IT’S OVER — WVU 69-56.
THOMAS FOULED OUT — With 2:41 left, Thomas fouled out. WVU 65-52.
SLOWING DOWN — Got to slow down on the thread and write the game story. UW trails 56-43 with 7:40 left.
JACKET COMES OFF — Romar just came out of his jacket and picked up a technical foul with 8:11 left after protesting a foul on Holiday. Ebanks sank both free throws. WVU 54-43.
BUTLER GOES DOWN HARD — Butler landed hard on his hand and was down for a few seconds. He seems fine. WVU 52-43 at 9:01.
UW DOWN NINE — Washington hasn’t scored in a long time. The Mountaineers are on an 11-1 run. Not sure where UW goes for offense. Seems like Thomas has to take over and get something going. Meanwhile, WVU is scoring on putbacks and free throws. WVU 47-38 at 11;58.
MOMENTUM TURNING AGAIN — Two bad trips for UW. Pondexter had the ball slapped out of his hands on one possession and had a shot blocked on another. WVU 45-38.
THOMAS HAS THREE — Thomas has three fouls. Not good for the Huskies. WVU 43-38 at 13:21.
WVU ZONE — It was bound to happen sooner or later, the Mountaineers went zone. It didn’t work very well. UW had five shots at the rim and nothing went down. UW 37-36 at 14:35.
MOMENTUM MIGHT BE SHIFTING — That’s two good trips for the Huskies. Pondexter is starting to look like his old self. He’s spinning in the lane and making plays rather than looking tentative. He knows his next foul puts him on the bench for a very long time, but he’s playing hard. UW 37-36 at 15:29.
MAZZULLA HAS THREE — Mazulla picked up third foul at 16:34. That could be important. Mitchell is in. WVU 36-35.
TIMEOUT UW — Not sure why the Mountaineers are trying to run with the Huskies. It’s a faster tempo than the first half. Maybe they feel this is the time when they can break open the game. Could be dangerous. The Huskies like playing at this pace. WVU 36-33.
BUTLER TIME — Someone on press row told me: “This is when Butler should take over.” He scored two baskets. WVU 32-31.
SECOND HALF — Mazzulla is starting. Same starters for UW.
HALFTIME OBSERVATIONS — Hard fought game. I know that’s an overused cliche, but it looks like a battle out there. Both teams are scrapping and not conceding and inch.
I’m not sure if UW has played better defensively. The Huskies are overmatched size-wise and yet, they have stymied WVU’s offense. Thomas is a warrior. He’s giving up nearly a foot, but won’t back down.
Offensively, there’s no rhythm. But then, that’s to be expected when you play the Mountaineers. Washington is scoring when the opportunity arises. Nothing is set. On one possession, Holiday will drain a three-pointer and other times Gaddy will penetrate for a layup.
It’s so haphazard because Pondexter has played just seven minutes, attempting two shots while straddled with three fouls. He’s been ineffective. Even though UW has hung in this game, still believe it needs it’s leading scorer to have a presence if it’s going to win this game.
STATS — Click here.
HALFTIME — UW 29-27.
LAST PLAY IN THE FIRST HALF — Huggins called timeout to set up a play. Just 24.2 seconds are left.
MISMATCH — Thomas (5-8) is defending 6-7 John Flowers. UW 27-27.
STRANGE GAME — This isn’t the pace the Huskies wanted, but they’re hanging tight. It feels as if the first team that strings together three good possessions will take control of the game. UW 24-23 at 2:46.
BACK ONLINE — The IT folks here have rigged something with the internet. We’re up and running. Should have more frequent posts. Thanks for hanging tight.
GADDY HUSTLES — Gaddy recovered a loose ball at the feet of a WVU player. Big play. On the previous possession, Holiday looked as if he had a dunk and appeared that he was fouled, but there was no call. UW 24-23 at 3:01.
PONDEXTER HAS THREE FOULS — He picked up his third foul with 4:27 left on an offensive move to the rim. UW 22-19/
PONDEXTER STILL SITS — Pondexter has been on the bench on the bench a long time. UW 12-10 at 7:51.
TEST OF WILLS — West Virginia is playing two guards Mitchell and Mazzulla. That’s good news for the Huskies. UW 10-8 at 8:47.
MEDIA TIMEOUT — Despite the absence of Thomas and Pondexter, the Huskies are still in control of the game because of its defense. Venoy Overton is causing havoc. The Mountaineers have great difficulty getting into their offense. UW is also struggling to create offense. UW 8-6 at 11:52.
SLOW PACE — Despite the slow pace, the Huskies have the early control of the game. WVU coach Bob Huggins is fuming at his guys for losing turnovers. The Mountaineers are playing guys like Dalton Pepper who don’t have a lot of experience. Pondexter has two fouls and he’s out. UW 6-4 at 13:11.
Apologies for the infrequent posts, but the wireless goes down every two minutes.
MITCHELL STARTING — Mitchell is starting rather than Joe Mazzulla.
STARTING LINEUPS — No change for UW: Quincy Pondexter, Justin Holiday, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Abdul Gaddy and Isaiah Thomas.
WVU: F Devin Ebanks, F Kevin Jones, F Wellington Smith, F Da’Sean Butler and G Casey Mitchell.
STRANGE CROWD — The Kentucky fans are sitting in two sections at midcourt and they have yet to arrive so those seats are empty. The Huskies have one section that’s full. They’re sitting across from the Husky bench.
WARNING — It might be a slow night on the thread. The NCAA controls the wireless in the building and it’s gone out twice already. Not good.
NATIONAL ANTHEM — The West Virginia band played the national anthem. Both teams were on the court. When it was over, they walked to midcourt and exchanged handshakes.
JUST GOT SOME PICS — I’m updating the thread below with photos from Seattle Times photographer Dean Rutz.
EX-HUSKIES IN THE HOUSE — A little birdie told me Spencer Hawes, Jon Brockman and Nate Robinson will be at the game. I haven’t seen them just yet.
TONIGHT’S REFS — Tom Eades is a 14-year veteran who has worked the SEC and Missouri Valley games. Mike Eades is a 13-year vet with recent experience in the ACC and Big South. Brian Dorsey has worked 10 years and is familiar with the ACC and Colonial Athletic conferences.
BACK IN BLACK — I made a mistake on the Live Chat. It was asked if the Huskies were wearing their black uniforms and I thought the NCAA didn’t allow alternative jerseys in the tournament. Just checked with a UW official who told me that’s not true.
Furthermore, the Huskies are wearing their black jerseys tonight. That’s Quincy Pondexter below.
HUSKIES IN THE HOUSE — Washington made it to the Carrier Dome.
IT’S OVER — WVU 69-56.
The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.