MORAGA, Calif. – Washington led most of the game, but in the end succumbed to red-hot shooting in the second half from St. Mary’s, falling 91-81. The Dawgs led by nine at the half, but allowed 57 percent shooting from the Gaels after the break as St. Mary’s came back for the victory.
Washington started well as Kelsey Plum scored eight quick points in her Washington debut. The highly touted Husky freshman made a driving layup and then knocked down back-to-back 3’s and the Dawgs had an early 8-4 lead. Plum finished with 23 points and four assists.
After the hot start from Plum, Jazmine Davis got her scoring going, driving and finishing in traffic, which she does just about as well as anyone in the country. Davis also finished with 23 points, making 8-18 shots, including 3-6 from 3-point range.
The Dawgs did not trail in the first half, although St. Mary’s made several runs each time Washington tried to extend the lead. Both
Heather Corral came off the bench to provide quality minutes, knocking down three 3-pointers in the half. She ended up with a career-best five 3’s for the game, finishing with 15 points.
Washington led 47-38 at the break, shooting 17-33 (51.5 percent) from the floor, including 7-14 from 3-point range. St. Mary’s did have the advantage on the boards, outrebounding Washington, 24-13. Katie Collier got in early foul trouble and played just five minutes, which affected the Huskies inside.
After the half, St. Mary’s began to chip away at the lead, bringing it to a three-point game with 14:39 to play. The Gaels took their first lead of the game at the 12:15 mark when Danielle Mauldin scored a layup. Despite the comeback, Washington responded by using an 8-0 run to bring the lead back to seven. Corral punctuated the run with her fifth 3-pointer for the game.
The teams would trade baskets as hot shooting from both sides highlighted what was becoming an excellent basketball game to watch. Plum knocked down a 3-pointer, followed by a driving layup and the Dawgs led by 10 with 8:01 left to play.
From there, things began to go wrong for Washington as the Gaels caught fire and Davis was forced to leave the game after taking a shot to the head.
The Gaels used a 13-3 run over the next 2:59 to tie the score at 76-76. St. Mary’s was 3-3 from beyond the 3-point arc during that stretch, but it would not end there. The Gaels retook the lead at the 4:56 mark and would not trail the rest of the way. St. Mary’s made 20-25 in the second half and grabbed 11 offensive rebounds to get second chances the few times they missed. The result was a 53-point onslaught that turned a 10-point Husky lead to the eventual 10-point deficit.
Jackie Nared of St. Mary’s finished with 37 points on 14-19 shooting, playing all 40 minutes.
Mercedes Wetmore had a well-rounded game for the Huskies, chipping in eight points, six assists and five rebounds.
Washington will now return to Seattle for the opener at the Alaska Airlines Arena on November 15. The Dawgs host Portland for an unusual noon tip for a Friday.