Washington wasted a 13-point second-half lead Friday at Edmundson Pavilion, losing to UC Davis, 69-68, in the season opener for both teams.
The screams vibrated throughout Edmundson Pavilion.
UC Davis had done what was supposed to be the impossible, given its size disadvantage and inexperience on the Division I level, moving to the big leagues just five years ago. But after two driving plays to the hoop by junior guard Blair Shinoda in the waning seconds, UC Davis found itself celebrating a 69-68 win over Washington in the season opener for both teams Friday.
The Huskies had one more chance to win, running a play called “street.” First-year coach Kevin McGuff said later he would have preferred a look inside, but freshman point guard Jazmine Davis spotted sophomore Mercedes Wetmore open on the wing. Wetmore took a three-point shot with three seconds to play that missed.
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Senior forward Charmaine Barlow grabbed the offensive rebound but the Huskies couldn’t convert, and lost a home opener for the second time in the past 11 years. The Aggies celebrated in front of the UW bench, an inauspicious start to McGuff’s era.
“It’s a little disappointing,” UW sophomore forward Marjorie Heard said. “All of us are trying to prove to ourselves and to the coaches and the city that we’re a good enough team to play for a coach like McGuff, and that we have potential in the league that we play in. We’re getting the kinks and the jitters out of this new program.”
McGuff is replacing Tia Jackson after four consecutive losing seasons. On Wednesday, UW hosts a revamped Seattle University team itching to defeat its crosstown rival after losing by five in 2009.
Friday’s matinee loss will be a teaching tool, beginning with a need to play better defense and have improved ball movement on offense to find 6-foot-3 center Regina Rogers.
When Washington did both in the second half against UC Davis, it was able to build a 13-point lead after a layup by Davis with 9:37 left. Rogers scored her team’s opening eight points after the break.
Then UC Davis began to chip its way back into the game with open shots.
“They got way too many good looks,” McGuff said. “I’m surprised they only shot 39.3 percent. I thought the quality of shots they were getting, they would have shot 100 percent with the team that they are. Defensively, we’ve got to get a lot better.”
Tied at 65, UC Davis took advantage of a Davis turnover to score on Shinoda’s driving layin with 31 seconds left.
McGuff called a time out and countered with a play to Rogers off a feed from senior post Mackenzie Argens. Rogers scored, was fouled and made a free throw to give the Huskies a 68-67 lead with 22 seconds remaining.
But Shinoda scored again inside, this time with eight seconds to play.
Washington didn’t have any answers after that.
“That last drive was a swift move by her (Shinoda) and there had to be somebody in to help that wasn’t,” said Heard, who was part of the coverage looking to draw a charge.
Rogers led all scorers with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Davis nearly had a triple double with 11 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in her debut.
“The score doesn’t indicate how we played,” Rogers said. “UC Davis is a great team and we played them well. From looking at our scores and how we played last year to how we played today, you can tell we’re a totally different team … we’re just getting used to coach McGuff’s program and by the middle of this year, it’s all going to click in.”
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or email@example.com. On Twitter @JaydaEvans
Percentages: FG .393, FT .571. Three-point goals: 13-34 (Riecks 2-9, Asano 4-5, Stephens 0-2, Shinoda 0-2, Meggison 1-3, Oryon 0-1, French 4-9, Fipps 2-2, Salvatore 0-1). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 2 (Meggison, French). Turnovers: 11 (Riecks 2, Asano 4, Stephens 2, Shinoda, Meggison, Oryon). Steals: 11 (Riecks 2, Asano 4, Shinoda, Meggison, French, Fipps, Salvatore).
Percentages: FG .385, FT .583. Three-point goals: 4-19 (Wetmore 1-7, Davis 1-6, McCann-Smith 2-5, Williams 0-1). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 3 (Heard, Rogers 2). Turnovers: 18 (Barlow 2, Heard 3, Rogers 2, Davis 3, McCann-Smith 3, Anderson, Williams 3, Argens). Steals: 5 (Heard, Davis, Williams 2, Argens).
Attendance: 1,928. Officials: Clarke Stevens, Shelly Nakasone, James Morrell.