Jan. 21, 2010
SEATTLE - Even in defeat, the Washington women's basketball team puts on a show.
In a fast-paced contest had the Bank of America Arena crowd on its feet for much of the game, the Huskies kept visiting Southern California on its heels throughout the matchup. It took some late 3-point fireworks from Trojan star Ashley Corral to down the Huskies, 69-65 on Thursday.
The loss was the Huskies first Pac-10 Conference defeat at home, following their league-opening sweep of the Arizona schools. Washington is now 8-9, 3-4 Pac-10, while USC improves to 11-6 and 5-1 in conference play.
Guard Sami Whitcomb led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting and chipped in 11 rebounds, though her eight turnovers frustrated the senior.
"I look at it and say we had a lot of very good individual play," UW coach Tia Jackson said. "We shared the ball extremely well, but I know they would give all those points and rebounds and everything back if we could have this victory tonight."
Kristi Kingma added 19 points for the Huskies, while center Regina Rogers added six points and eight rebounds despite battling flu-like symptoms throughout the evening.
"Our defense wasn't playing that well, but they hit some big shots," USC coach Michael Cooper said.
"I think Whitcomb was on fire and Kingma was on fire. They hit some shots they were supposed to hit. The thing about us is that we stayed with our defensive concept and it finally took hold in the second half."
Hot shooting by Washington helped the squad build an 11-point lead over the Trojans with 4:53 left in the first half, though the visitors used an 8-0 run to cut the lead to three at halftime. The Huskies came out strong in the second half though, taking a 45-36 lead with 14:28 remaining.
But the Trojans tied the game at 51 with 7:38 left in the half, and then went on a 17-2 run with Corral, a native of Vancouver, Wash., scoring 15 of USC's 17 points, including three straight 3-pointers.
That gave the Trojans an ultimately insurmountable 11-point lead at 67-56 with just under two minutes left in the game.
The Huskies will look to rebound Saturday at 2 p.m. when UCLA comes to town for the second game of the homestand.
"I think there is a lot of good things we can take from this game, especially building into UCLA," Kingma said. "Regina is diving on the floor. Morty (Sarah Morton) was making the extra pass and our bench was fired up."