Westwood Stunner: Huskies Fall To Bruins In OT, 79-73
Feb. 2, 2012
LOS ANGELES -Up north in Seattle, the Husky men's team stunned UCLA with a furious rally in the game's waning moments. It was a completely opposite ending for the women's basketball team in Westwood.
Using a late charge of their own, the Bruins erased an eight-point deficit with two minutes remaining to defeat the Huskies in overtime, 79-73. The loss was by all means a heartbreaking one for Washington (11-9, 3-7), which has now lost two straight.
UCLA's Rebekah Gardner sent the game to overtime with a layup just before the buzzer, setting off a wild celebration at the John Wooden Center. The Bruins then outscored the Huskies 13-7 in overtime, the dagger a 3-pointer by Bruins guard Thea Lemberger with 51 seconds to go.
Following the game, Husky coach Kevin McGuff delivered a simple message to his team. The theme was that for the Huskies to get where they want to be as a program, they need to make free throws and lock up defensively in key moments.
For much of the second half, the Huskies played with the intensity and focus McGuff has demanded. Trailing by seven points at the break, the Huskies took control of the game on the play of Jazmine Davis, who led the Dawgs with a game-high 23 points. She teamed with senior Regina Rogers, who had her best game in her third and final trip to Westwood, scoring 21 points to go with 12 rebounds. It was her third straight double-double and the seventh of the season for Rogers.
"The only thing we talked about at halftime was being the tougher team," McGuff said. "It didn't have anything to do with X's and O's. We needed to make sure we were the aggressor in the second half."
The first half played as if both teams were boxers feeling each other out. Washington shot just 30 percent in the opening 20 minutes, at times frustrated by the myriad of zones the Bruins threw its way. UCLA also struggled from the field, but hit a handful of opportunistic shots, capped by Markel Walker's 3-pointer late in the half.
UCLA was led by Gardner, who scored 17 points. Walker added 16 points and 14 rebounds, in addition to seven assists. Both were instrumental in the Bruins' desperate push at the end of regulation. Walker hit a pair of free throws with 19 seconds remaining to make it a one-possession game at 65-62. Then Gardner picked off the inbounds pass and scored, trimming the margin to one at 65-64 and sending the Wooden Center into a frenzy. Husky post Mackenzie Argens would hit one of two free throws on the opposite end before Gardner's layup tied the game with two seconds left.
"All losses are heartbreaking," Rogers said afterward. "We just need to make sure we do the things we need to do to get better, and it will pay off at the end of games."
Washington will remain in Los Angeles for two more days before facing USC at 1 p.m., on Super Bowl Sunday at the Galen Center. The game will be televised nationally on FSN (ROOT Sports in the Seattle area).