Here’s the Northwest 11 weekly power ranking. The qualifying regional Division I schools are Washington, Washington State, Seattle U, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Portland, Portland State, Idaho and Boise State. Idaho State will not be included due to Pocatello’s more eastern location. NORTHWEST 11 WEEK 6 (Rank/Last Week/ School/Record: Comment) 1. (4) Washington (13-10, 6-6…More
Topic: Talia Walton
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The mentioning of Seattle Times preps reporter Sandy Ringer’s name immediately had Washington teammates Talia Walton and Mercedes Wetmore flooded with memories of good times back in the day. Even though that day was really about four years ago. Ringer covered the duo — and millions (?) more — through their high school hoops career….More
Day 1 of Washington coach Mike Neighbors new plan to get the Huskies playing better started Tuesday. A first-year head coach at the college level, Neighbors is testing one of his favorite quotes by Albert Einstein, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
So, now UW practices one day a week. Sounds insane. But as Neighbors explained, the team was getting about one practice in anyway, only it wasn’t everybody at the same time due to multiple injuries. On Tuesday players go through individual workouts, on Wednesdays, everyone who can play in the weekend’s games will participate in a traditional practice and Thursdays will be more focused on Friday’s opponent. Off-days are Mondays.
“We can’t improve because we can’t practice,” Neighbors said Tuesday. “It wasn’t ever going to get better the way we were doing it.”
Washington (8-7, 1-3 Pac-12) is on a three-game losing streak, creating a must-win scenario against Utah on Friday at Alaska Airlines Arena. UW faces its third ranked team of the season in No. 21 Colorado on Sunday. Washington lost to then-No. 23 Texas A&M (74-68) in December and then-No. 24 Arizona State (78-60) earlier this month.More
Washington could make its home debut on Friday without G Jazmine Davis and F Talia Walton, the top two scorers from the 2012-13 season. Walton has been out due to an injured right pinky while Davis suffered a concussion in the second half of a loss at Saint Mary’s last week.
Walton underwent surgery in October and had stitches removed on Wednesday, returning to practice. But she only participated in non-contact drills and is a game-time decision for UW’s game against Portland (1-1) at Alaska Airlines Arena. A redshirt sophomore, Walton averaged 13.6 points in an averaged 32.3 minutes for the Huskies last season.
Davis suffered a concussion after an accidental blow to the head. The Huskies led by 10 points when she suffered the injury with 8:01 remaining in the game. First-year coach Mike Neighbors said Davis had “that look that she was about to take over the game” before the injury. She finished with 23 points but the young team, already experiencing foul trouble, crumbled without her leadership.
“We didn’t have enough time to adjust to not having Jaz and they (SMC) saw it and seized the opportunity,” Neighbors said.More
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.More
HUSKIES WIN: The best part of Friday for Kristi Kingma were the final four minutes where she cheered for reserves Heather Corrral, Jeneva Anderson, and Deb Meeks in a 97-71 win at Oregon. What will be talked about is Kingma’s record 11 three-pointers for a career-high 35 points. Kingma’s signature three-pointers set a Pac-12 record, the last mark being nine by Oregon G Taylor Lilley in 2010 and Stanford F Lindsey Yamasaki in 2001. Oregon State G Talisa Rhea had the overall Pac-12 record of 10 in 2008. Kingma is UW’s second all-time career three-point shooter (215) behind G Loree Payne (245). Her 11 was one from tying the NCAA record of 12 set by Brittany Rayburn (Purdue) and Cornelia Gayden (Louisiana State). Rayburn achieved hers in 2012 while Gayden established the mark during the 1994-95 season. “I did think we were capable of a night like this with the shooters that we have,” UW coach Kevin McGuff said. “We’ve had some really good nights. Certainly this one was extraordinary.” Washington was 18-of-41 from three-point range overall, also setting a Pac-12 record for threes made. The team had 25 assists on 35 made field goals, proving there was plenty of offensive action in the game. Corral had 16 points, making four three-pointers. F Aminah Williams had another double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Talia Walton and Jazmine Davis also totaled 12 points apiece. Davis added nine assists. “It’s kind of hard to explain,” Kingma said of her shooting rhythm. “You feel you could just chuck it up there and it would go in. When that happens, it’s pretty cool because you don’t get in that zone pretty often.” Naturally Oregon G Ariel Thomas was irked at her team’s failure to close out and force Kingma to drive the ball or do anything but attempt her signature shot. “We just continued to let her sit there and shoot threes,” Thomas said. To nit-pick, the Huskies weren’t as impressive defensively. The Ducks shot conference season-high 43.1 percent from the field, despite not threatening the Huskies’ lead. McGuff was looking to the future when he critiqued the defensive effort, however. UW (18-6, 10-3 Pac-12) plays at Oregon State on Monday. The Beavers (9-16, 3-10) are trying to stop a seven-game losing streak that began with an overtime loss at Hec Ed in January. Kingma made a school record 15-of-15 FTs to seal that win. “Those threes look great when they’re going in and fortunately enough went in tonight,” McGuff said. “I would say that we’re going to have to be much better defensively in our upcoming games if we want to continue to have success.” Walton tweaked her surgically repaired knee and will use the two-day break in between the road games to rehab. McGuff was able to give his starters rest because of the once 28-point lead. Wetmore still kept her assists-to-turnover ratio rolling with six assists on Friday and just one miscue.
