Huskies start strong, tame Idaho
"I liked our competitive character," UW coach Kevin McGuff said after a 62-48 win over Idaho on Saturday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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The first two minutes of Washington's game against Idaho on Sunday were near perfection.
Senior Kristi Kingma swung to the top of the key for a three-pointer off an assist from sophomore Jazmine Davis. Kingma then blocked Idaho's Krissy Karr's shot and later dished to teammate Talia Walton for a three-pointer to give UW a 6-3 lead. Freeze the moment as it was the kind of start the Huskies wanted to see all season.
"I liked our competitive character," UW coach Kevin McGuff said after a 62-48 win at Alaska Airlines Arena. "With a poor performance (Saturday), it would have been easy to kind of wallow in our pity and be down about that. But we came out with the right attitude and the right energy."
Too bad the clock continued to tick. Despite the win, the game overall wasn't the exact turnaround the team had hoped for coming off a loss Saturday to UC Santa Barbara where UW shot 18.8 percent from the field in the opening half.
The Huskies shot 28 percent from the field Sunday, tallying just six assists on 21 made field goals. And energy wasn't the problem.
Some on the Huskies bench were worried about having too much energy to start the game. Davis said Walton whispered as much before player introductions.
"Talia was in the back like, 'I have so much energy. We might just get tired cause of our energy,' " said Davis, who only rested for one minute in the back-to-back set. "It was coming off a loss and you always want to get a win — really bad."
Washington's offense simply didn't match its defensive play after jumping to an 8-3 lead and taking a 29-22 lead into halftime. The Huskies used a 13-5 run to build a 51-36 advantage after another Aminah Williams layin with 7:41 remaining.
Idaho immediately nailed two three-pointers to appear to challenge, but UW's strong defense sealed the win.
Williams had a career-high six steals and her fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Kingma also had 14 rebounds, while Davis led all scorers with 19 points.
"Our defense and our rebounding was a whole lot better, which is why we won," McGuff said. "(Offensively) we've been standing around too much and making ourselves easy to guard. For a stretch there during the season we were really playing well on offense, but in the past few games we haven't been as sharp."
Washington (7-2) is running out of time to piece together a complete game before a tough Pac-12 season begins in January. The Huskies finish nonconference play at Georgia Tech (4-5) on Friday and at UC Davis (2-4) on Dec. 28.
"Nobody can guard us if we choose to do the right thing," Kingma said. "It's just a matter of choosing to do that."
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attendance: 1,680. Officials: Lisa Jones, Darren Krzesnik, Richard Waters.