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January 14, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Game thread: Washington at WSU

HUSKIES WIN: Washington’s rebounding and outside shooting won this game 60-51. But it wasn’t just Argens doing all the heavy lifting, although she did make sure the scrappy Cougs didn’t piece together one of their notorious flurries late. Argens battled for 12 rebounds while Williams had 10 and Barlow had six. “That was our main focus going into the game – no second-chance shots and even the guards had to go in there and rebound,” said Davis, who had three rebounds. “Usually we don’t do that. I’m pretty happy with how we handled that.” UW outrebounded WSU 48-38 overall, limiting the Cougs to 10 second-chance shots. It stung as WSU shot 27.1 percent from the field, the second consecutive outing below 30 percent. Perkins, who was mainly covered by Barlow, particularly struggled, going 1-for-10 from the field. WSU also missed six FTs. It was a harsh night, losing a 33rd consecutive game to UW. You could tell WSU knew it could perform better. “When we got out there and they made a little run, it shook us up a little bit,” senior G April Cook said. “We couldn’t pick up our energy from there.” Daugherty said she altered her starting lineup based on play against the Rocky Mountain schools last week. This week’s performance will determine if it sticks, but she does like what Thomas can bring to the lineup. The Cougs just need to generate some offense, a trait that wasn’t hard in the past. For Washington, it was good to see the team rebound and hit FTs to put a game away. The Huskies were led by Davis’ timely 25 points. McCann-Smith, who attended nearby Clarkston High and had 40 people in attendance, added nine on 3-for-7 three-point shooting. “In the locker room (postgame), it was the nicest speech that Coach McGuff has given us,” Davis said. “It was harmony. Usually even after a win we’re (wondering). But no, tonight he was just, ‘Yeah!'” Both Washington schools travel to play the Bay Area schools, a homecoming for Perkins and Davis. UW is now 10-5, 2-3 Pac-12 while WSU drops to 9-8, 3-2.
WILLIAMS BACK: Williams checked back in the game after running along the strip leading to the locker rooms to test her knee. On the court, UW appeared unfazed. It went on a 15-5 run and now leads 55-44 with 3:40 left.
WILLIAMS HURT: WSU opened the second half on a 6-2 run and are within 42-37 with 10:42 on the clock. But UW is suddenly ailing, Williams limping to the sideline with the help of Rogers due to clanking knees with Perkins with 11:18 left. Trainers are working on the right knee, now, the one Williams already wears a brace to protect after tearing her ACL. Anderson replaced Williams in the lineup, playing inside with Argens.
HALFTIME: Well, WSU wins in atmosphere and halftime entertainment, pulling out the Crimson Girls and Cheer Team for a hot, multidimensional (flips, dancing, and stunts) routine. On the court, it’s the same tune first originated in 90s. Davis is holding onto tradition, helping UW build a 38-23 at the break behind 14 points. McCann-Smith added six while Williams has eight points and five boards in helping replace Rogers inside. Argens is off, shooting 0-for-2 and playing 14 minutes. If WSU, mainly Perkins, could shoot, it might be a closer score. She’s 0-for-6 from the field, missing layins. The Cougs went nine minutes making 1 of 14 FG attempts in the half and are 7-for-28 overall (25 percent). They’re also getting outrebounded 24-15. Davis is handling WSU’s press well, getting enough introduction from the likes of Nia Jackson (Oregon) and Chucky Jefferies (Colorado). Washington is using basic basketball smarts to stay ahead. WSU needs to do the same to get back into the game.
SCOREBOARD: Seattle U got a good win Saturday, defeating Chicago State 80-38. Four players finished scoring in double figures for the Redhawks (11-7). Around the Pac-12, No. 4 Stanford defeated Colorado 80-54. Southern California is on a roll, beating UCLA 47-43 in a grudge match. Arizona topped Oregon State 58-56 while Arizona State handled Oregon 53-49. In Pullman, UW is handling business. Barlow made two FTs and the Huskies are up 38-23 at halftime.
MOVING AHEAD: G Kellie McCann-Smith popped off the bench to hit a three-pointer with 10:13 remaining in the first half. It started a modest 8-2 run that showed better play from both teams and put Washington up 25-15. Perkins is still a cold 0-for-4 from the field, but getting more aggressive on defense. UW leads 17-9 in rebounding, not allowing WSU clean up its 21.1 percent shooting with second-chance shots. UW leads that category, too, 10-2.
EVERYBODY IN: Lots of lineup changes for both teams. WSU has already rotated 10 in the game. Washington isn’t taken advantage of the shots it creates inside and is getting burned by WSU’s three-point shooting. The players still haven’t settle down, yet. Junior G Katie Grad (who grew up next door to Wetmore) nailed a trey to put the Cougs up 11-8 with 11:58 remaining in the game. WSU is 3-of-5 from long range and UW missed its four three-point attempts.
ROSES ARE GOOD: Tarnowski nailed two early three-pointers to keep the crowd into the game. Perkins has missed two easy layins at the rim to keep the Cougs from building a lead, however. The teams are tied at six points apiece. UW’s offense looks sketchy. Davis scored on a fast break layin, a move that looks like it could be a game changer if she could take over the team like McGuff is coaching her to do. There’s 15:28 remaining in the opening. F Jeneva Anderson has checked in for the Huskies, replacing Argens.
It’s snowing in the Palouse, but it’s getting hot inside Beasley Coliseum. The buzz is that this is the year for Washington State to snap a 32-game losing streak to cross-state rival Washington. (And if it doesn’t happen now, it’s never going to happen. Something like WSU’s record against Stanford).
The Huskies (9-5, 1-3 pac-12) are limping into the matchup, literally. Senior C Regina Rogers is not dressed and is expected to miss the game with a bruised right hamstring. UW lost sophomore F Marjorie Heard on Monday to a torn left ACL and she didn’t make the trip. That puts senior F Mollie Williams in the starting lineup alongside fellow senior Mackenzie Argens.
UW still has size over its rival. But first-year coach Kevin McGuff’s offensive system does run through Rogers, who teamed with Argens to preserve the streak in Pullman last year.
WSU (9-7, 3-1) is countering with a seasoned roster that doesn’t want to graduate having never beaten the Huskies. They are missing key three-point shooter Ireti Amojo, who tore her ACL in the Pac-12 opener at Oregon, but still pack a punch and are playing at home. G Jazmine Perkins leads the team, averaging 9.4 points.
The vibe on the east side seems primed for an upset. About 90-miles north, St. Mary’s defeated No. 23 Gonzaga for the first time since 2004. It also ended the Zags’ 34-game West Coast Conference win streak.
“The mighty Zags have fallen,” coach Kelly Graves said.
Will the Huskies be next? Let’s get you ready with the starting lineups:
HUSKIES
F Charmaine Barlow
F Mollie Williams
C Mackenzie Argens
G Jazmine Davis
G Mercedes Wetmore
COUGARS
F Jazmine Perkins
F Brandi Thomas
F Carly Noyes
G Rosetta Adasu
G Rosie Tarnowski
Tonight’s officials are Brenda Pantoja, Mark Munoz, and Shelley Nakasone.

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