SCOREBOARD: No. 6 Cal killed No. 15 UCLA 79-51 on Friday. Golden Bears F Gennifer Brandon had 16 points and eight assists. No. 21 Colorado beat Arizona 55-42 while Utah defeated Arizona State 54-46. Washington State is up 10 on Oregon State. No. 4 Stanford is just getting into its match at USC, which you can watch on Pac-12 Networks now. I’m out to write the newspaper version of this blowout. UW is up 74-47 after a three-pointer by Corral.More
Washington was already elated after a needed sweep of the desert schools to remain tied with No. 17 UCLA for third in Pac-12 standings. Now the Huskies are getting national looks by Associated Press reporters.
A panel of 40 vote weekly to determine the top-25 teams in women’s basketball. UW (16-5, 8-2 Pac-12) received four votes. I didn’t make it five because I’m waiting for Friday’s matchup against the Bruins (17-4, 8-2) at Alaska Airlines Arena. UCLA defeated Washington 85-68 at Pauley Pavilion in January.
Washington led at halftime and used a 17-7 run to take a 59-58 lead with 9:30 remaining in the game. UCLA responded with its own 11-2 spurt to prevent UW from getting any closer than five points the remainder of the game. The loss was part of a disappointing road trip, Washington also losing 81-72 at USC (8-13, 5-5).
The Huskies defeated the Bruins 67-59 last season at Hec Ed behind C Regina Rogers’ 22 points and 11 rebounds. PG Jazmine Davis added 18 points.
If UW were to defeat UCLA there’s no question I’d vote for them. I consider my last five spots in the poll “guest appearances” for teams I’m eying to possibly move up. It’s difficult to really see all of the women’s basketball teams due to lack of television coverage compared to the men. The team’s I have in those slots this week all have RPI’s higher than Washington in Wisconsin-Green Bay (19), Villanova (14), Pacific (28) and Michigan (39) — although I have seen those teams play.More
Washington (14-5, 6-2) is in a peculiar position at the quasi midway point of the Pac-12 conference season. Win its home games to date? Check. Sweep standard rival WSU? Done. Work way to a slot in the standings with room for error? Well…
With 10 games remaining in conference play, UW is tied with No. 18 UCLA (15-4, 6-2) for third. It appears cushy, until you realize four of the remaining games are against teams ranked nationally in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll. The good news? The UCLA, No. 4 Stanford (18-2, 7-1) and No. 6 Cal (17-2, 7-1) games are at Alaska Airlines Arena. And the Huskies only play the Cardinal and Bears once.
UW coach Kevin McGuff doesn’t like to speculate about the season or whether the Huskies put themselves in position to really make a run at a finish in the Pac-12′s upper half. But some players like to watch the standings, making last weekend’s wins against Oregon (Sunday) and Oregon State (Friday) even sweeter. The team had to play without PG Jaz Davis, who suffered a concussion in a road win against Washington State.
“These are really crucial wins for us,” Washington junior G Mercedes Wetmore said after beating Oregon. “We’re hoping we can take care of a lot of the Arizonas, the Oregons and the Wazzus. That was our goal.”
