Huskies Beat OSU 82-70 to Finish Regular Season 21-9

Mar 8, 2010, 1:36 AM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 11:20 am

Washington finished its regular season with an 82-70 win over Oregon State at Corvallis on Saturday night. The Dawgs finished the Pac-10 season at 11-7, all alone in 3rd place and will face the Beavers on Thursday in the conference tourney at 6PM (PST). The Huskies finished a strange Pac-10 season with a normally respectable road record of 4-5 and an RPI of 49.

They have a quality non-conference win over Texas A+M, who have an RPI of 12. No Pac-10 team has ever been denied an NCAA tourney invite with 21 overall wins and an 11-7 conference record.

All that said ESPN’s Andy Katz went as far as to say that should the Dawgs beat OSU on Thursday and then face ASU in the 2nd round, should the Sun Devils beat Stanford for the 3rd time this season that may still not be enough for Washington to receive an at-large bid.

“ASU and Washington are heading for a showdown in the semifinals of the Pac-10 tourney. Loser is out, winner has a pulse.”

This is crazy. ESPN are so focused on trying to sell the idea that the Pac-10 is so bad that they are in over their heads. Joe Lunardi of ESPN is still saying that Washington is on the outside of the bubble and holding on to ASU as the one Pac-10 team besides Cal that gets in. Does that have anything to do with the fact that this guy picked ASU to be a surprise this year? I give Joe credit for being right about that, but I do not believe that he has been watching the Huskies play basketball.

This Husky team is a great story waiting to happen if they can keep up the steady rate that they have been improving and focusing on the tasks at hand. Matthew Bryan-Amaning has been doing a great job for UW and he and Quincy Pondexter are a formidable D1 front court that could really catch fire in March. Quincy has got to be the Pac-10 Player of the Week after averaging 26 points per game in two road wins.

That would a record 5th league POW award, but there are actually respected basketball people like leftcoastbias.com and Yahoo’s Jason King that feel that he should not be awarded conference Player of the Year.

Quincy seems to have the team’s goals first in his mind, which is very healthy and shows strong leadership.

“At the end of the day I don’t care if I’m the Pac-10 player of the year or anything like that. I just want my team to be as successful as possible.”

As far as Matt, Romar recognized the incredible importance of the junior post’s improved play.

“What he’s done for our team this year is nothing short of phenomenal.”

The Dawgs are playing great right now. In this video highlights reel, for those of you who missed the game on TV, UW truly controlled on the road an Oregon State team that almost beat them at home in early January and handled Cal in Corvallis on February 18th 80-64.

Matt had 20 points and 11 boards to lead the Dawgs, while Quincy scored 18 after his dominating 34 point clinic in Eugene on Thursday. Isaiah Thomas, a 2nd Husky All Pac-10 1st team candidate besides Pondexter scored 19 plus 5 assists and Venoy Overton added 11 on 3-3 from behind the arc.

Justin Holiday is the underrated key to the UW teams’ success over the last 11 games in which they are 9-2 and have won 4 in a row. Holiday didn’t have a very good shooting night, but had 4 assists, 2 steals and was as usual the leader on defense and able to throw his defensive assignments way off their paces.

Oregon State is not a bad team right now. The Beavers were themselves on a two game winning streak over USC and WSU. Center Joe Burton, who is shaping up to be one of the 3-4 best post players in the conference in just his freshman year has been very impressive to go with the senior “point center” Roeland Schaftenaar, who led the Beavers on Saturday with 15 points. Burton scored 10 with 5 rebounds, but was forced into 5 turnovers by the crafty Huskies.

Seth Tarver, who is as much of a lock to be Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year as Quincy is POY led OSU on the boards with 7, but was held down effectively by the Dawgs on offense as he scored only 7. Calvin Haynes added 13, but was really limited, only getting 8 shot attempts.

Husky Head Coach Lorenzo Romar was pleased with the outcome of the game.

“Thirty field goals with 18 assists and seven turnovers, it makes us feel pretty good about our effort on the offensive end because we were so concerned with their 1-3-1 trap.”

Romar smartly recognized though that nothing matters without another win the next time around.

“This game means nothing now. It’s a whole new day on Thursday.”

