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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 12, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Washington stuffs Stanford in the rematch

ross dunks.JPG
Pick your highlight.
Was it Aziz N’Diaye’s monster slam that drew a technical foul because officials deemed he hung on the rim a little too long? Or maybe it was the sight of Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins going ballistic and drawing a technical foul.
Was it Terrence Ross baseline jam (right) when he jumped behind the glass and flushed on Stanford’s Jarrett Mann. Or maybe it was his putback dunk in the second half.
Was it Isaiah Thomas’ two-minute three-point barrage that included a bomb while he stood on the purple “W” at midcourt.
Or maybe it was C.J. Wilcox block on Jeremy Green when he sent the shot flying out of bounds.
There was just so many to choose from in Washington’s 87-76 victory that felt more like a smorgasboard of Husky highlights.
This was the kind of performance Washington needed while it entertained prized recruit Angelo Chol who sat behind the UW bench near incoming-freshmen Tony Wroten and Hikeem Stewart.
Chol got to see the best of the Huskies in front of a sold-out Edmundson Pavilion crowd that was rocking before tip off.
Washington did what Washington does. The Huskies came out inspired defensively. They held Stanford to just 31 first-half points. They forced 10 first-half turnovers that led to 12 points. They challenged everything. They pressured Stanford’s guards and rattled Mann into five first-half turnovers. He finished with a season-high seven.
And when the Cardinal was staggering, Thomas delivered the knockout flurry with a series of three-pointers. Four total. Each one more stunning than the one before. And the last one brought the house down.
After his shot, the Huskies swarmed their junior co-captain as he pointed to the court and yelled repeatedly.
“I said, ‘This is our house.'” Thomas said. “No one is coming in here and getting easy wins or thinking they can come in here and win easily. We just have to defend on the court and that just woke our guys up that we have to play a little harder.”
To that end, the message wasn’t delivered.
Washington was outscored 45-39 in the second half and the final four minutes were dreadful. Still, the Huskies got the win they needed. The momentum is still high. After losing three straight, they’ve won two in a row. And they head out on the road next week bristling with confidence.
“Coaches want to make sure we don’t look too far ahead, that’s how our slump started the first time,” senior guard Venoy Overton said. “So we just have to focus and go down there ready to play.”
Washington plays at Arizona State Thursday, but the game of the week and perhaps the game of the season is Saturday’s rematch at Arizona. The Huskies stomped the Wildcats 85-68 on Jan. 20, but UW trails No. 15 Arizona by one game.
“This will probably be the hardest road trip,” Thomas said. “There are two good teams down there and they’ll be ready for us and we’ll be ready for them. It starts with Arizona State. We have to really be focused and dial in on the defensive end and I think if we do that, we’ll be OK.”
MORE NOTES, QUOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:


thomas drives on stanford.jpg
— Coach Lorenzo Romar said the bench was the MVP, but we’re giving it to Thomas (above, middle). It hardly matters that he had just one assist, which tied his season low, and five turnovers. Thomas was timely and sensational. Perhaps sensing the Huskies could use a pick-me-up, he responded with a two-minute, three-point burst Hec Ed hadn’t seen since Tre Simmons roamed the perimeter. Aside from the treys, Thomas converted two dribble drive layups and he played tough defense against Green and the Stanford guards.
— Overton had his best of the season. Romar called this one. He said he saw signs of a spark three games ago at Oregon. Sure enough, Overton has improved steadily and tonight he finished with a season-high 12 points, four assists and zero turnovers. Maybe it was the three-pointer that got him going. Or maybe it was Washington’s pressure defense. Overton was his normal annoying self. He had just one steal, but he made life miserable for Mann and freshman point guard Aaron Bright.
— You know Matthew Bryan-Amaning has reached star level when he can produce 15 points and six rebounds and it seems as if he had a so-so performance. The season-high six turnovers has a lot to do with that assessment. Still he worked hard on both ends of the court. He dominated the Stanford bigs defensively. One major concern is his free throws. Bryan-Amaning missed four of seven today. He entered the game shooting 58.6 percent at the line. He’s a career 54.7 percent shooter so this isn’t going to improve dramatically in the next few weeks and that could be a problem.
— That’s two straight impressive outings for Wilcox. Maybe the nagging injuries are behind him. On Thursday he scored 14 points in 13 minutes. Tonight he had 10 points in 16 minutes, including two three-pointers. Still his best plays were not the treys, which is a sign that he’s maturing. Wilcox played impressive defense on Green, including a well-timed block in the first half. In the second half, Wilcox passed up a three-pointer and delivered an assist to N’Diaye for a monster dunk. Wilcox also had two steals.
N'diaye dunks.JPG
— And speaking of N’Diaye (left), he was a force at times offensively. Fans will remember the slams, but he worked hard to get into position and create space for those entry passes. He also collected six rebounds and blocked three shots while committing just one foul in 18 minutes. N’Diaye commented on the chippy play. The game included three technical fouls.
“That’s part of the game,” N’Diaye said. “On the offensive end, when we were crashing on the offensive rebounds, they were trying to push us some but that’s part of the game. The ref is going to see those quick fouls under the rim.”
Scott Suggs fouled out in 19 minutes, which may be a sign that he’s maturing as well. It’s the first time he’s been disqualified. Before tonight, he had collected just four fouls once this season. Against Stanford, Suggs fully embraced Washington’s deny defense. He also spent some time on Green and got caught using his hands or being out of position once or twice. Offensively Suggs made a pair of nice dribble drives for a short jumpers and he had two assists.
Terrence Ross finished with team-high tying six rebounds. He also distributed three assists. It wasn’t a big scoring night for the freshman who finished with four points on 2-for-6 shooting. Maybe he’s being a little too patient.
— Forgettable game for Justin Holiday who had six points in 28 minutes.
— Whenever Darnell Gant collects five rebounds in 17 minutes, it’s a good game for the junior forward. He was scoreless on three attempts.
— Freshman walk-on Antoine Hosley came off the bench in the final three minutes and attempted two shots. The first missed and he seemed disgusted at himself. The second shot – a long jumper on the wing – was perfect. It was Washington’s final points and Hosley’s second field goal this season.
Photo credit: Seattle Times – Dean Rutz

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

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