Crazy scene in Lubbock, Texas where Texas Tech fans stormed the court not once, but twice. That look on Matthew Bryan-Amaning’s face (above) tells the story of this game.
Still there’s so much to digest.
Let’s start with a call for patience. I had a chance to read some of the game thread comments [Great work guys. Over 400 comments. Wow.] and some of y’all sound like you want to jump off the Montlake Bridge. Easy people.
We knew the Huskies weren’t going to go 30-0 and we’ve been saying it’s a down year in the Pac-10. And as coach Lorenzo Romar said in his post-game conference, Texas Tech is pretty doggone good. The Red Raiders look like a NCAA tournament team. At least tonight they did.
What’s troubling for the Huskies is their defense, which allowed Tech to shoot 54.8 percent in the first half and 47.8 percent for the game. Tech also had 15 offensive rebounds and won the battle of the glass 42-37.
After the half, Washington did a better job on the perimeter defensively and didn’t allow a three pointer.
Turnovers also hurt. UW had been so good at taking care of the ball this season, but tonight the Huskies committed a season-high 19 TOs, which resulted in 20 points. Before tonight, UW hadn’t committed more than 12 turnovers in a game.
And it was interesting to hear some of the older Huskies compare this loss to the 86-84 defeat against Florida last season. After that defeat, UW didn’t lose again in the preseason and won 9 straight. Florida was No. 17 when it lost to UW and Tech isn’t ranked, but Romar says this is a quality Red Raiders squad.
SOME MORE OBSERVATIONS:
— Let’s start with Quincy Pondexter. Can we agree the guy is building a case for some serious post-season accolades. I can give him a pass for the 0-for-3 three-pointers and I can even excuse many of the six turnovers because when Washington needed a leader, he stepped up. He scored eight of his career-high 31 points in overtime and sank 11 of 13 free throws.
— Elston Turner. Finally, the real ET arrived tonight. No one is going to forget the two missed free throws that might have won the game – who knows what would have happened. But no one is also going to forget he carried UW in the first half when it trailed by 10 and things could have gotten really ugly. Turner made his first start and it looks as if when Romar wants to go with a small lineup, he’ll use Turner.
— Tonight’s game may have given us glimpse what the rotation will look like when Pac-10 play starts.
In the five-minute overtime, Romar used just two subs (Justin Holiday and Darnell Gant). And in the second half, only eight guys played more than 10 minutes. Abdul Gaddy was the other reserve joining Gant and Holiday to get extended minutes.
I didn’t have a chance to ask him, but I’m guessing Romar figured the game was too fast for Tyreese Breshers and he didn’t see enough out of Clarence Trent and Scott Suggs to give them big minutes after halftime.
— As good as Venoy Overton was – and at times he was amazing – he can’t commit six turnovers at the point guard position. If he does, UW is in danger of losing every night. To be fair, a couple of Overton’s turnovers came after he created a turnover, but UW needed a floor general in the backcourt to control the ball. Aside from the turnovers, Overton had one of his better games of the season. He finished with 9 points on 4-for-5 shooting, 6 steals and 3 assists. If he could rebound, he’d really fill up a stat sheet and folks might start comparing him to Rajon Rondo.
— There’s something wrong with Isaiah Thomas’ shot. He said as much after the game. Normally he converts in traffic around the rim, but tonight he sank 4 of 15. This is after shooting 5 of 16 against Montana and 4 of 13 against San Jose State. Still, give Thomas credit because he never quit charging the lane where he took a lot of abuse and went to the line 13 times.
— Gaddy’s struggles continue. He had his second straight scoreless outing and despite the extra period, played a season-low 10 minutes. Even more distressing, UW’s best passer didn’t have an assist for the first time this season.
— Holiday normally fills up a stat sheet and makes a difference with defense, but he’s also been quiet lately. Tonight he was scoreless and in the past three games, he has a combined five points.
— Gant looks like he found his mojo. Nine rebounds. That doubles his season high and is two more than his old personal best. Not surprisingly, he played 27 minutes, which was also a career high. Gant also sank 3 of 5 shots for a season-high 7 points. It was great to see him bounce back after a tough start to the season.
— And finally, Pondexter had the quote of the night.
(What was it like when their fans came on the floor in regulation?) “It was definitely surreal. It happened twice. One part about it, it’s like man I’m hurt that we lost. And the second part is people think we’re that good. I told the guys to remember this feeling and we’re going to move on from this. … We never gave up. In earlier years, this could have been a blowout. We got down early in the first half and we could have let it go in the complete opposite way and let them balloon the score. But we said at halftime we had a great opportunity to come back. And we did. We had chances.”