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Monday, March 4, 2013 - Page updated at 08:30 p.m.
Husky women hoping for turnaround at Pac-12 tournament
By Jayda Evans
Seattle Times staff reporter
Washington's players are a little more optimistic than their coach heading into the Pac-12 tournament at KeyArena beginning this Thursday.
Coming off a 78-50 home loss to No. 6 California on Saturday, UW (19-10, 11-7 Pac-12) will play as the fifth seed against last-placed Oregon on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.
The Huskies swept the Ducks (4-26, 2-16) during the regular season.
"We don't have a lot of margin for error, so we have to play really hard and we have to get those loose balls, hustle plays and have good intangibles," second-year coach Kevin McGuff said. "Those haven't been as good as they were in the beginning of the year, and that's really hurt us."
UW is on a four-game losing streak, with the last three losses coming against teams ranked in the top 25.
But despite the skid and a recent suspension, sophomore leading scorer Jazmine Davis is optimistic. Davis, who averages 19.2 points, was suspended for one game along with freshmen Talia Walton and Deborah Meeks after violating team rules following a 68-61 road loss to No. 19 Colorado on Feb. 24.
"I learned to bounce back in a positive way and not let my team down like that," Davis said of the suspension.
The lesson and conference tournament bracket has Davis upbeat.
"It's a good set-up for us," she said. "Going into the Pac-12 tournament all we saw is we have Oregon, a team we beat before. They'll bring it, but I feel we could get a good win. Then we (would) have Colorado, a team we feel like we should have won against. Our confidence is really good going into this."
UW beat Oregon in the opener last season before losing to Stanford in the second round.
No. 4 Stanford (28-2, 17-1) shared a piece of its 13th consecutive regular-season conference title with Cal (27-2, 17-1). The Cardinal will have the No. 1 seed in the tournament due to overall winning percentage. It receives a first-round bye and awaits the winner of Thursday's Washington State-Arizona State game at 6 p.m.
WSU swept ASU during the regular-season.
The Cougars (10-19, 6-12) advanced to the semifinals last year before losing to Cal.
Only the lower bowl of KeyArena will be open, similar to Seattle Storm games, for a capacity of 9,686.
• Gonzaga will be the No. 1 seed in the West Coast Conference tournament after winning its ninth straight regular-season title. The Zags (25-5, 15-1 WCC), will play a noon semifinal match on March 9 in Las Vegas.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or email@example.com. On Twitter @JaydaEvans
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