Huskies March On To WNIT Quarterfinals
March 20, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - It was an all-out war at Gill Coliseum. And the Huskies made the clutch plays to come out on top.
Washington traded punches for 40 minutes with Oregon State in securing a 55-49 win to advance to the quarterfinals of the WNIT. In the process, the Huskies picked up win No. 20 on the season, accomplishing the feat for the first time since the 2003 season.
Up next for the Huskies is a game against the winner of Texas Tech and San Diego, who will play Thursday night in Lubbock, Texas. The WNIT committee will decide location/date of the quarterfinal matchup, which will take place on either March 24, 25 or 26.
Regina Rogers led the Dawgs with 23 points and 11 rebounds, terrorizing the physical Oregon State interior in 37 minutes of action. The senior teamed up with classmate Mollie Williams (12 points and eight rebounds) to help the Huskies stave off a late rally from the Beavers, who missed several shots in the game's waning seconds that would have cast doubt on the outcome.
"I thought we did an excellent job of getting Regina the ball in the first half," said coach Kevin McGuff. "I told our team at halftime if we could get her those same shots in the second half we would win the game."
But in order to pick up the road win, the Huskies had to absorb an excellent start from the Beavers, who hit a pair of threes and confounded UW (20-13) with its 2-3 zone defense. Oregon State raced out to a 14-5 lead, energizing a frothy crowd of 1,150 at Gill Coliseum. Washington responded in typical fashion, working the ball down low to Rogers for layups. In turn, this put the Oregon State bigs in foul trouble, taking the edge out of the Beavers' zone.
Still, the Huskies had to earn it. After coming out of halftime tied at 25, the Huskies watched as the Beavers capitalized on momentum to take 34-28 lead following a layup by Ali Gibson. The Huskies responded with two quick scores, and then took the lead for good on a layup by Rogers with 11:08 to go.
What helped was that Beavers' star Earlysia Marchbanks ran into foul trouble, picking up her fourth with 9:46 to go. From that point, the Huskies went on an 8-2 run to pad their lead. Marchbanks finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, but her absence in the second half left Oregon State (20-13) weakened.
From there, it was defense and rebounding, with Williams leading the way with key boards on both ends. None was bigger than her eighth and final board with 12 seconds left after Marchbanks missed a three, sealing the win.
After the game, Rogers told a reporter that win No. 20 was monumental for the program, mostly because it shows the younger Huskies the work it takes to succeed in postseason.
"We wanted to leave a legacy," Rogers said. "And I really feel like that's what we're starting to do. We want to show our freshman and sophomores that anything can happen."