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Husky Men's Basketball

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

November 25, 2008 at 4:34 PM

Florida game thread

FINAL WRAPUP — Just to wrap this thread up, here’s a game story, another with some quotes, and the box score.
Look at the box score and you’ll see each team had an even 33 field goals. What little difference there was is in a few more three-pointers for Florida, a better percentage from the free throw line, and just a couple more turnovers for UW. The Huskies had a completely acceptable number of TOs (12 on this box though I thought I heard 13 on the broadcast) but now need to work on forcing a few more — Kansas and Florida each had just 10.
A COUPLE OF POSTGAME QUOTES — Isaiah Thomas said on the postgame show he tried to miss that last free throw to the left and hope Brockman would get it. “We just came up short,” he said.
He said he thought he had to take over in the second half, so that’s what he tried to do.
And he said the coaches had told the players to “share the sugar, We did, we just came up short.”
UW coach Lorenzo Romar noted 23 assists and 13 turnovers and said “that’s all we can ask for.”
He said he thought the difference was that “we were our own worst enemy” with a few unforced turnovers and mental errors.
“But we did make progress,” he said. “I think our team may have grown up tonight.”
He said the team’s spacing on offense was a lot better as was its ability to share the ball. He said after the problems against Kansas that the players were “really receptive” to what the coaches were trying to teach in terms of offensive patience during a shootaround today. “They tried to do what we asked them to do,” he said.
HUSKIES FALL 86-84 — A good effort by UW tonight falls just short as Florida holds on to win 86-84. UW falls to 2-3 but has to feel a lot better about things after staying in it all night against the Gators. UW never led in the second half but scored 10 in a row late to tie it up.
Huskies next play Saturday at home against Pacific.
Early impression is that this was the national coming-out party for Thomas, who scored 17 points.
Another is that UW does have to get better than 11-19 at the free-throw line.
Another is that Pondexter remains hard to figure. He had just four points and wasn’t in the game when UW made its late run with a lineup largely of Brockman, Thomas, Holiday, Gant and Turner.
GATORS UP 85-83 — After making one free throw, Florida has a two-point lead. UW now has the ball and a chance to win or tie with 17 seconds left. What to do?
GATORS UP 84-83 — Thomas has taken over in the last five minutes and we may see that this is becoming a two-man team of Brockman and Thomas — those two have 38 points hitting 15 of 20 shots.
HUSKIES TIE IT UP — Two Brockman free throws tie it up with just over a minute left. No matter what happens the rest of the way, a lot of positives in this one.
HUSKIES SCORE EIGHT IN A ROW — It’s 81-79 with 1:56 left. Thomas is busting out on the national stage with 14 points, nine assists and just two TOs.
HUSKIES HANGING IN — UW is down just 81-75 after a physical drive to the hoop by Thomas, who has 12 points and eight assists.
BROCKMAN HAS 20 POINTS — He’s come back nicely in the points area with 20 after getting just 15 combined the last two games. But he’s 0-2 at the line, two big misses a minute ago that helped Florida build a 10-point lead.
UW DOWN 7 — It’s 76-69 with 5:35 to go as Florida scored four in a row to retake command after the Huskies had closed the gap. Huskies have 20 assists, led by a career-high eight by Thomas, which has to be the best sign of the night.
NO FREE THROWS IN SECOND HALF — Through the first 12 minutes of the seconod half, neither team has shot a free throw
HUSKIES TRADING BASKETS — UW still shooting well but they can’t stop Florida so the Gators still lead by seven at 72-65 with just over seven minutes left.
BOTH TEAMS HOT — UW is shooting 58 percent, Florida 56 percent at the 10:37 mark of the game. Some good shooting but also some lax defense by each. UW a little slow rotating to get out to the shooters at times.
HUSKIES NEED INTERIOR DEFENSE — Gators are getting a few too many easy buckets in the middle as they build a 65-58 lead.
