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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 31, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Pondexter hoping to stay on floor more today

If you’ve followed the Huskies closely the last few years you know that Quincy Pondexter tends to take losses pretty hard.
So it wasn’t that surprising when he said Friday that he accepted much of the blame for Thursday’s defeat at Arizona.
Pondexter was called for two fouls in the first 1:49 of the game and then hit the bench for an extended period, playing just 15 minutes total, scoring seven points with three rebounds (and finishing with four fouls).
“It was awful,” Pondexter said. “Again, I take the fall for the loss because I felt like if I was in there it could have changed the whole nature of the game. So getting those first two fouls in the first two minutes really hurt.”
The early whistles were an ominous beginning to a night in which UW was called for a season-high 34 fouls. Granted, many came late as UW was trying to get back in the game — the Huskies were called for 13 in the final 5:36.
Still, even the 21 UW had to that point would have been more than the Huskies had had in any of the previous three games.
“It was pretty tight (how the officials called the game),” Pondexter said. “It seemed like that first few minutes the whistles were really tight (UW had five fouls in the first five minutes). But that’s what happens when you are on the road. We have to get adjusted to playing on the road and take it from there.”
How the officials call the game is already critical. But it looms especially so today as the Huskies take on Arizona State and the Pac-10’s leading scorer, James Harden. Harden is a physical player who gets fouled a lot — he’s taken 171 free throws this year, 51 more than the leading Husky (Isaiah Thomas).
One of UW’s strategies today will be to try to turn his physical nature against him.
“He uses his body well,” said UW’s Justin Holiday. “But I can use that to my advantage and my team’s advantage if we can get charges on him when he penetrates or when he pushes off. He can get by us but at the same time we can get fouls on him the way he uses his body.”
The key to that, though, will be how closely the officials call the game. As Pondexter and the Huskies found out, how that figures to unfold is often evident in the opening minutes.

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