Washington women edge Washington State, 60-56
Regina Rogers scores 21 points to lead the Huskies, who extended their series win streak to 34 games.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Washington teammates Regina Rogers and Jazmine Davis share a lot.
Germs are probably the worst thing Davis, a point guard, has passed to her senior center.
The freshman was sick two weeks ago and passed the illness on to Rogers, who in turn couldn't practice until Saturday. She wasn't completely healthy for Sunday's matchup with Washington State — even vomiting early in the first half — but still managed to lead the Huskies to a 60-56 win at Edmundson Pavilion.
"That was weird to me," said Rogers of being sick during the game. "I'm glad it's over. ... (My teammates) were like, 'Don't breathe on me!' But they helped me."
And Rogers helped them. Each time Washington State had a chance to narrow the deficit late in the second half, Rogers was there with a move to the hoop to score, a free throw or a key defensive rebound.
Rogers' biggest plays came in the final minute, when she grabbed three big rebounds and made a free throw to help preserve the win in front of a crowd of 3,961.
Exhaustion may have led to the center's one bobble down the stretch, a turnover after WSU sophomore Brandi Thomas made a three-pointer to make the score 60-56 with 22 seconds left.
Cougars senior guard April Cook swiped the ball from Rogers, then missed an open three-point attempt. Teammate Jazmine Perkins snagged the offensive rebound but missed a layin, and Rogers ended the scramble by getting a defensive rebound.
Rogers finished with a game-high nine rebounds and matched Davis for scoring honors with 21 points.
"It's all mental when you play sick, and she definitely pushed through it," Davis said of Rogers. "We still kept trying to feed her the ball, because we still trusted her and we still wanted the ball in her hands."
Rogers and fellow seniors Mackenzie Argens, Charmaine Barlow and Mollie Williams simply wanted to end their UW careers with a WSU sweep. Sunday's matinee win was Washington's 34th consecutive in the series. It also assured Washington (15-11, 7-9 Pac-12) a winning regular season for the first time in the group's career in purple.
"Every time we play them, it's so emotional," said Barlow. "It's always good to play a rival, but to be undefeated against them feels good. Once I graduate and come back next year when we play Wazzu, I'm still going to have the same emotions."
The injury-laden Cougars (10-18, 4-12) were at a disadvantage down the stretch when junior center Carly Noyes fouled out with 5:44 left. Washington State coach June Daugherty often had the former Moses Lake High standout in single coverage against Rogers, but Noyes struggled.
Washington State didn't help itself offensively, shooting just 28.8 percent from the field. Thomas led WSU with 15 points and six rebounds.
The Cougars, who lost their seventh straight, played without leading outside shooter Ireti Amojo (knee) and starting point guard Tia Presley (foot). Cook was playing her first game after missing the past three with back spasms.
"It's been some adversity," Daugherty said. "But I'm not going to walk around and pout and cry and stomp my feet. I'm going to continue to work with these kids because they continue to work very hard. ... I started the streak (as Washington coach, from 1996 to 2007), and hopefully some day we'll finish it."
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or email@example.com. On Twitter @JaydaEvans.
Attendance: 3,961. Officials: Anita Ortega, Cathi Cornell, Brian Woods.