Washington women’s basketball (17-14, 7-11 Pac-12) is headed to the Super 16 after defeating New Mexico (21-13, 12-6 Mountain West) 67-56 in the Second Round of the WNIT on Sunday night in Alaska Airlines Arena.
“Throughout this year, all of these young women have stepped up in big moments and had great contributions to this team,” head coach Tina Langley said.
Washington got off to a hot start, shooting 56% from the field in the first quarter while holding New Mexico to 19%. Trinity Oliver scored the first points of the game, finishing with eight points and nine rebounds.
It was a battle in the fourth quarter, and the energy on the floor and in the stands was electric. A steal from Oliver lead to a jumper from Elle Ladine to tie the game. A back-and-forth fight ensued, and then the Huskies got hot and couldn’t be stopped, shooting 83% (75% from three) in the fourth quarter.
“It’s amazing to see the fans show out for a game like this. The WNIT is a big deal,” Lauren Schwartz said. “You just want to keep playing and you don’t want it ever to end.”
Washington out-rebounded New Mexico 41-26. The Husky defense held New Mexico to below their average season field goal percentage (37%), and the 56 points scored by the Lobos was their fewest all season. Meanwhile, UW’s field goal percentage (42%) was higher than what UNM’s defense had been allowing opponents this season.
In the win, Langley recorded her 150th career win as a head coach.
The Huskies will play the winner of the Wyoming-Kansas State game and will learn the game day, time, and location after the conclusion of that game. The Super 16 takes place March 22-24.
“We’re so grateful to be in the tournament,” Langley said. “This is a really competitive field and we’re growing tremendously from the experience.”