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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 3, 2006 at 12:18 AM

A bittersweet night

The Huskies did their part, and for much of the night it looked like Cal was going to cooperate, as well.
Alas, the Bears folded at the end, and the Huskies are left hoping for a little better fortune Saturday when UCLA plays at Stanford.
Still, the Huskies headed for Tucson a happy group after the way the team came together to win at Arizona State, going away in the second half.
As long as Lorenzo Romar has been coach, UW’s games with ASU have been intense and chippy affairs, and the Huskies expected another tight one here Thursday night.
It looked like that’s exactly what was in the offing for a half as Kevin Kruger played as inspired as any UW opponent has in some time, scoring 19 points by the break and putting ASU in the lead, 40-38.
But then Romar put Brandon Roy on Kruger to start the second half — it would have been Bobby Jones but he picked up his third foul in the opening seconds of the second half — and the game was never the same.
Kruger scored just four points in the second half against the defense of Roy, and the rest of ASU’s offense was helpless.
The Huskies were on fire shooting all night, with another scorching game from beyond the three-point line — 11 of 25 — and once Kruger was cooled off, the game was a rout.
The Huskies dominated every stat — they outrebounded ASU 38-28, had 21 assists to 13 for ASU, and lost just 11 turnovers, and only four in the second half.
UW players said they came out a little flat in the first half, and that might have been due to the atmosphere. The listed crowd was 6,755, but that was a little inflated and the place was as quiet as a Pac-10 basketball arena can be much of the night. That’s no doubt due to the fact that Rob Evans is on his way out as coach and there is little enthusiasm for the basketball program right now.
The Huskies flirted with danger early, letting ASU hang close, but putting them away quickly in the second half muted any potential trouble.
A few other thoughts:
• It’s hard to imagine this team could play much better than it did in the second half — the Huskies shot 18 of 35 in the half and held ASU to 11 of 30. They had assists on 12 of the 18 field goals in the second half, indicative of the team play that was evident throughout.
• Harvey Perry will definitely redshirt the season now. He didn’t make the trip after it had been thought he might, to at least help out in practice.
• It was nice to see Artem Wallace get some significant action and score six points, his Pac-10 high.
• The Huskies have made 10 or more three-pointers in four straight games, and if they can keep that up, this team could go a long way in the NCAA tournament.
• As others have pointed out, the advantage to UCLA beating Cal is that the Huskies can secure second place simply by beating Arizona. That could easily land them a rematch with Washington State in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament, which would be quite interesting after what happened during the regular season.
• Roy was held to 13 points, in part because he’s nursing a slight cold and didn’t have his usual “energy,” in his words.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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