Those were the longest 20 minutes.
For the Washington Huskies the first half of their 81-52 drubbing at the hands of Gonzaga had to feel like it lasted forever.
That’s when the UW just got pounded, trailing 45-24 on the scoreboard, 29-12 in rebounds – when GU had 15 offensive boards – and 22-2 in fast-break points.
“They came out hungry and it’s an in-state rival, it’s a battle of the dogs,” third-year UW coach Tia Jackson said. “You want to have some fierce competition out there. I just wish we would have made the game a little closer.”
For the Bulldogs it was the second half, when a coach – and maybe most of the 4,259 fans at McCarthey Athletic Center on Sunday afternoon – had to be worried that, with the game well in hand, the only thing left was to hope there were no injuries.
“Good teams come out and don’t let other teams hang around,” Bulldogs coach Kelly Graves said. “I thought we did that a little bit in the second half. That kind of disappointed me to some degree but you can’t fault that kind of effort. The kids played a good game, especially defensively.”
Courtney Vandersloot and Katelan Redmon led the Bulldogs (3-1) with 18 points apiece, with Vandersloot adding 11 assists and four steals. Heather Bowman had 17 points and Janelle Bekkering 10 to go with a superb defensive game. And Vivian Frieson snared 14 rebounds as the Zags built a 55-35 advantage with 24 on the offensive end.
“Our kids were excited,” Graves said. “They fed off the crowd a little bit. When we put our minds to it, defensively we can be pretty good. … We were creating those (offensive) opportunities off steals.”
The Huskies (1-2) scored 10 seconds into the game but before they scored again they had 12 turnovers and just three misses and trailed by 16.
But with a 20-10 lead the Zags put together a 13-2 run, with UW missing all seven shots and adding three more turnovers to their eventual total of 24.
It was particularly gratifying for Redmon, who left Lewis and Clark to play for the Huskies but transferred to Gonzaga after one season.
“I thought it was going to be awkward but it was actually really fun. I enjoyed myself,” the 6-foot redshirt sophomore said after hitting 9 of 12 shots to go with three steals and two assists.
“Obviously there’s more motivation playing your old team but I just wanted to go out there and play hard, play within the team.”
After shooting 50 percent in the first half the Bulldogs shot 40 percent in the second half but still pushed the lead to a high of 31 points. Mostly it was a case of outrebounding and outrunning the Huskies.
“They’ve been impressive before we played them,” Jackson said. “They looked great on the floor.”
Washington’s Regina Rogers, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, had 12 points, 10 in the second half, but only one rebound and five turnovers. Sami Whitcomb, who had 47 points in the first two games, scored just five, getting off only seven shots.
The Zags still had flaws – 22 turnovers and just 15-of-23 shooting from the line – but Graves wasn’t complaining.
“Some were kind of dumb mistakes,” he said. “We fouled too much, so there are things we can work on, but the great thing is they are things we can fix.”