Nov. 9, 2012
SEATTLE -- Washington women's basketball got its season off to a rousing start, using a Jazmine Davis driving layup in the final seconds to defeat Saint Mary's, 70-68. Davis, who earlier in the game limped off the court with an ankle injury, came back strong to score 25 points and lead the Huskies to a come-from-behind victory.
"I knew it was my ankle, but the way I rolled it, I knew I was going to play," said Davis. "I was really determined to get out there. I told the trainer that I wanted to get back into the game, and I wasn't going to get off the floor unless she would put me back in the game."
Davis' toughness was the catalyst for a big season-opening win over a good Saint Mary's team that won 22 games a year ago.
It wasn't pretty from the start, however, as the Dawgs struggled out of the gate and went without a field goal for the first nine minutes of the game.
"I told the team last night that we were going to make a lot of mistakes tonight, but that we should go out there and play hard -- and we didn't," said head coach Kevin McGuff. "I think we were a little nervous starting out and Saint Mary's was just playing a lot harder than we were to start the game."
Trailing 18-6, Kristi Kingma made a 3-pointer and the Huskies began their comeback. The three was huge for Washington all night as the Dawgs made 10, including five from Kingma.
Washington edged closer as the first half came to a close, trailing 35-31 at the break. The Huskies began to create offense from its defense and found open looks by moving the ball around the perimeter.
Trailing just four at the half inspired the Huskies, as early on it appeared it could be much worse. The Huskies came out on fire, using a 23-4 run to begin the half and run by a dazed-looking Saint Mary's team.
"Initially we were having trouble getting the ball in the basket," said Kingma. "That just happens, it wasn't any one big thing. We just needed to find our rhythm."
Washington used just 6:02 of clock for its run to begin the half, which included five threes. Talia Walton got in the act, knocking down a pair threes, while also being a threat in the paint. Walton had 17 points for the game and played 36 minutes in her first game coming off a redshirt year.
For Kingma, it was her first real game since ACL surgery, but she showed no ill effects, playing 39 minutes and scoring 15 points.
Despite the pleasant comeback stories, it was last year's Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, Davis who had the game winner.
Saint Mary's clawed its way back into the game over the final five minutes and eventually tied things up with a pair of free throws with 26 seconds to play.
That set the stage for Davis who used a high ball screen from Walton to knife into the lane, take on defenders and finish.
"It was just a simple screen to set up our shooters and then I'd try to create something," said Davis. "I saw an open lane going off the screen and I just took it. When I was going to the basket, I saw they had a lot of people in the lane, but I've been practicing that."
Davis finished with six seconds to play, leaving Saint Mary's with a desperation three as time expired. The 30-footer was on target, but clanked off the iron, leaving Washington with an exciting season-opening win.
"I thought early on we really settled for quick, bad shots." said McGuff. "They are good, got to give them credit, and if you are going to look for a quick shot it's probably not going to happen. Once we settled, and started to get the idea of execution, we got a lot better shots."
Washington moves to 1-0 and will next face cross-town rival Seattle University at Key Arena .The matchup will be Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m.