Dawgs Gets by Beavers in First Round 59-52, Face Red-Hot Cardinal

Mar 12, 2010, 1:07 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 11:20 am

(Husky Game Story Courtesy of Jason McCleary)

In their first game of the Pac-10 (actually 9) tournament, Washington came out playing some of their worst basketball of the year in the first half. They just couldn’t get anything to drop and forced turnovers, looking like a team that was playing one on one basketball. The Beavers took advantage of the Huskies, holding the Dawgs to a season 2nd worst low of 22 first half points, but the Dawgs fought their way back to a 59-52 win. UW will face Stanford tonight at 8:30 PM (PST) who upset 2nd place ASU in a game in which the Cardinal jumped out ahead and never looked back.

Isaiah Thomas led the Dawgs with 15 points, followed by Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Elston Turner with 10 a piece. Quincy Pondexter, who is still suffering from the flu, chipped in 9. Justin Holiday led the Dawgs on the boards with 5 and Washington was not impressive on the glass overall as they are known to be, especially in the 1st half.

For a team that had something to be playing for, the Dawgs came out very sluggish in the first half. Oregon State’s tightly packed zone defense caused the Huskies problem. Husky Coach Lorenzo Romar all but admitted that the Beavers dictated the style of game and only when the Dawgs were able to step up their execution did they have any success in breaking that grip.

“It became clear that they were going to pack it in all night and make us shoot threes. They got in an offensive rhythm. We did a much better job in the second half of using the clock to move the ball.”

The Beavers shot well in the half as well as being determined on defense. Washington went 8 min without a FG and 10 min with only 2 FG’s during the half. Oregon State came out efficiently mixing up 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones, forcing the Huskies into horrible shot selection and costly turnovers.

Husky leading scorers Isaiah and Quincy combined for 6 points in the half and struggled in finding their shots. Turning the ball over and just looking real off, the Dawgs dug them selves into a double figure hole. Oregon State ran their offense thru big man point center Roeland Schaftenaar (who led all scorers with 17 points) running backdoor cuts for the Oregon State guards or knocking down threes, two in a row from Schaftenaar himself and two from surprise starter six-foot-ten freshman Angus Brandt.

Matthew, who had been playing well as of late and has been a huge key to the Dawgs winning 10 of their last 12 games, struggled in the half with 0 points. Turner co-led (along with Thomas) the team in the half with 5 points and was probably most responsible for things getting too out of hand early. The pesky defense that the Huskies usually bring didn’t show up, as the half ended 31-22 in favor of the Beavers.

The second half was a whole complete different story for the Huskies. They decided to play Husky basketball and both Pondexter and Thomas, as well as MBA stepped their games up. Quincy said that at halftime the team collected themselves and realized the seriousness of the situation.

“At halftime we came together collectively. We wanted to come out and get that win. We were focused and turned up the intensity on the defensive end. We cleaned stuff up and took care of business in the second half.”

Defense was the key and allowed the Dawgs open things up and run the court. All Pac-10 defensive players Venoy Overton and Holiday put the pressure on the Beavers when the Huskies came out of the break with full court pressure.

Chopping down at the lead, Pondexter and Thomas starting hitting their shots and team ball and hustle were displayed to the Husky faithful in attendance as the Dawgs made their comeback. “IT” hit 2 threes along with another Turner three to take the lead, coming back from a 13 point deficit.

One play that stood out was when Beaver senior guard Josh Tarver missed a breakaway dunk, which a few Dawgs noted later gave them encouragement that the Huskies energy had given them a psychological advantage. OSU Coach Craig Robinson, who is 0-5 vs. the Dawgs disagreed that the play meant that much in the long run.

“One play does not define a game. It’s a shame he missed that dunk but they didn’t win by two the won by seven. It was a lot of plays. That missed dunk was not why we lost the game.”

Once the Dawgs took the lead, they didn’t look back. The big key to the comeback was Isaiah Thomas. Thomas carried the no quit attitude in the second half. Hitting key shots and playing with composure, Thomas was no doubt the player of the game, but Turner hit some key shots as well. Coach Romar had the team playing a whole different game in the second half. The Dawgs need to play the way they did in the second half against a tough Stanford team who upset Arizona State and can certainly do the same to Washington.

