Washington whipped visiting Oregon St. Friday night by out-shooting, out-hustling, and out-coaching the out-manned conference leaders.
The Husky defense gets some of the credit, but the Beaver offense gets some blame as well, for a disastrous shooting night that spelled disaster, and probably ended any chance at a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for Oregon St. The Beavers shot 36% from the field in the first half, and it only improved for a couple of brief stretches after the break, and would up only shooting 37% from the field for the game. Coupled with shooting
Meanwhile, Washington wasn't lighting up the nets either, but shooting 47% from the field, when it included 40% 3 point shooting, and 88% at the line, was plenty to pull off their 3rd consecutive win at Hec Ed Pavillion aka Alaska Airlines Arena, over a visiting top 10 team. The Huskies also upset Texas A&M at home earlier this season, and Stanford last year.
Ali Gibson had her best game in a while, especially in the first half, with 12 points to carry the Beavers early, but she would run into foul trouble in the second half, and finish with only 15 points.
Jamie Weisner took the lead after the break for the Beavers, with 11 of her team high 17 points in the latter portion of the game, and Sydney Wiese had the best night shooting, making 5 of 9 shots, including 4 of 8 from 3 point range, for 16 points.
But Ruth Hamblin was held to 12 points, and shot only 38% from the field. And Oregon St., already playing short-handed, without Gabriella Hanson, who frequently provides the offensive spark when the Beavers need it, who became ill in the afternoon, and didn't dress for the game, was essentially a 4 person team, as Deven Hunter was a non-factor until very late, and finished with only 2 points, and just 4 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Jazmine Davis poured in a game high 21 points, on 6 of 12 shooting, and Aminah Williams was right behind, with 20 more for Washington.
Kelsy Plum kicked in another 17 points, and Talia Walton was also in double digits, finishing with 10.
Washington made more runs than Oregon St., and more importantly, the Huskies answered every Beaver challenge with an even stronger statement.
After Washington jumped out to an initial 7-2 lead, Oregon St. answered with a 13-2 run to take what would be their largest lead of the game, going up 15-9.
The Huskies answered with an 8-2 run to pull even, and after Wiese and Gibson hit back to back baskets to take a 22-17 lead, went on a 12-1 run, as the Beavers went well over 6 minutes with only a single made free throw, to go up 29-23.
Gibson had 7 points in the last 4 minutes of the first half to help cut the deficit to 34-31 at the break, after Plum pumped in a 3 pointer.
Weisner and Hamblin combined for a quick 5 points to start the second half, but a balanced Washington effort answered with a 9-2 run to take a 43-38 lead, and prompt Oregon St. coach Scott Rueck to take a timeout with the first media timeout of the second half pending.
Oregon St. pulled within 6 on a Hamblin basket, but then got the short end of the deal on a 3 point shooting contest, that saw 5 consecutive 3 pointers go down, and after the Beavers finally missed, the Huskies hit another, for the largest lead of the game, going up 59-47 as Williams and Davis each drilled 2 3s, while Weisner and Sam Siegner only got 1 each.
The Beavers battled back within 3 points with an 11-2 run, but Gibson got her 4th foul with over 8 minutes to go, and the Huskies responded with a 10-2 run of their own, going up 71-60 on a 3 by Plum.
Wiese answered with her own 5-0 run to make it 71-63 with 4:43 to go, and added another basket at the 3:39 mark, but the Beavers wouldn't score again from the floor, or at all for 3 1/2 minutes.
During that time, Williams and Davis both reached the 20 point plateau, and put the win away for Washington, avenging their 75-67 loss last month in Corvallis.
The game got extremely physical, and the tournament-level intensity, contact, and pace totally out-paced the Pac-12 officiating crew, who made a number of miscues, including not invoking 2 of the final 3 prescribed media timeouts, an incorrect reaction to the timing of called time outs.
The mistakes during game action essentially balanced out, but being short-handed without Hanson, and especially after Gibson got into foul trouble, the pace clearly affected the Beavers down the stretch, a problem exacerbated by the absence of 2 media timeouts, but compounded by the failure to use time outs.
Oregon St. lost the game down the stretch, yet still had 2 timeouts left, and did not use any in the final 4 minutes of the game, an inexcusable game management error that if repeated will end the post-season run as quickly as it ended the Beavers' 19 game conference winning streak. It was also the 2nd time this season Oregon St. has had a 10 game win streak snapped due to an incomplete performance on the road against quality competition.
Washington was not without its own challenges, as Brianna Ruiz was injured during the game. But Husky head coach Mike Neighbors did the better job of managing a game with an even shorter bench.
Oregon St. did manage a 2 rebound advantage, as Hamblin had a team high 9, but Washington's Chantel Osahor came off the Husky bench for a game high 13.
The Beavers missed a number of inside shots, not all of which were even contested, and then lost confidence in an underperforming inside game, and became a perimeter shooting team too soon, and then was forced into too many attempts at 3s down the stretch.
Oregon St. slipped back to 20-2 for the season, and 10-1 in the Pac-12, with the loss, and back into a tie with Arizona St. for first place in the conference, after the Sun Devils completed their first season sweep of Stanford in 31 years with a 53-52 win tonight in Tempe, though the Beavers still hold the tie-breaker.
Washington improved to 17-6, and 6-5 in the Pac-12.
The loss continues what has been a particularly bad year in Seattle for the Beavers, who have now taken serious beatings by the Huskies in football, and both mens' and women's basketball, and can look in the mirror to find if not the primary reason, at least serious contributing factors, in each case.
Oregon St. ventures on to Pullman for a Sunday afternoon contest to complete their Washington road trip. They will encounter an unhappy Cougar squad, after Oregon held on for a 70-69 upset win this evening.