Updated Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Washington point guard Jazmine Davis laid on the Alaska Airlines Arena court knowing her ankle was sprained. She felt the shooting pain, but when trainers reached her with 7:31 remaining in the first half, she had one message:
"I'm not going to get back off the ground unless you say I can go back into the game," Davis said after the game with her right ankle heavily wrapped with ice.
Ignoring the injury, Davis scored 25 point including the game-winning layup with six seconds left as Washington beat Saint Mary's 70-68 in its season opener Friday before 1,567 fans. Davis, last year's Pac-12 freshman of the year, scored 14 points in the second half.
"I knew I was going to play," Davis said. "I was determined. It was a lot of pain. I've never rolled my ankle like that before. But it's all just mind over matter. It was my knowing that the team needs me and kind of getting past all of that."
Washington was down to eight players after freshman guard Heather Corral broke her right wrist in practice this week. She's not expected to return until December.
And Washington's shortcomings were magnified in the first 10 minutes. The Huskies fell behind 9-0 and 14-2 and didn't make their first goal until Kristi Kingma's three-pointer with 10:59 left in the half made it 18-9.
The Huskies, who have a lack of strength and height in the frontcourt, were also being outrebounded 18-9 during the first nine minutes.
"Unfortunately I'll see a sprinkled couple of minutes of bad basketball in the future, but hopefully not 10 minutes straight (again)," Washington coach Kevin McGuff said of the nightmarish start.
The Huskies rallied to trail 35-31 at halftime, and began to take command in the second half. They built an 11-point lead with 7:27 remaining in the game, but the Gaels used a 15-4 run to tie the score at 68 points apiece. The tying points came on a pair of free throws by Danielle Mauldin with 26 seconds remaining.
After Davis put the Huskies ahead, Washington sophomore guard Mercedes Wetmore, who's 5 feet 8, played solid defense on the 6-1 Jackie Nared, forcing a missed three-pointer just before the buzzer.
Nared led the Gaels (0-1) with 25 points and 17 rebounds.
Washington (1-0) began its second year under McGuff knowing it would lack size after losing posts Regina Rogers and Mollie Williams to graduation. He even expected a slight step back in defense without lockdown defender Charmaine Barlow.
"It was really gritty of us to go out there with eight players and pull out a win," said Kingma, who had 15 points and five assists in her first game since missing all of last season with a knee injury. "We're young, and there's going to be a lot of nerves coming into the game.
"Once the first shots started to fall, everyone gets confidence in each other. And we don't have many players, so our chemistry has got to be tight."
|SAINT MARY'S 68|
Attendance: 1,567. Officials: Brenda Pantoja, Penny Davis, In'Fini Robinson, Joan Sather.