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Originally published Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 10:02 PM

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UW women still looking for postseason berth

The Huskies have lost eight of nine and travel to UCLA and USC this week

Seattle Times staff reporter

THURSDAY

UW women @ UCLA, 7 p.m.

Latest from the Husky Football & Basketball blogs


Washington coach Tia Jackson retained a positive outlook even as her team carries a four-game losing streak into Thursday's game at UCLA.

"There are still WNIT (Women's National Invitation Tournament) opportunities and the Pac-10 tournament, which is an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament," said Jackson at a weekly news conference of the Huskies' chances to turn the season around. "So, it's never over."

UW (9-14, 4-9 Pac-10) has lost eight of its past nine games. But the Huskies lost to the Bruins by only four points in a Jan. 23 meeting at Edmundson Pavilion. Costly turnovers and missed shots while allowing two UCLA players to score more than 20 points apiece led to the defeat.

This time around the Bruins have won six of their past seven games to secure second place in the Pac-10. A key to their ascension is stingy defense, limiting teams to an average 56.1 points.

"UCLA throws every possible defense you can," Jackson said. "It's just us assessing the looks."

Jackson worked with her team about closing games this week.

"It's important we really just start to figure out how to hammer down games," said Jackson, whose team plays USC on Saturday. "We've been playing some really good basketball and have a really good challenge coming up. USC is on a four-game losing skid as well and it's very important they find a win as well as us."

The trip is Washington's final of the season until the conference tournament in March. It's also a return for redshirt sophomore Regina Rogers, who transferred from UCLA (16-7, 9-3).

Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or jevans@seattletimes.com

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