The Washington women’s basketball team had a lot going for itself through three quarters, but couldn’t close out its second game of the season, losing to Tulane 64-62.
After Amber Melgoza split a pair of free throws, the Huskies (1-1) had a 14-point lead with 4:59 remaining in the game.
From that point, the Green Wave (2-0) went on a 20-4 scoring run to close out the game. In the fourth quarter, the Huskies coughed up five turnovers, with many being forced by the Green Wave’s full court press.
“They rattled us, they kicked up the intensity, and we were a little bit playing not to lose,” head coach Jody Wynn said. “It’s early and we’ll learn from this, we’ll get better.”
Even after giving up 25 points in the final period and falling down two, UW still found a way to even up the score at 62-62 after Mai-Loni Henson made a contested shot at the basket. With just five seconds on the clock, Tulane’s Arsula Clark drove right and got around Washington’s perimeter defense to scoop up a layup for the game-winning basket.
“I think we were focused so much on not fouling and trying to get a defensive board, that her speed and maybe our gaps could have been a little higher, and we could’ve had a little bit better help,” Missy Peterson said. “She’s a good player, she’s quick, she’s great finishing around the rim.”
The fourth quarter was the worst scoring and shooting period for Washington, while it was the best period of which for Tulane, which ultimately made the difference in the two-point victory.
Darcy Rees opened the game up by knocking down her first three of the season. Following that, the Huskies fell into a slump, missing their next 10 attempts. Then the barrage started, the Dawgs scored 11 points to close out the quarter, and then carried that momentum to the next quarter where they knocked down three of their first four shots.
Washington hit five threes in the opening 12 minutes of the game, then looked more for closer shots to close out the first half, ballooning it’s lead to as much as 12 points.
The real story of the first half was the UW defense, which forced 14 turnovers and scored 17 points off those turnovers. The Huskies showed a 3-2 zone for most of the first half along with some three-quarter court presses, they read the passing lanes well and got hands on driving Green Wave players to help hold the opposition to only 22 points going into the lead.
After missing her first four shots of the game and not appearing in the UW’s first game of the season, freshman JaQuaya Miller got an entry pass under the hoop and forced the attempt up and in for her first points as a Husky.
“First game for her, a little jittery, family in the stands,” Wynn said. “She’s just gonna get better and better, she has a very bright future as a Husky.”
She then put up six more points in the third quarter, her and Missy Peterson combined for 13 of the team’s 20 points in the period. The Huskies made 50% of their shots and assisted on 75% of their makes in the third quarter.
Washington has a couple days off before hosting Weber State on Wednesday at 10 a.m. where it will look to bounce back.
Reach reporter Josh Eddy at email@example.com. Twitter: @JoshTreEddy
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