Tables Turned: Utes Stun Huskies In Overtime
Jan. 7, 2012
SEATTLE - Utah turned the tables on the Huskies.
One year after a Washington last-second three burned the Utes in Salt Lake City the Dawgs experienced a painful end of their own in a 49-36 overtime loss on Saturday. As the Husky players shuffled off the court, the final score was a sobering reminder how difficult life is in the Pac-12 Conference.
Trailing by three, Utah's Janita Badon hit a game-tying prayer with 3.6 seconds remaining to force overtime. The possession was defined by a swirl of activity on the court, as the Huskies (9-5, 1-3) blocked two previous Utah attempts before Badon hit a fall-away over Jazmine Davis. The Utes then outscored Washington 17-4 in the extra session to earn the first Pac-12 win in program history.
"(Utah) found a way to win," UW coach Kevin McGuff said. "We didn't do things to close out the game."
Washington wasted perhaps its best defensive game of the season - holding the Utes to just 25.9 percent from the floor - and now must regroup as a trip to Pullman and archrival Washington State lies in waiting next weekend.
Both teams struggled to score, particularly in the second half. To wit: Utah made just 2-of-26 field goals in the second half. But the Huskies couldn't capitalize on opportunities that would have salted the game away. In the final minute, Davis and Wetmore went 0-for-3 on FTs that could have made it a two-possession game.
"Bottom line, for us to win this game we have to do things like get a tough rebound of make free throws," McGuff said. "We did neither, which left us vulnerable."
Davis led the Huskies with 15 points, but had difficulties generating looks with the physical Badon playing tight man-to-man defense. Utah came into the game with the reputation as one of the best defensive teams in the nation, and they certainly looked the part.
For instance, when Davis was able to elude Badon, waiting in the lane were Utah's massive posts - Michelle Plouffe and Taryn Wicijowski. Compounding the issue was Regina Rogers's absence for a majority of the second half. The UW center was diagnosed with a contusion in her hamstring, and spent the rest of the game with a bag of ice on her leg. Rogers scored 10 points (on 5-of-5 shooting) and finished with eight rebounds.
Badon led the Utes with 16 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
The loss snapped a seven-game home-winning streak for the Dawgs, who are still off to their best start since the 2006-07 season. But for the Huskies run to continue entering the treacherous part of the Pac-12 schedule, the team must execute a common McGuff-ism: rebound, play defense and control the things you can control. Defense wasn't the issue, but the others present opportunities going forward.