From Pullman- The University of Washington women’s basketball (20-8, 9-7) team demolished in-state rival Washington State (15-12, 6-10) in front of 1,203 fans at Beasley Coliseum on Sunday. Washington’s offense was unstoppable, while WSU’s offense was non-existent in the blowout loss.
Washington’s offense exploded early in the first half thanks to a pair of big three-pointers by forward Talia Walton. The first of Walton’s threes came with 16:31 left in the first half after Kelsey Plum pulled down a rebound, and immediately tossed a pass to the wide open forward. Her second three gave Washington an 8-4 lead, and control of the game.
The Cougars struggled to guard the perimeter defensively, as Huskies were frequently left wide open due to poor communication.
“We didn’t play good team basketball, we didn’t communicate.” Said Washington State head coach June Daugherty.
And Washington made the Cougs pay; as UW hit seven of 12 three-point attempts in the first half, and four of 10 in the second. While Plum took eight shots from beyond the arc — and hit four — it was Walton’s first three three-pointers that made the difference for Washington.
WSU struggled on the offensive end as the Cougs shot an awful 23.7% from the field, and 16.7% from beyond the arc. It wasn’t just shooting from beyond the arc that was a problem offensively, as the Huskies seemingly had an answer for everything the Cougars tried offensively.
“They played some zone, and they played their man to man.” Daugherty said, “And we just weren’t crisp about moving and cutting. The crow cuts that were so good to us 36 hours ago weren’t there; some of that is, I think, Washington did a good job of stepping into the lanes a little harder and bumping our cutters.”
The Cougars leading scorer was junior forward Mariah Cooks, she scored nine.
A 40 point loss to Washington (No. 21 by RPI) definitely puts a dent in the team’s NCAA tournament hopes, despite the Cougars 11-point victory in Seattle on Friday. It’s going to take an impressive pair of victories over the LA schools next weekend, and a deep run in the Pac-12 tournament, for WSU to end its 24-year tournament drought.