The Washington Huskies started the season 11-0 beating the then ranked Washington State Cougars in Pullman. Then, they proceeded to lose six of the next seven games as they battled the most powerful conference in the sport.
With the season feeling wishy washy, the Huskies, led by Dalayah Daniels and Elle Ladine, went to LA and beat the number eleven team in the country, the USC Trojans.
The effort started with a blow out first half that saw shots landing and defense killing any effort from the opponent. Outscoring them 34-23, the Dawgs went 15-28 from the field in the first two quarters and held their turnovers to a minimum. Forcing the Trojans to play their game, driving extra possessions, this game was clean in the first half with very few free throws fired.
Washington achieved their 34 points almost solely from the field, virtually eclipsing any expectations heading into the game.
After the third quarter, the end of which had a score of 46-44 — UW, it became evident the Huskies would have to fight to keep their lead. Conventional wisdom explains that once the home team, statistically far better as well, was fighting back to that extent, the game was lost.
This would remain accurate if it weren’t for the combined efforts of Lauren Schwartz (21 points, 60% 3PT, 3 REB) and Dalayah Daniels (13 points, 13 REB). The Huskies outscored their opponent by one in the fourth to win the game by three points.
At that point the rest was history.
THOUGHTS ON THE GAME
- The Washington Huskies started their normal five and played only two players off the bench. The lack of size has been killing the Huskies in the paint all season, but it’s becoming more clear that the depth — or lack thereof — will be the final knife in this. The fact the Huskies were able to claw back and maintain their lead in LA is feat in and of itself, but how long is it sustainable? Will we get our players in time just to go back to the Elite Eight of the NIT?
- Washington gets themselves a signature win. The only other P6 victories were Wazzu and Arizona, a lackluster resume. Hopefully this can boost the tournament chances, but one thing is clear: this isn’t a Mike Hopkins situation. Underperform and beat Gonzaga in Gonzaga. No, this team is playing far past their potential with this.
The next game is in Seattle at 7PM on Friday, February 2. We host #16 Utah before #2 Colorado.