The Toreros (25-8) have traveled 2,128 miles in winning three games to advance to Sunday's WNIT matinee quarterfinal against Washington (20-13) at Edmundson Pavilion.
Bleary-eyed upon arrival in Seattle late Friday, San Diego coach Cindy Fisher knows what’s driving her team during its Women’s National Invitation Tournament run — and it’s not an energy drink.
“At this point you’re playing on adrenaline, and you’re playing because you still love to play and the kids are excited,” she said. “Any opportunity to get out there in another game is what they’re counting on, so you just roll with the punches.”
The Toreros (25-8) have traveled 2,128 miles in winning three games to advance to Sunday’s WNIT matinee quarterfinal against Washington (20-13) at Edmundson Pavilion. Friday was the bulk of it, traveling from Lubbock, Texas, to San Diego and, after a few players attended classes, to Seattle that night.
It’s just the second all-time meeting between the schools, UW winning the first matchup in 2005 at home. But Fisher said she tried unsuccessfully to recruit nearly all the players on the Huskies roster and watched a few nationally televised games this season.
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From UW support players Mackenzie Argens and Mercedes Wetmore to leading scorers Regina Rogers (16.8 points) and Jazmine Davis (16), Fisher’s staff followed them all in high school.
“At some point or another, they were on our list,” she said of the lineup signed before first-year Washington coach Kevin McGuff was hired in April 2011.
“They have some really nice players and really nice talent. Kevin has done a great job with them.”
Still, in the West Coast Conference, San Diego hasn’t faced a combo quite like Davis, a freshman point guard, and Rogers, a bruising 6-foot-3 center. The duo surprise teams with their inside-out attack, propelling UW through its unexpected run.
Off the bench, UW senior Mollie Williams and Aminah Williams (no relation) provide rebounding and sporadic outside shooting to keep defenses honest. Mollie, a 6-1 forward, is averaging 11.6 points and eight rebounds in WNIT play.
“That’s why I like playing new teams because you get to sneak up on people and you have to make new adjustments really fast,” said Davis, who is averaging 37 minutes in postseason play. “Staying together is a big part (of our success), especially since we’re all tired and exhausted.”
Davis will draw the toughest assignment in running her team’s offense against San Diego senior point guard Dominique Conners. Along with being an aggressive defender, Conners averages a team-leading 16.8 points and is the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Helping her inside is senior Morgan Woodrow, a 6-foot forward who shoots 34.1 percent from three-point range.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @JaydaEvans