Dawgs Win Hard Fought Struggle with Texas A+M 73-64
(Courtesy of Husky Digest regular contributor Jason McCleary)
The Huskies survived an ugly win against Big 12 opponent Texas A+M 73-64. It was a very physical game which saw the Aggies defensive whiz, senior guard Derrick Roland, suffer a severe broken leg.
Quincy Pondexter was the nearest Husky to Roland when it happened, but everyone on both sides admitted that it looked like a very clean play. Quincy spoke about the harsh experience after the game.
“I was but then I grabbed the ball and turned my back, and I heard a loud slap like he hit the floor, but that turned out to be the break, and it was one the nastiest thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life. I’m praying for him, I wish him the best, I wish his family the best, and I hope he has a speedy recovery.”
Pondexter led the Dawgs with 25 points and 13 rebounds on 10-17 from the field. Outside of Quincy UW went 14-49 on field goal attempts. Venoy Overton was next for UW with 12 (seven of them in the final 3:42) and 4 assists. Isaiah Thomas followed with 9 and 5 assists and Matt had 7 points and 3 steals. Darnell Gant, Isaiah and Venoy all finished with 7 boards.
On the negative side Abdul Gaddy and Elston Turner together finished with zero points on 0-8 from the field and three TO’s, but they did combine for 5 boards. Scott Suggs finished with only 6 points, but they were on two threes at key points in the game.
Neither the Aggies nor the Dawgs had a good night shooting, but defense played a key in Tuesday night’s win. Washington shot only 36% from the field, but they held TAMU to 30%. Husky Coach Lorenzo Romar felt that his defense won the game for them, especially the way they handled the Aggies big gun.
“We held them to 30 percent [shooting]. Donald Sloan scored 18 points against us last time we played him and kind of took over the game. I still remember that. He was 5 of 20 tonight and we made him work hard for his shots. That would probably be, as a team, what I was most pleased with.”
The Aggies came out with a defensive scheme to stop Isaiah Thomas from penetrating in the paint and it worked. The Aggies held Thomas to a season low of 9 points. Thomas found other ways getting involved in the game, but didn’t get a point on the board until the second half.
The Dawgs came out defensively strong as well. Venoy Overton gave NBA prospect Donald Sloan a headache with all the defensive pressure he could muster. The Dawgs as whole showed defensive intensity all night, which made up for their lack of offensive power.
Romar felt as if that what the UW staff is trying to build is a team that can win with defense and rebounding.
“That’s what we talk about. Our identity can’t be how many baskets we make, how many time we dunk or how many times the crowd applauds, it has to be our defense. We shoot 36 percent tonight and we won the game by almost double digits because of our defense. And our rebounding, that’s part of defense, we outrebounded that team by 10. That’s a pretty good job because that’s a good team.”
Quincy Pondexter carried the out of synch Huskies in the first half. The Dawgs shot the ball at a weak 28% clip in the first half while the Aggies shot for 34%. It was a very ugly first half offensively for both teams which couldn’t get in any rhythm.
The Husky big men couldn’t get anything going in the paint, but Aggie big man Bryan Davis caused fits for Washington. Both Tyreese Breshers and Matthew Bryan-Amaning picked up 2 quick fouls, trying to slow down Davis. Abdul Gaddy was also plagued due to committing 3 fouls in the first hand.
After a sloppy first half, the Dawgs were down 32-20. They came out in the second half more focused as a team on both sides of the ball. Other Huskies stepped up to take the load off of Quincy’s shoulders. Grant, Thomas, Suggs, M.B.A, all contributed in the second half.
The Aggies seemed to be distraught after a freak accident happened to senior Derrick Roland. Roland came down hard on his leg it seemed like. Roland’s leg was turned the opposite way and was clearly broken. Fans turned their heads while Roland was being attended to.
Texas A&M Assistant Coach Scott Spinelli, because Head Coach Mark Turgeon left early to go to the hospital, spoke about what happened in the post game press conference.
“I think it was both his fibula and his tibia. I don’t know what the Joe Theisman injury was, but this had to be close to it.”
After Roland left the game the Aggies collective mindsets took a noticeable hit. The Huskies took the lead by playing team defense and made an impressive defensive stand in the second half. The Dawgs held the Aggies to 27% field goal shooting in the second half.
B.J. Holmes tried everything to keep the Aggies in it, by hitting 5-7 three pointers, many of them late, but the Dawgs held the Aggie run off. Scott Suggs hit a couple key 3 pointers in the second half to counter and Overton closed the win out well by hitting key free throws as the Aggies desperately tried to close the gap late.
