HUSKIES WIN: McGuff wanted to highlight the defense in the game. I’m a big fan of defense, but ugly offense does not equate good defense. And Tuesday was more of an ugly offensive game by both teams. UW simply was lucky it could hit free throws, making 20 of 28 overall to preserve a 60-53 win on Tuesday. The Huskies’ win streak against the Cougs extends to 35 games. Otherwise, if Sage Romberg or Edmondson, or Galdeira made their three-point attempts in the final 90 seconds, UW’s streak might have ended in a thud. But FTs saved the Huskies and serve as a lesson to any team on how important the shot is to the game. Davis was 9-of-12 from the line while Kingma was 6-of-8 to lead the team. Kingma made 5 of 6 FTs in nthe final 55 seconds to preserve the win. The redshirt senior had 14 points and eight rebounds in her final home game against the cross-state rival. Davis led the Huskies with 21 points on 5-for-15 shooting from the field. Walton had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Galdeira led the Cougs with 14 points and 12 rebounds, but was forced into six turnovers that slowed her team’s momentum. UW (11-5, 3-2 Pac-12) and WSU (5-11, 1-4) face each other again on Sunday to complete the series for the season. “It is odd,” McGuff said of the schedule. “For both teams, we’ll probably have a good feel for what we’re trying to do. From a preparation standpoint, there’s not (more) film to watch outside of tonight’s game.”
BREAK TIME: I’m out to write the newspaper version. It’s 47-39 UW with 7:51 remaining in the game. Davis has 18 points for the Huskies and teammate Walton has 15 points with 10 rebounds. Cooks has nine points for WSU while Noyes has seven. Galdeira has 12 rebounds for the Cougars.
MAKE NOYES: Noyes is finding her way around the smaller Walton to help WSU cut the lead to 43-39. Williams responded with a short jumper, but the Cougs are building some momentum.
COMEBACK?: Cooks hit a jumper to cut UW’s lead to single digits at 40-31. Her team is also keeping Washington to one shot attempts on offensive possessions. The WSU bench and solid contingent of fans behind it are starting to get into the game.
FOR THREE: WSU’s Presley and freshman Mariah Cooks made back-to-back three-pointers to get some scoring going in the second half. WSU is 3 of 11 from the field in the second half while UW is 1 of 8. Now McGuff is calling time to discuss. It’s 40-29 Washington with 14:10 left in the game.
WIDE OPEN: UW is lifeless as it enters second half play. It has missed five of its shot attempts and has two turnovers. As you probably guessed, the only thing saving its double-digit lead is WSU’s inability to convert offensively. The Cougs are 1 of 9 to open the second half. UW is up 38-23 with 15:52 left in the game.
UGLY START: UW enters the break with a 36-21 lead. WSU is playing ugly basketball, shooting 24.2 percent from the field, turning the ball over 10 times and not even converting on the 20-13 rebounding advantage it has. Because of the lopsided play, UW appears to be easing off the pressure it had early in the game. But if WSU is going to offer a challenge, why not coast to a 35th win in the series? Walton leads the Huskies with 13 points and seven rebounds while Davis has 13 points and three assists. Taylor Edmondson, a freshman, leads WSU with five points while Presley has four rebounds. The halftime entertainment was actually worse than WSU’s performance — a game of musical chairs where the contestants didn’t know the rules. When those were explained — making a basket before taking a seat — the shots whiffed as badly as the Cougs attempts.
TIME: Even when UW went cold offensively, WSU couldn’t capitalize. Looks to be a long night for the Cougs. Washington is moving the ball the way McGuff likes, hitting its outside shots and pressuring Galdeira to keep her ineffective. Daugherty called time, again, but nothing appears to working. Washington’s up 32-13.
LET’S GO: Redshirt junior Ireti Amojo was clapping her hands and screaming “Let’s Go!” to her teammates after its sixth ugly turnover. The Cougs forced the Huskies into a shot-clock violation and got its own score for WSU’s best series of the first half. The Cougs are a young group and playing like they have the jitters. It’s 26-11 UW with 7:55 remaining before the break.
THREE TIMES: UW found its three-point FG. The Huskies were 8-for-27 from that range in an 85-68 loss to No. 14 UCLA on Sunday. So far on Tuesday, Washington is 5-of-6 from beyond the arc to build a 23-11 lead with 11:09 on the clock.
TIME: WSU is 1-for-9 from the field to open the game, prompting Daugherty to call for a timeout to discuss. Davis remains hot after averaging 28.0 points in two losses on the road. She leads the Huskies with nine points on 3-for-3 shooting it’s 14-4 Washington. The Cougs are 0-for-6 from three-point range.
Washington assistant coach Mike Neighbors wondered where’s the Apple Cup trophy for basketball’s version of the rivalry. When he was an assistant at Xavier on Kevin McGuff’s staff, the cross-town rivalry with Cincinnati featured a trophy displaying all of the winners and presented by the mayor.
Among Washington’s Pac-12 teams, the Apple Cup is pure bragging rights. And the Huskies can yap until the new harvest about their ownership of the Cougs. UW’s streak has reached 34 games, stretching across four coaches. WSU coach June Daugherty is the only to cross sides. Her Cougs lost the two games last year by a combined 13 points.
This season WSU has some impressive wins, traveling to Gonzaga to win before about 5,000 fans. Washington State (5-10, 1-3 Pac-12) also defeated then-No. 20 Ohio State at home. Cougs freshman Lia Galdeira (13.7 points) and sophomore PG Tia Presley (13.6) are reasons why. When they get hot, they put on a show in leading WSU. The problem is building consistency among the roster that only has one senior in the main rotation.
But don’t talk to UW (10-5, 2-2) about youth. It has two seniors on the roster and inconsistency has been an issue since the beginning of the season. Washington enters the game after two loses on the road where it could have defeated Southern California or UCLA had it focused for an entire game.
Neither should have a problem on Tuesday at Alaska Airlines Arena. UW is in its new black uniforms, asking fans to also wear black. It’s a tough look. Let’s see which side actually plays that way, beginning with your starting lineups.
F Brandi Thomas
F Sage Romberg
C Carly Noyes
G Tia Presley
G Lia Galdeira
F Kristi Kingma
F Aminah Williams
C Talia Walton
G Jazmine Davis
G Mercedes Wetmore
Tonight’s officials are Michael Price, Rick Showers, and Janetta Graham.