Huskies Square Off With Colorado In Pac-12 Tournament
LAS VEGAS -- Washington (6-13, 3-13 Pac-12) opens the Pac-12 Tournament presented by New York Life as the No. 11 seed and will face No. 6 seed Colorado (10-9, 8-8) in the first round on Wednesday, March 3. The Huskies and Buffaloes wrap up the first night of action at the Mandalay Bay Event Center and will tip at 8:00 p.m.
The matchup with Colorado is the third time the teams will meet. Although the Buffaloes came out on top the first two times, Husky Coach Jody Wynn is excited for the challenge and focused on making a run as the No. 11 seed.
"It's win or go home," she said. "It's effort combined with performance that are going to equal wins.
"There's upsets that happen all over the country in March. That's why they call it March Madness. You just have to be as mentally and physically prepared as best you can and go out there and give it your all."
Washington has been the No. 11 seed once previously in 2019 when they pulled off a pair of upsets in their first two games against Utah and Oregon State. The Huskies and Buffaloes have met twice previously in the Pac-12 Tournament, with each team earning a win (2016 [UW] and 2013 [CU]).
The Pac-12 Network will carry all the action on TV and on their streaming platforms, with Mary Murphy and Krista Blunk calling the action on Wednesday. The game will also be carried on the UW/IMG College Network on KKNW 1150 AM, on the TuneIn App, or GoHuskies.com with Gary Hill calling all the action.
• Van Dyke Post-Season Honors: Junior Haley Van Dyke earned Honorable Mention recognition on both the All-Pac-12 and All-Defensive teams. She leads the Huskies in scoring (12.2 ppg) and steals (2.1 spg). She also has grabbed 52 offensive rebounds, the second most among all Pac-12 players. Van Dyke has came on especially strong down the stretch, recording double-digit points in 10 of the last 12 games and has played at least 30 minutes in 10-straight contests.
• Notable Vs. Buffs: Freshman Tameiya Sadler averaged a team-high 15.5 points against Colorado. She led UW in scoring in both games, tallying 17 on Feb. 21 in Seattle and 14 on Jan. 1 in Boulder. Those represent her two highest scoring outputs coming off the bench this season ... Van Dyke is the only other Husky to score double figures in both games, tallying 11 on the road and 16 at home ... Colorado had 20+ turnovers in three games, two of which came against the Huskies. Conversely, the Huskies turned the ball over 20+ times in both matchups. On a related note, the 14 steals by Colorado on Feb. 21 were the most by a UW opponent and the 12 they recorded on Jan. 1 were the third most by an opponent.
• Notable: Quay Miller has been a beast on the boards all season, but especially of recent. She had pulled down at least eight rebounds in six consecutive games, before the WSU game ... Alexis Griggsby's next game will the 100th of her Husky career ... Tameiya Sadler has had a steal in 11 of the last 12 games and ranks 10th in the Pac-12 with 1.2 spg.
UW Pac-12 Tourney Notes
The Huskies are 11-19 all-time in the Pac-12 Tournament ... the furthest the Huskies have advanced is the semifinals, which they have reached four times. In the modern iteration of the tourney, they have reached the semifinals in 2019 and 2016 ... the only other time the Huskies were the No. 11 seed in the Tournament was 2019, when they beat Utah, 64-54, in the first round and No. 3 Oregon State, 68-67, in the quarterfinals on a last second three-pointer by Missy Peterson ... the last time the Huskies faced Colorado in the Pac-12 Tournament was 2016 when the #5 seeded Huskies beat #12 Colorado, 67-51, in the first round ... Colorado won the only other meeting, 70-59, in 2013 ... last year, #8 Utah topped #9 Washington in the first round, 72-63, despite 30 points from Amber Melgoza in her final game as a Husky.
Scouting the Buffaloes
Colorado is facing the Huskies in back-to-back games since their only game last week vs. Utah was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Utes program. The Buffs staved off a fourth-quarter Husky rally and held on for a 55-51 win on Feb. 21.
The Buffs are led by senior Mya Hollingshed, who earned All-Pac-12 recognition. She leads the Pac-12 with eight double-doubles this season and has reached double figure scoring in 18 of 19 games. Her 16.7 ppg ranks sixth in the Pac-12. Sophomore Jaylyn Sherrord was selected to the All-Pac-12 Defensive team after ranking second with 2.4 steals per game. She has missed the final seven games of the season after season-ending surgery. Frida Forman was All-Freshman Team Honorable Mention after leading Colorado with 47 3-pointers. She tallied a team-high 17 points the last time the Buffs faced UW on Feb. 21.
