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December 18, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Game thread: Houston at Washington

HUSKIES WIN: It was lively on the Hec Ed court after a 85-60 win against Houston as Washington parents, players, and fans mingled. But no one is planning a victory parade. McGuff was as grumpy as the weather, not liking the way UW allowed Button to drive to the hoop and draw fouls. She was 11-for-17 from the FT line, finishing with a game-high 21 points. The Huskies used 46.9 percent shooting, including a 22-4 advantage on second-chance points, to dominate the game. Argens led with 19 points and 17 boards. Williams added 11 with 12 rebounds off the bench, helping UW set season-highs in points from the reserves (36) and total rebounds (56). While McGuff hounded about the poor defensive play, he did acknowledge it being good for his team to execute offensively. McCann-Smith (Nebraska) was billed as a shooter when she arrived on campus. She finally showed it Sunday with four made three-pointers in her career-high 14 points. “I’m not thinking about it and just shooting,” McCann-Smith said. Walton played five minutes, hitting her first bucket with 4:16 left in the game to put Washington up by 26 points. “That was exciting,” she said of the shot. UW hosts Southern (1-5) on Tuesday to conclude the nonconference schedule. The Jaguars (1-5) haven’t won since the season-opener on Nov. 11.
ATTENDANCE WATCH: UW men’s coach Lorenzo Romar watched about half of the game women’s game, but not many stayed for the matchup against a short-handed Houston. The Huskies drew 1,652 compared to the men’s 9,060.
FINAL SCORE: UW wins fourth consecutive game 85-60. Back with more in a bit.
WALTON DEBUT: Freshman F Talia Walton has checked into the game. She’s making her debut after undergoing minor knee surgery in October.
CAREER-HIGH: McCann-Smith has a new career-high, nailing a three-pointer for 14 points. She’s made four total. UW is up 73-51 with 5:35 left in the game. Oh, it was her birthday last week.
HEARD PLAYS: After logging two DNPs in the past three games, F Marjorie Heard logged five minutes in the second half. She grabbed a rebound and looked good despite picking up two fouls. The missteps and a UW turnover moved McGuff to pull the lineup, putting Williams in. Houston went on a 5-0 run to inch within, uh, 64-47. There’s 7:20 on the clock.
NO SHOW: Thank goodness for the UW women executing well on the court because the atmosphere isn’t inciting for the few who did stick around after the men’s loss. Or maybe I’m just bitter because Hec Ed didn’t plan for people attending both games wanting chowder on a 46-degree day. Can you get protein from Reese’s Pieces? Anyway, UW ent on a modest 9-3 run midway through the opening half to take a 44-24 advantage into the break. McCann-Smith leads with 11 points on 4-for-6 shooting, a breakout game since transferring from Nebraska. Argens has nine and seven boards. Button is getting her points from the FT line (five) and has 10 points for Houston. The Cougars are shooting 25.9 percent from the field (7-for-27) and getting blasted 27-10 on the boards. Add seven turnovers and you know why coach Todd Buchanan sat for at least three minutes bent over while seated, his left hand rubbing his temples and covering his eyes.
HOWLING: There’s spontaneous barking at Hec Ed. Side-effect from a double-header? Huskies lead 38-21 with 3:21 left in the first half. G Kellie McCann-Smith is getting close to a new career-high (13). She and Argens have a team-leading nine points a piece for the Huskies. UW is also outrebounding Houston 21-8 with one second-chance point.
SCOREBOARD: No. 3 Notre Dame warmed up the women’s hoops day with a grinding 92-83 win against No. 8 Kentucky on ESPNU this morning. The Irish used a late 11-0 run to hand the Wildcats their first loss of the season. Southern California didn’t have the same luck, losing 71-70 to tenth-ranked Texas A&M. PG Ashley Corral (Prairie View High) led the Trojans (4-5) with 16 points. No. 25 Nebraska defeated Vermont 94-41. G Lindsey Moore (Kentwood High) finished with 14 points. No. 1 Baylor and No. 2 UConn play each other at 5:30 p.m. (PST) on ESPN.
LEARN THIS: It’s clearly a teaching game. First-year UW coach Kevin McGuff has already called two timeouts for the sole purpose of correcting a defensive problem. The Dawgs lead 22-10 with 11:00 remaining in the game. Washington is shooting 64.3 percent from the field. UW has limited Houston’s best player, Button (18.6 average) and neutralized it’s tallest in Woods (6-foot-4). The Cougars PG has seven points on 2-for-5 shooting while Woods is 0-for-3 with no rebounds. But McGuff wants more.
BIG MAC: There’s a party in the paint and Houston says everyone is invited. Argens has scored six of the opening eight points while Roges has stolen one pass and hit the boards defensively to help the Huskies build a 8-0 lead with 17:41 remaining in the opening half.
Hard to tell whether fans are sticking around for the women’s game. Washington (6-2) is playing a back-to-back with the men. It’s the first billing since 2008, when the UW men hosted Morgan State, winning 81-67, and the women under former coach Tia Jackson lost 73-60 to No. 22 Kansas State.
There will surely be a turnaround this season. The UW men have already lost a stunner to South Dakota State this afternoon 92-73 and the women are preparing to host a Houston (1-9) that’s dressing seven players.
Well, the switch was flipped quick, so let’s get going with your starting lineups:
COUGARS
F Amanda Lawson
F Terran Alford
C Mae Woods
G Roxana Button
G Michelle White
HUSKIES
F Charmaine Barlow
F Mackenzie Argens
C Regina Rogers
G Jazmine Davis
G Mercedes Wetmore
This afternoon’s officials are Anita Ortega, Eric Larson, and Karen Lasuik.

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