SENIORS SPEAK —- Each of the seniors then spoke.
Notable of what they said was Dentmon that “we are pleased but not satisifed. We’ve still got one more to go.”
Brockman noted that his career had gone by in a flash having begun with a Sweet 16 and that “I have a feeling this group right here has a chance to do something more special than that.”
Then he concluded with a “can you dig iiiitttttt!!!!!.”
Now it’s interview time so I’ll have more later.
ROMAR’S WORDS — Romar grabbed a mic and told the crowd how the title was due to “a commitment by 13 guys to be a team.”
Then he said “this is a great day and we are going to really, really enjoy this. But we still have some work to do.”
ROMAR CUTS THE LAST STRAND — All of the players got a turn, then the assistants, and finally Lorenzo Romar, who has done something no other UW coach has since 1953 — a no-doubt about it Pac-10 title.
QUICK STATS — Pondexter had 16 points, Overton 14 and Dentmon 12 but UW won this one largely with defense, holding WSU to 20-54 shooting overall and 4-13 on threes.
JD FIRST TO CUT DOWN A SNIP OF THE NET — Romar called for the seniors to go first so Dentmon cut the first strand, followed by Wallace and Brockman, who did indeed tie his career-high with 18 rebounds today as UW outboarded WSU 40-28.
HUSKIES CUTTING DOWN THE NETS — Romar has just been presented the Pac-10 champion trophy and the team is now preparing to cut down the nets.
FANS ARE NOW STORMING THE COURT — Thomas has been lifted onto the shoulders of the Dawg Pack as the studens are now rushing onto the court, some holding up the UW Pac-10 T-shirts already available.
Another is holding up a sign reading “Kings of the Pac.”
HUSKIES WIN IT — UW has done it. Overton dribbled off the final seconds and then threw the ball high in the air as the horn sounded, UW ahead 67-60. UW’s four coaches, all together for the last four years and getting a lot of slings and arrows the last few years, shared a group hug as it ended.
BROCKMAN HAS 17 REBOUNDS — That’s one shy of his career high and it’s hard to think of anything more fitting than him getting his 18th or 19th here in the final seconds to help clinch this title.
HUSKIES CLOSING IN — It’s now 66-58 with 41.5 as WSU has missed a shot and turned it over on its last two possessions. A drive by Thomas put UW ahead 64-58 and two JD free throws added to the lead. Most fans are standing in anticipation of history.
UW UP 62-58 — With 2:22 left. After Forrest missed another jumper, Pondexter scored on the other end on a spin move in the lane to put UW ahead 60-56. Rochestie then drove into the paint where he met a UW brick wall, mainly Brockman, and turned the ball over leading to a fast break and a Pondexter layin on the other end on a pass from Overton.
Pondexter now has a team-high 16 points and those ribs bruised the other night don’t seem to be feeling all that bad.
ROCHESTIE KEEPINIG COUGS IN IT — Rochestie has hit two straight three-pointers and has 23 points, keeping WSU in it as it’s now 58-56 with 3:55 to play and WSU has the ball following an offensive foul on UW and a time out. Rochestie is 6-11 this half for 17 points. Overton is back in the game to defend him. On the other end, Thompson and his four fouls are guarding Overton, so expect him to go aggressively again to the hoop to try to get Thompson out of the game.
UW HOLDING ON — Huskies lead 58-53 with 4:43 to play. Overton has a team-high 13 points in what is also a season-high. He scored 19 last year against Arizona. He is 3-5 shooting and 7-9 at the line having been able to penetrate all day. That’s making up for 5-19 shooting from Thomas (2-10) and Dentmon (3-9).
HUSKIES JUST QUICKER ON DEFENSE — UW’s conventional offense is having a tough time today, as a lot of teams do against the Cougars. But UW holds a 52-47 lead with 7:00 left, and Dentmon at the line after the time out, thanks to its relentless D. WSU had the ball down just three about a minute ago when a trap at halfcourt forced a turnover and an easy layin for Justin Holiday to make it 52-47. And JD is at the line now thanks to another steal on defense, this one by Thomas.
WSU is 18-48 shooting, UW 19-48. UW is 12-17 on FTs, WSU 9-12.
COUGS COME BACK BUT THOMPSON GETS HIS FOURTH — It’s 42-41 UW with 11:43 left but one big thing just went UW’s way was Thompson was called for his fourth foul, again trying to stop a drive from Overton, whose aggression is one or the best things UW has going for it today.
WSU coaches argued vehemently that the foul should have been on Koprivca, but the officials ruled otherwise, so Thompson is back to the bench, having barely played this half.
HUSKIES TAKE BIGGEST LEAD — Here comes the run as the Huskies have scored the last seven to take a 39-31 lead with 15:29 to play. It was capped by a wide-open three by Dentmon after a pass from Thomas in transition. WSU’s Thompson is on the bench with three fouls limiting WSU’s offensive options at the moment, which are mostly jumpers by Caleb Forrest.
GANT, KOPRIVICA START SECOND HALF — Gant for Wallace, Koprivca for Capers, who has three fouls.
