Montgomery was on the bench during the 6-0 run.
WILLIAMS OUT?: Williams passed up several open looks at the basket as GT sagged off the player. She was taken out with 8:11 on the clock, limping to the bench to her right ankle re-taped. A Kingma jumper with 7:45 remaining in the half pulled the Huskies within 15-11.
ALL YOU: It’s still the Montgomery show. The wing has nine of her team’s 13 points to build a 13-8 lead with 10:47 remaining in the first half. Montgomery also has three boards and one steal. UW is 3-for-12 from the field, gobbling up the shoot clock and not getting any production against the Yellow Jackets defense.
GO D: The Huskies are getting some impressive defensive stops to open the game. Kingma stripped the ball from Montgomery, which resulted in a turnover after the ball was kicked by the Yellow Jackets star. Later Barlow took a charge against Montgomery. The score remains tied with 15:54 left in the half, however, as Washington can’t get the ball inside and is can’t get Kingma or Morton an offensive look.
FAST STARTER: It took five seconds for Montgomery to score her first points, a three-pointer. Only Williams came ready to play. She’s matched Montgomery point for point and UW is tied with Georgia Tech at five points apiece. There’s 16:32 remaining in the opening half.
It was a slushy drive to Edmundson Pavilion for Washington’s nonconference finale against Georgia Tech. Rain started pouring this afternoon, giving Yellow Jackets senior Alex Montgomery a little taste of home.
Montgomery, a 6-foot-1 wing, left her native Tacoma to attend Georgia Tech, believing the move south would be good for game and future. She’s the team’s leading scorer (14.8) and rebounder (8.7) making a homecoming after staring at Lincoln High.
“My mom talked me out of it,” said Montgomery of attending Washington to be near her mother, who moved to Atlanta two years prior to Alex graduating high school. “She wanted me to be close to her and I figured if I stayed in Washington I would have got into trouble and I wouldn’t have been focused. It was better for me to get away.”
Friends and family will have a chance to see what they’ve been missing, along with UW followers. The matchup is a first between the schools and Washington’s biggest test of the season.
While Montgomery poses a threat with her scoring capabilities, Georgia Tech (8-4) has more weapons than her. First is the roster, which features nine players who are taller than 6-feet. Then comes the Yellow Jacket’s goal to get their collective scoring average above 70, shooting 42.3 percent from the field compared to Washington’s 37.3.
Lastly, the Yellow Jackets know how to crash the boards, averaging 39 rebounds with a plus-6.3 rebounding margin against opponents like No. 1 Connecticut. Washington (5-3) managed to outrebound a smaller Western Michigan on Monday, but coach Tia Jackson says it and fouling are the Huskies’ “bug-a-boos.”
Washington will have to be aggressive offensively, rebound well and watch the fouling to stay in front of Georgia Tech, which has advanced to the NCAA tournament the past three seasons. The Huskies are without C Regina Rogers and Mercedes Wetmore, so there isn’t much depth. Add the knee injury F Mollie Williams is battling and the Dawgs are limping a little.
“Georgia Tech’s good and every team we play short-handed poses a threat to us,” UW G Kristi Kingma said. “It’s not going to be an easy task, I’m just hoping we’ll come out after two days of practice and just be resilient, again.”
So, let’s get to it with the starting lineups:
YELLOW JACKETS
F Alex Montgomery
F Deja Foster
C Sasha Goodlett
G Metra Walthour
G Tyaunna Marshall
HUSKIES
F Charmaine Barlow
F Mollie Williams
C Mackenzie Argens
G Sarah Morton
G Kristi Kingma

Tonight’s officials are
Lisa Jones, Mark Munoz, and Lucy Banuelos.

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