Feb. 27, 2010
SEATTLE - Even though the series has been historically lopsided, nothing's guaranteed in the Apple Cup.
The Huskies know this, so despite opening up a big lead against Washington State the team still had to hold on for a 70-54 win at Bank of America Arena on Saturday afternoon.
In front of a season-high crowd of 5,510, Washington extended its streak over the Cougars to 30 wins in a row, thanks to a career-high 23 points from Regina Rogers. The redshirt sophomore was a force in the post, converting 9-of-14 shots and 5-of-7 from the line.
With the win, the Huskies also snapped a six-game losing streak to improve to 10-16, 5-11. After the game, however, Rogers said the last three weeks have been more of a "learning streak," which educated the team on how to win and finish ballgames in the Pac-10 Conference. This time, when the Huskies had a lead, they continued to ratchet up the pressure and force turnovers.
Sami Whitcomb iced the game with a three-point play from the corner in the final three minutes, giving the Huskies their biggest lead of the game at the time, 65-49. The senior struggled from the floor, shooting just 2-of-7 in scoring 12 points, but made up for it in other areas. She set a new career high with 13 rebounds, and it was the fifth time Whitcomb has pulled down double-digit boards this year. Whitcomb also recorded a season-best six steals and dished out three assists.
"I just try to stay active and be there for my teammates, whatever I can do," Whitcomb said. "We did a really good job tonight in our defensive trapping and getting good traps so it made it easy to make reads."
Following the game, the Huskies silenced talk of the winning streak and instead placed more credence on snapping their recent slide. This came at the team being determined to feed the post, where a size advantage awaited the Huskies.
"We continue to remain in attack mode which was really good and for us to get 32 points in the paint, 23 of them coming from Regina, is huge," said Coach Tia Jackson. "We are getting better and better at just how to share the ball and how to assess opportunities in the key."
April Cook led the Cougars with 14 points. No other Washington State player scored in double figures. The Huskies did an excellent job of limiting penetration from Cougars star freshman KiKi Moore, who scored nine points but also committed five turnovers.
Up next for the Huskies is the final weekend of the regular season, and the last home series for the Husky seniors, when the Oregon schools visit Bank of America Arena. The weekend tips off with Oregon State on Friday at 7 p.m.
Note: Before the game, the alumni from the women's basketball program played in their biennial "Alumni Game," on the main floor of Bank of America Arena. Team Purple beat Team White, 55-53, on a late 3-pointer from Michelle Augustavo, who graduated last year. Current assistant Loree Payne also participated, joining a cadre of legends on the floor.