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Husky Men's Basketball

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February 5, 2009 at 10:41 PM

Cal post-game

Something not-so-funny happened to the Huskies on their way to the Pac-10 title — they found out that old habits die hard.
After a few months of playing as a team, sharing the ball on offense, setting up each other for shots, the Huskies reverted to the way they played the first few games of the season, when there was so much worry about where this team was headed.
That was the diagnosis of head coach Lorenzo Romar, anyway, after UW’s 86-71 loss to Cal here tonight in Berkeley.
Here’s my game story with the gory details.
As Romar says in the story, he thought the selfish play was the main place of blame tonight.
“As they say in the schoolyard, we didn’t give up the rock,” he said. “There were times when we would have post position, we’d fail to hit the open guy. We’d settle for the jump shot instead of maybe getting the penetration, things we have been doing for a couple months now.”
The stat that spoke most loudly about it all? A mere six assists for the Huskies, the fewest since a 65-51 loss to Stanford last season.
But that wasn’t all that was strange about this one.
There was the sight of another field-goal-less night for Jon Brockman, who didn’t score in the first half and tied a season-low with four points. Brockman was held in heavy coverage all night by Cal reserve big man Harper Kamp, with the Bears also often sending over a double-team, and this time the Husky guards couldn’t compensate. Brockman took two shots in each half but that was it.
And there was also UW holding a nine-point lead with less than 17 minutes to play, at which point a Husky win seemed in the offing to many, though not to Romar.
Romar, though, said the lead was a mirage and that “we played with a little energy in spurts but we didn’t sustain it.”
So the Huskies suffered a second loss to Cal this season to fall into second place and will now have do something they haven’t since 1993 — win at Stanford — to get a split in the Bay Area.
“‘It just sucks to get swept by a team in this league,” said Quincy Pondexter. “I wish we could get the game back, but we can’t. We just have to move on and get ready for Sunday.”
Some more notes and quotes:
Justin Dentmon was 3-12 shooting with 14 points his worst shooting game since he went 5-14 against the Bears in Seattle (so maybe he has trouble with the bigger players the Bears use to defend him). Said Romar of Dentmon: “I didn’t think he forced a whole lot tonight, he just missed some shots early. He’s been shooting so well it’s one of those things his success can be his curse as far as other people watching him — how did he miss a shot? Well, people miss shots. He just wasn’t hitting like normal. But he came back in the second half and I thought did an outstanding job on Patrick Christopher (who had just three points).”
— Romar said Cal’s height on the perimeter is tough for UW to handle. “It is a very difficult matchup,” he saiad. “Their wings are so big for us. There were times when we needed an offensive lieneup out on the floor but if we did that we suffered on the defensive end. If we had the defensive lineup in, it was hard for us to score. So it is a tough matchup for us.”
— Pondexter tied a season-high with 21 hitting 8-16 shots as the Bears concentrated on Brockman. “Offensively he stepped up and was very aggressive tonight, which was good, and he rebounded well.”
— Despite no field goals, Brockman did have 15 rebounds as the Huskies outboarded the Bears 39-31.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning had no points and four fouls in 14 minutes, only three in the second half. At around the nine-minute mark Romar put in Artem Wallace to give Brockman a rest instead of MBA, but he said it was due strictly to the fouls. Wallace only played a minute, picking up a foul.
All for now.

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