Huskies Down Arizona State In Pac-12 Opener
Jan. 4, 2013
SEATTLE -- Another close game and another late victory for the Husky women, this time in Pac-12 play to defeat Arizona State, 77-74. The Huskies improved to 4-0 when a game is decided by six points or less, getting the crucial stops in the final minutes after a back-and-forth second half.
The win over Arizona State was just the second in 17 tries as the upstart Huskies continue to prove they belong in the conversation of the upper echelon of the Pac-12.
"I think Arizona State's really good," said head coach Kevin McGuff. "They're aggressive, they're athletic and I thought we handled a little bit of adversity there. Down the stretch I was really proud of our team. We played with a lot of heart, a lot of energy, a lot of effort, and won a great basketball game. They're really good I think they're going to have a terrific season. This is a really good win for us."
Washington got an early lead thanks to the shooting of Kristi Kingma. The senior made four first half 3-pointers to ease any concerns of a shooting slump. Kingma made 4-5 from downtown, looking like the shooter that was an All-Pac-10 player back in 2010-11.
Arizona State stayed close thanks to a 27-17 edge on the glass in the half. The Devils shot 38.9 percent for the period, using their size advantage to score inside.
After the break, Washington allowed Arizona State to regain the lead and then the two teams traded buckets for most of the half. Talia Walton got in the act for the Huskies, tying her career high with 19 points, including some big baskets late in the half.
It was Davis who got the offense going after a quiet first half, knifing into the lane to score or find her teammates on a drive and kick. She found Williams for the layup that put the Dawgs up 66-65 with 5:14 to play. After ASU tied it, Walton knocked down a big jumper and then an open 3 and Washington would not relinquish the lead.
The Huskies got the stops they needed and Williams and Mercedes Wetmore pulled down huge rebounds in traffic to help UW seal the win.
Washington forced 24 turnovers, including 14 steals. Davis had a career-best four, while Wetmore also had four. In addition, Walton blocked a career-high five shots to add to her Pac-12 lead.
The unsung player was Heather Corral who came off the bench to give Washington some big minutes in the second half when Kingma had to sit with foul trouble. The freshman, playing in her first game at Alaska Airlines Arena, scored five points, including a big 3-pointer in the second half.
Washington will now have to recover and be ready to face Arizona on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Wildcats also won their opener, knocking off Washington State in Pullman. The game will be the Huskies debut on the Pac-12 Networks.