SEATTLE – June Daugherty was at the helm when Washington started its astounding streak of dominance over rival Washington State.
Now that she has switched sides, she’ll likely be waiting another season to end 17 years of Washington wins.
“I started it, and hopefully someday we’ll finish it,” said Daugherty, in her fifth year coaching the Cougars.
Regina Rogers scored 21 points, freshman standout Jazmine Davis added 17 of her 21 in the second half and Washington posted its 34th consecutive win over Washington State with a 60-56 victory Sunday.
Washington continued a streak that began in 1996, when Daugherty was the Huskies coach. Unless the schools meet in the Pac-12 tournament, the streak will continue into the 2012-13 season.
The Huskies (15-11, 7-9 Pac-12) took control this time thanks to a big first half and then held off Washington State’s numerous second-half charges, which included the Cougars cutting a 10-point lead to four in the final minute.
Washington also guaranteed itself a winning regular-season record in Kevin McGuff’s first year with the Huskies after coming over from Xavier. Washington was 11-17 a year ago.
“It’s a reflection of our players,” he said. “They’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do. I’m happy for them that they experience a little bit of success, and hopefully we have more to come.
“In general they’ve bought in from Day One what we were going to try and do, and as we get to the end, hopefully a positive record will be a reflection for them of their hard work and buy in.”
The Huskies led by nine at halftime, pushed the advantage to 14 early in the second half and then answered every run the Cougars made. Washington State pulled within 51-45 with 5 minutes left, but Rogers hit a pair of free throws and Mollie Williams’ rebound putback gave the Huskies a 10-point lead with 3:15 left.
Brandi Thomas led Washington State with 15 points, but the Cougars (10-18, 4-12) shot just 29 percent. Washington State leading scorer Jazmine Perkins missed all nine of her shots and finished with just three points, a total that Daugherty attributed partly to the effort she put in on the defensive end trying to help against Rogers. WSU made 19 of 66 shots and were 3 of 22 on 3-point attempts.
Yet despite all the Cougars’ struggles, including 11 of their 16 turnovers in the first half, they refused to go away even when the Huskies retook a double-digit advantage. Hana Potter scored consecutive baskets to trim the Huskies’ lead to six. After an exchange of free throws, Rosetta Adzasu converted a driving three-point play to get the deficit down to 57-53 with 33 seconds left.
Davis hit a pair of free throws for the Huskies, and after Perkins missed a pair, Rogers added one and the Huskies’ lead was seven. Thomas added a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left, but the Cougars couldn’t convert after Rogers threw an errant pass, and the Huskies held on.
“Being undefeated against Wazzu for four years is really good,” Washington senior Charmaine Barlow said. “Every time we play them it’s always emotional … and I think this game tops them all.”
Rogers made 8 of 11 shots and grabbed nine rebounds despite an illness that forced her out of the game and to a nearby trash can in the opening few minutes. Davis struggled from the perimeter, hitting just 4 of 14 shots, but was 11 of 15 at the free-throw line.
Thomas was the only Washington State shooter to connect from beyond the 3-point line. She has been getting an extended opportunity due to season-ending injuries to guards Ireti Amojo and Tia Presley.
“There’s been some adversity, there’s no doubt about it,” Daugherty said. “I like the fact our kids continue to battle.”