The Washington Huskies women’s basketball team dispatched of Pac 12 rival Stanford 85 to 76 Sunday morning in Lexington, Kentucky for the second time this season to earn a Final Four berth for the first time in team history.
To say the fairy tale continues would be down right disrespectful of the Lady Dogs march to destiny. Technically a fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features European folkloric fantasy characters, such as dwarves, elves, fairies, giants, gnomes, goblins, mermaids, trolls, or witches, and usually magic or enchantments.
Well let me tell you my friend, the Lady Dogs march to the Final is has nothing to do with , fantasy, trolls, witches or enchantments. It’s about a group of individuals who set out on a unified mission, believed in each other and tackled the task at hand one by one methodically and systemically.
“So I’m not surprised at the way we’ve done it. I’m surprised with maybe the manner in which a lot of people have said, wow, y’all are fun to watch or, man, you made it look easy. Certainly it’s not felt easy, Husky head coach Mike Neighbors said of the teams improbable run.
How improbable is Washington’s run? After knocking out Penn in the first round to win their first NCAA tournament game since 2006, the Huskies upset No. 5 Maryland 74-65, in Maryland then dispatched of No.12 Kentucky 85-72 in Lexington of course, then No. 13 Stanford. The Huskies became the fourth team to reach the Final Four with 10 losses. The seventh-seeded HuskiesI 26-10) became the lowest seeded team to advance to the women’s Final Four since Minnesota did it in 2004.
What makes the Lady Dogs march to the final four is that they beat each of the favored teams by imposing their will on each of the opponents. All American guard Kelsey Plum led the Huskies this season with 26.6 point a game and set the Pac-12 record for free throws made and is currently just 24 points from the conference record for points. She also became the fastest player in Pac-12 history to 2,000 career points, doing it in 88 games.
In addition to Plum Washington has several contributors, 6-foot-2 Junior Chantel Osahor, she of the Sam Perkins top of the key flick three point shot, was part post scorer, rebounder and interior defender, all year and during the post season she was named the Most Outstanding Player in the regional after averaging 21.5 points, 17.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
Add in the clutch inside and outside shooting touch of Senior forward Talia Walton, you begin to understand that Washington is a hard nosed defensive playing team with multiple scorers who beat you by scoring from inside and outside of the key.
The Dawgs will take on No. 4 Syracuse in the National Semifinal on Sunday, April 3, in Indianapolis.