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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huskies, again

Washington managed to survive, in overtime, to beat Washington State for the 29th straight time in women's basketball, despite a spirited crowd of 2,065 at Friel Court. The unedited game story follows.

By Dave Trimmer; (509) 927-2154

PULLMAN – The difference between Washington and Washington State women’s basketball teams was stark.

The Huskies controlled the inside with an occasional contribution from the outside.

The Cougars bombed away from the outside and occasionally picked up something inside.

In the end Sami Whitcomb, who did both, was the difference in the age-old story of this rivalry.

The Husky senior, recruited by third-year WSU coach June Daugherty when she was at Washington, scored a career-high 32 points, bolstered by three three-point plays and two 3-pointers to lead her team to a 76-70 overtime win before 2,064 fans at Friel Court Friday night.

It was the 29th straight victory in the series, dating back to 1995 and the first overtime game since 1993 in Seattle, the only other time the Cougars beat the Huskies dating back to 1982.

Ironically, the overtime was quite different from regulation.

Christina Rozier, a 5-foot-8 senior who averages 4.4 points but didn’t score in regulation, had all eight of her points in the extra session, including back to back baskets that broke a 68-68 tie. Two of those baskets were courtesy of Whitcomb’s only assists in the game.

“Christina always steps up right when we need someone,” Whitcomb said. “Whatever it is, she finds the right time to bring that spark for us.”

Rozier, who missed five shots in regulation, hit four of five in overtime.

“We knew what (Rozier) was capable of,” Daugherty said. “She’s improved since last year, no surprise there.”

For the most part Daugherty preferred to focus on the progress the Cougars (5-15, 0-9 Pac-10) were making than the game itself, the Huskies (9-10, 4-5) or even Whitcomb, who finished 10 of 17 from the field and 10 of 13 from the line.

It was the 10th game the Cougars lost by 10 points or less.

“I know (this team) is better than that,” Daugherty said. “I know how close we are. I’m not going to get frustrated. I can’t wait … to move on to the Arizona’s.”

The inside-outside battle was established early as UW’s 6-3 sophomore centers Mackenzie Argens and Regina Rogers combined for eight-straight points and 6-2 senior Laura McLellan converted a three-point play for an 11-7 lead.

The Cougars caught the Huskies at 14 thanks to a scrappy defense that forced 15 first-half turnovers and pushed the lead to as many as six by hitting five 3-pointers, three from April Cook, who had 12 points. Only the 11 points from Whitcomb, with two three-point plays and a 3-pointer, kept the Cougars lead to 34-29.

Washington quickly grabbed the lead in the second half with 10 straight points coming from the work inside.

A Cook 3 made it 37-36 but the Cougars couldn’t get by the Huskies for the longest time. They tied it at 39 and 49 but in both instances Whitcomb responded, first with her second 3 and then a pair of free throws.

Finally, after the Huskies missed two free throws, a 3 from Jazmine Perkins at 2:57 put the Cougars up 58-57. Perkins added two more free throws moments later but WSU didn’t score again until Kiki Moore fed Katie Madison for a bucket with 8.4 seconds left to send the game into overtime tied at 62. Whitcomb had scored four of the five points that put the Huskies back on top but couldn’t convert from the lane in the final seconds of regulation.

Aregens (12, with 11 rebounds), Rogers and McLellan (eight with 10) combined for 28 points and 26 rebounds. The Huskies, who shot 45 percent for the game, made five of nine in the extra session. They also had a 47-35 advantage in rebounding and made 20 of 28 free throws, helping overcome 26 turnovers.

The Cougars hoisted 29 3-pointers, hitting seven, shooting 37 percent overall. They were 11-19 from the line, including 0-2 in overtime.

Cook led the way with 17 points, Moore had 15 and Perkins 13 with a team-high seven rebounds. But the trio combined for 14 of the 20 WSU turnovers.

“This is a talented group and they’re learning as they go along,” Daugherty said. “All they’re short is experience. … I can live with the mistakes right now. I can’t wait for practice Sunday to help them fix their mistakes.”

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