JR Payne is 70-73 in five years at Colorado. This is the 10th time she will face the Huskies and is 4-5 all-time versus UW.
All-Time Series vs Colorado
Washington holds a 15-12 edge in the all-time series. The Buffs have won the last two games in the series but have not won three-straight against UW since joining the Pac-12 Conference. The Huskies won each of the previous three matchups before the Buffs swept the season series. The teams met just once in 2019-20 and the Huskies won that meeting, 61-52, on Feb. 7 in Seattle behind a tenacious defensive effort. In the previous season, Washington swept the series, gutting out a tough 68-58 win at home, then using a strong defensive showing to beat the Buffs in Colorado 60-46.
Last Time vs. Colorado - Feb. 21, 2021
The Huskies mounted a furious fourth-quarter rally against Colorado, but the Buffaloes made all eight of their free throw attempts over the final two minutes to hold on for a 55-50 win on Feb. 21 at Alaska Airlines Arena.
The Buffaloes defense held the Huskies to single digits in each of the first three quarters on Senior Day, before UW responded with 24 points in the fourth quarter. Colorado led by as much as 17 points in the fourth before Washington was able to get into an offensive rhythm.
The Huskies were spurred by a sudden resurgent defensive effort and a couple of long bombs by Haley Van Dyke to start a 17-2 run. Freshman Tameiya Sadler capped the run with a three-pointer as the shot clock wound down that cut the Buffaloes lead to two, 47-45, with 2:14 remaining. It was as close as the Huskies would get.
From there, Colorado intensified its defense and did just enough offensively to seal the game. Mya Hollingshed missed a pair of free throws during the Huskies' extended run, but she came up clutch down the stretch, going 6 of 6 in the final two minutes to finish the night with 12 points. Frida Formann iced the game, hitting a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left, part of her team-high 17-point effort.
Jan. 1 vs. Colorado
Tameiya Sadler had 14 points in her return from a two-game absence, but the Huskies were outscored 32-17 in the second half and fell, 60-50, to Colorado on New Year's Day at the CU Events Center.
The Huskies came out strong in the first half and led 33-28 at the midway point. UW held the Buffaloes without a field goal over the final 5:57 of the second quarter and would outscore them 8-1 down the stretch to take a five-point lead into the locker room. But the second half was a different story.
The Huskies held the Buffs to 1-of-13 from 3-point range and forced 21 turnovers but were out-muscled down low with Colorado outscoring UW, 42-24, in the paint. Coupled with 22 of their own turnovers and 4-of-27 shooting from distance – including 1-of-13 in the second half – the Huskies could not mount a rally.
UW was 2-for-12 in the fourth quarter, including 1-of-their-last-11.
Washington held an eight-point halftime lead at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman on Sunday, Feb. 28, but Washington State's defense came alive in the second half, holding the Huskies to 17 points over the final 20 minutes, lifting the Cougars to a 61-52 win in the Boeing Apple Cup Series.
Johanna Teder hit five three-point buckets and tallied a game-high 23 points to lead the Cougars (11-10, 9-10 Pac-12) to their first series sweep over UW since 2014.
Washington led 35-27 at halftime but scored only nine points in the third quarter and eight in the fourth. The Huskies led by as much as 11 points, 42-31, with 8:09 left in the third quarter, but a seven-minute scoring drought curtailed all the momentum they had. While the Huskies struggled offensively, the Cougars would go on a 14-0 scoring run before Tameiya Sadler hit a layin that made the score 45-44 in WSU's favor heading to the final 10 minutes.
The Cougars extended their scoring run to 21-2 into the fourth quarter before Alexis Griggsby converted on a lay in to momentarily stop the bleeding. Darcy Rees hit a three-pointer with 4:42 remaining that cut the Cougars lead to two, 54-52, but the Huskies would go the final 4:42 without scoring a point.
In UW's three Pac-12 wins, the Huskies have trailed for only 3 minutes, 37 seconds, including leading the entirety of their wins over ASU and Utah. They trailed Cal 4-3 until taking the lead for good at the 6:23 mark ... since UW's two-point win to start the season against San Diego State, the Huskies next five wins have come by an average of 23 points, with the closest being 15 points ... UW was 6-0 when shooting above 38% or higher, before losing to Colorado on Feb. 21 despite shooting 39.2% from the field ... UW is 5-1 in games that start after 5 p.m., 1-12 in games earlier than that.