The fourth-ranked Stanford women cruised to a 71-36 win over the University of Washington Thursday night at Hec Ed. But the Huskies lost the Pac-12 Conference hoops matchup Tuesday, when coach Kevin McGuff announced the one-game suspensions of two of his top players, Jazmine Davis (19.2 ppg), Talia Walton (13.9) and reserve Deborah Meeks.
They were suspended for violating a team rule during the Huskies road trip last weekend at Utah and Colorado.
McGuff told Gregg Bell of the school’s website, www.uwhuskies.com, the violation “wasn’t an extremely egregious situation.” The violation has not been announced, but did not involve alcohol, drugs or academic problems. Sources around the team speculated that curfew was missed on the first night of the trip.
Washington dropped both games, falling to the Utes 60-48 and the 20th-ranked Buffaloes 68-61.
McGuff said Davis and Walton will return to the starting lineup for the team’s regular-season finale at 2 p.m. Sunday against sixth-ranked California.
“The situation has been addressed,” McGuff said.
The suspension left the Huskies with seven players in uniform – two of which (Jeneva Anderson and Mathilde Gilling) were not averaging 10 minutes game. Stanford dressed 13. The undersized, understaffed Huskies shot a minuscule 17 percent from the field. With seven players at 6-foot-3 or taller, the Cardinal blocked 11 shots, nine in the first half.
Washington owned a 9-3 lead early before Stanford asserted itself with a 36-9 run to finish the half.
“They did all the things that make them great,” McGuff said.
Aminah Williams (10 points, 13 rebounds) was the lone Husky to find any offensive rhythm.
Washington (19-9, 11-6) still lacks a victory over a ranked opponent this season. Stanford (27-2, 15-1) owns a half-game lead over sixth-ranked California for first in the Pac-12.
Trailing Colorado by a half game for fourth place, Washington will likely be the five seed in the conference tournament that makes its first appearance Thursday at KeyArena with a four day run. The top four seeds earn a first-round bye.
To earn the No. 4 spot, the Huskies need to knock off California Saturday and will need the Buffaloes to drop their final two games against last-place Oregon and 11th-place Oregon State.
If the Huskies finish fifth, they will open against the 12th seed, currently Oregon, Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Oregon State is one game ahead of Oregon.
With a first-round win, Washington would likely play Colorado Friday in the quarterfinals.
In an effort to draw a large home crowd for the Huskies, Seattle Storm CEO Karen Bryant addressed the crowd during a timeout in the second half. Bryant said she wants to showcase the best that the community and conference has to offer.
“We want the Key to be packed,” Bryant told the crowd of just more than 1,900.
Bryant said all students will be given free bus rides, free meal vouchers and will have their names entered into a raffle for an iPad.
As for any concerns about the suspensions affecting the Huskies against California or in the tournament, McGuff stated it simply:
“I don’t think so, I think we will be ready to bounce back and move on.”