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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 31, 2009 at 1:35 PM

ASU game thread

HUSKIES GET BIG WIN IN THE DESERT — UW makes sure it’s not a lost weekend in the desert with a dominating win over ASU in Tempe.
The Huskies outplayed and outsmarted the Sun Devils, taking a 19-point lead early in the second half and then holding on for an 84-71 win. Justin Dentmon led the way with a career-high 30 points.
UW is now 7-2 and tied with UCLA atop the Pac-10, and 16-5 overall.
ASU, which entered the game ranked No. 14 in the country, is now 16-5 overall and just 5-4 in Pac-10 play after being swept at home by the Washington schools this weekend. Think of it this way — reverse that call on Jordan Hill in Tucson last week and ASU might be a lower-division team right now in the Pac-10.
It was UW’s sixth straight win in Tempe against ASU.
I’ll be back with more later.
UW’S GUARDS TOO QUICK FOR DEVILS — One thing that’s apparent in this one is that UW just has more perimeter quickness than ASU. The Sun Devils just can’t get open for three-pointers in this last stretch.
DENTMON HITS 30 — A career day for Dentmon as he has 30 points, the most for a Husky since Brockman had 30 in the season opener at Portland.
FANS FILING OUT — After Thomas’ two FTs put UW ahead 78-68, a lot of fans began heading out.
UW HANGING ON — ASU keeps trying to get back in it, but the Sun Devils just can’t do anything on offense. UW went to a zone on the last possession and ASU looked lost — you’d think they’d know how to play against a zone considering they go against one in practice every day — and missed a last-ditch shot as the shot clock ran out. It’s 69-59 with 3:55 left.
CROWD GOING CRAZY — The ASU fans are going nuts over what it perceives to be a few bad calls — the one on McMillan on Thomas on the three looked a little questionable on the replay we saw. The crowd was just given a warning for throwing things on the court. UW is continuing to hold command, ahead 65-54 with 7:40 to play. Harden has 13 points, getting to the line more this half and getting one basket in transition. Still, UW’s shutting him down early in the game may be the turning point of this game.
DENTMON TIES CAREER HIGH — Dentmon now has 24 points, tying his career, with 11 minutes left to play.
INADVERTENT TIME OUT FOR UW — Huskies might have caught a break there as the officials stopped the action for about 90 seconds to review whether McMillan’s shot was really a three. That seemed to take a little of the momentum away from the Sun Devils. UW leads 57-46 and Dentmon will be at the line when play resumes
SENDEK LOSING IT — Sendek should worry more about coaching his team. Instead, after what was a good call on the charge by Harden on Holiday, he got a needless and UW now has the ball and a 55-41 lead.
PENDERGRAPH MISSES THIRD DUNK — With ASU trying to get back in it, the crowd was ready to finally get into it when Pendergraph missed his third dunk of the day and UW ahead 54-41. Pendergraph was fouled on one of the missed dunks but the other two resulted in no points for ASU.
HARDEN GROWING FRUSTRATED — Harden just took his third shot of the game, a long three-pointer that clanked off the back rim, appearing to give in a little to the relentless D UW has applied to him all day. He has been guarded again by Gant here in the second half. He is 0-2 againt Gant and 1-1 against Holiday, also hitting 3-4 free throws .
TURN OUT THE LIGHTS?? — UW now has a 46-29 lead, and Sendek has called time out with 18:07 left and a smattering of boos in the arena. UW is now 6-10 on three-pointers continuing its surge in that category with the beginning of league play. UW is now 47-121 on three-pointers. Most of those are from Dentmon and Thomas but those guys keep getting open so it’s worked out, adding a dimension a lot of people questioned before the season.
BACKCOURT DOMINANCE — UW’s backcourt of IT and Dentmon is a combined 10-15 for 28 points, almost matching ASU’s entire team as UW leads 41-29. That has helped make up for just two points by Brockman, though to be fair, with those guys doing so much good work outside, Brockman hasn’t been needed that much to score — he’s only taken three shots. He has also only played 11 minutes as the Huskies went again with that four-guard look for a while, though this time with MBA in the game.
