Huskies Send Out Seniors With 67-59 Win Over UCLA
March 3, 2012
SEATTLE - Washington sent its seniors off in style.
Fighting through the emotional moment, the Huskies made all the necessary plays late to hold off UCLA in 67-59 win on Saturday afternoon, snapping a five-game losing streak to the Bruins in the process.
"We wanted to finish off (the seniors') career on a winning note," said coach Kevin McGuff. "Today is a great example of how we're not always perfect, but these kids always compete and I'm really happy for our seniors in getting this win today."
The Huskies improved to 16-12 on the season, 8-10 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Bruins fell to 14-15, 9-9 in the league, and missed on a chance to snag a coveted first-round bye in next week's Pac-12 Conference Tournament.
But the Huskies weren't thinking about Pac-12 seeding before the game. Instead the focus was on avenging an earlier 79-73 overtime loss to the Bruins in Los Angeles, a game where the Huskies led by seven with 49 seconds to go.
In her final regular-season home game as a Husky, Regina Rogers was the difference-maker with 22 points and pulled down 11 rebounds against her former team, winning for the first time in six tries against UCLA. As usual, Rogers did all of her damage in the low block, despite a 2-3 UCLA zone designed to limit her touches. Rogers also went to the free throw line a career-high 15 times, making 10 of those attempts.
Jazmine Davis added 18 points, adding another strong argument for the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award. She made up for a cold shooting night with a series of slithering drives to the paint for layups, in addition to seven of 10 free throws. And while the Huskies struggled with 19 turnovers, they made up for it in other areas.
"On offense we turned it over too much; we really could have put the game out of reach if we didn't turn it over," McGuff said. "But we won the game with our defense and rebounding. UCLA shot 32 percent for the game, and we were plus-11 on the board."
The Huskies withstood a monster game from UCLA's Markel Walker, who scored 20 points to go with 17 rebounds. Although UCLA only led at most by just a point, the Bruins were constantly within striking distance of the Huskies, mainly because of Walker's ability to drive the paint and convert easy put backs. Thea Lemberger added 15 points, but made just 3 of 12 shots from the floor.
Washington struggled at times from the floor and with turnovers, as UCLA's length on the perimeter added extra teeth to its 2-3 zone. That's part of the reason UW made just 4 of 18 shots from deep, but was able to make up for it inside by controlling the paint, particularly Rogers.
"She was just really tough for (UCLA) to handle, and she made some big baskets for us," McGuff said.