HUSKIES LOSE: UW lost 54-46. It outscored UCSB 29-27 in the second half, but unlike past games, it wasn’t enough to conceal shooing 18.8 percent from the field to start the game. Kingma (2-for-12) and Davis (6-for-20) continued their stretch of shooting slumps, Davis leading the team with 20 points. Not that the Huskies were implementing their game-plan in the matchup. “They were dictating our offense for a while there,” Wetmore said of the Gauchos forcing the Huskies into their desired spots on the court. When the Huskies did force themselves on the game, the lead did drop to five points with less than a minute remaining. UCSB made six of seven FTs to close out the win. Underwood was shutdown in the second half, but finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Nesbit jumped in to score 12 of her final 14 points in the second half. Williams (10) and Kingma (seven) led UW in rebounding. The theme is starts, however. UW (6-2) plays again Sunday against Idaho (3-6) and while eager to play to erase Saturday’s play, Kingma reiterated a short bench or quick turnaround can’t be used as an excuse for a slow start or sluggish play. “I think it’s not something we think about, we never think we are going to have a bad start,” she said. “Warm ups feel good. I think it’s just something that mentally to get to an elite team level we just got to pick it up and push through those first eight minutes.” UCSB (4-5) plays at BYU (6-4) on Tuesday.
RESPONSE CREW: UCSB responded to UW’s rally with a 9-0 spurt to put the Huskies back down, 43-33. Nesbit (four) and Melissa Zornig (three) did most of the scoring.
SWATTED: Walton had the best block I’ve seen form a Husky woman in a while. As Nesbit drove to the hoop, Walton rose and smacked the orange off the ball. Walton knocked it forward, to keep the ball in play, and later she made a three-pointer to make the deficit 34-33.
DOUBLE DOWN: Some defensive changes in the second half that are working are a full-court press and double-teaming Underwood. She’s only attempted one shot since the break as UW has gone on a 10-0 run to close within 30-27 with 11:56 remaining in the game. Davis and Kingma have combined for all of the second-half points.
CLOSING IN?: Three made free-throws by Kingma inched the Huskies within 30-23 of the Gauchos’ lead. Williams’ drew a foul on Underwood under the hoop and there’s some life showing from the crowd in Alaska Airlines Arena. The clock shows 14:04.
DROUGHT: The hard work to get a basket continues in the second half. UW hit its first on a Walton kickout toKingma for three with 15:54 on the clock. UCSB coach Carlene Mitchell called a timeout. It’s 30-20 Gauchos.
HALFTIME: The Huskies didn’t have much time to practice this week due to finals and it’s showing. The offense isn’t flowing and McGuff’s main focus since the season began, defense, is porous. In fact, the team appears to have digress after a gritty one-point win against San Diego State at home last week. Davis leads with nine points while Walton is 0-for-8 from the field, getting the second-most attempts at eight. Her counterpart, Underwood, is 5-for-8 from the field for a game-high 12 points to help the Gauchos take a 27-17 lead into the break. The 6-foot senior scored a career-best 22 points in a win against Loyola Marymount on Dec. 5. UCSB is playing stronger inside to hold UW to 18.8 percent shooting. Washington’s short bench hasn’t scored and the only statistical positive for UW is it hasn’t put UCSB on the line much (once). But then again, if they had at least you’d know UW had some fight on the court. So far there’s none. No exciting halftime performance, so anyone who showed early to see the real winning basketball team is wondering why. (Just an update, Arizona beat Nevada 49-48 in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl)
BLOCK THIS: Walton got a hand on another UCSB inside shot attempt and the Huskies this time converted the defensive play into a Davis kick-out to Kingma for three. Davis hit on earlier at the 2:50 mark, so UW is closing in at 25-16 with 1:15 remaining in the half. Perhaps there is still a three-point shot magic for UW.
TOO SWEET: Underwood is helping the Gauchos outscore the Huskies 16-6 in the paint and out rebound the home team 24-14. Naturally UW is shooting 13.8 percent from the field and trails 25-10 with 3:21 remaining in the first half. We’re at another timeout but McGuff will definitely need a full halftime to correct all of the problems on the court.
STOPS NO GO: UW used a good zone defense to get three defensive stops, but couldn’t convert any into a bucket on the other end. The last was a turnover by Walton. The Huskies are down 16-6 with 7:08 on the clock. Washington is 0-for-9 from three-point range, so no magically trey at the 10-minute mark to get the team going, either. Underwood leads UCSB with six points.
ICY: No surprise. The Dawgs are off to a rocky start offensively. They’re 2-for-15 from the field and 0-for-7 from three-point range. The defense isn’t any better. UCSB is driving to the hoop and shooting 50 percent from the field for an early 12-4 lead with 11:38 on the clock. The Gauchos are also outrebounding the Huskies 14-4. In past games, UW has been able to rally to get a win, however.
Honestly, I’m not late due to the Arizona-Nevada bowl game. Really. It was traffic. So let’s get started with the Washington game against UC Santa Barbara at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies (6-1) are already down 6-0 with 16:41 remaining in the opening half and coach Kevin McGuff has called a quick timeout to get the team reorganized. (Oh, UA is down 45-35 in the fourth quarter.)
Here are your starting lineups:
F Angelei Aguirre
F Sweets Underwood
C Kristen Tilleman
G Nicole Nesbit
G Destini Mason
F Kristi Kingma
F Aminah Williams
C Talia Walton
G Jazmine Davis
G Mercedes Wetmore
Tonight’s officials are Mellisa Barlow, Wanda Szeremeta, and Joann Sather.