The Huskies are just playing better than they were earlier in the year and Matt and Justin have made the biggest difference. Venoy has kept his train rolling, as it was even when the rest of the team looked lost during some of the teams darker moments like the 17 point loss at USC, while Quincy and IT have only gotten better in all aspects of their games.

Tyreese Breshers kicked in 6 boards in 10 minutes, while Elston Turner hit a three to follow up his 11 point performance against the Ducks on Thursday. The Huskies have an impressive 9-man rotation with those seven plus Scott Suggs and Darnell Gant who have also come up big during the last 11 games.

Despite the optimism that Dawg fans have to be feeling after a win like Saturday’s, Craig Robinson brought up a very good point.

“There are adjustments that can be made. We hadn’t seen each other in two months. There are some things that I could see just as the game was going on that we can do differently that might help us. I’m sure (Romar) saw the same thing. That’s why playing somebody a third time is always hard.”

Robinson also had to admit that the Dawgs are a pretty good team right now though.

“That team is very talented, very athletic, and they’re playing very well at the right time.”

He’s right on both accounts and that is why Washington has plenty of work to do to get ready for Thursday’s game which could literally ruin all of the great progress that they have made over the last few month or so and waste a chance to show the nation what they can do.

Fading Cougs End Regular Season with Yet another Tough Loss

(Cougar Game Story Courtesy of Heath Harshman)

It’s going to be tough. The Cougar 74-66 loss to Oregon yesterday in the last Pac-10 game scheduled at McArthur Court puts them in sole possession of the 9th seed (out of 9 teams because of USC’s self-imposed ban from post season play) for the conference tournament.

WSU will now play Oregon again on Wednesday at 5pm PST and it will be televised on FSN.

The remedy for defeat Thursday was more of the same from WSU, missing shots. The Cougs were under 40% from the field for the fifth straight game as they went 20-56 (35.7%) shooting from the field and a putrid 8-29 from three point range.

Klay Thompson was the leading scorer for WSU, putting up 22 points, but was a weak 7-22 shooting and 4-14 from beyond the arc. Despite the poor shooting, it was nice to see Thompson get back over that 20 point threshold; Thursday’s game was the first time he’d reached that plateau in three weeks.

Sophomore DeAngelo Casto, who has been playing the best ball of his short career in the last few weeks, continued his hot play scoring 16 on 5-8 shooting while also snagging 10 rebounds. Casto has scored in the double-digits in seven of the last eight games for WSU and his hot play has been needed with the sudden drop off of guards Reggie Moore and Klay Thompson. It was also Casto’s third double-double in that hot eight game stretch.

Moore kept up with his previous outings in the second half of conference play, scoring just seven points on 2-7 shooting from the field and 0-3 from three point range. Despite the poor shooting, Moore dished out six assists; his most since the January 16th win over Stanford.

The Cougs go into the conference tourney, their last gasp at any post-season basketball, on a bad run, losing nine of their last 11 games and have failed to win back-to-back games since mid-January. That will have to change if the Cougs want to continue playing into late March.

WSU will have to win their next four games, the first of which against UO Wednesday night. Their reward for a first round victory: an 11:30am match up with regular season conference champion Cal the next day. WSU, being the 10th seed, will have arguably the toughest road throughout the tournament and many things will have to change in order for WSU to have a shot at giving some madness to their march.

Kent Rumors Rampant

KVAL in Eugene, claiming confirmation by “sources”, have reported that Ernie Kent will be fired as the Head Coach of the Ducks. There have been no public confirmations of this by Kent or anyone in the Oregon athletic department or basketball program. At the team banquet, the players instead stood firmly behind the head man and Kent himself predicted that Oregon would win the Pac-10 tournament.

I have a hard time believing that Oregon AD Mike Bellotti would fire Ernie if he were to win the tourney and gain the automatic NCAA Tournament bid and believe it or not I would not be all that surprised if they did it. Unfortunately for Kent, that is rather unlikely and though I like it as a long shot flyer, not likely to happen and we should be seeing the last of Ernie on the Duck bench after next week.

Meanwhile, as if on cue, William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley has joined the ranks of the sports agent community. Wesley has been rumored countless times to have been connected to Nike, LeBron James, John Calipari at both Kentucky and Memphis and Ernie’s Oregon program, while being one of the biggest behind the scenes dealmakers in the NBA.

