Huskies mount comeback, but lose in overtime
USC extends winning streak over Washington
Special to The Seattle Times
Washington vs. California, Pac-10 tourney, 7:15 p.m.
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LOS ANGELES — For a team needing to prove it can win in Los Angeles, this defeat wasn't the outcome the University of Washington women's basketball team wanted.
However, rallying back from a 15-point deficit in the second half, that's exactly the type of determination the Huskies hope to see more of this week.
Washington mounted a furious comeback, but it wasn't enough to close the regular season on a winning note as the Huskies lost to USC 65-61 in overtime Sunday in Pac-10 action at the Galen Center.
USC extends its winning streak against the Huskies to seven games and keeps Washington winless in Los Angeles in the regular season since a double-overtime victory over the Trojans in 2006.
The Huskies will be looking to change their fortune in L.A. as they remain in town for the Pac-10 tournament beginning Wednesday at the Galen Center. Seventh-seeded Washington (11-16, 6-12 Pac-10) opens against No. 6 California (15-14, 7-11) at 7:15 p.m.
"It's encouraging to know we've been in situations where we're down by a lot like that and we could fight back," Huskies guard Kristi Kingma said. "That can give us confidence in the tournament. So that's good. We're going to keep on fighting back. We're planning to play four games in four days, keep the season going as long as possible."
Kingma scored a game-high 16 points, including 13 in a wild second half.
Washington's comeback from a 15-point deficit was completed when Kingma sank a pair of free throws with 2:46 left in regulation to give the Huskies their first lead since the middle of the first half.
USC's Jackie Gemelos, who finished with a team-high 15 points, hit a three-pointer to tie the game with 14 seconds left in regulation. When Washington's Sarah Morton missed two potential winning shots, the contest went to overtime and USC (18-11, 10-8) took the lead for good midway through the period.
A three-point Trojans' lead entering the final minute was all that was needed as Washington committed a turnover and missed two shots, including a three-point attempt by Kingma at the buzzer.
"We want to build on today," Washington coach Tia Jackson said. "We've got to work on not giving away so many second chances. We need to do a better job on the offensive boards and also take care of the ball. We've got to look at each ball like it has $100 stuck to it."
A game after committing 23 turnovers in a defeat against UCLA, the Huskies had 19 turnovers Sunday.
Washington was held scoreless for nearly five minutes into the second half as USC, which led 28-20 at halftime, continued a 10-point run that began in the final minutes of the first half.
Kingma ignited the Huskies' comeback with her first of two three-pointers as Washington closed to 40-38 with 7:18 to go.
"In the first half, we let the game get away," Kingma said. "We weren't boxing out. We weren't diving on the floor for balls. We weren't doing the things we need to do. ...
"The thing that's awesome about this team is we don't give up. Coach told us, 'You can give up now or stick together and fight back.' "
Three Washington players finished in double figures, including Morton with 14 points and Regina Rogers with 10 points and seven rebounds. Mackenzie Argens added seven points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
USC played without one of its top threats, Ashley Corral, a former Washington high school standout from near Vancouver who is serving a two-game suspension.
The Trojans received 12 points and 10 rebounds from Briana Gilbreath, 11 points from Cassie Harberts and 10 from Christina Marinacci.
Percentages: FG .362, FT .667. Three-point goals: 5-14, (Kingma 3-7, Morton 2-5, Wetmore 0-2). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 0. Turnovers: 18, (Barlow 2, Williams 2, Argens, Morton 5, Wetmore 2, Anderson, Heard 2, Rogers 3). Steals: 4, (Barlow, Argens, Morton 2). Technical foul: Wetmore.
Attendance: 1,092. Officials: Chuck Gonzalez, Bob Scofield, Michol Murray.