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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 13, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Isaiah Thomas: “We should really be undefeated”

Here we go again. Let’s examine Washington’s ability to get a good shot and make a big shot in the final seconds of a tense game on the road.
Sound familiar? Maybe like the defeats against Kentucky and Michigan State in Maui. Or the loss at Texas A&M.
“A little bit, but they’re all different,” Isaiah Thomas said. “All of our losses are different. We should really be undefeated. Big ups to Stanford. They played a good game.”
Just when you thought the 17th-ranked Huskies had discovered the clutch gene, they stumble down the stretch and manage just five points in the final 8:55 of a 58-56 defeat at Stanford.
Despite their offensive troubles, Washington had a chance to win the game at the end after Cardinal forward Josh Owens scored the game-winning putback with 29 seconds left.
The Huskies had the ball and the play coach Lorenzo Romar called had broken down. Somehow Scott Suggs, who sank a big three-pointer seconds earlier, had the ball in the corner with a good look at a trey. His attempt rattled out with five seconds left and Justin Holiday (near right) managed to outwrestle two Stanford players for the offensive rebound.
On his putback attempt, he was fouled and went to the line with two seconds left.
Holiday might not be the first guy you’d choose to knock down a pair of clutch foul shots, however, he’s an 80 percent shooter. And he’s a senior. And he had scored 15 second-half points.
He missed the first attempt and intentionally missed the second. Washington caught a break when Dwight Powell (above, far right) traveled while securing the rebound. The Huskies got lucky again when officials huddled around a monitor and put time back on the clock. Initially UW had 0.5 seconds, but the refs gave them 1.1 seconds.
Romar designed a play for Holiday. He had Thomas in bound the ball. It was a debatable choice because Thomas is UW’s shortest player and he’s someone who relishes taking last-second shots. Romar said he picked Thomas to make the pass because he’s leading the conference in assists.
Thomas was supposed to lob a pass at the rim for Holiday, but Stanford snuffed out the play and forced Plan B. Holiday got the ball on the right wing in front of the UW bench. He had time and he got a good look, but 6-foot-8 Owens was closing in and Holiday floated a 12-foot jumper that traveled about 10 feet.
Romar on the last-second play: “We were trying to get it over the top (to Holiday). They did a good job of defending him. Holiday just went a little soft on that last shot. He makes those all the time. We had called something to run, we didn’t quite get it, so we penetrated. We found him (Holiday). He had a good look at the basket.”
Say goodbye to the six-game winning streak. So long to the 11 straight wins against Pac-10 opponents. Sayonara to the team-record six straight road win s against league opponents. Adios to the six-game winning streak against Stanford.
And forget about the notion of going undefeated in the Pac-10.
“That’s one thing we were thinking the whole time,” Thomas said. “We feel that we’re that good. And now we try to go 17-1. Not to look past any other team, but that’s the goal.”

— Holiday had a horrendous start missing his first five shots and going scoreless in the first half. To his credit, he kept shooting. He didn’t hesitate on his first attempt early in the second half and scored on three-pointer that splashed through the net. Holiday was 6 of 9 after halftime and he scored a game-high 15 points. Unfortunately for the Huskies, they needed two more points from their senior co-captain. Still if not for his offensive rebounds, UW wouldn’t have been in position to tie the game. Holiday also defended Stanford freshman point guard Aaron Bright and held him scoreless on four attempts.
Holiday on the final shot: “I wanted the ball. The plan was for me to get a lob, but when they helped, I didn’t get that much time to shoot it. I thought that was going in, but he touched me real well. It was a little higher than I wanted to shoot. I think Owens was guarding me. They have a lot of long players.”
— Aside from the four turnovers, it was a nice game for Thomas. He finished with 14 points and seven assists while holding Stanford’s leading scorer Jeremy Green to 12 points on 4-for-12 shooting. Thomas might have had a few more turnovers, however, several Huskies failed to convert his passes into baskets.
— For some reason, Matthew Bryan-Amaning played 18 minutes in the second half and only attempted one shot. That should never happen. Didn’t have a chance to talk to him after the game so it’s difficult to know whether he was bottled up by Stanford’s defense, failed to get open or didn’t get any passes from the guards. Bryan-Amaning finished with eight points – his lowest output in seven games – and seven rebounds. When he did shoot in the second half, Bryan-Amaning blew a point-blank layup.
Aziz N’Diaye had his hands full with Owens, which forced the Huskies to play zone late in the first half. He played solid defense, but Owens played better offense. N’Diaye had 11 rebounds, the most he’s had since the season-opener. He also blew a point-blank layup off of a feed from Thomas in the second half that proved costly.
Venoy Overton missed four of five shots. He had three rebounds and two steals in 20 minutes, but didn’t factor into the outcome.
— Washington received just 13 points from its bench. No one scored more than Suggs, who had six. Terrence Ross missed 6 of 7 shots, C.J. Wilcox missed 3 of 4 and Darnell Gant was misfired on 2 attempts from the field. The reserves didn’t show up, which tends to happen on the road. Still Washington needed somebody to help Holiday and Thomas carry the team down the stretch. Suggs was in position to be the hero, but just like Wilcox at Texas A&M he couldn’t convert an open three-pointer.
— Washington finished with a season-low 56 points and 36.2 percent shooting.
— The first and second halves were identical scoring. Stanford 29, Washington 28.
— Washington has a longer than normal rest before its next game, 7 p.m. Sunday at California. Coach Lorenzo Romar said he’ll use the extra day to get in another practice. Cal beat Washington State 88-81 tonight.
— And finally, Romar said the police investigation into a sexual assault allegation from a 16-year-old girl that involves a UW player didn’t factor into tonight’s game.
“If you’re up 11 points with 10 minutes to go, something went right,” Romar said. “It was mentioned that this is the first time we were down at halftime, but that doesn’t mean we were distracted. I just don’t think we played to where we came out and were in disarray. In the first half we didn’t make a lot of shots.”

Comments | Topics: C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs


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