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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 3, 2012 at 4:35 PM

UCLA snaps UW’s five-game win streak

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Washington finished the regular-season on a somber note, falling 75-69 against UCLA at the Sports Arena.
Most players were stunned by the outcome, believing they controlled most of the game. Perhaps the Huskies should have won, but they committed several turnovers in the second half that led to easy points for UCLA.
“Tough way to lose,” coach Lorenzo Romar said. “They have been playing good basketball, UCLA has. I thought our guys did a good job today.
“The difference in the game was in the second half; they scored 11 points off of our turnovers and the majority of those were unforced. That’s the difference in the game. The game was a two-point game right down the stretch near the end. We just didn’t do a good enough job of taking care of the basketball.”
Both teams committed 14 turnovers. However, UW’s mistakes led to 19 points while the Huskies got eight points from UCLA’s turnovers.
Washington played well in spurts and controlled most of the game with a four-guard lineup. I can’t remember when Tony Wroten Jr., Terrence Ross (above, right), C.J. Wilcox and Abdul Gaddy have played so well as a unit.
Wilcox, Ross and Ross combined to score 54 of UW’s 69 points while Gaddy had a career-high 12 assists, just four shy of the school record.
Because Aziz N’Diaye was in foul trouble, Romar relied on the four-guard lineup and a zone to negate big Joshua Smith and UCLA size advantage.
However, the Bruins took the lead for good with 44 seconds left because of its big front line. UCLA guard Tyler Lamb missed a three-pointer and Smith collected the rebound. His tip-in rolled out, but David Wear punched in the putback that put the Bruins up 71-69.
With 44 seconds left, the Huskies put up a quick shot and Ross misfired on a mid-range jumper. They got the ball back to set up one last play.
Gaddy got the ball and came off a screen from Darnell Gant who flared to the top of the key. There was no chance of getting the ball to Wilcox or Ross at that point and Gaddy passed to Gant who was open.
He looked at Ross for a moment, but also saw 6-5 guard Tyler Lamb, who had four steals, nearby. So Gant took the shot. He missed. And essentially the game was over. UCLA drilled four free throws to close out the scoring.
“We were trying to get a ball screen and spread the floor and get it to the open man,” Romar said. “Darnell was open but it was a two-on-one, the guy closed out and Terrence was open, one pass away. So we felt that if we could reverse and get the ball there, but we took the shot. Maybe we could have made the extra pass but we took the shot.”
It’s the second miss for Gant at the end of a game. He misfired on a potential game-tying three-pointer on Jan. 19 in a 69-66 loss to California.
Here’s Gant’s description of today’s play.
“I set a flat ball screen for Gaddy and he came off of it,” he said. “The guy hedged hard and he drove both defenders. I was open. I would have passed it to Ross, but they would send a guy in the passing lanes so it was hard for me to pass it. I knew I couldn’t get it to Ross so I felt like I should take the shot.”
Here’s Ross’ description of the play.
“Where Ty Lamb was standing, he was right in the middle of the both of us so if (Gaddy) would have passed it to me, Darnell would have been open,” Ross said. “If Darnell took it, I was open. … Two people were open. No matter who took the shot, there was going to be somebody close to him.
“Lamb was playing the passing lanes the whole game. I think he did a good job of pump faking because that got him to come closer to me. It was just a tough situation.”
It’s my belief Washington (21-9, 14-4) needs to win next Thursday’s quarterfinal to earn an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament. However, the Huskies may need to win two games.
Romar believes UW is tournament worthy, but he’s unsure what will happen.
“We’re co-champs of the league,” he said. “We won 10 out of 12. It should be a slam dunk. But we’ll see. It’s now on the committee.”
Due to the loss, it was difficult for the Huskies to celebrate winning at least a share of the conference crown.
“We’re still champs,” Romar said. “Co-champs. That’s a positive. We can still be outright champs based on the game tomorrow. But we just had a mindset that we were going to take care of this situation in terms of our postseason play and the NCAA tournament. We said five games ago that we couldn’t have any slip ups. Just the uncertainty of it is the biggest negative aside from the loss itself.”
Washington will root for Stanford when it hosts California at 2:30 p.m. Gant said he’ll probably watch the game alone while Ross said he’ll watch the second half.
Photo credit: AP Photo – Jason Redmond

— Hadn’t seen a performance like that from Wilcox in a long time. It was a pre-hip injury display of brilliant shooting. Wilcox had just about everything working today. He connected on 9 of 12 shots, including 4 of 6 three-pointers for a game high 22 points. It’s his most points since scoring 25 against Seattle University and missing the next three games. Wilcox also had five rebounds.
“Game by game it just gets better for me,” he said. “I feel more comfortable going out there and tonight I was able to knock shots down.”
— Wroten did his some of his finest work on the defensive end where he held Jerime Anderson to two points, five assists and four rebounds. It was a quiet game for the UCLA guard and an efficient performance from Wroten. He shot 6 of 12 from the field and 2 of 4 from the line for 14 points. He also had five assists and two turnovers in 30 minutes.
— Five turnovers marred what was otherwise a fantastic day for Ross. A few times he was just reckless with the ball and Lamb picked him clean for transition baskets. Still the Huskies nearly survived Ross’ mistakes and needed him in the game because he was active on both ends of the court. The sophomore guard 13 of his 18 points in the first half and also had four steals and four rebounds. When the Huskies didn’t have a shot, Ross created scoring opportunities. On one occasion he scored on a pass from out of bounds with about a second remaining on the shot clock. Ross destroyed UCLA in the first game, but this time Lamb won their personal battle. The Bruins guard finished with 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
— Romar called Gaddy “masterful” when describing how the junior directed the offense. Gaddy has never been better passing the ball and he was four assists shy of tying a school record. He also finished with three steals. Gaddy only made 1 of 7 field goals, but it turned out to be a big one. He drilled an open three-pointer that put UW ahead 67-65 with 4:43 left. You can almost overlook the poor shooting, but Gaddy had difficulty containing Lazeric Jones who finished with a team-high 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting. Jones also duped Gaddy into a foul on a three-pointer for a four-point play.
— Considering UW went with a small four-guard lineup for long stretches it was important for Gant to be active on the glass and he collected a career-high tying 10 rebounds. On Thursday, he had nine rebounds. But the Huskies also needed an occasional basket from their senior forward he responded with a 1-for-7 shooting display and two points. There’s a reason Gant was open on his final three-pointer. At the 7:56 mark he missed a three and with 1:51 remaining he missed another three. Perhaps Lamb had those misses in mind when he chose to stay with Ross and gave Ross an open three with 44 seconds left.
— Foul trouble cut N’Diaye’s time on the court. Still in 22 minutes, he had seven points and six rebounds. He also played solid defense on UCLA’s Joshua Smith who had nien points and five rebounds.
Shawn Kemp Jr., Desmond Simmons and Austin Seferian-Jenkins each played limited minutes relief. Kemp was solid defensively while Simmons had a notable offensive rebound and was impressive when he drove the ball at Smith and picked up a foul. Still not sure why he’s taking three-pointers at this point in the season. He was 0 for 2 today and hasn’t made one in nine games. He’s shooting 24 percent (6 for 25) behind the arc.

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


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