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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 12, 2009 at 11:14 PM

OSU post-game

UW coach Lorenzo Romar said he couldn’t miss the announcement of the UCLA-ASU score early in the first half tonight.
“The crowd roared pretty loud,” he said with a slight smile.
It was a roar with meaning as the crowd knew what was at hand — if UW could subdue the stubborn Beavers the Huskies would again be in first place.
And while maybe it took a little longer than everyone wanted, the Huskies eventually did just that, beating the Beavers 79-60 at Hec Ed (read here for details).
UW’s win and UCLA’s loss means the Huskies have sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 at 9-3 — the Bruins are 8-3, ASU 8-4, Cal 7-4, Arizona 7-5, and USC 6-5 (and no one else really matters anymore when it comes to the NCAA tournament or first place).
It’s the first time UW has been in first since beating UCLA on Jan. 24. That stint at the top lasted only until the next game when the Huskies lost at Arizona.
UW may stay at the top longer this time with dreadful Oregon due in next — the Ducks are 0-12 in conference play after being manhandled in Pullman tonight. UCLA, meanwhile, has to play at Arizona, a game that is guaranteed to deal a loss to one of UW’s contenders.
For a time tonight, the Huskies didn’t really look like a first-place team, struggling against OSU’s 1-3-1 zone and deliberate offense.
“It took us a while because we were really trying to look for the home run play,” said guard Justin Dentmon. “We were trying to make one pass and hopefully get a shot up when we should’ve just moved the ball and looked for cracks in their defense and got more open shots.”
But as has happened often this season, the Huskies eventually found their way and pulled away for what turned out to be a fairly comfortable win.
Romar said the Huskies called in their frontcourt pressure a little bit and moved Jon Brockman more to the center on defense to prevent some of the easy layins OSU got early. Offensively, the Huskies were more patient, early on getting the ball inside before that then opened up the outside for Dentmon, who hit 4-4 three-pointers in the second half.
“As my good buddy Steve Lavin would always say ‘sometimes you just have to move the chains, just keep getting yardage,”’ Romar said. “I thought that’s kind of how we played tonight … The game went a bit like the one in Corvallis where it took our guys a little bit to settle down and really figure out how to play against them. Once that happened we were able to slowly separate ourselves.”
Once again, UW’s versatility also showed through. On another night when an opponent seemed determined to take out Brockman’s offense, Dentmon was able to step back up and pour in 28 after a somewhat off weekend in the Bay Area. Dentmon was limping after the game but said it was just a cramp and he’ll be fine.
Quincy Pondexter added 11 in another efficient night (5-7 shooting) and Venoy Overton was again a sparkplug off the bench, even if he showed he probably should give up dunking for the time being. Overton had nine points and six assists in 23 minutes.
“Another game where he just provided a lot of energy for us,” Romar said. “That’s two in a row where he’s done that, he’s playing good basketball.”
MORE NOTES
— Pondexter on the difference in the two halves: “We moved a lot better without the ball. We didn’t try to make the home run play. Passed a lot of the time and we were a lot more patient and therefore we got a lot of easy baskets by heading inside and finding the best three-point shooter in the country right now, Justin Dentmon.”
— OSU coach Craig Robinson on what happened in the second half: “We got out of our game plan, which was to impose our will offensively. We started taking some bad shots and throwing the ball away and the next thing you know with like 11 minutes to go we were right back to where we started.”
— A neat moment before the game as Robinson, the brother-in-law of Barack Obama, met up with George Hickman, an usher at UW games and a former Tuskegee Airmen who was present at the Inauguration. Robinson said he saw a story on Hickman on TV earlier in the day and saw himn working in the Legends Center prior to OSU’s shoot-around. “I thought I would go in and thank him for his service,” Robinson said. “It’s terrific. It just moved me watching that on the show and I thought if I ran into him I would say thanks.” Here’s a story with background on Hickman.
— UW shot 16-25 in the second half to OSU’s 7-24.
— OSU became just the third team this year to outrebound UW 33-32, evidence of how much harder the Beavers played, though it obviously didn’t matter in the end.
— And thanks for the sign.
All for now.

Comments | Topics: top 25, UCLA

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