In Kingma's return, Huskies pummel Concordia - Kristi Kingma filled up the stat sheet in her first game back from a torn ACL, finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Photo by Joshua Bessex
Kristi Kingma walked onto the court in Alaska Airlines Arena last night and entered what she called “la-la land.” She wore a black knee brace and a smile while she lived out what she had dreamed about for more than a year — since Sept. 10, 2011, when she had surgery to repair her torn ACL.
Although her return to the court didn’t produce the statistical night she was hoping for, Kingma’s Huskies blew out Concordia in an exhibition game Tuesday night, 92-46.
After starting the evening two-for-nine from the floor and with four points in the first half, Kingma finished with a double-double, scoring 15 points on five-for-20 shooting — thanks to three second-half 3-pointers — to go along with 12 rebounds.
“I’ve been pretty rusty,” Kingma said of her slow shooting start. “I knew I wasn’t going to come back in the same form as I was before I tore my ACL. The offense is designed to shoot a lot of threes, so I think I have to have a better mentality of not getting down and wanting to shoot.”
The Huskies were led by sophomore Jazmine Davis, who scored 19 points to lead all scorers, and sophomore Aminah Williams, who finished with 18 points and 20 rebounds in 28 minutes.
Davis returns this season to handle head coach Kevin McGuff’s high-octane offense after taking home Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors last year, and the coach liked what he saw Tuesday night on the offensive side of the ball.
“I think overall we played with great pace,” McGuff said. “I think we got a lot of shots, and I will be happy if we get those types of shots throughout the year.”
The UW finished 34-for-94 from the field, good for 36.2 percent. The 94 shot attempts were close to two times the UW’s average from last season (56.8 shots per game) and were a direct outcome of the UW’s new offensive scheme that is even faster than last year’s version — and, so far, is quite popular with Davis.
“I think it’s fun when you play fast,” Davis said. “You score baskets. You get a lot more open shots when it’s faster because you catch a lot of teams slacking on defense, and you keep pushing it to them over and over again. They have no choice to collapse over and give us the buckets.”
Despite an overall successful night on offense, McGuff wasn’t impressed with his team’s defense. Not even 31 forced turnovers and 18 steals from the Huskies were enough to impress their coach.
“Defensively, I think we need a lot of work,” McGuff said. “At times we didn’t play with a lot of energy at that end of the floor. We have to make great improvements in that area.”
The Huskies still held the Cavaliers to 33.9 percent shooting from the field and 10.5 percent from beyond the arc.
With one exhibition game under its belt, the UW will open the regular season Nov. 9 at home against Saint Mary’s at 7 p.m.
Reach reporter Thuc Nhi Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @thucnhi21
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