The postseason will run a bit longer at Alaska Airlines Arena.
After the NCAA tournament cleared out Tuesday, the Women’s National Invitation Tournament will return Wednesday. Washington advanced to the WNIT’s Sweet 16 and plays host to San Diego at 7 p.m.
Washington (19-13) was told during a timeout with 15:58 left in the second half of its victory Monday at Oregon that San Diego (24-8) won at Montana, meaning USD would remain in the Northwest for a Sweet 16 matchup.
“Winner gets a home game — we used that quite often during that last little bit in the second half,” UW coach Mike Neighbors said.
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The Huskies were down by seven points against the Ducks at that time. Hearing the news, UW went on a 12-4 run capped by a layin from freshman guard Kelsey Plum for its first lead of the game at 58-57 with 13:01 left.
Washington closed out the 93-85 victory by making 15 of 16 at the foul line in the final two minutes. Plum led all scorers with 31 points to raise her season total to 680 and break Washington’s record of 661 set by Giuliana Mendiola in 2004.
San Diego, which finished fifth in the West Coast Conference, was nationally ranked in January and reached the WNIT Final Four in 2012, defeating UW at Alaska Airlines Arena en route.
“Anybody still playing right now has a good team,” Neighbors said.
Toreros senior Amy Kame, a 6-foot guard, is the team’s leading scorer at 17.3 points a game and averages 5.8 rebounds.
Kame scored 25 points in San Diego’s 60-57 victory Monday at Montana.
San Diego’s second-leading scorer, sophomore forward Malina Hood, did not play the past two games due to a concussion. Freshman guard Cori Woodmore, out of Prairie High in Battle Ground, replaced Hood in the lineup.
As the Huskies, the Toreros are using the WNIT run to gain experience for a young team. USD will lose two key players after this year.
“It would mean a lot for our seniors who have put so much into this program,” Kame said. “But it would mean a lot to our younger players to get experience and possibly be an NCAA tournament team.”
Guard Mercedes Wetmore is the only active senior on UW’s roster.
Wetmore, the team’s assist leader at 4.2 a game, will become the Huskies’ leader in games played with her expected start Wednesday. Wetmore tied Mendiola’s mark of 124 career games Monday.
Neighbors didn’t have an on-court practice Tuesday, choosing to have his team watch the NCAA tournament game between ninth-seeded Oregon State and top-seeded South Carolina on UW’s court.
The Huskies watched South Carolina’s NCAA opener Sunday before busing to Oregon.
“I want those young kids to see what it looks like and know what it feels like, so when we get to the NCAA tournament we won’t be shocked,” Neighbors said. “That’s a tremendous advantage that our kids have.”
|Top five women’s baksetball point producers in a UW season:|
|Kelsey Plum, 2014||Fr.||32||680||21.3|
|Giuliana Mendiola, 2004||Sr.||31||661||21.3|
|Jazmine Davis, 2014||Jr.||32||618||19.3|
|Rhonda Smith, 1995||Sr.||33||583||17.7|
|Jazmine Davis, 2013||So.||30||578||19.3|
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