HUSKIES IN COMMAND AT HALF — UW leads 41-29 at halftime and has controlled this game from about the 15-minute mark on.
Justin Dentmon has been the offensive star with 18 points, hitting 4-6 three-pointers and 6-9 shots overall.
UW has held James Harden to five points and just one field goal, all coming in the last 3:22 of the half. Gant, Holiday and Dentmon have all taken turns guarding Harden, with UW also doubling him when he gets the ball. That has forced the ball out of his hands and the rest of the Sun Devils haven’t been able to take advantage.
ASU is 11-26 shooting and 3-9 on three-pointers. Most of the threes have been pretty good looks but ASU hasn’t been able to knock them down.
Thomas has added 10 points for the Huskies while Holiday has come off the bench to play good defense on Harden and also get six rebounds.
SENDEK IMPLORING CROWD TO CHEER — Kind of a strange sight here as ASU coach Herb Sendek spent the time during the free throws talking to the crowd behind the ASU bench and motioning them to stand up. I couldn’t hear what he was saying but he was talking to some of them, as well, apparently trying to get them to make some noise, which UW has mostly taken out of the arena with a 35-25 lead.
UW ON FIRE — Huskies are 14-26 shooting and holding a 33-22 lead with 3:47 left, so far doing just about everything right. Harden has been out for roughly four minutes now and is still scoreless at 0-1 shooting.
HUSKIES EXPANDING LEAD — Despite no points from Brockman, UW is threatening to turn this game into a rout, taking a 27-14 lead thanks to the good defense and four three-pointers from Justin Dentmon, who has hit 4-6 threes for the day. UW is 5-7 beyond the arc while ASU is 1-5, 0-4 after hitting one in the opening minute and none since.
HARDEN STILL 0-1 — Harden has been shut out with UW leading 24-14 ast the 8:19 mark. He has been guarded by Justin Holiday since the 15:38 mark and hasn’t taken a shot, though it has been a team effort, the Huskies expertly using traps when he has gotten the ball.
HUSKIES TAKING CONTROL — UW has hit three straight three-pointers to go on a 9-0 run and take a 21-12 lead with 10:15 remaining — a score Geddy Lee might like. But the real key is UW’s defense. The Huskies are doing a good job so far trapping the ball and keeping the ball out of the hands of ASU’s better offensive players.
NOW HOLIDAY ON HARDEN — UW now has Justin Holiday guarding James Harden, the Pac-10’s leading sccorer. He was 0-1 while guarded by Gant and remains without a point at the 13:55 mark and the game tied at 8.
TODAY’S OFFICIALS — All regular Pac-10 guys — Don McAllister, Randy Burkhart and Tom Wood.
GANT ON HARDEN — Interesting move by the Huskies using Darnell Gant to guard James Harden here at the start of the game. UW is also trying to trap him when he gets the ball up high.
SAME LINEUP — Not that it would be expected to change after just one loss, but for the record, the UW starting lineup is the same today as it has been. ASU’s is also the same.
CASUAL SATURDAY — If you turn on the TV and wonder why the coaches are so casual in their dress today, it’s because this is the annual Coaches vs. Cancer day. Here are some details on that.
PRE-GAME READING — About 45 minutes to tip as I write this. The Huskies are on the floor going throuh conditioning drills.
ASU’s end of the court is empty, though most of their players were out for a while shooting around. James Harden wore headphones the whole time, apparently practicing to his own soundtrack despite what is a pretty good selection on the PA — we’re currently listening to Pump it Up by Elvis Costello.
Anyway, there wasn’t much to link in the way of reading material today — only one newspaper covers ASU anymore, the Arizona Republic and it has been spending most of its time on some football game this week.
But here is the preview from the Republic.
And here’s an overview of the day from Jon Wilner, who picks ASU to win saying the Huskies are still a “faux-contender” in his mind.

Comments | Topics: top 25, UCLA


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