Lone senior Sarah Morton returned to Washington practice on Wednesday. She suffered a mild right ankle sprain in her team’s Apple Cup win against Washington State on Saturday.
Morton, who’s averaging 8.5 points and 5.5 assists this season, missed Monday’s session due to the injury. The team only watched film on Tuesday, needing rest as the year ends. G Kristi Kingma in particular is wearing down, shooting 25.5 percent from the field in her past three games.
The Huskies (11-14, 6-10 Pac-10) depart for an extended stay in Los Angeles, playing No. 9 UCLA (24-3, 14-2) on Thursday and USC (16-11, 8-8) on Sunday. The Huskies are currently seeded seventh in the conference and would need to win at least one of its final two games, plus have California (15-13, 7-10) lose to No. 2 Stanford on Thursday to really improve its standing. The Huskies own the tiebreaker against the Golden Bears.
The Cardinal (26-2, 17-0) has already clinched the regular-season title.
The Pac-10 tournament runs March 9-12 in LA, meaning UW will remain in the city until play is complete. For the first time, the opening two rounds of the tourney will be played at the Trojans’ Galen Center while the semi and finals will be played at Staples Center in conjunction with the men’s tournament.
“I feel like yesterday we were starting up the year,” Washington coach Tia Jackson said. “We’re better than our record indicates. The more consistent basketball games that we can play — the inside-outside attack, keeping our identity with our defensive focus — I believe we are much better than our record shows. That showed this past weekend (against WSU) and it’s been evident over the course of the season in certain games.”
Here’s the complete conference schedule for the final week:
Thursday, March 3
Arizona at Oregon State / 7 p.m. PT
Arizona State at Oregon / 7 p.m. PT
Washington State at USC / 7 p.m. PT
Washington at No. 9 UCLA / 7 p.m. PT
California at No. 2 Stanford (FSN) / 8 p.m. PT
Saturday, March 5
Arizona at Oregon / 2 p.m. PT
Arizona State at Oregon State / 2 p.m. PT
Washington State at No. 9 UCLA / 2 p.m. PT
Sunday, March 6
Washington at USC (FSN) / 12:30 p.m. PT