ANOTHER EARLY SECOND-HALF RUN? — UW led WSU just 32-30 at the half in Pullman in January before it blew the game open early in the second half, the beginning of what has become a happy trend for the Huskies this season.
It’d be fitting if the Huskies did it again in the game that could win them their first outright Pac-10 title since 1953.
Also, look for depth to be a factor in the second half. WSU used just seven players while UW has used 10 (and will likely continue to use nine regularly). That’s another reason UW has worn down so many teams in the second half this season.
COUGS 0-3 ON THREE-POINTERS — WSU has made at least two in every game this season, but UW’s perimeter defense isn’t allowing the Cougars much space to get one off.
HUSKIES OUT-COUGING THE COUGS — UW has a 30-25 halftime lead and they’ve gotten it through defense and some timely shooting from Quincy Pondexter, who leads the Huskies with 10 points, hitting 4-6 shots, mostly all jumpers.
WSU, meanwhile, is just 8-27 from the floor and 4-22 since a 4-5 start, rarely having any open space to get off a shot.
Baynes has 11 points on 3-4 shooting meaning he rest of team is 5-23. Rochestie is 2-8, Thompson 1-5 and Forrest 1-5, all seeming a bit unnerved by both the noise and UW’s pressure defense.
UW’s backcourt is also struggling offensively as IT is 1-7 and Dentmon 1-6. But Brockman has nine rebounds as UW has a 25-15 edge on the boards, another key in the lead.
UW scored the last five points of the half and WSU didn’t get a field goal in the last 5:15 and doesn’t have one from anyone other than Baynes since right around the 10-minute mark (actually 9:39 now that I have the official play-by-play).
SENIOR DAY VIDEO — Here’s a link to video of the Senior Day tribute before the game.
GETTING INTENSE — A pretty intense last four minutes as the officials have made a few calls that have the crowd at full throat — not sure Metallica could be heard in here right now. Overton has gotten the bad end of it getting called for three fouls, one when he tripped Rochestie as the two were scrambling for a loose ball. Looked like an accidental trip but the refs called it. It looked like Overton had gotten in Rochestie’s head a bit as on WSU’s last possession, Rochestie tried to drive into the lane for what didn’t seem a good shot that missed badly.
It’s 25-23 UW with 3:32 to play in the first half but WSU is at the line out of the time out.
GETTING UGLY — UW has missed its last five shots while WSU is two of its last 13. The upshot is a 15-15 tie with 7:33 to play. UW also has seven turnovers, three by Bryan-Amaning who seems a little flustered so far. Bbrockman remains scoreless, having trouble getting position on Baynes.
Also, Steve Sarkisian is in the house today alongside his wife, marking her first game of the year that I recall.
HUSKIES PICK UP THE DEFENSE — The regular firemen unit of Overton and Holiday helped douse the Cougar offense and has UW in the lead at 15-13 with 11:56 to play. After hitting 4-5 to start the game WSU is now at 5-12 and isn’t getting a lot of really good looks. WSU has slowed the pace a bit but the Huskies are trying to quicken it, having used a press on a few possessions of late. Brockman has yet to score, missing two FTs as UW is 4-7 at the line.
EARLY TURNING POINT? — WSU leads 9-7, hitting four of its first five shots, But in an early turning point, WSU had a 2-1 fast break and a chance to go up seven when Pondexter blocked the shot of Marcus Capers. That led to a transition three-pointer on the other end by Dentmon. Now Pondexter will be at the line following the time out.
Baynes scored three points being guarded by Wallace, but Gant is ready to check in, having been the table for the last two minutes but no stop in play to get him in.
THREE RECRUITS — Gaddy, Garcia and Wilcox all just walked in and are sitting in the second rod right behind the UW bench.
LINEUPS AS EXPECTED — No surprises to the starting lineups for either teams.Wallace will start for Gant for UW. WSU going with Marcus Capers, Klay Thompson, Caleb forrest and Aron Baynes.
Daven Harmeling was listed as a starter in the notes, but Capers has been getting his share of starts lately —- WSU often mixes the lineup a bit depending on who it is playing. And Harmeling is out today with a shoulder injury suffered on Thursday. He’s struggled with his shot all season, however, so hard to know how much he would have played, anyway.
GARCIA ALSO HERE — Charles Garcia is also here today taking this one in.
BOOS GREET THE COUGS — The senior ceremony is over and the Cougars are now on the court to an equally hearty round of boos.
SENIORS HONORED — The seniors have been honored. The Dawg Pack held up signs saying “Thank You, Dentmon,” etc., some holding up flags of Wallace’s native country. Brockman and JD shared what seemed like an especially heartfelt hug as they met after Dentmon was introduced. Brockman was introduced first, followed by Dentmon and then Wallace.
PRE-GAME — UCLA is going to beat Oregon so the Huskies will have to win this one today to get the outright title.
They are just about to honor the seniors.
Recruits Abdul Gaddy and C.J. Wilcox are sitting behind the UW bench today having been on the bench during pre-game warmups.
SENIORS SPEAK —- Each of the seniors then spoke.
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