Thursday, February 28, 2013

Putting down the Dawgs

By Wally Mersereau

The forecast for Puget Sound today was an 84% chance of rain. It turned out to be a Seattle-type rain, meaning a heavy overcast with an occasional drizzle. I doubt it merited a trace on the rain gauge. This afternoon I rode the monorail from downtown to Seattle Center and Key Arena to do a little scouting in advance of next week’s Pac-12 Tournament.

Alaska Airlines Arena is the new name for the long-time home of Husky basketball on the University campus. This was the first time I’ve seen this name in lights on two sides of the building. Inside are new electronic boards that provide the full range of team statistics. Next door, Husky Stadium is about 6 months away from reopening after a major renovation.

UW has two husky mascots these days: one in a dog suit who rides around on a Segway and a really beautiful genuine husky on a leash.

Susan King Borchardt and her husband Curtis talked with Tara and other coaches before the game and sat behind the Stanford bench along with Kate Starbird. 7-foot-tall Curtis is a Seattle-area native. He and Susan are now home-owners in the area. Other than player families and friends there was only a smattering of red sweatshirts scattered here and there among the roughly 2,000 fans attending the game.

Washington had only 7 players suited up as a result of a 3-player, one-game suspension for violating team rules. Neither Toni nor Aly made this trip to the Northwest.

Washington got off to a 3-9 lead at the start of the game, but, sparked by a 3-pointer by Bonnie, Stanford quickly was up 15-9 after 6 minutes of play and the lead grew steadily to the final score of 71-36. The Cardinal made lots of threes in the first half, but only one in the second half when it seemed a lid was on the basket for longer shots.

Chiney had 10 points and 9 rebounds at the half and ended with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks in 35 minutes. Jos had 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal in 33 minutes. Amber had one of her best games, handling the ball very well and racking up 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, a steal and 4 assists/1 turnover in 30 minutes.

Mikaela excelled at rebounding with 13 to go along with 3 points, 2 blocks, 2 steals and 6 assists/2 turnovers in 25 minutes. Bonnie had 15 points (5 of 15 from 3), plus 2 rebounds in 24 minutes. Four of Bonnie’s threes were in the first half.

Stanford outshot Washington 40.5% to 16.9% as the Cardinal defense really locked down the Huskies. Assists/turnovers were 18/7 for Stanford and 4/9 for UW. The Cardinal had 11 blocks to zero and 6 steals to 4. Rebounds were relatively close with Stanford having the edge 54-47. The Cardinal only got to the free throw line 3 times and made 2. Washington was 8 of 10 from the line.

The Huskies were handicapped by having only 7 players with two of their better players suspended. The remaining Washington players gave it their all, but were out-classed by the Cardinal. UW will be at full 10-player strength for its game with Cal on Saturday.