If the Dawgs can play how they did in the second half of this game. They have a great chance of getting another at-large berth in the “Big dance”. The key is defense and being consistent with their energy. When they do that, the great offense the Huskies can display when they are all on the same page just seems to happen, as if by magic.

Key Observations

Abdul Gaddy didn’t have a horrible looking stat line, but he didn’t play much. In the first minute in the second half, Gaddy had a couple turnovers. Romar immediately took him out.

MBA looked like the old MBA early, but like the rest of the Husky team, turned it around at half-time. He hit a couple of close in shots near the end of the 1st half that helped the half-time deficit from being too high, but before that looked as if he was completely out of the action.

Thomas put the team on his back in the second scoring the majority of his points in the half.

Pondexter is 37 points short of Todd McCulloch in 4th place on the All-Time Husky scoring list.

The 9-point deficit at the half was the largest halftime deficit UW overcame to win a game this season.

Freshman guard Jared Cunningham finished with 15 points. OSU should be better next year, despite losing Josh and Seth Tarver, Schaftenaar and reserve post Calvin Hampton. They bring in a great “go-to-guy” in Roberto Nelson, plus a potential All Pac-10 freshman forward in Devon Collier and another (the other being Jerome Randle) great small player from Chicago in Ahmad Starks.

Stanford comes into the game with Washington playing loose, but confident after their win over ASU. The game could be a very tough loss for the Huskies if Quincy cannot rise up to the challenge that Landry Fields will likely pose.

Husky Recruiting Corner

2011 guard recruit A.J. Price of Texas is listing Washington as one of his favorites.

Pac-10 Tourney Round Up

UCLA beat ‘Zona 75-69 to end the ‘Cats record breaking streak of NCAA Tournament appearances at 25.

Freshman Reeves Nelson led the way for the Bruins with game highs of 19 points and 10 boards. Seniors Nikola Dragovic and Michael Roll each scored 18. For the ‘Cats it was senior Nic Wise with 16, followed by freshman Derrick Williams with 14 and sophomore Kyle Fogg with 10. UCLA won it by sharing the ball as it led ‘Zona 17-8 in assists. UCLA will face 1st place Cal in the Pac-10 semi-final tonight at 6 PM (PST).

According to a report in the LA Times, Tyler Honeycutt’s mother Lisa Stazel says that her son is complaining behind the scenes about the way he is being utilized in the Bruin system.

“He has been frustrated. He feels he can contribute more offensively. He would really like for Ben [Howland, UCLA’s coach] to cut him loose a little more on offense.”

This could spell trouble for UCLA, who will very possibly lose Malcolm Lee to the draft after the year, as well as three productive seniors. Honeycutt is certainly an NBA prospect and probably could leave UCLA this year if he wanted to.

Cal took out Oregon 90-74 in what should be the last game of the Ernie Kent era of Oregon Basketball.

Senior Jerome Randle went for 22 to lead the Bears, followed by senior Patrick Christopher with 21, senior Jamal Boykin with 15 and sophomore Omondi Amoke with 12. Senior Tajuan Porter led all scorers with 26 points, followed by junior LeKendric Longmire with 16 and sophomore Malcolm Armstead with 10. Porter set the all-time career Pac-10 record for three-pointers made.

Stanford upset ASU 70-61 to set up a semi-final showdown with Washington. Jeremy Green led all scorers with 18 points, followed by Landry Fields with 17. Fields awesome performance was minimized by 6 turnovers and 4-11 from the free throw line. Senior Emmanuel Igbinosa came off the bench for an important 12 for Stanford who led from the first few minutes on.

The Sun Devils got 15 from junior Rihards Kuksiks, 14 from senior Derek Glasser, 13 from senior Eric Boateng and 10 from junior Ty Abbott. ASU finishes 22-10 with a 12-7 mark in Pac-10 play, usually a high enough mark to be assured of an at-large invite to the dance, but most analyst feel that they are on the outside of the bubble going into selection Sunday.

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Dawgs Gets by Beavers in First Round 59-52, Face Red-Hot Cardinal