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January 13, 2009 at 10:28 PM

A little more Cal rehash

As would be expected of a triple-overtime game, UW’s loss to Cal Saturday is still eliciting its fair share of conversation.
Two plays that generated some chatter were the end of regulation, when Quincy Pondexter missed a short shot in the lane, and Isaiah Thomas’ foul at the end of the second overtime that forced yet another extra session.
I had a chance to get a little bit more on each of those plays today:
— First, the shot by Pondexter. The biggest question a few readers had was why UW coach Lorenzo Romar would call a play in that situation for Pondexter considering he was 0-6 from the floor at that time.
So I asked Romar about it today.
To set up the situation, the game was tied at 58 and there were 39 seconds left when UW called time.
Romar first pointed out that Pondexter was being guarded by Patrick Christopher, who had four fouls.
“Christopher was in foul trouble,” Romar said. “We wanted to put Quincy in a position where he could go to the rim, which he did. Christopher has four fouls, so where maybe someone else would play more tenacious defense against him, (Christopher) has four fouls and you can look and he backs off. Quincy goes to the bucket and he’s got a great shot.”
Romar said the time of the game also played a consideration. With UW having to shoot before the game clock would run out — meaning Cal was guaranteed another offensive possession (barring an offensive rebound, which you can’t plan for) — Romar wanted a quick shot so UW might be able to assure getting the last possession.
“I didn’t want the clock to run down,” he said. “Hopefully we score, or if we miss we get the ball back. We do it too late and we miss, they get the last shot and we don’t get another chance to score. I thought about that, too.”
So with that in mind, he thought a quick move to the hoop by Pondexter might solve both problems.
Unfortunately, neither really worked out as Pondexter missed and Cal got the rebound with 34 seconds left, able to run the clock out before taking a final shot, which missed and forced overtime.
And Christopher never did foul out. He picked up his fourth foul with 3:51 to go in regulation but ended up playing the rest of regulation and every minute of all three overtimes without picking up his fifth, finishing with a game-high 27 points.
— As for Thomas’ foul on the rebound putback by D.J. Seeley at the end of the second overtime, he said today that “I should have known the situation and should have boxed him out and just stay away from the play.”
The foul itself, he said, “was just reaction. … I’m learning from it. I’m a freshman and I’m still learning every game, every practice.”

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