In a battle of two evenly matched teams inside, Oregon State took its game outside to collect its sixth consecutive win, 78-73 over the Washington women at Edmundson Pavilion on Saturday.
As if crossing the street, Oregon State junior Mollee Schwegler looked left, then right and felt safe without a defender charging. Up went a deep three-pointer late in the second half, seemingly from the heart of the “W” at Edmundson Pavilion center court.
A dagger shot that punctured the heart of Washington’s defense, the Beavers taking the momentum from the basket in a tight game to win 78-73 Saturday afternoon.
And all UW’s best defender could do was watch.
Huskies senior Charmaine Barlow left the game with 6:50 left in the first half, landing awkwardly on her left ankle after a jumper to put Washington ahead 28-25. Without her to switch on OSU’s hot-shooting perimeter players, UW said its defense fell stagnant and allowed the Beavers to clinch a sixth consecutive win.
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“She’s that gutty player where if we need someone to be guarded, she’s willing to guard them no matter how big they are,” UW center Regina Rogers said of Barlow. “I feel like our defense took a loss because she’s such a great leader out there on defense. She gets us in our defense and it was harder not having her voice telling us to get in zone (or) play man. When she went down, it was, ‘Oh, what are we going to do now?’ instead of playing for her.”
Barlow would have been that rushing defender to make Schwegler rethink shooting an improbable three. Instead the bucket tied the score at 58, continuing a 15-6 run to give the Beavers a 70-62 lead with 1:42 remaining in the game.
UW freshman Jazmine Davis nailed three three-pointers in the closing 40 seconds to help inch the team within three points of the lead. But OSU made two free throws and Davis and Mollie Williams had miscommunication on an inbounds play to end the game.
Davis led Washington with 20 points on 6-for-17 shooting from the field.
Second-year OSU coach Scott Rueck said Schwegler “was the key to the game. We always had somebody answer (Washington’s runs). At first it was Alyssa Martin, and then Mollee.”
The wins against Washington State (Thursday) and Washington were Schwegler’s first playing extended minutes because of her improvement defensively in practice. A known gunner on the junior-college level, she finished with a season-high 15 points.
In Schwegler’s previous 12 games this season, she totaled 15 points combined and was a collective 4 of 19 from three-point range.
“We did not have a very good night defensively,” first-year UW coach Kevin McGuff said. “Our effort and our energy wasn’t what it was Thursday (in beating Oregon). When we made mistakes, they made us pay. They made nine threes and made a lot of big shots. (Schwegler) was terrific.”
Washington’s biggest asset — Rogers — was nearly ineffective because of officiating, according to McGuff. He was called for a technical foul after the star center was called for her fourth foul with 8:38 left in the game and Washington up 56-50.
“People hang all over her and if she does anything to get them off, they call a foul on her and I don’t think that’s fair to her at all,” McGuff said. “She shouldn’t be penalized for her being big and strong and not flopping around. … I wasn’t letting go. I’m not going to allow Regina to get treated like that.”
OSU, which was 9-21 last season, is experiencing its longest winning streak since the 1994-95 season. Seeded third in the conference, the Beavers (17-7, 8-5 Pac-12) host No. 4 Stanford and California next week.
Washington (13-10, 5-8) had a chance to move up in the standings, but lost its third consecutive game to Oregon State.
“It is incredible what we’ve done considering where we were,” said Rueck, who had one player with Division I experience when he accepted the position. “But we can’t get caught up in that. My favorite quote is, ‘Success makes you stupid.’ It would be foolish to think too much of (winning).”
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or email@example.com. On Twitter @JaydaEvans.
Percentages: FG .520, FT .654. Three-point goals: 9-18 (Marchbanks 0-2, Gibson 3-4, Indendi 0-2, Martin 2-3, Edwards-Teasley 0-1, Schwegler 4-6). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 5 (Bright 4, Martin). Turnovers: 14 (Marchbanks 3, Bright, Gibson 2, Indendi 5, Martin 3). Steals: 3 (Marchbanks 2, Gibson). Technical fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .473, FT .560. Three-point goals: 7-12 (Wetmore 2-2, Davis 4-8, McCann-Smith 1-2). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 2 (Rogers 2). Turnovers: 13 (Argens, Rogers 5, Wetmore, Davis 2, A.Williams, M.Williams 3). Steals: 4 (Davis, McCann-Smith, M.Williams 2). Technical fouls: Team.
Attendance: 1,859. Officials: Chuck Gonzalez, Shelley Russi, Mary Whatford.