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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 5, 2008 at 11:02 PM

A few post-game thoughts

Goes without saying that’s a tough loss for the Huskies, who don’t have much margin for error when it comes to post-season play.
Now comes three more tough ones — at UCLA and USC next weekend and then home to Oregon — and the Huskies will need to figure out how to win close games like this to avoid falling into another deep hole to start conference play, ala last season.
The difference again tonight was WSU making plays and UW not making plays in the final few minutes, which is the focus of my game story, which you’ll be able to find here after midnight. That story, as well as the notebook, covers a lot of the key territory, such as Jon Brockman’s shot to tie the game late, and Ryan Appleby’s struggles to get many shots off tonight against Kyle Weaver, so I won’t repeat all of that here.
The other difference was at the free throw line — WSU was 12-14 while UW was 5-13, 2-9 in the second half. It’s been a year-long problem that UW coaches and players have continually said they aren’t overly worried about. But this was one time where you might be able to say it cost them the game.
“Our inability to make foul shots hurt us,” said UW coach Lorenzo Romar.
I’ve already gotten some e-mails from some of you telling me this has to all be Romar’s fault somehow. At the risk of sounding like an apologist, I’ll point out that three of the five best season free throw shooting percentages in UW history have come under Romar, including a school-record 74.9 percent in 2005-06, Brandon Roy’s senior season. Last year’s 72.4 percent was the fifth-best in school history. So I’m not sure I’d buy that the coaches have suddenly forgotten how to each free throw shooting. Some guys are just better at it than others and the guys who missed most of the FTs tonight are simply not the greatest in the world at it — Jon Brockman (2-4), Artem Wallace (0-2) and Tim Morris (2-5). The tough one to figure this year is Justin Dentmon, who missed a key free throw tonight and is 45-63 for the year, 71.4 percent, which is solid but not as good as the 80.6 percent of his first two seasons.
UW also had 14 turnovers, which as Romar pointed out, is magnified in a game like this with fewer possessions than normal. Interestingly, UW had nine in the first half and only one in the final 7:49 when the game turned WSU’s way. But the Cougars forced the Huskies to miss eight of their last nine shots.
— The disappointment of simply losing the game seemed to supercede fact that it is the sixth loss in a row to the Cougars for most of the Huskies. “It was just a tough fought game for 40 minutes,” said Quincy Pondexter. “A very methodical game. So it’s tough to come down to the wire at home and lose a game ike this when we were playing really well.”
— You can get some Tony Bennett quotes here if you want to know his thoughts.
I’ll have more tomorrow.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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