No. 5 UCLA at Washington canceled due to COVID-19 issues

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SEATTLE — No. 5 UCLA’s game at Washington on Sunday has been canceled because of COVID-19 issues in the Huskies’ program.

The game won’t be rescheduled and it will count as a Pac-12 victory for the Bruins. That’s because of the league’s rule for games impacted by COVID-19, which says that if two schools can’t agree on a date to reschedule, then the team dealing with the coronavirus outbreak will forfeit the game. Although the teams’ conference records will reflect the forfeit, it won’t be included by the NCAA in their overall records.

Following the forfeit, UCLA is 2-0 in the Pac-12 and remains 7-1 overall. Washington is 4-5 overall and 0-1 in the league.

The Huskies were previously forced to postpone their game scheduled for Thursday at Arizona.

The cancellation means UCLA won’t play again until Dec. 11 at Marquette. The Bruins last played Wednesday, beating Colorado at home in their Pac-12 opener.

Washington’s next scheduled game is Dec. 12 at No. 3 Gonzaga.

Smith, Dixon lead No. 10 Louisville past Washington 61-53

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SEATTLE- Kianna Smith and Liz Dixon each scored 13 points for No. 10 Louisville, which beat Washington 61-53 on Saturday.

The Cardinals (3-1) led by as much as 16 late in the third quarter, but had to hold off a late charge by the Huskies to win their third straight.

Haley Van Dyke scored 15 points and had seven rebounds for Washington (2-1), and Alexis Whitfield came off the bench for 10 points.

Haley Van Lith made a pair of free throws with 2:42 left to stop the Huskies’ 11-0 run that had cut Louisville’s lead to 54-51. Emily Engstler then hit a turnaround jumper with 1:52 left for a 58-51 lead that Washington couldn’t erase. Van Lith finished with 11 points.

The Cardinals trailed by five early because of cold shooting, missing 12 of their first 18 shots and were 0 of 3 from the 3-point line.

Louisville forced five of Washington’s 14 first-half turnovers over less than three minutes. Then Smith hit the team’s first 3 with 4:10 left in the half to break a 19-all tie and start a 14-4 run.

Louisville led 52-36 with 3:10 to go, but the Huskies rallied to cut the lead to 54-51. Mykasa Robinson and Smith hit three free throws to finish the game.

BIG PICTURE

Louisville: Coach Jeff Walz improved to 14-4 against the Pac-12, but his team hasn’t had much fun against the conference this year after starting the season with a 61-59 overtime loss to No. 11 Arizona.

Washington: Until new coach Tara Langley finds a solution at point guard, something that may not happen this season, the turnovers will continue to cost Washington games. Louisville scored 17 points off turnovers.

UP NEXT

Louisville: At Cal Poly on Tuesday.

Washington: Plays VCU at the Goombay Splash tournament in the Bahamas on Thursday.

Washington fires coach Jody Wynn after 4 losing seasons

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SEATTLE — Washington fired women’s basketball coach Jody Wynn on Monday after four seasons during which the Huskies were among the worst teams in the Pac-12 Conference.

Wynn was 38-75 overall and a miserable 11-58 in Pac-12 play. The Huskies never finished higher than ninth in the conference standings during any of her four seasons. They went 7-14 overall and 3-13 in conference play this season.

“I want to thank Jody for her contributions to the program the last four years,” athletic director Jennifer Cohen said in a statement. “These decisions are extremely difficult, but we felt it was in the best interest of our current and future Huskies to make a leadership change and move in a new direction with our women’s basketball program.”

The school said a national search for a new coach would begin immediately.

Wynn arrived at Washington in 2017 after eight seasons as the head coach at Long Beach State, a tenure that included an appearance in the NCAA Tournament during her final season.

She faced a tough task coming aboard following the departure of Mike Neighbors for Arkansas. Led by all-time NCAA scoring leader Kelsey Plum, the Huskies were coming off three straight NCAA Tournament appearances and the school’s first Final Four berth when Wynn arrived.

Wynn’s style never seemed to mesh with the Huskies program. Several key players left the program, highlighted by Aari McDonald, who departed before Wynn’s first season and this past season was the Pac-12 player of the year for Arizona.

Washington won three conference games combined in Wynn’s first two seasons. The team seemed to be on a better trajectory last season when the Huskies reached the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament, but this season represented another step back. Washington lost eight straight at one point during conference play and lost to UCLA in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.

UCLA holds off Washington, 58-46, advances to Pac-12 semis

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LAS VEGAS – Michaela Onyenwere scored six of her 12 points in the fourth quarter to help No. 9 UCLA hold off Washington for a 58-46 victory on Thursday night in a Pac-12 quarterfinal.

Charisma Osborne also had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins (15-4), while Lauryn Miller had nine points and Natalie Chou added seven.

UCLA staved off upset-minded Washington, which pulled within three early in the fourth but couldn’t gain enough momentum to seize control of the game.

“We are a much-improved shooting team than we were a year ago, but it is still not the preeminent part of our success,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “Our success is built on defense, rebounding and passion plays. And passion plays are nonstatistical hustle plays that we believe are the intangibles that lead us to high levels of play and help us survive bad shooting nights.”

