The #23-ranked Washington Huskies were unable to pull of the upset road victory of the #19-ranked Louisville Cardinal, falling 59-51.
For the game, Washington struggled shooting 36.5% from the field overall — the Huskies shot a mediocre 41.4% from two-point range (12 for 29); and shot a very average 30.4 % (7 for 23) from three-point range.
However, Washington did outscore Louisville 21-3 from three-point range.
Washington’s three-point defense held the Louisville offense to 16.7% from beyond the arc (1 for 6 shooting ).
The Cardinal did most of their scoring damage from midrange and in the lane — accounting for 50 of Louisville’s 59 points.
The Cardinal dominated the Huskies on the boards by grabbing 40 total rebounds versus only 26 rebounds by the Huskies.
Due, in large part, to the Huskies allowing Louisville’s 14 offensive rebounds and 17 second-chance points, the Cardinal also scored more points-in-the-paint than the Huskies, 34-18.
Although the turnover battle was even, with both teams committing 14 turnovers, the Cardinal capitalized by scoring more points-off-turnover than UW, 21-12.
The Louisville Cardinal jumped out to an early 10-2 lead in the first quarter, by pressuring the Huskies and forcing three UW turnovers early — and UW Coach Langley called a timeout to regroup.
The Huskies rallied to keep the game from getting away from them and actually tied the game at 10.
Although it did not show in the box score, freshman guard Sayvia Sellers was the key to Washington settling down and getting back in the game.
In her five minutes of play, Sellers repeatedly brought the ball up against Louisville pressure without turning the ball over.
Sellers ballhandling allowed the Huskies to get organized on offense and work for good shots, instead panicking against Louisville’s pressure defense.
Lauren Schwartz led the Huskies with 6 points; Chloe Briggs added 3 points; while Dalayah Daniels and Elle Ladine added 2 points each for the Dawgs.
UW tied the game, 13-13, at the end of the first quarter.
In the second period, freshman guard Sayvia Sellers again provided a much needed spark with 6 points from three-point range (2 for 3).
In fact, Washington made three 3-point baskets in the first five minutes of the second quarter to take a 24-21 lead.
Lauren Schwartz contributed 3 points; while Elle Ladine and Chloe Briggs added 2 points each.
However, the Cardinals responded with a 6-0 run to end the half with a 31-26 lead over the Huskies.
Ultimately, the Louisville Cardinal had their highest scoring quarter of the game outscoring the Washington Huskies, 18-13, in the 2nd period.
In the third quarter the Huskies offense stalled as the Huskies went scoreless from two-point range ( 0 for 4 attempts).
However, the Huskies struggling offense was saved (once again) by freshman Sayvia Sellers scoring 6 points from three-point range (2 for 3).
The only other Huskies to score in the period were Elle Ladine with a three-pointer and Dalayah Daniels with three free throws.
In the third period, the Cardinal edged Washington in scoring, 13-12.
Louisville led Washington, 44-38, heading into the fourth quarter.
The Washington Huskies had an offensive surge to start the fourth quarter that cut the lead to four points, 44-40.
Hannah Stines had a team-leading 7 points in the final period; Chloe Briggs contributed 3 points; while Lauren Schwartz and Sayvia Sellers added 2 points each.
Ultimately, the comeback attempt by the Huskies fell short as Washington was defeated, 59-51.
UW Player of the Game: Sayvia Sellers Sayvia Sellers had a huge positive impact for the Huskies scoring 12 points plus one steal in 23 minutes.
More importantly, Sayvia’s sure ballhandling and calm against significant ball pressure by Louisville, allowed the Huskies to stay in the game early when they were down 10-2.
If Sayvia Sellers can continue to grow her on-court leadership, it should make the Huskies’ chances significantly better against the tougher Pac-12 competition that lies ahead.
Next Up at California The Washington Huskies travel to face the California Golden Bears on Saturday, January 5th at 7PM Pacific.