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Late UW rally falls short in loss to Utah

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Instant Melgoza

Senior guard Amber Melgoza dribbles around Utah's defense in Washington's game against Utah at Alaska Airlines Arena on Feb. 7, 2020.

The Washington women’s basketball team wasn’t able to crawl out of a 10-point deficit at the end of the first quarter, ultimately falling 74-65 to Utah on Friday. The Huskies didn’t make a field goal in the final five minutes of the game, missing their last five shots. 

“We were just right there but not close enough,” sophomore guard Haley Van Dyke said. “It happens almost every game. We have it, we’re so close, but we just can’t pull it together. There’s something missing.”

The game started with a 15-2 run in Utah’s favor. When the Huskies (10-12, 2-9 Pac-12) did get shots up, which wasn’t often in the first quarter, most of them didn’t go in. The Utes (11-11, 4-7 Pac-12) outscored Washington by 10 points in the first quarter, making five three-pointers. Four of those three-pointers came from almost the exact same spot on the left wing. 

The Utes ended the game with 27 shots beyond the three-point line and made 11 of them. 

The Dawgs didn’t do much catching up in the second quarter, though they slowed down Utah’s threes, limiting the Utes to only one more in the half. Washington’s own shooting also went down, matching its five field goals from the first quarter but putting up five more shots.  

T.T. Watkins stood out for the Huskies in the first half with six points. While she didn’t lead the scoring, she led the Huskies defensively and capped off the half with a steal for a last-second bucket. In the second half, Wynn inserted her and sophomore Haley Van Dyke into the lineup to start. 

“T.T. has been consistent for several weeks now,” head coach Jody Wynn said. “She earned the right.”

Washington turned things around in the third quarter, outscoring 25-16 to cut the lead down to four points. The Dawgs shot 66.7%, led by junior Missy Peterson’s nine points. Peterson didn’t score at all in the first half but led the beginnings of the UW’s comeback in the third quarter, shooting 75% from the field and making Washington’s only three-pointer. 

Just as quickly as the comeback started, it stopped. 

“They made a three and it turned to seven, 67-60 right off the bat,” Wynn said, snapping her fingers.

The fourth quarter started 8-2 in favor of Utah, and the Utes regained their 10-point lead on the Huskies. The deficit was too big to overcome for the Dawgs, who didn’t make any of the last five shots they attempted in the game, going five minutes without a field goal to cap off the loss. 

“We were definitely scrambling a little bit,” Van Dyke said. “We’re right there. We just need to scramble a little bit more and I think we would get it.”

Washington will host Colorado on Sunday at noon, when they will also celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day. 

Reach Engagement Editor Hailey Robinson at sports@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @haileyarobin

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