Quay Miller had a game-high 19 points with seven rebounds, while Tameiya Sadler chipped in 12 for Washington (7-14).

The Huskies were dealt their biggest blow when coach Jody Wynn said leading scorer Haley Van Dyke couldn’t return to the game in the second half after hitting her head on the court. Van Dyke, who averages 12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, had just two points in 17 minutes in the first half.

“Haley’s led us all year long,” Wynn said. “She’s led us from the moment she showed up on campus in the Fall. She’s one of our most experienced players. When she went down and wasn’t able to come back to the court with us and fight, it kind of rattled us for a little bit.”

Wynn said it also brought the team together and motivated the Huskies to rally within three, at 44-41 with 8:22 left in the game.

But under UCLA’s defensive pressure, the Huskies missed their next four shots and turned the ball over on another possession. Washington’s only points during a crucial five-minute stretch came from two free throws by Sadler.

Meanwhile, the Bruins hit five consecutive shots from the field, added a couple of free throws, and used a 12-2 run to open a 56-43 lead with 2:52 left and never looked back.

“Tonight we weren’t shooting our best and that’s what we kept talking about in the huddles, `okay, y’all, we know it’s a battle right now on the offensive end but let’s get stops,`” Onyenwere said. “That’s something we can do all the time. When we’re able to run like that it’s so fun to play with my teammates. I think that’s kind of where we kind of turned it around and kind of flipped that switch.”

The Bruins outscored Washington in the paint, 32-26, and also with second-chance points, 10-5.

It looked as if UCLA was going to put the game away early, as the Bruins held Washington scoreless for more than four minutes and without a field goal for nearly six, during a first-period stretch that allowed them to use an 11-0 run and build a 16-5 lead.

Emily Bessoir gave the Bruins a 15-point lead moments into the second quarter with a long 3-pointer, but Washington turned the tables and capitalized on seven turnovers by UCLA, which also shot just 25.0% from the field in the second quarter.

The Huskies used a 13-0 run over more than seven minutes to pull within two before UCLA’s Lindsey Corsaro made a 3 and moments later a layup, putting UCLA ahead by five for a halftime lead of 30-25.

Chou’s defense late in the third quarter helped thwart another Huskies rally, as she recorded three steals in less than two minutes, one of which allowed the Bruins to extend their lead to five, at 42-37.

BIG PICTURE

Washington: Sadler finished her first Pac 12 Tournament impressively, as she tallied 30 points, 10 assists, and seven steals. The freshman guard was the Huskies’ most well-rounded player in 68-54 first-round upset of No. 6 seed Colorado, as she scored 18 points, dished a career-high eight assists, and nabbed three steals.

UCLA: The Bruins missed nine of their last 11 shots in the first half. They looked like the complete opposite of a team that just registered a pair of record-breaking shooting performances in its last two games, most recently against USC on Feb. 26, when they buried 16 3-pointers on 23 attempts (69.6%), the most 3-pointers in a single game in team history. Thursday, UCLA managed just 2 of 18 (11.1%) from beyond the arc.

UP NEXT

Washington: Season is likely over.

UCLA: Will face Arizona in Friday’s semifinal.

Thomas and McDonald lead Arizona to win over Washington

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TUCSON, Ariz. — If senior Sam Thomas played her final home game Sunday, she made it one to remember.

Thomas had 20 points including a career-high six 3-pointers, added a season-high seven rebounds and had three blocked shots when No. 10 Arizona ran its winning streak to six games with 75-53 victory over Washington on Sunday.

“Sam was aggressive,” Arizona coach Adia Barnes said. “She was looking for her shot, feeling it. We know Sam is always going to be constant and consistent on her defense. But when she is looking for her shot and she’s hitting them, we’re just a better team overall.”

Since the NCAA is allowing everyone an extra season of eligibility, Thomas could return next year as well as fellow seniors Aari McDonald and Trinity Baptiste.

None has made their decision public, although McDonald is expected to be a first round pick in the WNBA draft if she leaves school.

“I’m not sure I’ll be three-for-three,” Barnes said. “I’ll be one-for-three or two-for-three.”

McDonald had 20 points and tied a season high with eight assists, Cate Reese had 12 points and Shaina Pellington had 11 for the Wildcats (14-2, 12-2), off to their best league start in program history.

Arizona shot 55.1% from the field, 63.6% in the first half, and made nine of their first 10 3-pointers. They finished 12-of-16 from three-point range, 75%, setting a school record for three-point percentage in a game.

“My teammates always tell me to shoot the ball more, so on senior night I thought I would listen,” Thomas said.

“We knew Washington was going to play a lot of zone, many different types of zone, so we knew the threes were going to be open. I just tried to do my job and hit when my teammate fed me the ball. They kept feeding me again and again.”

Quay Miller had 13 points and nine rebounds and Haley Van Dyke had 12 points for the Huskies (5-11, 2-11), who broke an eight-game losing streak at Arizona State on Friday.

The Wildcats opened a 13-point lead in the first quarter, and Thomas’ fifth three gave them a 48-28 lead three minutes into the second half.

