Oregon women defeat Washington
Ducks sophomore Deanna Weaver's open three-pointer with 15.6 seconds left gave Oregon an 88-86 win over Washington on Saturday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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EUGENE, Ore. — Mercedes Wetmore could barely speak.
One of the most competitive players on Washington's roster, she gritted her teeth in disgust as she spoke about her team's 88-86 loss to Oregon on Saturday. The Huskies led by as many as 16 points midway through the second half, but lack of defense and numerous fouls sent UW home winless after its inaugural Pac-12 road trip.
"Having it all build up to those two losses is not what we had pictured," Wetmore said of entering conference play on a five-game winning streak and playing solid defense. "We're going to have to bounce back. It's going to be really tough, but ... we expected definite wins down here. We came in prepared and thinking we were going to win and there are some mistakes that we have to fix when we get back home."
For the second consecutive game, Washington missed free throws, which alone could have won the game. Washington lost 60-55 to Oregon State on Thursday. Yet sloppy fouls and missed defensive assignments also contributed to the UW losing by a combined seven points to Oregon and Oregon State.
On Saturday, Washington got lost on an Oregon screen for an inbounds play that led to sophomore Deanna Weaver nailing the game-winning three-pointer with 16 seconds remaining. On offense, Washington was in an obvious scramble, sophomore Marjorie Heard getting her layin attempt blocked by Danielle Love.
Oregon senior Nia Jackson closed out the scoring with one made free throw.
"We kept saying, 'Stay composed,' " Washington sophomore Kellie McCann-Smith said of talk between teammates on the court. "But in the moment of the game, everyone wants to make the big play instead of just staying within ourselves. We just have a long way to go with that."
McCann-Smith was the definition of "big play" before the final 10 minutes of the game. Disregarding the newness of playing the team's first game at Matthew Knight Arena, she nailed her sixth three-pointer with 13:48 remaining, causing even the public-address announcer to release a chuckle in disbelief as he announced her name. In the crowd, fans belted out, "She can't miss!" And Oregon was confused about how to guard the reserve.
The offense off the bench was needed because Oregon (9-5, 1-1 Pac-12) played a stingy zone that didn't allow much scoring in the paint. Washington also had to play without leading scorers Regina Rogers and Jazmine Davis, who both fouled out in the second half.
McCann-Smith finished with a career-high 26 points, making six of her team's 12 threes.
"That was frustrating because we definitely weren't adjusting, we kept letting her hit that shot," said Oregon sophomore guard Ariel Thomas, who finished with 21 points, including five three-pointers. "We had to really key in on her big shots."
Washington finished the game with its bench outscoring Oregon's 51-27. But the Ducks shot 27 for 34 from the line, which overshadowed everything.
Washington (8-4, 0-2) hasn't won in Eugene since January 2006.
"At the end of the game, we quit playing defense and they made us pay," Washington coach Kevin McGuff said. "We're not going to put ourselves in position to be successful until we get better on that end of the floor."
• McGuff started senior Mollie Williams in place of Mackenzie Argens, who is dealing with a strained left quad.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or email@example.com
Attendance: 1,687. Officials: Lisa Jones, Penny Davis, Mary Whatford.Technical fouls: Washington-None. Oregon-None.
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