Electric. That is the only way to describe the game that was played by the Huskies tonight at Hec Ed. Every player was spot on. This was the game we had been looking for at the end of this season, and boy, did they deliver.
Aarion McDonald was the spark for the team tonight. In the first quarter she was unstoppable. McDonald was 3-3 from the three-point line and was responsible for 13 of the Huskies’ 22 points. Wait, what? It was clear that Oklahoma could not keep up with McDonald. Unfortunately she got two quick fouls and had to be put on the bench.
The war of the bigs was decided in the first quarter as well. Vionese Pierre-Louis was called for an offensive foul at 9:26 in the first quarter. That quick foul seemed to take the steam out of her and Osahor was able to make her a non-factor. There was a lot of passing into the post by the Huskies to continue to put pressure on OU’s bigs and get them in foul trouble.
The whole team contributed tonight, something that had been missing the last few games. It truly was a spectacle.
Let the numbers speak for themselves:
Washington’s final offensive numbers: 36-63 (57%) FG, 18-30 (60%) 3pt, 18-28 (64.3%) FT
The numbers are obscenely good. I have no words to describe the offensive skills we saw tonight. All of it: passing, screens, and just getting the ball to the right spot for the perfect shot. It was all there tonight.
Oklahoma had a good game against us. They were once again prolific from three-point range, making 12-26, and shooting 46% from the field. Any other day that would have been a victory for them.
Defensively the Huskies weren’t in shutdown mode. The Sooners were able to spread the zone and find open lanes. We were successful for a few minutes when Coach Neighbors mixed up the defensive calls. This caused some confusion and hesitation on Oklahoma’s part. Unfortunately the Huskies went back to a 2-3 zone and stayed with it. Obviously it was successful enough, because the Huskies were not missing tonight.
Now I must mention the record that was broken by Kelsey Plum. I tend to be verbacious and opinionated when talking about Kelsey Plum, so please forgive me.
There is no one like her. Obviously. Her drive and attention to detail make her one of the best basketball players ever to grace the court. She is an unselfish teammate and a powerful leader. She makes the people around her better. Basketball is full of stunning physical athletes that defy what we knew was possible, but that ability to bring the best out in your teammates, that is what truly makes a star. And we are seeing her for the last time in Seattle as a Washington Husky.
Tonight, Kelsey Plum broke the single-season scoring record previously held by Jackie Stiles. Tonight, Kelsey Plum is one free throw away from breaking a 30-year record of career free throws made. I am pretty sure she won’t beat Pete Maravich’s scoring record, but she’s going to be closer to it than anyone else, and that’s saying something.
The Huskies have successfully made it to the Sweet 16. They will be playing Mississippi State on Friday, March 24, in Oklahoma City, OK.