PLAYING POSTPONED GAMES PROBLEMATIC

Arizona has had five Pac-12 games postponed because of coronavirus issues in its program and others, including one at No. 8 UCLA, and Barnes called it unlikely that all the games will be made up.

“It is very difficult at this point in the season to make up five games,” Barnes said. “I don’t know if I want to be playing multiple weeks of three games a week. We’re just not sure what’s ahead.”

Stanford has played 17 conference games, most away from home because of Santa Clara County health restrictions since lifted. Oregon State has played only nine league games.

MIDNIGHT MADNESS

Moments after Arizona’s men beat Oregon State on Thursday night, McDonald was on floor taking shots. She was 24 of 78 from the field in a mini-slump the previous four games before making 6 of 13 against Washington.

“I have to keep working on my craft,” McDonald said. “It doesn’t stop. I have to find that confidence again, get in that rhythm, and I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

McDonald made two of four 3-pointers against Washington and is on pace to set the Arizona season record for three-point percentage, 32.0.

BIG PICTURE

Washington could not keep up with Arizona, but it appears to have a solid group of building blocks in junior Alex Van Dyke, sophomore Miller, freshman Tameiya Sadler and redshirt freshman Nia Lowery, a four-star recruit who missed 2019-20 with a foot injury. The Huskies limited Arizona State to 35 points Friday, the fewest points by a conference opponent since 1978.

Arizona and Stanford (15-2) are the only Pac-12 teams with two conference losses, and if the Wildcats win their final three scheduled games they could claim their first outright league title, at least by winning percentage. The Wildcats and Cardinal are scheduled to play at Stanford on Feb. 22. Arizona and Stanford were co-champs in 2003-04 in Nicole Powell’s senior year with the Cardinal.

UP NEXT

Washington plays host to Utah on Friday.

Arizona visits California on Friday.

Mobley brothers carry No. 20 USC past Washington, 69-54

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SEATTLE — Andy Enfield was already thrilled with what he was getting from No. 20 Southern California defensively for most of the Pac-12 season.

The Trojans have been even better at that end of the court for their past two victories.

Evan Mobley scored 17 points, brother Isaiah Mobley added 12 points and 12 rebounds and No. 20 Southern California rolled past Washington 69-54 on Thursday night.

Ranked for the first time since early in the 2017-18 season, the Trojans (16-3, 10-2) won for the 11th time in their past 12 games thanks to another stellar defensive performance and a dominant effort on the interior against the undersized Huskies.

USC held rival UCLA to 48 points in an 18-point victory last Saturday, then limited Washington to its second-lowest point total in conference play this season.

“Defensively, we were very good. I think you saw that midway through the first half into the second half, we challenged every shot made them shoot a low percentage,” Enfield said. “Then we dominated the paint on offense. I think this team it starts with the defensive end.”

The Trojans took control by outscoring Washington 25-7 during a 10-minute stretch spanning the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half. USC closed the first half on an 18-4 run, turning a four-point deficit into a 10-point halftime lead, and pushed the lead to 48-34 in the opening minutes of the second half.

The Mobleys were at the heart of USC’s fifth straight win, but they got help from others. Chevez Goodwin had 11 points of the bench and Tahj Eaddy added 10.

USC outscored Washington 46-22 in the paint and held a 41-24 advantage in rebounds. The Trojans missed their first six 3-point attempts before Eaddy’s 3-pointer with 3:18 left pushed the USC lead to 63-50. But the lack of perimeter shooting didn’t matter thanks to the dominance on the inside.

“We’re an inside-outside, inside game offense first. That’s where our big guys are hard to stop and then our guards when they make shots, we’re awfully good,” Enfield said. “Tonight, we didn’t have it going from the perimeter, but we made enough plays down the last 15 minutes to win the game.”

Quade Green led Washington (3-15, 2-11) with 16 points and it was a much better performance than the meeting last month in Los Angeles when the Huskies suffered a 27-point loss.

But scoring was a problem all night for Washington. The Huskies became the sixth straight team held under 70 points by the Trojans. USC entered the night with the second-best scoring defense in the conference, allowing less than 64 points per game.

Jamal Bey added 10 points, but the Huskies had just eight made field goals and nine turnovers in the second half.

“Offensively, I felt like we did a decent job it was just our turnovers. We just turned it over too much,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “We don’t have a large margin for error. So maybe take away five turnovers, those become five 3-point shot opportunities, and now we’re in a real chance to pick them off.”

BEST START

USC’s 10-2 start in conference play is its best since 1992 when the Trojans went 15-3 in the Pac-10.

THE TAKEAWAY

USC: Defense continues to be what carries the Trojans thanks to the towering presence of the Mobley’s on the inside. USC is now 82-5 in its past 87 games where its held its opponent under 70 points. USC has held 15 teams under 70 this season.

Washington: While the offense struggled, Washington’s defense was a little bit better against USC. The 69 points were the fewest allowed by the Huskies in their past 11 games.

UP NEXT

USC: At Washington State on Saturday.

Washington: Hosts UCLA on Saturday.