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January 5, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Game thread: Colorado at Washington

HUSKIES WIN: UW used a 12-4 run late and held on for a 75-67 win at Hec Ed. Definitely the biggest win of the season and even bigger because Davis led the attack, scoring 21 of her game-high 27 after the break. Freshmen can go either way after the conference opening week she had in Oregon. Davis showed she’s got the mentality to play on an elite level, not letting past mistakes bog down her future. “I really challenged her throughout the first half and at halftime to be better,” McGuff said. “Be more aggressive, make better decisions and make us go. And she did.” Davis eliminated her turnovers, totaling none in the second half after four to open the game. That helped UW hold CU to one point off miscues after the break. But Davis was acting alone. Barlow was put on Jeffery and even though she had 11 of her team-high 20 points in the second half, Jeffery missed a pair of big baskets late that could have swung the momentum the Buffs’ way. “Chucky is a really good player and (assistant) coach (Mike) Neighbors told me to just go out there and guard her, she’s no different than any other player that I’ve guarded the past three years,” Barlow said. “Just stay with her and that’s what I did.” UW (9-4, 1-2 Pac-12) snapped CU’s 12-game win streak. The Huskies will host Utah in a matinee on Saturday. The Utes lost to Washington State 60-43 on Thursday, giving the Cougs its best start in conference play since going 5-0 in the Northwest Women’s Basketball League in 1977-78. “Beating an undefeated team shows we grew throughout the week,” Rogers said. “We didn’t think about Oregon, which is good.”
BUFFS ROLLING: Jeffery had two wicked blocks on Davis and CU is ona 12-2 run to regain the lead (55-51). Wetmore missed a pair of FTs, UW had one turnover and Davis and A-Dub missed shots during the spree.
SPOTTED: A Storm Crazies t-shirt behind the west side basket.
LINEUP CHANGE: McGuff returned to his old starting lineup, putting Barlow on the wing in place of McCann-Smith. The latter scored a career-high 26 points in a two-point loss to Oregon, but was 1 of 2 in the first half with two turnovers on Thursday. UW has tied the score at 37 points apiece with 18:49 left in the game.
SCOREBOARD: Arizona defeated UCLA 74-66 at home while USC handed Arizona State a 60-48 loss. Utah is currently up 32-26 at Washington State. Elsewhere, Seattle U defeated Idaho 80-72. The Redhawks, which are on a three-game win streak, host Colorado State on Sunday at Connolly Center.
HALFTIME: CU took a 37-35 lead into the break, really capitalizing off UW turnovers because both teams didn’t have a problem shooting the ball. UW is shooting 46.4 percent from the field and CU is shooting 45.7. But the Huskies had 13 miscues for 14 CU points. The Buffs also hit the boards harder, outscoring the Huskies 9-3 on second-chance shot opportunities behind seven offensive rebounds. Colorado has only been to the FT line once, so expect them to be more aggressive in driving to the hoop in the second half. Seabrook, who’s playing before family in her home region for the first time in her career, is closing in on a record night. She leads the Buffs with 12 points, 18 being her career high. A-Dub has 11 for UW while Rogers has seven on 3-for-8 shooting from the field.
JEFFERY BACK: With bandaging above her right eye, Jeffery checked back into the game with 2:31 remaining in the half and the Buffs up 35-30. She immediately collected a UW steal, it’s 13th of the half.
JEFFERY HURT: Jeffery was writhing in pain on the court, holding the right side of her face. She was called for traveling on a drive to the hoop, hitting Aminah Williams’ hip. There was blood on the court and Jeffery is being tended to on the bench by the team’s trainer.
QUICK THREE: The teams have combined to hit six three-pointers in the past two minutes of play, CU hitting its last five overall. The Buffs lead 27-23 with 7:19 remaining in the opening half.
RUMBLING BUFFS: CU is on a 9-0 run, taking advantage of silly errors by UW. Rogers didn’t box-out three consecutive times, giving Seabrook three offensive boards to turn into buckets. Add a three-pointer by Brittany Wilson off a feed from Jeffery and you know why McGuff called an immediate timeout when able. CU leads 13-11 with 11:35 on the clock.
HUSKIES LEAD: UW is up 8-4 with 15:24 remaining in the opening half. Argens is still hot, making both of her early attempts but Davis has two bad turnovers that led to four CU points. Jeffery is the Buffs’ offense, scoring on tough inside shots.
HEY YOU: While the schools are new to each other, last facing off in December 2004, the players do know each other. CU twins Brittany and Ashley Wilson played on travel teams that ran across some of the UW players. Seabrook, a senior, is a Vancouver, B.C. native, so she’s familiar with the Northwest ballers, too.
WALTON OUT: McGuff said freshmen talia Walton’s knee hasn’t been responding the way either would like, so she most likely won’t play against Colorado. Walton, the state’s top player out of high school, missed the Oregon losses, too.
The New Kids of the Pac-12 have hit the court for Washington’s conference home-opener at Hec Ed. UW is hosting Colorado, which finished tied for eighth in the Big 12 before joining the Pac-12 this season.
Of course the move was driven by football, but in women’s hoops the Buffs are representing the conference better than No. 4 Stanford — sans the tough schedule, of course. CU is undefeated (12-0, 1-0), it’s third-best start in program history. They boast a junior PG Chucky Jeffery, which UW coach Kevin McGuff has already dubbed one of the more dynamic players in the Pac-12. She leads CU in scoring (17.1) and rebounding (8.4), but dishes as many assists as turnovers (4.5).
Making matters worse, is the Pac-12 didn’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for Colorado. The Buffs were picked to finish 11th in the preseason coaches’ poll and last among the media, including myself. Oops.
Washington was given a similar dis, picked to finish two slots above CU. Only the Huskies (8-4, 0-2) are fulfilling the prophecy, losing to the Oregon schools by a combined seven points to open Pac-12 play on the road last week. Thursday, UW is simply trying to get a win to avoid an 0-3 start in conference play for the first time in program history and to regain the positive mojo established in December when the team was on a five-game win streak.
It’s going to take focus on defense and aggression in establishing the inside-out game from tip. CU likes to play man-to-man, but does practice against the zone to prepare for opponents, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Buffs pulled that out to stop entry passes if C Regina Rogers and F Mackenzie Argens go off.
Well, if you’re at home, you can catch UW-TV’s broadcast featuring new color analyst Liz Lay. The senior was forced to retire last season due to chronic knee injuries, but remained on scholarship and graduates in June. She joins Michael Preston on the broadcast. As usual, former UW standout Elise Woodward (color) and Steve Sandmeyer are on the radio, KKNW (1150AM).
Let’s get you started here with your starting lineups:
F Meagan Malcolm-Peck
F Julie Seabrook
C Rachel Hargins
G Chucky Jeffery
G Lexy Kresl
F Kellie McCann-Smith
F Mackenzie Argens
C Regina Rogers
G Jazmine Davis
G Mercedes Wetmore
Tonight’s officials are Brenda Pantoja, Clarke Stevens, and Mazetta Garett.



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