It was sad for both sides that the game had to turn out this way for the Aggies, with such a big loss in Roland. The momentum was even until the accident which just crushed the Aggies’s spirit, but to their credit the Dawgs did what they had to do and take advantage of it and grind out this ugly win.
Washington’s Darnell Gant noticed how the injury may have affected the Aggies ability to stay in the game.
“They tried to show some fight but I guess we just gave a little more effort and they just, toward the end, didn’t have enough in them.”
The Dawgs will play Sunday at 12 noon PST against the San Francisco Dons.
Abdul Gaddy yet again can’t seem to stay on the court and looked lost at times.
Matthew didn’t do so well on the offensive end but hustled his butt off on the defensive end forcing the Aggies into a couple turnovers.
2-3 zone defenses will plague the Huskies all year.
Scott Suggs is still showing improvement.
Quincy Pondexter is making a statement to be a lottery pick for the draft.
The Dawgs out rebounded the Aggies by 47-37. The turnovers were even at 15, but UW won the assist battle 13-10. Big stat of the game was UW 12 blocks to TAMU 5.
UW shot .167 (2-12) from the 3-point line to .368 (7-19) for the Aggies.
More Links and Updates
According to what Aggies coach Mark Turgeon told Andy Katz of ESPN Roland’s surgery, “Went well and he is doing well”.
The UW Athletic Department made a very thoughtful statement on the Dawg Blawg to Roland and his family. They also reported that A+M star guard Donald Sloan, a close childhood friend of Roland, “Intends to stay in Seattle with Derrick and his aunt until they all return home” and that “It’s likely he will be in Seattle through Christmas”.
Quincy was picked by Fox Sports Jeff Goodman as one of the top-10 player of the year candidates at this point in the season. He was selected in the #5 spot. He was chosen at the #5 spot as well in a similar feature by Sports Illustrated. If he stays in the top-5 in these and other lists throughout the year, logic would make one assume that he would then be more likely to be chosen as a 1st team All-American, when those awards are handed out at the end of the year.
The Cougars won a whale of a ball game in the Key Arena 72-70 in overtime. Klay Thompson led all scorers with 26, Deangelo Casto had 13 and Reggie Moore had 12 and 4 assists.
None of Moore’s assists was bigger than the one to Casto on a coast to coast drive with the clock running out in regulation. The Cougs are now 10-2 and now move into Pac-10 play against the Oregon Ducks on New Years Day in Pullman. We’ll have much more on the Cougs big win in Seattle against LSU later.
Pac-10 Round Up
The Ducks meanwhile held off Idaho State in Eugene 77-71. Malcolm Armstead led all scorers with 23. Garrett Sim and Michael Dunigan kicked in with 14 each in a surprisingly even game with a 2-10 Big Sky team. It will be interesting to see how much Oregon improves when they get back Joevan Catron and Tajuan Porter.
USC beat Western Michigan 55-51, as Mike Gerrity once again led the Trojans with 17 points.
UCLA beat Colorado State in LA 75-63. It was Nikola Dragovic, just out of the papers for pleading not guilty to an assault charge leading the way for the Bruins with 17. Malcolm Lee had 16, Reeves Nelson had 15 and Michael Roll and Jerime Anderson each chipped in 11.
The game was tied 34-34 at the half, but in the 2nd half the Bruins went on a 29-9 run in the final 11:45 to run away with it. The Bruins now stand at 4-7 with one non-conference game with Delaware State left before league play.
Stanford lost to Texas Tech 100-87, despite 27 points from Landry Fields and 24 points from Jeremy Green.
Cal put up a good fight, but didn’t have enough to handle Kansas, losing to the Jayhawks 84-69. The Bears proved that shooting can erase a lot of other problems on the basketball floor, by staying with the #1 Jayhawks for most of the game.
Cal only shot 33% from three, which is well below their normal proficiency, due to excellent defense by the Jayhawks, but still able to nail some very tough shots to stay competitive. Patrick Christopher led all scorers with 21 points, while Jerome Randle was able to scratch out 16.
Jamal Boykin followed with 15 points, plus 15 rebounds to lead both teams on the glass. Theo Robertson looked to be almost all the way back from injury with 13 points, including two deep threes.
Losing to Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse does not mean that Cal is not going to win the Pac-10 this year, in fact I think that this Cal team looks every bit a favorite at this point to at least place in the top-2. Just to accent that point, Kansas extended their home winning streak to 49 games with the win over the Bears.