Defense gives UW women upset

  • By John Sleeper / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, December 29, 2004 9:00pm
  • Sports

SEATTLE – If the University of Washington women’s basketball team wanted a blueprint for winning games this season, Wednesday night’s victory against No. 21 Arizona State should do it.

In their 63-55 upset of the Sun Devils, the Huskies forced 27 turnovers, vexed them into 37-percent shooting from the floor and held them to 2-for-11 from beyond the 3-point line.

In other words, it was Washington’s defense that helped snap a four-game losing streak and gave the improving Huskies their second victory in their last eight games.

Washington knocked on the door against Arizona Monday night in a 67-63 loss. The Huskies tore it down Wednesday.

“I told you here two nights ago that we were dangerously close,” UW coach June Daugherty said. “These kids are really playing hard, playing with great intensity, defensively.”

Defense covered up a myriad of sins for Washington (5-7, 1-1 Pacific-10 Conference). It’s a young team, one without a senior. It also doesn’t shoot very well – the Huskies shot just 37 percent from the floor Wednesday night, 35.5 percent going into the contest.

It was the first time in Daugherty’s nine-year reign as Washington’s head coach that the Huskies won while not connecting on a single 3-pointer. Washington was 0-for-7 from the 3-point arc.

But the turnover issue, along with the fact that Washington didn’t get killed on the boards by the bigger, stronger Sun Devils (1-1, 9-3), kept the game close. Guard Emily Florence raised havoc on the perimeter, while Breanne Watson, Maggie O’Hara and Jill Bell took care of business inside.

In the end, the intense Huskies refused to back down, which happened on more than one occasion in preseason.

“We’re not dwelling on our mistakes as much as we had,” said UW Kristen O’Neill, who finished with 11 points, four steals and had an excellent floor game. “We are young and we make mistakes, just like any other team. We’re getting experience. We just want to continue building. More than anything, we’re getting that confidence in ourselves and in each other.”

Washington withstood ASU’s defensive pressure in the closing moments and closed the show by hitting eight of 10 free throws.

Arizona State, which had won eight of its last nine coming in, went on a 9-2 run to open the second half to take a 31-27 advantage. But Washington fought back. A 14-3 streak midway through the second half gave the Huskies a 45-37 lead, one they would never give up.

Spearheading the decisive run was guard Kayla Burt, the same Burt who went scoreless against Arizona. Burt scored five in the run, including a steal and layup. She also fed Bell with a gorgeous pass for a fastbreak layup.

“Coming off the Arizona game, she was disappointed,” Daugherty said of the Huskies’ former Arlington High School star. “She felt like she might have let the team down, which was not the case. But one of the things that was mentioned to her was to just relax and go in there and get what you can get.”

Which Burt did. Of Burt’s team-high 12 points, 10 came at the foul line.

The Huskies took a 25-22 lead at the half, despite shooting 8-for-22 from the floor. That’s because ASU didn’t convert a field goal in the last seven minutes (during which it missed its last nine attempts) and committed 17 turnovers.

Much of the credit goes to Washington’s harassing, pressure defense, but the biggest reason was that ASU simply wasn’t very good with the ball. The Sun Devils looked anything but the team that defeated defending national champion and eighth-ranked UConn 61-50 Dec. 21.

ASU was just 9-for-26 shooting at the half.

” (Turnovers) were a huge part of it,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “When you just throw the ball away for no apparent reason and you continue to do it throughout the game, it’s hard to not get frustrated with yourself.”

Bell added 10 points and six rebounds for Washington. Watson had a season-high eight rebounds to go with eight points.

Talk to us

More in Sports

EC’s Damajio Merritt (20) fights for the ball during a men’s game between the Everett Community College Trojans and Edmonds College Tritons at Seaview Gymnasium at Edmonds College in Lynnwood, Washington on Wednesday Jan. 25, 2023. The Tritons won, 91-84. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Tritons top Trojans in heavyweight NWAC hoops battle

Edmonds uses a 14-0 run to start the second half to take control of a game between top men’s teams.

Arlington’s Samara Morrow looks to cut to the basket against Stanwood on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Arlington girls rally past rival Stanwood in key league showdown

Standout senior Jenna Villa pours in 29 points and the Eagles ride a third-quarter surge to victory.

People gather in front of the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame display case during the 2022 Hall of Fame banquet Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2022, at the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Community roundup: Nominations open for county Hall of Fame

Plus, Jacob Eason signs a futures deal with Carolina, UW’s Sami Reynolds gets a preseason honor and more.

X
Prep roundup for Thursday, Jan. 26

Prep roundup for Thursday, Jan. 26: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

X
Archbishop Murphy names Cronin new head football coach

The Everett High School alum was the head coach at Cascade from 2012-13 and most recently was an assistant coach at O’Dea.

Ryan Scott. (Photo provided by AquaSox)
AquaSox’s coaching staff for 2023 announced

Ryan Scott, 27, takes over for Eric Farris as Everett’s manager for the upcoming season.

Lynnwood’s Teyah Clark gets pestered by a number of Seagulls while trying to get off a shot against Everett on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, at Norm Lowery Gymnasium in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Associated Press high school basketball polls for Jan. 25

The Lynnwood girls join the Class 3A top 10 as five Snohomish County girls teams crack the rankings.

X
Prep roundup for Wednesday, Jan. 25

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Jan. 25: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

126 Arlington’s Beau Gudde and Stanwood’s Bryan Roodzant during the match on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Stanwood outlasts Arlington to secure Wesco 3A North title

The Spartans prevail over the rival Eagles 45-28 in one of the most highly anticipated Wesco duals of the season.

Most Read