TURNER STEPPING UP — Elston Turner hits a three to make it 53-48 right as Florida appeared ready to pull away a little. Turner is 5-11 on three-pointers in the tournament and looking like he’s ready to become a consistent contributor.
FIRST FIVE MINUTES A KEY AS WELL — I think we’ll know a lot the first five minutes of the second half, Last night, Kansas quickly built its halftime lead and the Huskies never got back in it. UW has to stay close here early.
ASSISTS THE KEY — UW has 11 assists at halftime, led by the five of IT, compared to just eight all of last night. That’s a key reason UW is in this one at the half.
KEYS TO THE SECOND HALF: Here are three keys to the second half I see:
— Make free throws. UW is 4-9 with MBA at 0-3. That won’t cut it.
— Keep spreading the ball around. The Huskies have much better movement on offense and are showing more patience, That must continue.
— Cut off the back door. Florida has a few too many easy layins and seems to have found an offensive rhythm. Florida outscored UW 34-22 the last 12 minutes or so of the first half.
ROMAR QUOTES — Romar was interviewed briefly as he left the floor at halftime. Here’s what he had to say:
On losing the lead: “We didn’t do a very good job handling that press. We’ll do a better job in the second half. They forced us into some turnovers and they separated themselves.”
On the good early offense: “Dentmon came out and really knocked some shots down. We are resisting the temptation to take that early shot and moving the ball and being more successful.”
FLORIDA UP 42-37 AT HALF — But it could have been worse as in a twist ot last night, UW got a steal and turned it into a bucket with the Gators appearing set to take at least a 7-point lead to the break.
FLORIDA ON 10-0 RUN — Gators have taken a seven-point lead with a 10-0 run as the Huskies are fading to the finish of the first half for the second straight night.
HAS KNIGHT MENTIONED HIS WIFE YET? — I can’t really hear where I am too well so I can’t tell. Last night, he mentioned his wife about as often as Cole Aldrich blocked a shot.
DENTMON HAS 14 POINTS — Last night he didn’t take his first shot until midway through the second half and finished with just two points.
BRESHERS IS NOT PLAYING — Like you guys, I have seen Breshers in some of the boxes. But he is not playing. He is not suited up and is still a few weeks away from playing. Don’t know why it’s wrong in the box score but it is.
DENTMON 4-4 ON THREE-POINTERS — This is the Dentmon his teammates have been talking about and he helps UW retake the lead at 35-32 after Florida had taken it for the first time at 32-30. On his last three-pointer, UW showed a lot of patience on the offensive end and he was eventually wide open on the wing.
THOMAS WITH FIVE ASSISTS — That ties his career-high against Cleveland State, which is probably the other time UW looked this good this season, which may be a coincidence.
UW TAKES 22-18 LEAD — UW has led by seven, Florida cut it to one, and UW leads by four as I write this, having made 8-12 shots and four three-pointers. UW is 4-7 on threes compared to 7-21 last night.
UW NOW HAS SIX ASSISTS — Huskies had only eight last night.
FIVE ASSISTS ON FIVE FGS FOR UW — UW has assists on each of its first five baskets, a sign of better ball movement than last night.
GOOD OFFENSE EARLY — The Huskies seem to be passing the ball better and are getting more open looks than last night. UW is 5-7 on FGs as it has a 15-8 lead at the 14:16 mark.
HUSKIES HITTING THREES EARLY — UW has hit its first two three-pointers, both by Justin Dentmon (Fixed from earlier), to take an 8-4 lead. Florida is in a zone but so far, the Huskies seem to be handling it.
SAME LINEUP — Despite some thought the Huskies might shake things up after last night, the Huskies have the same starting lineup.
PRE-GAME — I had actually forgotten the game is only on ESPNU, so after covering UW’s football stuff today, I’m now at a, uh, restaurant where I can see the game. Steve Kelley is again covering the game for us in Kansas City.
So I’ll try to keep the blog going as well as I can but the posts may be a little more sporadic and a little less specific.
But I want to give the usual space for people to comment, so let’s see how the Huskies do tonight.

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