SEATTLE -- Cold shooting plagued the night, but the Dawgs found a way and advanced to the second round of the WNIT. Washington needed to overtimes, but earned a 65-60 win over Eastern Washington on Friday night at Alaska Airlines Arena.
The Dawgs struggled all night shooting the ball, particularly from 3-point range, finishing just 5-36 (13.9%) for the game. However, Washington's defense stifled Eastern all night, forcing 23 turnovers and holdsin the Eagles to just 35.8 percent shooting.
"I thought we played, for the most part, pretty hard," said head coach Kevin McGuff. "We just didn't make any shots. I liked the shots we got, they just didn't go in. I thought both teams played hard. It was a competitive, well-played game."
Washington led 31-23 at the half and by as many as 10 with 9:15 remaining in regulation. To the credit of Eastern Washington, the Eagles fought back, using a 13-0 run to take a 46-43 lead with 3:47 to play.
Washington was 0-15 from 3-point range in the second half, but pulled within one on a Talia Walton offensive rebound and putback. She finished with a double-double, 10 points and a career-best 14 rebounds.
The Dawgs then took a one point lead when Jazmine Davis got to the line and made a pair of free throws. Eastern tied it back up with a free throw of their own and then took the lead with a jumper with 1:06 to play.
Walton missed a jumper on the ensuing possession, but the Dawgs forced a shot-clock violation and had a chance to tie with 13 seconds left. Davis used a strong right-hand dribble to get in the lane and finished with a bank shot over two defenders. The hoop tied the score at 49 all and send the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, Davis and Kristi Kingma made short jumpers, but neither team was able to pull away. In the final minute, Washington was forced to make three-straight stops after Eastern grabbed a pair of offensive rebounds. The defense held up and the two teams played on tied 53-53.
Finally, after missing 18-straight 3-pointers as a team, Kingma opened the second overtime with a 3-ball and UW took a three-point lead. Kingma finished with 13 points, none bigger than her only three that seemed to give Washington the momentum.
"Kristi's three was huge," said Davis. "I think I let out a big sigh of relief when that went in."
After Eastern pulled within one, Davis extended the lead to four with a three of her own. Eastern continued to claw, getting within one again, but Davis iced the game when she found Aminah Williams with a perfect bounce pass for a layup. Williams finished with nine points, 14 rebounds and four steals. Williams now has 344 rebounds for the year, which is second all-time for a single season.
Davis made two free throws with eight seconds left to finish with 22 and Washington escaped with a 65-60 victory.
Washington outrebounded Eastern, 52-51, including 25 on the offensive glass.
"I thought that the difference in the game was that for as many shots that we missed, we were really good on the offensive boards in the second half," said McGuff. "You can't always control whether shots go in or not, but you can control how hard you play on the offensive boards."
The Dawgs will now face Pacific who defeated Arkansas-Little Rock in the first round of the WNIT. The Tigers will come to Alaska Airlines Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m.