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Husky Men's Basketball

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

December 6, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Washington falls in final seconds to No. 11 Marquette

abdul gaddy last shot.jpg
Washington lost 79-77 to No. 11 Marquette in the Jimmy V Classic, which was just as thrilling as the last game they played.
For a few seconds, Terrence Ross morphed into Quincy Pondexter and it was 2010 all over again. Remember Pondexter draining the bank shot with 1.7 seconds that beat the Golden Eagles in the first-round of the NCAA tournament?
Ross might have been the hero after draining a heavily contested short jumper with 19 seconds left that put UW ahead by a point. He might have been fouled on the play, but you can’t expect that call in that situation. Still credit Ross for making a big-time shot over two defenders.
The only problem, the Huskies gave Marquette too much time. The Golden Eagles didn’t call a timeout (more on that later) and quickly pushed the ball. They put the ball in the hands of their best player Darius Johnson-Odom and set a screen for their second best player Jae Crowder who curled around a screen to the right corner.
Senior forward Darnell Gant trailed the play and got caught with the pick. He fell to the floor along with freshman forward Desmond Simmons, which gave Crowder an open look. The MU forward drained the three-point shot with seven seconds left.
Washington had a timeout, but coach Lorenzo Romar elected not to use it. Abdul Gaddy (above) dribbled along the right sideline near the UW bench and lofted a missed three-pointer as time expired.

It’s the second straight end-of-the-game meltdown following a collapse at Nevada, highlighted by the Wolf Pack draining a game-tying three-pointer with six seconds left in regulation.
If Gaddy’s shot had gone in no on would second guess the final seconds.
But UW fell to 4-3 and Romar will no doubt answer questions about why he didn’t call a timeout on the last possession.
Gaddy didn’t have his best outing and it’s puzzling why he took a three-pointer when a two-point shot would have tied the game. Gaddy was hounded by two defenders on the play and was unable to see two open Huskies on the other side of the court.
Hindsight is perfect so there’s no telling that if Gaddy would have made the pass, Washington would have had enough time to got off a shot.
Judging by the shot the Huskies did take, Romar’s decision to not take a timeout is second guessed.
Gaddy also made a costly mistake in the final minute. With 34 seconds left and the score tied 75-75, he had the ball at the top of the key before throwing a difficult pass to Ross that was intercepted by Johnson-Odom. Ross needed to foul him to prevent a layup.
CORRECTED: 10:25 p.m.
Washington will lament several miscues that led to its third loss in the last four games. The Huskies knew they had to defend without fouling and yet they sent the Golden Eagles to the line 27 times. MU converted 19.
Washington attempted just 10 free throws and made 5. Tony Wroten Jr. was 3 of 7 at the line.
The Huskies needed to take care of the ball and they committed 16 turnovers.
They needed to contain Johnson-Odom (23 points on 6-for-17 shooting, five assists and four rebounds) and Crowder (18 points and seven rebounds) and MU’s stars had big nights.
Despite the blown opportunity to pull off the upset and make a statement on national television, the Huskies can build from this defeat.
Ross (19 points, nine rebounds and three assists) might have cemented himself as the team’s go-to guy. He was quiet for long stretches, but he stepped up late in the second half.
C.J. Wilcox needed 16 shots to score 15 points, but that’s okay considering the circumstances and the opponent. He also had four blocks and three rebounds.
Gant had a productive offensive night. He finished with 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting, including two three-pointers. He only had two rebounds and defensively did a good job against Crowder until the last possession.
Wroten was also productive (13 points and seven rebounds). At times, he carried the Huskies offensively, but he also had three turnovers. Wroten was out of the game in the final minutes perhaps because of his poor free throw shooting.
And speaking of free throws, the statistic that jumps out is ONE free throw attempt from Washington’s starters. That’s amazing. And it’s troubling. That’s a passive mindset and it affirms Washington is a jump-shooting team.
No one is suggesting the Huskies are soft. Aziz N’Diaye (12 rebounds) and Simmons (nine rebounds and eight points) won’t allow them to be soft. Washington won the rebounding battle 43-31 and N’Diaye and Simmons were enforcers in the middle.
Still one free throw from the starters in a two-point game is not a winning recipe on the road.
Photo credit: AP Photo – Frank Franklin II

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, top 25


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