Consistency has been virtually nonexistent for the Washington women’s basketball team, which has alternated wins and losses all season.
First-year coach Jody Wynn has changed the starting lineup in six of seven games, including Sunday’s 93-67 nonconference victory over Portland.
The 26-point blowout — the most lopsided win of the season for the Huskies (4-3) who won consecutive games for the first time this season — proved to be a blueprint of the schemes Wynn is trying to implement. http://dcsmostfabulous.com
Washington’s trapping defense collected nine steals and forced 26 turnovers, which led to 29 points.
The Huskies had more rebounds (43-29), assists (25-13), points in the paint (46-34) and points off the bench (50-27) than the Pilots.
A school-record seven UW players scored in double figures while everyone who played logged a minimum of 11 minutes and finished with at least two points in a season-high scoring display for the Huskies.
“We tell them that on any given night it could be somebody else,” Wynn said. “Somebody could be our leading scorer. We don’t really talk about who’s scoring and who’s not.
“But to have seven players in double figures and to share the ball as well as we did tonight and play unselfishly. We could have had kids take shots, but they made that extra pass wide open to another teammate and that’s beautiful basketball.”
The Huskies have made considerable progress since a season-opening 79-59 defeat against Idaho State. Their only other losses have been against No. 2 Texas and No. 9 Ohio State.
Wynn, who sometimes substitutes five players at a time, relies on a balanced offensive attack in which five players have led Washington in scoring this season.
Amber Melgoza (14 points) and Mai-Loni Henson (14 points and 10 rebounds) led the way Sunday in front of 1,410 at Alaska Airlines.
But the sum was far greater than the parts for UW, which received 12 points from Kierra Collier, Alexis Griggsby and Missy Peterson. Jenna Moser added 11 points, seven assists and six rebounds while Khayla Rooks finished with 10 points.
“It’s just being ready at all times,” Henson said. “It could change every night. Some person could be feeling the hot hand at any given point. We’re going to be there for each other and rely on each other.”
Washington dashed out to a 22-16 lead after the first period and were ahead 39-29 at halftime.
The Huskies put the game away in the third period when they outscored the Pilots 32-19. Washington sank 6 of 9 three-pointers in the period, including two each from Griggsby and Rooks.
“It was close at halftime, but when we came out we knew that we needed to work a little harder and be a little better,” Melgoza said. “We needed to do the extra things and we did. We were more poised.”
Washington led 39-33 with 9:03 left in the third and went up by 25 points (68-43) before taking a 71-48 lead into the fourth.
Portland (3-4), which received 18 points from guard Darian Slaga, never got closer than 21 points the rest of the way.
Washington converted 12 of 33 three-pointers and shot 49.4 percent from the floor. The Huskies travel to Boise State on Thursday, and they have four games remaining before their Dec. 29 Pac-12 opener at defending regular-season champion Oregon State.
“I don’t expect us to blow through the next few games,” Wynn said. “Every game is a different story. Every game presents its different and unique challenges, but I’m really happy with the unselfish style of basketball that we’re playing.