March 22, 2013 at 7:05 PM
Live game thread: Eastern Washington at Washington in WNIT opener
HUSKIES WIN: As usual, Kingma finds the perfect time to hit a shot. Her only three-pointer of the game with 4:10 left in the second overtime proved to be the final go-ahead bucket UW needed to win 65-60 in double overtime. “The familiarity of the players with each other put it in a situation where nobody was in awe or anything of anyone else,” EWU coach Wendy Schuller said. “It was just two teams with a bunch of girls from Washington jumping out on the floor and getting after each other.” Ain’t that the truth. Huerta’s family from Covington took up an entire front row courtside, someone guy stripping to a bare chest as the game drew closer. UW shot a dismal 22.2 percent from the field in the second half and took 85 attempts in the game overall, rallying the EWU crowd. “This was definitely a better atmosphere than at home,” Hodgins said. “That helped get us going, everybody going crazy.” But outscoring EWU 12-7 in the final OT was enough for UW to advance. Washington (21-11) hosts Pacific (26-7) on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the second round of the WNIT. Washington is 3-1 all-time against Pacific, last playing the Tigers in 1996-97. “It’s another great opportunity to play here in front of our home crowd,” McGuff said. “I know they (Pacific) have had a really good year and the program is really solid.” Davis led all scorers with 22 points while Walton and Williams had 14 rebounds apiece. Hodgins led the Eagles with 20, but missed a three-pointer with nine seconds left that could have pushed a third OT. Huerta had 15 points. “It’s not easy,” said Hodgins of the loss. “You come this far, we played 50 minutes, it’s definitely hard. But I have three more years left. I was more disappointed we couldn’t get it done for the seniors on the team.” Washington is undefeated in the pseudo true “Apple Cup,” defeating Washington State twice and EWU and Seattle U once. UW and Gonzaga haven’t resumed its series. Like UW, EWU is expecting some talented recruits and SU returns its core as do the Zags. That bodes well for the future of the women’s programs in this state. “I wouldn’t call this a wake-up call,” Kingma said of Friday’s game. “We knew they (EWU) were going to be good and we knew it was going to be a battle. It definitely puts our mindset in the right place going forward.” And maybe Sunday the shots will drop.
OVERTIME: Davis nailed a driving layin with 13 seconds left in the game to tie the score and send it to overtime. It’s 49 all. I’m out to write about the finish. I love an upset, but dang.
MOMMA’S COURT: Well, Hodgins mother (Karen Murray) did make her name at the school and is still the fourth all-time leading Huskies scorer, so her daughter scoring a go-ahead turnaround jumper and picking off a Huskies pass top give the Eagles a 49-47 lead with seconds left should be surprising. UW is playing tight and only has 21.9 seconds to get something working to win.
EAGLES LEAD: Huerta flapped her arms in the air after her jumper in the lane gave the Eagles a 46-43 lead with 3:43 on the clock. UW eventually responded with a putback by Walton. But EWU has the momentum and confidence. Strategy is entering the equation, too. UW only has one timeout remaining to EWU’s three. Corral is back in the game. Ojeda leads the Eagles with 12 points. Davis is stuck on 11 to lead UW.
CORRAL OUT: Corral is wincing behind the bench, getting her left ankle re-tapped. On the court, Huerta nailed a three-pointer using the backboard and out ran Kingma for a fastbreak layin to make the score 43-41 with 5:27 left in the game. The folks in red are starting to sniff an upset.
SLUMP CONTINUES: Kingma admits to having a shooting slump but hoped the extra work after the Pac-12 tournament would help break it. Not the case Friday. She’s 4-for-12 from the field and has missed all seven of her three-point attempts. UW is 3 of 25 from three-point range in the game overall. It’s 43-36 Washington with 7:57 left in the game.
A-WILL: UW is stringing together some nice passes and Williams is showing more umph, helping UW regain 10-point lead at 43-33 with 9:03 on the clock.
ATTENDANCE WATCH: Some UW fans have trickled into the building, so the numbers are tipped back to purple. But EWU’s crew is louder. It’s 37-33 UW with 11:33 left in the game.
