SEATTLE – Washington got off to an exciting start to the season, earning big 87-40 victory over Concordia on Halloween night at Alaska Airlines Arena. Freshman Kelsey Plum had a scintillating debut, scoring 32 points, but was not alone several Huskies had big performances.
Head coach Mike Neighbors won his first game as the new Husky leader, although it won't count in the official record books because it was an exhibition game.
The Dawgs opened on a 15-4 run to leave no doubt in the early minutes. Katie Collier returned from her redshirt season to immediately impose her will in the paint. She scored the first bucket and grabbed a couple rebounds, showing a new dynamic to the undersized Huskies of a year ago. Collier finished with a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, despite playing just 25 minutes after picking up her fourth foul midway through the second half.
The other newcomer on display waswho was as advertised, making 10-19 from the floor and 6-10 from 3-point range. Switching between the point guard and off guard spot, Plum had several open looks from 3-point range, while also driving and finishing with her left hand.
Overall, Washington shot 30-79 (38.0 percent) for the game, including 11-30 (36.7 percent) from 3-point range. The Dawgs held Concordia to 13-63 (20.6 percent) shooting and 5-28 (17.9 percent from distance.
After struggling on the boards for most of last season, Washington dominated the glass Thursday night. Aminah Williams picked up right where she left off a year ago, grabbing 19 rebounds to go with 13 points. She joined Collier with a double-double, something she made a routine of last season.
After building a big lead, Concordia made a bit of a run before the half to get back within 12, 37-25. Washington’s aggressive style caused a bit of foul trouble going into the break.
The Dawgs regrouped at the break and opened with a 20-6 run to begin the second half, cruising to the victory from there.
Plum scored 24 of her 32 after the break, while Mercedes Wetmore chipped in seven. Wetmore finished with 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds for her typical well rounded game.
Star guard Jazmine Davis finished with nine points, deferring to her teammates most of the game. She shot just 4-15 from the floor, but did have four assists.
Heather Corral came off the bench to knock down three 3-pointers and finished with nine points.
The Dawgs will now regroup and prepare for next Friday’s regular season opener at St. Mary’s. The Gaels are receiving votes in the Coaches Poll and were an NCAA team two years ago. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m., November 8, in Moraga.