Balance and defense sparks Washington’s women to victory
Washington’s big second half results in 80-67 victory
Seattle Times staff reporter
Montana State @ Washington, 2 p.m.
Aminah Williams grimaced as she lay face down on the baseline of Alaska Airlines Arena.
Earlier in the second half, she created the party-like atmosphere against Wisconsin, draining her career-high third three-pointer in a big Washington run.
But suddenly it looked as if Williams was done for the night.
It was a short respite for Wisconsin.
After getting her chronic back spasm controlled, Williams re-entered the game to immediately grab three consecutive offensive rebounds. She couldn’t convert on the putbacks, but teammate Jazmine Davis was able to score on the possession to cap the Washington run to build a 12-point lead with 11:32 left en route to an 80-67 victory.
“The way they were guarding us, I was open more than usual on the three-point line and coach tells everyone, ‘If you have an open shot, take it,’ ” Williams said of her career-high 19 points, including 3-for-3 shooting from three-point range. She also had 12 rebounds.
Washington (3-3) shot a season-high 52.5 percent from the field. Six Huskies scored in double digits.
“I don’t remember the last time that’s happened, to have that type of balance,” UW coach Mike Neighbors said.
Yet, it was an adjustment on defending Wisconsin’s three-point shooting that helped seal the victory. The Badgers (6-4) were 1-for-11 from three-point range in the second half after making 5 of 7 to start the game.
“We tried to get out on their perimeter players a little faster,” Neighbors said of the halftime adjustment. “(Wisconsin junior Michala) Johnson is going to get her touches in the post ... I don’t know that we could have done anything to stop Johnson. I knew we could do something to stop the three, so that’s what we took our chances on.”
Williams hitting the deck was a big concern for the Huskies because of Washington’s lack of depth with its post rotation. Freshman Chantel Osahor is out indefinitely due to a stress fracture in her right foot, and Neighbors is contemplating a medical redshirt for her.
Williams and fellow undersized post Talia Walton are used to playing extended minutes, however. They worked with freshman Katie Collier to outscore Wisconsin 46-28 in the paint.
Johnson led the Badgers (6-4) with 25 points.
“Like coach Neighbors said, this is going to be one of the games we look at at the end of the year and be like, ‘That was a good one for us,’ ” Walton said.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org