TIME: And UW exits the half exactly the way you don’t do if you want to win. Sloppy mistakes and no interior defense has allowed EWU to outscore the home team 10-4 after the break. Hodgins, who’s mother was the first woman inducted into UW’s Hall of Fame, has seven points while Ojeda is getting hot with six points. EWU has forced four turnovers in the half and is down 35-33 with 13:49 on the clock. Naturally McGuff called time.
GET JAZZY: If it weren’t for a three-pointer by Davis and a tough drive to the hoop by Walton in the final 39 seconds of the half, UW would be embarrassed headed into the break. Instead, the Huskies are up 31-23 at the break. It should be a bigger lead, however, considering the Eagles committed 15 turnovers in the half. Davis leads UW with 11 points, hitting 3 of 5 three-pointers. EWU is getting scoring from seven different players, but its leader, Ojeda, is 1-for-4 from the field for two points. Washington needs to exit halftime with a more aggressive style of play. EWU needs to take care of the ball, which it normally does, and convert more on the rebound advantage it created. The Eagles are outrebounding the Huskies 19-16 but trail 10-7 in second-chance points.
GOING INSIDE: EWU is getting the ball to F Laura Hughes and she’s hitting the short jumpers against Walton to keep the Eagles close. UW coach Kevin McGuff call time and its 26-20 UW.
SLOPPY PLAY: This is an odd game. The teams haven’t faced each other since 2009, so there’s no familiarity aside from players growing up competing against each other in AAU of high school. But UW is making some uncharacteristic errors on offense and EWU is getting some production from its scrappy play. It’s 22-16 Washington with 3:36 left in the half.
HIGH-FIVES: Wetmore and freshman G Heather Corral gave each other high-fives over Huerta, an EWU sophomore PG. The latter is 5-foot-1, so it wasn’t hard to trap her near midcourt. Teammates didn’t save her and there was no way to avoid a shot clock violation. The Huskies have actually force the Eagles to use a lot of time on the shot clock in multiple possessions, an obvious reason UW is on a 8-0 run.
ROLLING?: Out of a timeout, Williams picked off a pass and converted it into a fast break layin to ignite the offense. UW is starting to force turnovers and look more comfortable against EWU’s smaller lineup. It’s 18-13 Washington with 7:44 remaining in the first half.
EARLY LEAD: Davis opened by making two three-pointers and Kingma had a nice reverse layin. But it has been all EWU since. The visitors are up 13-12, shooting 40 percent from the field. There’s 10:29 on the clock.
Surprisingly there’s a lot of red in the stands at Alaska Airlines Arena. True, Washington and Eastern Washington feature 17 players from the state. But who knew the team from the other side of the mountain could outdraw Washington in attendance for Friday’s WNIT opener? And it’s not an exaggeration.
The Eagles (19-12) finished third in Big Sky conference play. Washington (20-13) finished fifth in Pac-12 play, the four teams above it advancing to the NCAA tournament and receiving seeds no lower than five. Add that UW has an all-time 21-1 record against EWU and this matchup should be a blowout.
But there’s that crowd. It barely looks like a home game for the Huskies.
UW had a two-week break after losing in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament at KeyArena. It gave the injury-riddled roster time to recoup and focus. The team averaged 8.2 three-pointers a game, but has only shot better than 43 percent from its signature range once in UW’s past seven games. Washington is 2-5 in that span, all of the loses being against nationally ranked teams.
The Huskies knew it would be a rough close to the regular-season. After not reaching its goals, how the team responds is what’s important now.
UW lost in the quarterfinals of the WNIT last season. EWU has never won a postseason game. Let’s see who’s ready to play, beginning with your starting lineups.
F Hayley Hodgins
F Aubrey Ashenfelter
C Carrie Ojeda
G Kylie Huerta
G Lexie Nelson
F Kristi Kingma
F Aminah Williams
C Talia Walton
G Jazmine Daivs
G Mercedes Wetmore
Tonight’s officials are Penny Davis, Bart Baldwin, and Spencer Baebler
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