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Pondexter and Thomas lead Dawgs over Cal 84-69

Jan 16, 2010, 7:56 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 11:20 am

Quincy Pondexter scored 21 points in the first half and Isaiah Thomas held Cal’s Jerome Randle to 0 points in a first half when the 84-69 Washington win over the Bears was decided. Quincy finished with 25 points, while Thomas finished with 20, while Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored 10 and led the Dawgs on the glass with 7 boards.

MBA had a nice game that should serve notice that he is not to be written off this year as a serviceable post player in the Pac-10. In the post game press conference Matt said that one key to his success is an increased focus on passing out of the post when the time is right.

“If you notice, I’m shooting probably a little bit higher percentage shots the last couple of games and just knowing when the kick out when the defense is collapsing on me.”

The Huskies saw their lead balloon to 30, as late as when they went up 82-52 on a Scott Suggs three point play with 5:53 to go tin the game. It really wasn’t close at all, though the Bears chipped away in the final minutes to bring the final score to a more respectable 15 point road loss. Bear Head Coach Mike Montgomery acknowledged that Washington may have (at least from the stand point of their on court demeanor) called the Dawgs off a bit.

“Statistics certainly don’t tell the story, because we got backed off.”

Pondexter’s effort was very much like his 27 point 10 rebound performance on Thursday against Stanford. Quincy just took over the game and left the dismal results in the desert last weekend a big more distant in the rear view mirror. Quincy got his points in the context of a stellar defensive effort and an offensive style based much more on sharing the ball than isolating its stars for scores. Quincy stated clearly after the game that his team was all about finding the open man and winning games, as opposed to individual stats.

“As long as the team and the Huskies score, we don’t care who gets the credit or the points or anything like that as long as we are coming out and shooting high percentage shots and playing together.”

Coach Lorenzo Romar was noticeably pleased with his teams overall play this weekend at home, as the Dawgs evened their league record to 3-3 while improving their season mark to 12-5. The Dawgs were able to mix in Quincy and Isaiah at their best (penetrating to create scores off contact and converting shots on the perimeter) while also astutely finding other players when teams pack it in on them, with solid heady performances by the team as a whole on defense.

“For our guys to come out and play the way that they did, I couldn’t be happier. This was one of our better weekends I think since we’ve been here in terms of our play.”

The big change this weekend was the addition of Justin Holiday to the starting line-up. Holiday’s presence adds a wise, patient supportive player to the offensive side of the ball. Holiday moves well without the ball and when the opposition loses sight of him he is adept at finding the right spot for him to get an easy look. On defense he turns the Dawgs into a much better team, capable of slowing down the opposition’s hot hand at the 1-4 spots on the court on most Pac-10 teams this season.

All of these factors were huge for Washington in these two important wins that put the Dawgs right back into the conference picture, but none were as important as the “IT” factor. Thomas was brilliant in defending both of the bay area schools big guns.

Against the Cardinal he silenced Jeremy Green, who had been devastating against the LA schools the week before and against Cal his defensive performance against Randle, who had scored 39 points in 40 minutes against the Cougs on Thursday was enough in my mind to make his the best weekend individually in the league more than likely.

Isaiah is a warrior and his statements (both on and off the court) that team comes first and that his commitment this week to stay for 4 years at UW are game changing for the UW program. Isaiah has a very good chance if he stays healthy to leave Washington as its all time scoring leader. Christian Welp was a 20-10 guy in his last two seasons, a rarity in the modern game. As a freshman and a sophomore Welp was a 15-7 type of scorer/rebounder.

Thomas is already way ahead of that scoring pace and with the way he is starting to defend and distribute the ball a few more distinctions could be his as well to add to his Husky legacy. His rebounding isn’t half bad either at five-foot-nine. Isaiah had 6 boards against the Bears to go with 7 assists against the Cardinal. He totaled 8 boards, 10 assists, 35 points, 4 steals for the weekend and more importantly of all held the big gun on the other team to dismal lows of 7 for Green and 5 for Randle, a few of those points in garbage time when Isaiah was not on them.

If Quincy is not the player of the week in the Pac-10, it had better be Thomas. Perhaps the league should award them both this week with a tie.

In the game the two teams played even until the 14:22 mark of the 1st half. At that point Washington put on a 24-6 run that separated the two teams for good. Washington and Cal played fairly even for the last 8 minutes of the 1st half and the first few minutes of the 2nd, but another run to build the UW lead to around the 30 mark ended the issue completely for Cal.

