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Husky Men's Basketball

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

December 4, 2006 at 10:36 PM

SUU aftermatch

Southern Utah may not sound like much on paper, but UW coaches were sincerely worried about this one heading in — if for not other reason than the Thunderbirds had already won at Utah and came in 6-2 for the season.
So there was a lot of praise being heaped around after the Huskies beat SUU 87-72 at Edmundson Pavilion Monday night.
UW coach Lorenzo Romar said it was “as good as we have played all year. That was the game that we have been looking for, where we put together 40 minutes of solid basketball.”
The standouts were many:
— Ryan Appleby had the best shooting game of his UW career and scored a career-high 24 points. Said Romar of Appleby: “Ryan Appleby was tremendous tonight. He got us going. When he shoots the ball like that, you don’t think he is ever going to miss.”
— Spencer Hawes shook off some first-half foul-induced frustration to score a career-high 21 points (15 in the second half). “Spencer did a tremendous job of finishing,” Romar said;
— Justin Dentmon played great defense on SUU point guard Steve Barnes and handed out a career-high 11 assists. “I thought Justin Dentmon, on both ends of the floor, was huge,” Romar said. “He controlled us offensively, made great post feeds, and defensively, the job he did on Barnes was second to none. Barnes is a really good player.”
— and true freshman Phil Nelson tied a career-high with 10 points and also had four rebounds and just one turnover in 20 minutes. “For Phil Nelson, making shots is not a surprise at all,” said Romar. “What was good was that on the defensive end, he got after it, he got on the floor, dove for a ball or two, rebounded relatively well. He did other things that we wanted him to do tonight and consequently, he played 20 minutes.”
Here are some other notes:
— Guard Harvey Perry, who decided over the weekend to transfer to another school in search of more playing time, attended the game and sat on the Husky bench wearing the team’s regulation black warmups. Before the game, he shagged rebounds for his former teammates. “It’s like a divorce where the husband and wife get along real well,” Romar said. “He made a decision but we told our team we are not disowning Harvey and he is not disowning us. He is still a part of our family, if not our immediate family. In his case …quot; others are different …quot; we don’t take it as a slap in the face.” With the academic quarter ending, Perry won’t be around by UW’s next home game.
— UW shot a season-high 58.3 percent, all the more amazing considering the Huskies missed seven straight shots on one possession in the first half.
— Reserve forward Hans Gasser played 18 minutes despite spending about three hours having work done on a troublesome front tooth. Gasser will have the work completed today.
— Mirroring the end of the Sacramento State game a few weeks ago, the horn got stuck with 9:07 left in the first half. The game was delayed for three minutes until the horn could be turned off. A hand-held air horn was used for the rest of the game. The scoreboard showing individual points and fouls also wasn’t working much of the game.
— There was also a lot of talk about the pending Gonzaga game afterward, as the Huskies can now look forward to the Zags without worrying about looking past anyone else.
“I don’t know if we are ready or not ready,” Dentmon said. “I just think we are focused. We are way more focused than we was at the strart of the season and ready or any challenge that is coming our way.
Dentmon was asked if he considers Gonzaga to be UW’s rival and he said “no, not really. If it’s a rivalry why are they kicking us out of their contract to play another team? It’s just another game we are looking forward to.” That last comment may sound as if Dentmon is saying it’s Gonzaga ending the series, when it’s UW’s call at the moment, and I’m not sure what exactly Dentmon meant there. But I thought it was telling that the scheduling issue was front and center on his mind.
— One last note: Romar said he didn’t know who would start, Appleby or Oliver, against Gonzaga.

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