Scott Johnson Herald Writer
SEATTLE — Jazmine Davis put on another scoring barrage for the University of Washington women’s basketball team Saturday afternoon.
Unfortunately for the Huskies, the star freshman needed 39 minutes and 20 seconds before she got started.
Davis scored nine of her game-high 20 points in the final 40 seconds of Saturday’s game against Oregon State, but the three consecutive 3-pointers came too late to save a UW team that saw a close game start to get away over the final nine minutes. Led by a career-high 15 points from reserve Mollee Schwegler, who erupted for nine points during a 20-6 run late in the second half, the Beavers extended their winning streak to six games by way of a 78-73 win.
“We’ve been learning how to win, and when we get in these situations (late in games), we know we can win,” said Schwegler, a junior-college transfer who averaged 2.3 points per game heading into Saturday’s game.
The Huskies (13-10 overall, 5-8 in the Pacific-12 Conference) are still learning how to finish, having now suffered seven losses by five points or less or in overtime. UW closed out the final 40 seconds with a flurry of scoring, but that came too late to save the Huskies on this afternoon.
Before Davis hit the first of three consecutive 3-pointers with 40 seconds remaining, OSU had capped off a 23-8 run to open up a nine-point lead with less than a minute to go. Davis had an open 3-pointer roll in and out with 48 seconds remaining, then she converted 3s on each of UW’s next three possessions.
Her final 3-pointer, which came with 5.7 seconds left, cut the deficit to 76-73. A pair of free throws from Oregon State’s Earlysia Marchbanks with 4.8 seconds left essentially put the game away, but a mixup between Davis and Mollie Williams on the ensuing inbounds served as the final nail in the coffin when UW was whistled for a turnover.
In a game that saw nine lead changes and was marked by back-and-forth runs, the Huskies essentially saw their last ditch of momentum evaporate when star Regina Rogers was whistled for her fourth foul with 8:38 remaining and the Huskies ahead 56-50. UW coach Kevin McGuff, despite a boxout from assistant Mike Neighbors in front of the Huskies’ bench, argued the call so vehemently that he was whistled for a technical foul. That sparked a 15-4 run by Oregon State that put the Beavers comfortably ahead, at 65-60, with 3:15 remaining.
After the game, McGuff showed no remorse for the technical.
“I didn’t think (Rogers) was being treated fairly, and if I see that, I’m going to react to that,” he said. “She shouldn’t be penalized for being big and strong and not flopping around. People hang on her and push her, and she tries to get space, and she gets a foul called on her. And that’s not fair. I’m always going to react to that.”
Rogers scored 16 points and added seven rebounds in 30 minutes of action and was a key factor in UW’s runs throughout the game. After her fourth foul, she sat out less than four minutes before returning to the floor with 4:53 remaining and the score tied at 60.
The player the Huskies may have missed even more down the stretch was senior Charmaine Barlow, a low-scoring guard who is UW’s best on-ball defender. She sat out the final 261⁄2 minutes with a sprained ankle, and the Huskies could have used her defense down the stretch.
UW particularly struggled in trying to contain Schwegler, a 5-foot-6 guard who tied the score at 58 with a 25-foot 3-pointer and then added six more points during the key run that put the Beavers in front for good.
“I was shooting confident all day,” said Schwegler, who hadn’t scored more than eight points in a game this season and had a total of nine points in Oregon State’s previous 13 games.
Davis tried to provide some offense for the Huskies in the final minute, but it came too late. She finished with 20 points after going 3-for-14 from the field over the first 39 minutes and 20 seconds.
“It was just pressure and adrenaline,” she said of her late scoring flurry. “We needed shots, we needed to score 3’s, and my shots were falling at the end.”
Sophomore Mercedes Wetmore had 12 points for the Huskies, and she was a key factor in keeping UW in the game while Davis struggled to find her shot.
The Huskies actually shot fairly well from the field, making 47.3 percent of their field-goal attempts, but the Beavers were even more proficient at 52 percent.
“I thought Washington played good (Saturday), but we always had an answer,” said Oregon State coach Scott Rueck, whose Beavers are in the completely unexpected position as an NCAA tournament contender after going 9-21 last season.
With tournament dreams essentially out of the picture, the Huskies are just trying to finish strong now.
“I feel like things should’ve been different (after Saturday’s game), but we’ll just really hit the practice floor and go into (this week’s) Arizona games fired up,” Wetmore said.