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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 23, 2008 at 2:47 PM

ASU game thread

THIS ONE’S OVER — Well, all that talk of fifth place was fun while it lasted. ASU is now up 20 at 77-57 with 2:18 left and the Huskies will be tied with Oregon for eighth place when this one’s final. ASU is 13-23 on three-pointers, the second time in three games the Huskies have been blistered on the perimeter (Oregon was 14-25 last week). ASU led all the way in this one and was simply the better team throughout. UW has had trouble scoring out of the halfcourt offense against ASU’s zone and not able to get enough in transition.
TWO BIG RUNS — Just when ASU seemed ready to run the Huskies out of the building, grabbing a 59-42 lead with 10:40 left, UW came back with nine straight points to again make it a game. It’s 59-51 with 7:33 remaining. ASU has hiht 9-14 FGs in the second half and 6-9 three-pointers.
HUSKIES IN TROUBLE NOW — ASU has a 53-41 lead with 11:35 left and appears in no mood to give the lead up. One of the frosh on that team no one talks about, swingman Rihards Kuksiks, is playing one of his best games with 12 points and the Huskies suddenly have no answer for Harden, who has 18 points and is 6-9 at the line, the main reason both Joel Smith and Tim Morris already have four fouls.
HEATING UP — UW starts out the second half 4-8 shooting, already almost to the halfway point of the FG total of the first half. Sadly for the Huskies, ASU is doing even better, hittiing 5-7 including 3-4 three-pointers to keep a lead, now at 45-39.
ASU UP 32-26 AT HALFTIME — And as I wrote earlier, UW is fortunate to be this close, shooting 9-33 from the field and losing nine turnovers. But down 31-19 with about five minutes to go, the Husky defense turned stingy and ASU got just one more point the rest of the half, on a free throw. That means each team has had a FG drought of at least five minutes in the first half.
Other observations:
— Joel Smith is scoreless but was a key to keeping UW in it with some spirited defense, swatting a shot by Eric Boateng and also taking on duties on James Harden, who has 11 points but most of them hard-earned. Smith played 10 minutes,
— UW has just four assists on nine field goals, further evidence of the struggles on offense.
— Artem Wallace picked up three fouls in five minutes and hasn’t been a factor.
— Venoy Overton hasn’t done a lot, either, after his breakout the other night, with just one pooint in seven minutes.
— Appleby and Brockman are 6-19. The rest of the team is 3-14./
— Jon Brockman’s father, Gordy, is talking with Nate McMillan at halftime. Their two sons played together on AAU teams for a while.
MAC-10 IN THE HOUSE — Blazers coach Nate McMillan is sitting two rows back of the ASU bench watching his son, Jamelle. The Blazers were in town to play the Sonics last night.
UW SEVEN MINUTES WITHOUT A FIELD GOAL — UW went from the 15:06 mark to 8:05 without a field goal — both three-pointers by Appleby who is the only Husky without more than one field goal. UW is 5-21 and while Appleby is just 3-9, the rest of the team is 2-12. ASU leads 24-16 but it could be a lot worse.
HUSKIES COLD EARLY — UW is struggling with ASU’s zone defense. Zones often lure teams into attempting a lot of threes and the Huskies are following suit with 10 of their 17 shots coming on threes — seven by Appleby. UW has hit just 2-10 three-pointers and 4-17 overall.
HUSKIES LOOK SLOW EARLY — The Huskies are fortunate ASU has missed two wide-open jumpers. Otherwise ASU may be ahead more than 12-10 with 15:00 left in the first half as the Sun Devils have hit 5-7 shots overall, missing two open three-pointers. So far, UW seems a little slow defensively. Keeping them in it are two threes by Ryan Appleby, who is 2-6.
PRE-GAME THOUGHTS — Driving in I heard Andy Katz discussing conferences that were “eating their own.” Those that have so much balance that it’s making it hard for teams to get enough wins to get NCAA tourney bids. When it came to the Pac-10, Katz said he thought that teams such as “Arizona, Oregon and Arizona State” would, in the end, be okay and make the NCAA Tournament.
Hard as it may be to believe considering how this team has looked at times this season, however, you’d think that Washington would have to be included on that list, as well, if the Huskies can win today. If UW beats ASU it would have a 4-2 record against that threesome, plus could be as high as fifth place in the Pac-10 after the weekend.
Today is Senior Day and as I write this, UW’s two seniors are being honored. It’s a different senior class, with both players transfers from other schools and Tim Morris only here a season. With everyone expected back next year, it’s also a senior day that indicates that a bright future lies ahead.
For what it’s worth, UW has won its last 11 games on Senior Day.

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