Where Regina Rogers is there is usually a crowd! Rogers is a graduate of Sealth High School.
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SLIDESHOW: West Seattleites Williams and Rogers stand out on the UW women's squad
Utah rematch up next for Husky women
The University of Washington women's basketball teams is hosting Pac-12 rival Utah Sunday at noon in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament at Edmundson Pavillion.
The Huskies (18-13) are looking to avenge a heartbreaking 49-36 overtime loss to the Utes earlier this season. UW had a five-point lead with 1:32 remaining in a hotly contested defensive struggle before Utah (16-15) came back to tie it at 32-all on a three-pointer by senior guard Janita Badon. The Utes converted 10-of-12 free throws in overtime to win it going away.
"Since we lost in overtime, we definitely will go out and play tough," said UW freshman guard/forward Aminah Williams, a Kennedy graduate who lives in West Seattle. "We all took that personally."
The Utes are led by two Canadians, both sophomore forwards, 6-foot-4 Michelle Plouffe (14.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and 6-foot-3 Taryn Wicijowski. (13.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg). Plouffe has a team-leading 44 blocks and Wicijowski 41. Baden, the Utes' fourth all-time assists leader, has 44 steals on a team that holds opponents to 55.9 points a game.
Six-foot-3 senior forward Regina Rogers leads the Huskies, scoring 16.7 ppg and 8.0 rpg. She has hit an impressive 61 percent of her shots from the field.
Rogers, a Chief Sealth product like 5-foot-10 senior forward Charmaine Barlow, is the daughter of former Husky basketball and football player Reggie Rogers. Rogers, who was a first-round draft choice in the NFL, played for the Detroit Lions. She also has two uncles who were notable athletes: former Husky basketball player Chester "Chet the Jet" Dorsey and former UCLA All-American defensive back Don Rogers.
Regina Rogers is also looking forward to playing Utah.
"I definitely want to play them again," said Rogers. "I didn't get to play them. I sat out the second half."
Rogers powered her way to 27 points and 14 rebounds for a double double Wednesday as the Huskies opened the tournament with a 90-71 victory over Cal Poly at Edmundson Pavilion -- which is now also known as Alaska Airlines Arena.
She accomplished all of that while playing defense against Cal Poly Mustangs star forward Kristina Santiago, who still scored a game-high 28 points in the end.
"The coaches told me she moves a lot," Rogers said. "My job was to make it tough for her and get back to score."
While Santiago, the only starting forward among four guards, is the center of the Mustangs' offense, much of the UW's offensive punch revolves around Rogers, who added two blocks and two assists.
"Our first look is to see Regina," said Huskies guard Jazmine Davis, who hails from San Jose, Calif. and backed Rogers up with 25 points Wednesday. "We want to feed it to her. She makes it happen with her positioning."
Husky head coach Kevin McGuff was impressed with the performance of Rogers and Davis.
"They were both terrific when they got going," McGuff said. "They played really hard the second half like I knew they would."
Williams had her first double double Wednesday, scoring 12 points and picking 10 rebounds off the glass. She also had one steal.
"I also help out rebounding, and I was able to help out with that today," Williams said.
Williams has worked to adjust to the new environment of college basketball after her graduation from Kennedy.
"It's been at first a rough transition," said Williams, who stands at 6-foot even. "Through the season I've adjusted well for college basketball."
Rogers liked the fact the Huskies were able to open the tournament at home, even though they only played in front of a crowd of 809.
"It's always good to play at home," she said. "I was able to play in front of my family."
Rogers is enjoying the chance to play postseason ball, but feels it's even more important for younger players like Williams.
"For these guys, I think it means more to come," Rogers said. "For me as a senior, I do not have any more years to keep going."
--Bob Sims also contributed to this report.
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