Momentum Continues: 2013-14 In Review
Washington women’s basketball completed another strong season, winning 20 games for a third-straight season. The Dawgs hoped to continue the positive momentum of the program under first-year head coach Mike Neighbors and accomplished that goal.
Along with the 20 wins, Washington finished sixth in the Pac-12 with a 10-8 conference record and made a deep run in the WNIT, getting to the fourth round. The Dawgs beat five opponents that were ranked at one point during the season and joined undefeated national champion UConn as the only team in the country to defeat both Stanford and California.
The win over Stanford was likely the highlight of the Huskies season as they ended the then-No. 3 Cardinal’s 62-game road Pac-12 winning streak. However, the Dawgs also got a sweep of the Los Angeles schools for the first time since 2002 and won at California when the Golden Bears were carrying a No. 18 national ranking.
The Dawgs had record breaking performances all over the board, led by Kelsey Plum who was named a Freshman All-American by several news outlets and became the second Husky in three years to earn Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. The other player to win that award back in 2012 was Jazmine Davis, who continued her brilliant Husky career by earning All-Pac-12 honors for a third-straight year. She will enter her senior season with a chance to make it four-straight, something no Husky has ever done.
Plum became Washington’s all-time single-season scoring leader with 712 points, averaging 20.9 per contest. Davis chipped in 18.8 per game as the duo was the second-highest scoring backcourt in the country. Both will return next season, although their backcourt running mate Mercedes Wetmore will be lost to graduation. Wetmore set the school record, playing in 127 career games, while contributing 4.2 assists per game and finishing second in the Pac-12 in both minutes per game and assist-to-turnover ratio.
In the paint, the Dawgs will also return both starters with Aminah Williams and Talia Walton coming off big years. Williams continued to prove she is one of the best rebounders in the country, finishing with 10.4 boards per game and a second-straight year of over 350 total rebounds. Walton was the Dawgs third-leading scorer at 11.1 points per game, while also blocking 47 shots. She is one pace after two seasons to be a 1,000-point scorer for the Huskies, while also becoming the school-record holder in blocks.
The Dawgs also continued to improve their depth in 2013-14, particularly in the paint with Chantel Osahor and Katie Collier being quality reserves. The duo along with Mathilde Gilling gave the Huskies bodies to rotate through the frontcourt. Osahor gave the Dawgs another rebounder as she was second to only Williams on a per-minute basis on the glass, while providing a passer and outside shooter on the offensive end. Collier gave the Dawgs a true post-up presence, while also blocking shots at an outstanding rate.
In the backcourt, the Dawgs were hurt by injuries to Heather Corral, Brianna Ruiz and Kassia Fortier, but got quality minutes from Alexus Atchley. Fortier will be lost to graduation, but the other three are expected to return and battle for the minutes vacated by Wetmore.
The 2013-14 season proved the Dawgs continue to head in the right direction with the goal of returning to the NCAA Tournament looking like a very realistic opportunity next season.