The Huskies survived and earned a 65-60 win in double overtime over the Eagles.
The splotches of red T-shirts around Alaska Airlines Arena were the first clue Washington’s Women’s National Invitation Tournament opener was going to be odd.
Fans of underdog Eastern Washington did their best to make their presence felt in the arena of their in-state rival, and the school from east of the mountains nearly took over the game, too.
It took two overtimes for UW to win, 65-60.
UW senior guard Kristi Kingma tied the score at 53-53 with 1:24 left in the first overtime and the Huskies weathered four EWU shots and offensive rebounds to extend the game. In the second overtime, it was Kingma who hit a three-pointer with 4:08 remaining that gave UW a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
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“Normally I’m pretty simple, hit a shot and run down the court,” said Kingma, who was 1 of 10 from three-point range overall. “I think I smiled a little bit, like, ‘Gosh, I can still make one of these.’ “
Sophomore point guard Jazmine Davis added: “It was a huge relief for everybody.”
Davis had a key play of her own in the second overtime, sending a bounce pass inside to sophomore Aminah Williams to make the score 63-60 with 23 seconds left. After Eastern Washington missed a three-pointer, Davis’ pair of free throws with eight seconds left closed the scoring.
It wasn’t her first big play, as the Huskies needed a tough layup from Davis with 13 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 49 and avoid the first-round upset.
“This is one that’s going to stick with us for a long time,” said Eastern Washington coach Wendy Schuller. “I felt at the end of the first overtime we should have won it and we didn’t.”
Washington (21-11) hosts Pacific (26-7) on Sunday in the second round of the WNIT. The Tigers advanced by defeating Arkansas-Little Rock 69-65 on Friday.
Down 10 points early in the second half, EWU worked its way back into the game behind sophomore point guard Kylie Huerta’s timely three-pointers and by working freshman forward Hayley Hodgins in the paint.
Despite a shorter lineup, the Eagles nearly matched the Huskies in rebounding (52-51) and earned six blocks to UW’s three. And the visitors found comfort offensively with the home team’s hoops, shooting 35.8 percent overall compared to UW’s 31.8.
“For as many shots as we missed, we were really good on the offensive boards,” UW coach Kevin McGuff said of his team’s 25-17 advantage. “That was a big key to us winning.”
UW freshman Heather Corral hit a jumper with 10:55 left in the first half that sparked a 12-0 run that gave the Huskies a 22-13 lead.
Davis led with 22 points while Kingma finished with 13. Hodgins, whose mother Karen is UW’s fourth-leading scorer all time, led the Eagles with 20 points.
EWU, which finished third in the Big Sky Conference, has never won a postseason game, and is 1-22 against UW, last playing in 2009.
The matchup was Washington’s fourth against an in-state school. UW defeated Washington State twice and Seattle University once in overtime at KeyArena.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @JaydaEvans
|EASTERN WASHINGTON 60|
Percentages: FG .358, FT .667. Three-point goals: 6-25 (Hodgins 2-7, Huerta 3-7, Nelson 0-6, Ashenfelter 0-2, Pakootas 1-3). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 6 (Hodgins 2, Ojeda, Ashenfelter 3). Turnovers: 23 (Hodgins 3, Ojeda 2, Huerta 6, Nelson 3, Ashenfelter 3, Pakootas 3, Williams, Hughes). Steals: 8 (Hodgins 2, Ojeda 2, Huerta 2, Ashenfelter 2). Technical fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .318, FT .545. Three-point goals: 5-36 (Walton 0-6, Williams 0-1, Wetmore 0-1, Kingma 1-10, Davis 4-12, Corral 0-6). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 3 (Walton 2, Kingma). Turnovers: 14 (Walton 2, Williams 2, Wetmore 2, Kingma 2, Davis 5, Corral). Steals: 10 (Williams 4, Wetmore, Kingma, Davis 4). Technical fouls: None.
Attendance: 1,129. Officials: Penny Davis, Bart Baldwin, Tyler Trimble.