Husky Notes

With the win Romar moved past Tippy Dye into the 3rd spot in career coaching wins at Washington. Pondexter passed Justin Dentmon into the #13 spot in the UW career scoring list with his effort against Cal. Quincy stands 10 points behind Detlef Schrempf in the #12 spot, 28 points behind Brandon Roy in the #11 spot and 29 points behind Doug Smart to put himself in the top-10 all-time.

WSU Holds on Against Stanford in Pullman 77-73

Cougs beat Cardinals 77-73 despite Stanford whittling away a 17-point lead with 8 minutes to go all the way down to two with 15 seconds to play on a Jarrett Mann lay-up. Reggie Moore made both free throws to put the game away and the freshman point guard, who should definitely be considered for Pac-10 freshman of the year, finished the game with a strong close out of 7-8 from the line.

The Cougars were led by Klay Thompson with 27 points, though he was countered adequately by Stanford’s Jeremy Green with 24 points. Landry Fields scored 18 points, but the Cougs were able to get him and Green to shoot a tepid 15-38 from the field to slow them down enough to get the win.

The Cougs got a great balanced effort from the rest of the usual suspects as Marcus Capers and Nikola Koprivica each scored 10, while Moore (including his game saving performance) and Deangelo Casto each kicked in 9. Koprivica and Casto tied for the lead on the glass with 8 boards, while Moore led the Cougs with 6 assists.

Now the Cougs go to LA to face USC on Thursday night at 7:30 PM (PST), while the Cards will face OSU at home this Thursday at 7PM (PST).

Pac-10 Round Up

‘Zona beat the Ducks in Eugene 74-60. Derrick Williams once again led the ‘Cats with 20 points, as he did in a close loss to OSU in Corvallis on Thursday. Oregon has gone flat after bowing up pretty good with their humbling win over Washington in Seattle. These deep but young ‘Cats have played well, though they’ve lost three close ones to the Beavers, Trojans and the Cougs. They stand at 3-3 and have surpassed my expectations.

Williams (who led both teams on the glass with 13 boards) is a very mature post player and if he hasn’t peaked young, he could be one of the all-time greats down low for an Arizona program that is known for guards but has also seen some pretty nice big men come through. Nic Wise and Kyle Fogg added 19 points, wise especially noticeable from distance hitting 4-5 from behind the arc.

The Ducks were led by LeKendric Longmire off the bench with 18 points. LeKendric had the only double figure effort against ASU on Thursday, but this time he was joined by Malcolm Armstead with 16 and Michael Dunigan with 14 points.

The Ducks now travel to Cal for a 7:30 PM (PST) tip this Thursday, while the ‘Cats return home to face the red-hot Sun Devils next Saturday at 6:30 PM (PST) in a game that if they win it they will be assured of at least a tie for 1st place in the Pac-10.

The Sun Devils are the hottest team in the league, as they not only pummeled both Washington schools this past weekend in Tempe, but followed that up with a sweep of the Oregon schools on the road. Thursday they knocked off Oregon and Saturday they beat the Beavers 66-57 in Corvallis OR.

ASU sits at 4-2 all alone on top of the league with the win over OSU. Ty Abbott and Rihards Kuksiks were again the fire power for ASU with 21 and 15 points respectively, but it was the solid, tried and true defensive system that won the game for the Sun Devils.

Every time the Beavers threatened, ASU got a solid stop, a turnover or a bad shot out OSU and even a loud, supportive home crown could not save them. Calvin Haynes led the Beavs, followed by Lathen Wallace with 14. Roeland Schaftenaar kicked in 11, but on only 2-9 from the field, as the big center had a disappointing follow-up game from his 22 points on 8-12 against the ‘Cats.

Southern Cal punished UCLA in Pauley Pavilion 67-46, as Dwight Lewis scored 24 points. Lewis hit 5 threes and Nikola Vucevic added 19 with 8 boards. Mike Gerrity was held scoreless but also had 8 rebounds in the blow out. Marcus Johnson added 10 points and 7 boards while Alex Stepheson kicked in 9 in what was more of a defensive oriented win for the Trojans.

UCLA was held to 33% from the field and 16% from behind the arc, more because of solid defense than cold shooting. The Trojans, who shot 51% (including a blistering 46% from three) also out-rebounded the Bruins 37-20. Mike Roll and Malcolm Lee led UCLA with 12 points a piece, but no other Bruins scored in double figures.

The Bruins were literally outclassed by their cross town rivals on their home floor. USC and Cal now sit in 2nd place in the league at 3-2, followed by Arizona, Washington and WSU at 3-3. The Oregon schools, Stanford and UCLA now all sit tied for last only one game behind in the loss column to ASU in 1st. What a wild year in which all 10 teams are in great shape to win it all.

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Pondexter and Thomas lead Dawgs over Cal 84-69