By Scott M. Johnson Herald Writer
SEATTLE — Regina Rogers walked through the hallways of Hec Edmundson Pavilion without a noticeable limp and settled into a chair inside the media room.
Then the best player on the University of Washington women’s basketball team proceeded to describe her status for Saturday’s game against Washington State in three words.
“Game-time decision,” Rogers said five times during a 31/2-minute session with reporters.
Since suffering a bruise to her hamstring during Saturday’s loss to Utah, Rogers has been held out of practices. She is optimistic that she’ll be able to play against WSU, and the Huskies are holding out hope that their star will be back on the floor.
“It’s still too early to say exactly what her availability would be for Saturday’s game,” coach Kevin McGuff said.
Having already lost 6-foot-1 reserve Marjorie Heard to a season-ending knee injury earlier this week, the Huskies could use any big bodies they can find. Rogers is the focal point of UW’s offense and would leave a huge void in an already-thin frontcourt.
“That would make us a little more thin there,” McGuff said. “It takes away from what I was hoping was a strength of ours, and that’s our depth. It’s hard. … But we can’t sit here and feel sorry for ourselves. Washington State isn’t going to feel sorry for us. We’ve got to move forward.”
If Rogers can’t play, the Huskies would likely turn to senior Mollie Williams to fill her starting spot and senior Mackenzie Argens to fill the role of primary inside scorer. Junior Jeneva Anderson, a 6-foot wing, is another possibility. Six-foot-2 freshman Talia Walton is in danger of missing the rest of the season, McGuff said, because of a knee injury that might force the team to apply for a medical redshirt.
That leaves Argens and Williams as the only healthy players taller than 6-feet. The 6-2 Williams said she’ll be ready if called upon.
“I’m just taking it any way I can get it,” she said Thursday night. “If do get the opportunity, I’ll try to keep what we had with Regina. But we won’t have as much force because she’s such a force in the paint. I’m just trying to do anything I can to pick up the slack that we need.”
Rogers, a 6-4 senior from Seattle, is hoping the Huskies don’t have to fill any void inside. She said she feels “good” but that the decision of whether she’ll play Saturday is entirely up to team trainers.
As far the possibility that she doesn’t play Saturday?
“I kind of don’t want to think about that right now,” Rogers said Thursday. “I’m hoping for the best. Hopefully, I can play.”
Saturday opponent WSU has its own injury issues as well, with second-leading scorer Ireti Amojo (9.0 points per game) expected to miss the remainder of the season after suffering a knee injury two weeks ago.