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January 26, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Game thread: Arizona at Washington

HUSKIES WIN: To McGuff, Thursday night was just a matter of UW making shots it didn’t hit before. And the Huskies did that, winning 77-48 before 1,789 at Hec Ed. The team was obviously more comfortable playing at home and with the opponent not being national ranked, it was an easier go for the Dawgs. Still, UW banked on what Davis created for herself and Wetmore found through solid passing. Wetmore finished with six assists. On defense, the Huskies did have a slight lull, Arizona getting the deficit down to 26 points after a jumper by Arnold with 11:34 left in the game. But UW went on an 11-1 run to kill any thought of a Wildcat comeback. Rogers, Wetmore, Davis, and Argens all scored during the spurt and Rogers grabbed the rebounds to regain Washington’s intensity. Argens finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. The most impressive stat remains the season-low nine turnovers UW committed and how it scored 28 points of 23 UA turnovers. UA isn’t known for its defense, however. That’s Arizona State, which defeated Washington State 63-46 on Thursday, holding the Cougs to 28.6 percent shooting from the field. The Sun Devils (14-5, 5-3 Pac-12) play at Hec Ed on Saturday. Arizona (13-7, 2-6) lost its third consecutive game. Washington (11-7, 3-5) ended a two-game skid and moved out of last place in the conference.
CALLING IT: Rogers has taken a seat deep on the bench and Davis is also out of the lineup, so it looks like McGuff feels comfortable with the 75-42 lead. There’s 4:17 remaining in the game. Davis finished with 28 points, which ties her with Loree Payne for fourth place among freshmen scoring in a game. Payne scored 28 points in a March 2000 overtime loss against Southern California. Rogers tallied a double-double with 20 points and 10 boards.
BREAK TIME: UW is up 62-34 with 11:35 left in the game. Arizona is finding an offensive flow behind Arnold, who has 11 points. I’m taking a slight break to start writing.
GOOD TIMES?: So far Arizona’s best player is on Washington’s bench. Adia Barnes was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame, now she’s a first-year Washington assistant coach. Wonder how she feels about Davis tearing up her former team? UW started the second half on a 6-0 run to push the lead to 55-21.
HALFTIME: Davis released a roar when the most unlikely shot of the half dropped through the net after ping-ponging off all sides of the rim. The shot with 13 seconds left in the half gave her 22 points, surpassing her previous high of 21 in a win against Colorado. UW is up 49-21 at the break — the most points in a half for the Huskies this season. (And I’m guessing since the Daugherty era). UW is shooting 57.1 percent from the field, feeling good after weeks of struggling to get shots to drop. But the most impressive stat is the Huskies not allowing a single point off its two turnovers. UW has scored 19 off of 13 UA miscues. Washington is definitely taking advantage of its size against Arizona, Rogers finishing the half with 12 points. UA’s zone wasn’t effective as Davis sliced through it repeatedly to score and even though the Wildcats are more athletic overall, Wetmore has found some nice passing lanes to keep the offense going. UA is shooting 37.5 percent from the field and will need a monumental turnaround or for Davis to take a seat in order to wiggle back into this matchup.
STAT WATCH II: With a layin with 2:13 remaining in the opening half, Davis has outscored Arizona on her own with 20 points to help UW build a 41-19 lead. Davis is 7-of-10 from the field and Arizona is 8-of-23.
STAT WATCH: UW is up 27-12 with 7:35 on the clock and hasn’t given up any points off turnovers.
TOO HOT: Rogers is back in the game and even with defenders flanked on her, she hit back-to-back jumpers. Wetmore added a pretty floater and UW is up 25-10.
PAINT PARTY: The Wildcats are working inside and crowding the paint to slow UW, but the Huskies have already built a 19-10 lead with 11:55 remaining in the first half. Rogers is out and Davis is playing solo a little more than the coaching staff would like. Still, UW is shooting 58.3 percent from the field, outrebounding UA 7-4 and only has one turnovers to the Wildcats four.
SHOT FOUND: UW is off to its best start in weeks. Argens nailed a jumper, Davis hit a three-pointer and Wetmore had a nice feed inside to Rogers for a layin, all giving UW an early 7-0 lead. Butts called timeout with the Huskies shooting 3-for-4 from the field and the Wildcats only getting one shot attempt early. Davis just nailed another long jumper for a 9-2 lead with 16:50 left in the opening half.
STYLE WATCH: With Nikki Caldwell gone to LSU, UA coach Niya Butts has to move into first place for best dressed Pac-12 head coach, right? She’s always sporting the sneakers and argyle look and with McGuff going tie-less tonight, casual workday just moved to Thursday. (Pay me JC).
The playing styles are different, but Washington and Arizona are in similar positions as they prepare to tip-off at Edmundson Pavilion on Thursday. The schools had a rough go last week, UW losing by an average 21 points on the road to the Bay Area schools while Arizona lost in overtime to Utah and on a last-second play to Colorado at home.
UW coach Kevin McGuff questioned his team’s effort after the loss to California and the players have been on a mission to show they’re still fighters. The Wildcats are looking for a solid defensive effort and a good finish.
Arizona is led by junior G Davellyn Whyte (19.1 points) and sophomore F Erica Barnes (12.5). The Wildcats are 7-3 on the road, but have lost four of their past five games and are locked with the Huskies and Utes for last in the Pac-12 conference at 2-5.
Washington is 7-2 at Hec Ed, last playing in the facility on Jan. 7 when it lost to Utah in overtime. The game started a trend in the disappearing shot for the Huskies, which are shooting 30.5 percent from the field in their past four games.
McGuff focused on individual workouts and tweaked the offense a little to help improve the offense. C Regina Rogers is also healthier after suffering from a hamstring injury earlier this month, missing the win at Washington State.
A win for either team would help turnaround a seemingly downward spiral. Who’ll get that boost? It all starts with your starting lineups:
WILDCATS
F Reiko Thomas
F Erica Barnes
C Aley Rohde
G Shanita Arnold
G Davellyn Whyte
HUSKIES
F Charmaine Barlow
F Mackenzie Argens
C Regina Rogers
G Jazmine Davis
G Mercedes Wetmore
Tonight’s officials are Michael Price, Michelle Russi, and Bart Baldwin.

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