Huskies Can't Finish Comeback In Loss To Oregon State
Dec. 29, 2011
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Huskies arrived in the Willamette Valley ready for a physical battle against Oregon State in their Pac-12 Conference opener. But it was the Beavers who landed the final punch.
OSU used a trapping zone defense and the opportunistic shooting of freshman Ali Gibson to post a 60-55 win over the Huskies (8-3, 0-1) on Friday night at Gill Coliseum. The key was a 20-2 run in the first half run and steady nerves in the final seconds as Washington valiantly attempted to mount a comeback.
"It's disappointing," said Husky head coach Kevin McGuff. "I thought our kids competed hard, but mentally we were sloppy at times. We have to get back to controlling the things we can control on the basketball court.
Mackenzie Argens continued her torrid play with 14 points and 14 rebounds, her sixth career double-double, and third straight this season. It's easily the best stretch of her career, something Argens credited to her teammates for finding her in the paint.
"I've made an effort to attack the basket more this year," Argens said. "And I feel if we can clean up some of the ticky-tack things on the court we'll be right there in the Pac-12."
Argens teamed up with Regina Rogers, who added a game-high 19 points to go with 11 rebounds. Oregon State's size and physical nature forced Rogers - who came into the game leading the nation in field goal percentage - to work for her looks. The senior center made 8-of-18 shots (44 percent), her lowest output of the season.
At times, this game resembled last year's tilt at Gill Coliseum, which featured a 15-point second-half comeback by the Dawgs. But an integral figure in that win - Kristi Kingma - was on the bench rehabilitating from a torn ACL. Without the outside firepower, the Huskies couldn't find consistent scoring down the stretch to take advantage of the wilting Beavers.
Still, plenty of positives exist for a Washington team still making strides under McGuff. Following the game, the first-year coach championed his team's energy and passion, but also reminded the group that the utmost concentration is required on every possession. The Huskies defense was its usual frustrating self, limiting the Beavers (10-2, 1-0) to just 37 percent from the field.
But for just the second time this season, the Huskies were out-rebounded on the glass (44-40). Earlysia Marchbanks led OSU with 11 boards, including five on the offensive end to extend Beavers' possessions.
The Huskies have little time to lament their mistakes. Washington makes the trip south to Eugene to complete the Oregon leg, making its first appearance in Matt Knight Arena. Tip-off is set Saturday for 2 p.m.