Falling to Stanford in their regular-season finale, the Huskies finished Jody Wynn's second season as head coach with two more wins than her first. But wins and losses aren't how Wynn is judging her team just yet.

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Finishing a regular season against one of the most prodigious women’s basketball programs of a generation has a tendency to put things in perspective.

On one end of the court Sunday afternoon, the No. 7 Stanford Cardinal sliced and diced their way through the Washington defense. On the other, Husky turnovers and a virtual bubble around the paint kept UW at bay and secured Stanford an easy 72-53 win, its 22nd in its past 25 meetings with the Huskies.

Two quick baskets from senior Hannah Johnson got the scoring started for the Huskies (9-20, 2-15 Pac-12), who took an early three-point lead. But Stanford guard Kiana Johnson followed with back-to-back threes that gave the Cardinal (25-4, 15-3) a lead that grew as large as 29 points.

“We just allowed too many wide-open threes,” UW coach Jody Wynn said. “We could have laid down after the first half, but we didn’t.”

At the end of her second year at UW, Wynn isn’t judging her team by wins and losses just yet.

“We’re working our tails off to get wins and bring this program back to national prominence, where it belongs,” Wynn said. “But sometimes the scoreboard’s a liar.”

With the loss, Washington enters the Pac-12 tournament as the No. 11 seed, on the heels of a regular season with the program’s second-fewest wins in a decade. Their fewest came last season, Wynn’s first year.

Despite a 16-43 record in two seasons, Husky fans may not want to brandish their pitchforks just yet.

When Wynn arrived, this year’s leading scorer, junior Amber Melgoza, was just a freshman with little help. Kelsey Plum and Chantel Osahor — the core of UW’s tournament teams from 2014-16 — had just departed. It took time for Wynn to implement her culture.

Johnson tied for the team lead in scoring Sunday with 10 points — while wearing the jersey of injured senior teammate Deja Strother, who played her final game as a Husky in 2017 because of an Achilles injury.

Johnson, best friends with Strother since they were freshmen, brought her to tears with the senior-day surprise.

“I knew she was up to something,” Strother said. “I was bawling crying.”

That kinship is part of the culture Wynn is trying to instill.

“(Jenna Moser) and Hannah and Deja have been through a lot in their last four, five years,” Wynn said. “The way they have emerged as leaders has been wonderful to see. They’re going to be powerful women in our society, and I can’t be more proud of that.”

On a day like Sunday, those are the wins Jody Wynn is looking for.

Notes

  • UW honored three seniors after the loss Sunday: Hannah Johnson, Strother and Moser.
  • No. 11 seed UW opens play at the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas on Thursday against No. 6 Utah (20-9) at 8:30 p.m. The winner plays No. 3 Oregon State (23-6) on Friday at 8:30 p.m.