March 11, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Sami Whitcomb scored a game-high 18 points, but the Huskies could not blunt an Oregon State rally and fell in the opening round of the Pac-10 Tournament, 54-42, at the Galen Center on Thursday night.
In the final game of her storied career at Washington, the senior was impressive for much of the night, hitting her first five shots of the game as the Huskies stormed out to a 20-2 lead. She passed Renee Avelino to move to 16th place on the Huskies all-time scoring list, and also topped the 1,200-point barrier. The Ventura, Calif., native, who had a large group of family and friends in attendance, finished her career with 1,205 points and 173 3-pointers.
But the Beavers, whom UW beat twice in the regular season, responded with an impressive rally, answering the Huskies best punch and forcing turnovers on defense. Afterwards, the Huskies gathered solemnly in the locker room and formed a circle, with each player thanking the seniors for their accomplishments at Washington. "More than anything, I think it's important to thank our seniors for their leadership," Coach Tia Jackson said. "We're looking forward to making them proud next year."
Washington fell to 4-9 in Pac-10 Tournament games, and 1-1 against Oregon State. Oregon State became just the second No. 10 seed to win an opening game, taking a page from Washington last season, which beat No. 7 Oregon to make Pac-10 Tournament history. Julie Futch, a native of Auburn, Wash., scored a team-high 17 points, hitting a trio of 3-pointers to secure her team a place in the quarterfinals against No. 2 seed UCLA. Talisa Rhea struggled from the floor, but hit consecutive 3's to extend the Beavers' lead in the second half.
On defense, Oregon State threw a zone at the Huskies, a bit of an unorthodox switch for a primarily man-to-man team.
"We were anticipating a little more zone, but I'm not sure we were attacking the way we wanted to," Jackson said.
Washington (12-17, 7-12) exits the tournament and the season with plenty to build on towards next year. The sophomores made impressive strides over the course of the season, and there's a talented incoming class ready to make an impact.
"We've got to remember what our signature is and that's defense," Jackson said. "If we can remember to bring that every night we'll be fine."