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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 8, 2009 at 10:32 PM

Stanford post-game

That kind of felt like the old days, didn’t it?
A packed (or close to it, at 9,291) house, a March atmosphere, a good opponent, and ultimately a Husky win.
“That was a great ball game,” said UW coach Lorenzo Romar.
And an even greater win as UW remains one of just three unbeaten teams in the Pac-10 and sends a Stanford team that could be one of its key competitors for an NCAA Tournament berth to a 1-2 conference start.
The obvious hero at the end was Jon Brockman, who got his first game-winning shot since what he said was his senior year at Snohomish High when he said he nailed a prayer from the opposite free throw line to beat Mt. Vernon. (“I’m pretty good from back there,” Brockman later quipped).
Brockman got this one about as close as you can on a rebound putback with 4.6 seconds left.
“Seems fitting,” Romar said of Brockman’s putback of a miss by Matthew Bryan-Amaning.
UW had called time with 10.6 seconds left after Stanford took an 83-82 lead. Romar said the plan was to get Quincy Pondexter isolated. “He got the ball, drove to the rim, passed it to Matt,” Romar said.”Matt had a great shot, missed it, then Jon got a greater shot.”
It still wasn’t over as Stanford’s Landry Fields took a long pass from Drew Shiller and appeared in position for a shot from eight feet or so before losing the ball under heavy pressure from Justin Holiday.
All were the kinds of winning plays too often missing for UW last year when the Huskies lost seven games by four points or less. This year, UW has won two games by a point each (each by 84-83 scores) though losing to Florida by two points.
Said Isaiah Thomas: “I felt like it was a big win. Coming back from Washington State, getting that win, we stepped up against Stanford and just got better. We’ve been working on Stanford and we were doing a good job of not holding our heads down. Coach said there was going to be a lot of adversity in this game, but keep your head up and just play through it, and my guys did a great job of that.”
A few other notes and thoughts:
— Without the Lopez twins to bother them, the Huskies dominated inside with a 44-28 rebounding advantage, outscoring Stanford 46-28 in the paint. That was the ultimate difference in the game as Stanford was the better perimeter team, hitting 8-18 three-pointers to UW’s 2-9. UW also had a 21-7 edge in second-chance points.
— The last rebound for Brockman was his 18th of the game, tying a career-high set twice before, including earlier this year against Kansas. Brockman said Josh Owens was on him when the final play started but moved away to collapse on the ball.
— Here’s what Bryan-Amaning on the last play: “The play was set up for Quincy. As he drove, and (the defender) did a good job of staying in front of him. In my head I was thinking, ‘please don’t force anything bad.’ He just dumped it off to me. And I knew the way we’ve been rebounding I just had to go up. With that time on the clock I just had to go up and whatever happens, happens. I just had to try to make a shot.
— Thomas had 18 points and is now averaging 21.3 points in the last three games. More importantly, you saw what he brings to UW a few times when the Husky offense seemed stagnant and he was able to create something.
— Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said the difference was on the boards: “It was offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds.”
— Dawkins also said the last play was changed as the two teams combined to call four timeouts before the play — three by the Cardinal. “The design wasn’t always to go to Landry. We saw the no one was on the inbounder so we decided to call another player based on what we had seen. That is why we called the timeout. They made a great play and our guy made a great play. He made the catch. We have to be strong and finish in that situation.”
— UW next hosts surging Cal Saturday at 3 p.m.
All for now.

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