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November 29, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Live game thread: Washington at Portland

HUSKIES WIN: A 10-0 spurt after F Annika Holopainen’s outburst assured the Huskies of a 64-44 win against Portland on Thursday. Washington PG Jazmine Davis had a sparkling second-half, finishing with a career-high-tying 28 points on 11-for-22 shooting from the field. Teammate Aminah Williams, whose teammates dubbed “Inspector Gadget” for her long arms that always snag rebounds, finished with 17 boards. UW shot 51.6 percent after the break. But it wasn’t offense that coach Kevin McGuff was concerned about even after shooting just 29.4 percent in the opening half. It was the lapse in defense that allowed Portland to shoot 44.8 percent after the break. The Pilots never inched closer than 33-23 with 14:39 remaining in the game, but still. “Thankfully this is before Pac-12 season,” Davis said. “We need to come out with more focus, more intensity for 40 minutes, not 20 minutes. Thankfully we pulled it together in the second half and started the whole 20-minutes with more energy and concentration and came out with a win.” UW (5-1) gets a break Friday and probably Sunday before playing San Diego State (3-2) on Wednesday at Alaska Airlines Arena. Portland (1-6) plays at crosstown rival Portland State (4-1) on Sunday.

BREAK: I’m out to write the newspaper version. UW is up 45-33. Holopainen scored four more points for the Pilots.

HOPE HOLO: Portland coach Jim Sollars only played Holopainen eight minutes in the first half. It’s looking like a mistake. She’s scored the Pilots’ last six points. The UW lead is still 43-29. But perhaps UP wouldn’t have reached that record low in points scored in the first half had she saw more time?

TIME!: Washington is getting beat down court, McGuff calling time to discuss. UP is now looking like a contender, F

Annika Holopainen (6-feet-1) hitting hook shots and jumpers in the paint to help pull the Pilots within 38-27. The 11-point deficit is the closest UP has reached since early in the first half.

RAINING?: Well, in five minutes, UP has hit more FGs than in the first 20. I guess it’s raining. Still down 33-20 with 15:43 left in the game. Kingma had a smooth bounce pass to an open Williams up the hoop and Walton had a pair of jumpers to help keep UW ahead while Wetmore sank a slick short-jumper. Portland is getting the ball around for some good looks, which McGuff can’t like.

HALFTIME: UW’s starters all average over 30 minutes a game, so you figure McGuff will give them a break in the second half. The Huskies are up 25-9 at the break. Williams (18 minutes), Kingma (20) and Davis (19) played the bulk of the minutes. The issue with Washington is its shooting, though. UW is 29.4 percent from the field (10-for-34). If McGuff doesn’t play his best scorers this game might be closer than it should. UW is taking care of the ball better (eight turnovers) and is outrebounding the Pilots 25-22. Davis leads in scoring with nine. Williams has 11 boards. No Portland player has more than three points. UP is 3-for-25 shooting for 12 percent in the first half. Its nine points in the half is a school-record low.

CLEAR LOOK: Games like this can be hard for young teams because of the tendency to slack off. Washington isn’t doing that so far. It’s playing hard on defense and you can clearly see McGuff’s intention for the offensive game and how it’ll work in the future with even better talent. It looks bright.

A FIRST: Walk-on G Kassia Fortier, whose father is on UW men’s coach Lorenzo Romar’s staff, dropped her first FG of the season with 6:03 remaining in the first half. As per the norm with players who see little action, the Huskies bench went wild. Fortier was 1-for-3 from the field last season.

LET IT RAIN: Surely the fan who belted this was joking. True, Pilots G Alexis Byrd hit a FG to stop a 10-minute scoring drought with 7:21 on the clock. Yet, it’s hardly “raining” jumpers in the building. UP 2-for-17 from the field. UW up 21-5.

UNCANNY: Kingma’s three-pointers must be basketball’s version of Pavlov’s dog. The game-clock nears the 10-minute mark and she drains a three-pointer. Happened again on Thursday, nailing on from the left side with 10:04 remaining in the first half. It’s now 19-3 with 8:01 left.

GIMMES: Lost count at six, but Portland gave up multiple offensive rebounds that Washington just couldn’t convert. No worries on the next offensive possession Wetmore drained a three-pointer with 11:34 remaining in the opening half. UW’s zone offense is causing trouble for UP. The Pilots are shooting 1-for-12 from the field, including missing all five three-pointers. Huskies up 10-3.
Don’t ever try a new route on game-day. Still haven’t learned this rookie mistake. Anyway, it made me late so not much of an entry. Do need to mention Washington has switched it up to black uniforms. Didn’t see that last season. I’ll tweet a photo cause it’s sweet.

The unis also help dilute all the purple on the court.

A few particulars. Portland is 1-5 to start the season. Not good. Washington is 4-1 and off to its best start since the 2002-03 season. That team had a hot 9-1 start overall and finished 22-8 under former coach June Daugherty. Those Huskies advanced to the NCAA tournament, losing 78-65 in the opening round to Wisconsin Green-Bay.

The current UW squad in its second season under coach Kevin McGuff could have a similar run in the preseason. After Portland, Washington has a three-game homestand and its toughest upcoming opponent based on preseason outlooks is Georgia Tech.

However, you know nothing plays out as it looks on paper. So let’s get to it and see if the Pilots can pull an upset against the Huskies at Chiles Center.

F Kristi Kingma
F Aminah Williams
C Talia Walton
G Jazmine Davis
G Mercedes Wetmore

F Amy Pupa
F Ellen Nurmi
C Cassandra Thompson
G Jasmine Wooton
G Kari Luttien

Tonight’s officials are Brenda Pantoja, Michol Murray and L. Renee Robinson.

Comments | More in Game Thread, Washington | Topics: Portland


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