Jan. 7, 2010
SEATTLE - It's good to be home.
In the Huskies first game at Bank of America since Nov. 29, the Huskies picked up a signature win for the 2009-10 season. Not only did the Huskies snap a 10-game losing streak to Arizona State, but Sami Whitcomb tallied season highs in both points (26) and rebounds (11), while also etching her name into the record books.
With a deep 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, Whitcomb become the 21st player in Huskies history to score a 1,000 points at Washington. After the game, Whitcomb's teammates presented her with the game ball.
"It would have been tough (if we had lost)," Whitcomb said. "So it was nice for it to be a part of a win."
All the scoring and accolades aside, Huskies coach Tia Jackson couldn't have been more proud of her defense. The Dawgs held the Sun Devils to just 39 percent shooting in the second half, and picked up critical stops late in the game. Sophomore Kristi Kingma iced the game with a timely 3-pointer from the wing in the final minutes, and the Huskies once again sealed the game from the line.
"Wow, I'm so proud of this team," said Jackson. "They came out, and more times than not, executed everything defensively as we wanted."
The win over Arizona State moves the Huskies to a season-best 7-6, 2-1 in the Pac-10 Conference. The Sun Devils fell to 8-6, 0-3 and have lost three straight league games.
"More than that, it's the momentum we feel like we're creating," Whitcomb said. "Getting a split on the road (at the Oregon schools) ... but I think, more than anything, it's great to get this year and hopefully it carries over."
The Huskies held Sun Devils' leading scorer Danielle Orsillo to just four points, but had to endure 19 from Becca Tobin. Former Husky Kali Bennett, who transferred following the 2007-08 season, scored six points in her return to Seattle.
As the Huskies play has improved over the course of the season, so has their presence in the post. This time, with Mackenzie Argens saddled with foul trouble early, Washington had to turn to its leading scorer.
Whitcomb responded with 16 points in the first half, including the deep rainbow 3-ball at the buzzer, which game the Huskies a 34-30 lead. Overall, the senior guard hit a season-best five 3-pointers.
Last year against ASU, Whitcomb scored a career-high 29. But the Huskies weren't able to overcome the Sun Devils' balanced roster.
This year was a different story. Whitcomb was smart to take over the game at the right times, but also she served as a potent decoy so players like Kingma (11 points) could operate in space. And although backup guard Christina Rozier finished with only six points, she scored critical back-to-back buckets in the second half to propel the Huskies.
"We beat a very talented team in Arizona State," Jackson said. "I couldn't be more proud."
Up next, the Huskies will face a troublesome Arizona squad coming off a win over Washington State in Pullman. The game will tip-off at 12 p.m. and is part of the Dads and Daughters promotion at Washington.