UW has a chance to sweep the desert schools in its road trip to Arizona (Friday) and Arizona State (Sunday) this week. But sweeping Oregon State won’t be easy. OSU coach Scott Rueck is bitter about the finish in regulation that led to the overtime loss at Hec Ed.More
HUSKIES WIN: Wetmore and Walton let the media in on a little secret about Davis. “She enjoyed getting dressed up this weekend,” Wetmore said of the point guard having to miss two games due to a concussion. “She even told us she had it all planned out.” Walton, who was exasperated after keeping up with the fast Ducks laughed, then added, “She really enjoyed it.” Struting the sideline in a sharp pantsuit (Friday) and red skirt (Sunday) was easier for Davis considering her team being able to find wins without her. On Sunday, Wetmore had a season-high nine assists and zero turnovers, playing the entire 40 minutes of a 66-53 win at the PG slot. Walton added 18 points and 13 rebounds, Kingma had a game-high 20 points with four steals while Williams tallied 10 points and 12 boards. “I thought she (Wetmore) was terrific,” McGuff said. “Talia had a great second half, she was little off with her shooting in the first half, but she played really well in the second half. (Kingma) had a great weekend. Kass had some really great minutes today. When Jaz goes out, it is not easy, but it is kind of the mentality of next person in and we had some people step up and do some good things. I am proud of our effort this weekend.” Washington (14-5, 6-2 Pac-12) won its fourth consecutive game and remains tied for third in conference standings. Davis will be reevaluated, again, on Monday but McGuff still questions her chances to return to the lineup at Arizona (11-8, 3-5) this week. Thomas led UO with 14 points while Alleyne had 14 rebounds and seven points. The Ducks (3-17, 1-7) gave up 23 points on turnovers and shot 31.3 percent from the field. It returns to Eugene to host No. 6 Stanford (18-2, 7-1) and No. 7 (17-2, 7-1) Cal next week.
TIME: There’s a break in the action with 9:59 left. Walton is re-entering the game. The Ducks have gone a small 10-5 run to pull within 52-39 after UW’s hot 15-5 start to the half. UO has found pockets inside and out to get some points on the board. The Huskies are still in control and should pull this out for its fourth consecutive win. I’m out to focus on the newspaper version.
SUB!: Walton did the signature tug at the shirt to ask McGuff for a sub. She did disappear for a bit early in the opening half, so perhaps she’s a little under the weather. We’ll see after the game. Williams was sent to the score’s table to replace her but a timeout was called first. It’s 52-34 with 11:57 remaining in the game.More
HUSKIES WIN: Walton nailed an open three-pointer with 2:40 remaining in the game to give UW a 72-67 lead. It was enough to guard against any ASU surge, winning 77-74 before 2,341 fans. But it wasn’t without nailbiting moments. The Sun Devils (8-5, 0-1 Pac-12) missed three three-pointers in the final 44 seconds to nix opportunities to win. Although Blackwell did hit one at the buzzer that was ultimately meaningless but still a headshaker because she was well defended. She finished with an impressive 29 points on 12 of 17 shooting. ASU’s normal star, Fulcher, had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Walton and Williams provided the needed 1-2 punch inside the paint. Walton had a team-high 19 points with five blocks and three steals. Williams finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Davis (17) and Kingma (14) also finished scoring in double figures. “I like Blackwell a lot,” McGuff said. “Watching the film, I thought she’s really talented. I didn’t anticipate her scoring 29, but I thought she could be really effective.” It’s Washington’s first Pac-12 opening win since it defeated Washington State in the 2008-09 season. The team has talked a lot about getting out to a solid start in conference play and the goal showed on Friday — although in spurts. Positives were UW (9-3, 1-0) totaling 14 steals and six blocks. Washington used the defense to score 21 points off 24 ASU turnovers. But the Sun Devils got the Huskies on the boards (52-30) and dominated the paint, scoring 52 points to the Huskies’ 36 inside. “At the end of the day I felt that we played hard enough down the stretch to make it tough on them around the basket,” McGuff said. “This is a really good win for us.” UW switches from a grinding inside game to face a three-point happy team in Arizona (9-3, 1-0) on Sunday. UA defeated WSU 71-65 in the teams’ conference opener at Beasley Coliseum on Friday.
BREAK TIME: I’m out to write the newspaper version. It’s 58-57 UW with 8:14 on the clock. Kingma has just checked back into the game after probably her first extend in-game break of the season. Previously Washington was so wounded, it barely had subs.
UNLEASHED: Freshman Heather Corral, making her college home debut, flung a long three-pointer into the hoop to give the Huskies a tight 56-54 lead with 9:25 remaining. The play was setup by a hustle steal from Wetmore. The crowd gave the Huskies a standing ovation as it entered a timeout.
BET ON BLACK: Blackwell has made three consecutive shots to put ASU back ahead 52-48. Davis stopped the surge with a three-point play and Washington is down 52-51 with 10:28 on the clock. Blackwell has a game-high 18 points off the bench.More