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Originally published February 25, 2011 at 6:27 PM | Page modified February 25, 2011 at 6:50 PM

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Cougar women look to end 31-game losing streak to UW

Washington State (8-19, 6-9 Pac-10) has a one-game lead over UW (10-14, 5-10) in the conference standings, and many think WSU could finally end the drought Saturday against the Huskies.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Saturday

UW women @ WSU,

5:30 p.m., FSN

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A month ago, June Daugherty lost it.

Positioned on the visitors' side of an Edmundson Pavilion arena where she had previously led NCAA tournament teams, the current Washington State coach charged after an official. She passionately stomped her feet and after another loss to Washington, she practically blew off reporters' questions.

Think UW's 31-game win streak against WSU isn't getting personal?

"It's interesting, because I'm the one that started the streak and now I'm the one in charge of stopping the streak. It's kind of weird in that way," said Daugherty, who went 22-0 against the Cougars in 11 years as Huskies coach. "It would be easy to get caught up in that. I try to keep the focus on making sure that I've prepared myself and my team for their best effort against the opponent, and obviously this week it's Washington

"That in itself is a pretty big charge. So, just staying focused on that and trying to keep the personal side out of it is very, very important."

Washington State (8-19, 6-9 Pac-10) has a one-game lead over UW (10-14, 5-10) in the conference standings, and many think WSU could finally end the drought Saturday against the Huskies.

Washington junior guard Kristi Kingma led the 64-52 win over WSU on Jan. 30 with a game-high 29 points on 11-for-20 shooting. She had five three-pointers, six steals and six rebounds.

"She had a phenomenal game," Daugherty said Wednesday about Kingma. "In transition, we lost where she was at, and that's going to happen. But when you lose someone with that type of shooting ability, and to me she was in a little bit of a zone, it can be very costly.

"We had some breakdowns. Those are things that we've seen a lot since, and we're still improving on those areas. We're not there yet, but we're going to keep working on it this week and try to limit those looks."

That should translate to more physical play against the 5-foot-10 Kingma, UW's leading scorer at 16.5 points per game.

The Huskies are getting better inside play from junior Regina Rogers, but she was 1 for 6 from the field against the Cougars in the first meeting. Front-line teammates Mollie Williams, Mackenzie Argens and Marjorie Heard were a combined 1 of 10 against the Cougars.

"Wazzu, they've got some pretty good forwards and guards," Williams said. "They have the talent; it's just mentally they have to get it together."

After two bad defensive games against the Arizona schools, UW coach Tia Jackson said defense was the focus this week in practice, with an emphasis on communicating better.

"We definitely need to be confident going in but not cocky," UW senior point guard Sarah Morton said. "They're a tough team, and we always play close games. If we were first in the Pac-10 and they were 10th or vice versa, it would still be one of the closest games I've ever played because of that rivalry."

Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or jevans@seattletimes.com

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