During Jazmine Davis' two-game absence, the Huskies received great play from guards Mercedes Wetmore and Heather Corral.
Washington women’s basketball coach Kevin McGuff and his Huskies gained a healthy player when Jazmine Davis returned to practice Wednesday, to go along with the greater perspective they gained during her absence.
Davis, the team’s point guard and leading scorer (20.4 points a game), missed the Huskies’ past two games due to a concussion suffered in a victory against Washington State on Jan. 20. Freshman guard Heather Corral started in place of Davis and junior guard Mercedes Wetmore primarily handled running the offense.
In an overtime victory over Oregon State and a triumph against Oregon, Wetmore had 14 assists and one turnover. And previously unproven Corral scored 23 points, making 7 of 14 three-pointers, and had nine rebounds and six steals.
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Wetmore already is third in the Pac-12 in minutes played (36.8 average a game) behind UW redshirt senior guard Kristi Kingma (38.1) and Davis (37.5). But that could change, slightly, after Corral’s performance.
“She’s definitely earned more minutes, and that makes us a better team,” McGuff said of Corral’s play.
Washington (14-5, 6-2 Pac-12) takes a four-game winning streak into its game at Arizona (11-8, 3-5) on Friday. UW plays at Arizona State (11-9, 3-5) on Sunday.
Corral missed UW’s opening nine games due to a broken right wrist. She returned for a defeat at Georgia Tech, playing 22 minutes. Corral hadn’t played more than that in a game until playing the full 45-minute overtime victory against OSU.
“When she was out there and she would make a mistake, I probably had too quick of hook with her,” McGuff said of previously not playing Corral as much. “It was not great that Jaz got hurt, but great for me to be able to really allow Heather to play through a couple of mistakes. To her credit, she really delivered on the opportunity she was given.”
The Huskies are in the midst of learning their offense. Only when there are breakdowns is Davis directed to take over. Those popped up last weekend, but the Huskies had to “Find a Way,” their motto for the games.
“Cedes (Wetmore) taught me a lot,” Davis said. “She was finding a lot of open people (within the offense) that I didn’t see. Out of Heather, I saw a lot of confidence and no conscience … they all stepped up, and it showed me they all have it in them.”
Washington defeated Arizona 76-65 at Alaska Airlines Arena in January. Talia Walton led the team with career highs in scoring (20 points) and rebounding (13). Kingma made four three-pointers and finished with 16 points.
The Wildcats are on a three-game losing streak, all on the road. Senior guard Davellyn Whyte leads the team in scoring (16.2).
“They play really well at home,” McGuff said of the Wildcats. “We’re going to have to have an extra level of concentration and preparedness to try to win on somebody else’s court.”
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org