Wesley is arguably, along with Sonny Vaccaro, the most mysterious, notorious and at the same time infamous figure in basketball and it should be interesting to see how things turn out with and for him in the above board side of the professional basketball world.

It will also be interesting to see how this affects the college game and the fate of Calipari at Kentucky (who landed the top recruiting class in the nation this year some would say with a great deal of help from “Worldwide”).

Seattle U Beats Utah Valley State, Awaits Selection Committees

The Redhawks bested the Wolverines 74-64 to end the regular season 17-14. Cervante Burrell led all scorers while matching a season high with 18 points while Alex Jones came off the bench for 13 in the impressive road win. Chuck Garcia was slowed by foul trouble and scored 8 points in 12 minutes. Now Seattle U must wait for the NIT, CBI and CIT tournament committees, who will select their fields of 32, 16 and 16 respectively after the NCAA make their selections next Sunday.

Zags in WCC Final

Gonzaga will face St. Mary’s in the WCC Tournament Final on Monday at 6:30PM (PST). To reach the finals the Zags beat the Lions 77-62 in Las Vegas NV on Sunday night. Steven Gray led the way with 18 points and 7 assists despite a sustaining a severe banged elbow and a hand injury over the course of the win. Elias Harris followed for GU with 16 points and senior leader Matt Bouldin contributed 12 in a game that was in control for the Zags most of the way.

Bol Kong scored 9 off the bench and Mangisto Arop led GU on the boards with 8. Former Oregon Duck Drew Viney led LMU with 15 points and 8 rebounds. St Mary’s by beating the Portland Pilots in the semi-finals will likely receive an at large bid regardless of the outcome of the game on Monday.

Pac-10 Round Up

Cal won the Pac-10 title out right by beating Stanford 71-61 in Palo Alto CA on Saturday. Patrick Christopher was the star performer for the Bears with 23 points and Jamal Boykin kicked in 13. Jerome Randle, despite playing 40 minutes in the win, scored only 11 points, but he delivered 5 assists. Key defensive ace Jorge Gutierrez sprained his left ankle midway through the second half and did not return. The sprain was confirmed by Cal Head Coach Mike Montgomery after the game. Cal will meet the winner of the play in game between WSU and Oregon on Thursday at 2:30 PM (PST).

‘Zona beat USC in a controversial double overtime contest in Tucson on Saturday. Sophomore Kyle Fogg and freshman Derrick Williams led the way for the ‘Cats with 18 points a piece. Junior Jamelle Horne scored 16, while Nic Wise finished his career in Tucson on senior day with 15. Freshman forward Solomon Hill added on 12. For USC in its last game of the season it was senior guards Dwight Lewis and Mike Gerrity with 21 and 16 points respectively, junior Alex Stepheson with 14 and senior Marcus Johnson with 13.

The game was marred by bad sportsmanship combined with arguably poor officiating that allowed Arizona to grab victory from the jaws of defeat, unfairly in the eyes of USC Head Coach and former Arizona Head Coach Kevin O’Neill. Fogg was fouled and sent to the line for three shots with ‘Zona down 69-66 in regulation. The foul on sophomore forward Nikola Vucevic, looked as if it should have been a no call, but came on a desperate shot at the buzzer that had no prayer.

Fogg calmly hit all three shots and ‘Zona went on to win, but O’Neill failed to shake hands and congratulate his former players, only curtly shaking the hand of ‘Zona 1st year coach Sean Miller. It was certainly no way to bury any hard feelings that may exist between O’Neill and the fans at McKale Court. The ‘Cats will face UCLA on Thursday in the 1st round of the Pac-10 Tournament at 12 noon (PST).

ASU beat UCLA 56-46 to clinch 2nd place in the Pac-10. Eric Boateng had a monster game with 16 points and 14 boards in the win. Senior Nikola Dragovic and sophomore Malcolm Lee each scored 15 for the Bruins but neither player shot the ball well, combining for 10-28 from the floor. Tyler Honeycutt scored 10 for UCLA, but the rest of the Bruins only added 6, shooting under 33% from the field as a team. ASU will face Stanford on Thursday in the Pac-10 Tourney at 8:30PM.

The Pac-10 bracket was published by the official site.

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Huskies Beat OSU 82-70 to Finish Regular Season 21-9