Huskies Steamroll Pilots In WBI Opener
March 17, 2010
SEATTLE - Washington started its foray into the postseason with a splash.In the opening round of the inaugural WBI, the Huskies showcased a dynamic offense from the opening tip to steamroll visiting Portland in a 75-44 demolition on Wednesday night at Bank of America Arena.
It was the first time all season five Huskies (13-18) had scored in double-digits, led by 15 from leading scorer Sami Whitcomb. Unlike a lot of Huskies' games this season, Whitcomb didn't have to shoulder the scoring load. Instead, the Huskies showcased an efficient, clockwork-like offense as teammates found each other for open jumpers and layups.
With the win, the Huskies advance to the second round of the WBI against Texas A&M Corpus Christi, who beat California-State Bakersfield in OT on Wednesday night. This time, the Huskies will take to the road in a 2 p.m. (CST) matchup on Sunday in South Texas.
Given new life this season, the Huskies are excited about the possibilities offered by the WBI.
'We were coming off a hard loss (in the Pac-10 Tournament) and I think that we wanted to come out and show that doesn't affect how we were going to move forward,' said sophomore Kristi Kingma.
The Mill Creek, Wash., native had the most complete game by a Husky, tallying 11 points in addition to seven rebounds (tying a career-high), five assists and five steals.
But the Huskies were most pleased with the performance of Mackenzie Argens, who had struggled down the Pac-10 stretch. Argens chipped in with 12 points, and at one point scored five straight baskets in a flurry of second-half activity. Regina Rogers also notched 12 on 5-of-12 shooting.
Argens felt the Huskies strategy of feeding the ball into the posts helped sync the team on offense.
'We were able to get inside and attack,' Argens said. 'I felt like we were all going out strong.'
Washington opened the game on a 14-2 run, buoyed by Whitcomb's consistent shot from distance. The senior hit her first three shots from beyond the arc, and before the Pilots (18-13) could blink the Huskies were on a roll. Unlike the Oregon State game in the Pac-10 Tournament, UW kept its foot on the gas pedal the entire game.
The lead allowed Coach Tia Jackson to dole out minutes to reserves, most importantly the underclassmen that are the pillars of the 2011 team next year.
'That was good,' Jackson said. 'I also think it's good for Mackenzie's confidence. I think it's good for our young players' confidence to continue to work together.'