Feb. 3, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Huskies can shoot the three. Washington put on a shooting clinic from 3-point range on Sunday, making 15 threes to best Arizona State, 74-61, and earn a road sweep in the desert.
Sunday's star was Talia Walton who scored a career-high 26 points and added nine rebounds. Walton made 10-17 from the floor and 6-8 from 3-point range to terrorize the Sun Devils with her jump shooting. The redshirt freshman had 17 points in the second half, including making five 3-pointers in a row out of halftime to turn a Husky deficit into a commanding lead.
The outcome was a big win for the Dawgs, although it was in doubt after a shaky first half.
Arizona State came out playing zone, something the Huskies don't see often with its perimeter-oriented offense. The defense seemed to slow the Huskies who lacked its usual killer instinct. Arizona State was able to build a lead, playing the slower, physical style that would benefit the home team.
Down 33-29 at the half, head coach Kevin McGuff questioned the Dawgs effort for the first 20 minutes, thinking there was too much standing around.
Whatever was said worked because the Dawgs came out of the half looking like a new team, aggressively looking for shots and shooting the lights out from 3-point range. After ASU stretched the lead to eight, the Huskies went on a 9-0 run with threes on three-straight trips down the court to take a one-point lead.
UW would go onto score its first 18 points of the half on 3-pointers and take 47-42 lead with 13:22 to play. Walton led the Huskies, making six threes, but all five starters had at least one.
The Dawgs would make nine of their first 12 threes in the second half to build a double-digit lead. Washington finished with 15 3-pointers for the game, just one shy of the school record. Kristi Kingma and Aminah Williams had two. The third 3-pointer for Kingma was the 200th of her career, making her just the third Husky to achieve that milestone.
Arizona State badly outrebounded Washington, but the Dawgs turned it over just four times to offset the loss of possessions. Combined the Dawgs' primary ball handlers, Jazmine Davis and Wetmore had 12 assists to just one turnover. The only Husky turnover in the second half came when Williams tracked down a rebound and threw it away as she fell out of bounds.
Arizona State got as close as seven in the final minutes, but Davis punctuated the win with some strong drives to the basket when Arizona State overplayed the shooters. Davis finished with 16 points and seven assists after not making a field goal in the first half.
The win moves Washington to 16-5 on the season and 8-2 in conference. Pending UCLA's result on Sunday the Dawgs will likely remain tied for third, one game back of Stanford and California, but now have a three-game cushion on the rest of the league.
It won't get any easier next weekend as the Huskies welcome UCLA and USC to Alaska Airlines Arena. The two L.A. schools are responsible for the only losses in conference for the Dawgs this season. The Bruins will be in town Friday, February 8, at 7 p.m. and the Trojans, Sunday, February 10 at 1 p.m.