Final Score: 99-92 (OT) Husky loss (5-1)
Three of the four factors were almost dead even: shooting, turnovers and free throws. The one that Tech managed to win was offensive rebounding, which is something that teams can rarely say when playing the Huskies. The only Huskies who had multiple offensive rebounds were (not shockingly) Isaiah Thomas and Quincy Pondexter. Darnell Gant had just one, Matthew Bryan-Amaning didn't have any, and Tyreese Breshers hardly played at all. It was easily the Huskies worst offensive rebounding game of the year, and when it's what you hang your hat on you can't have nights like this and expect to win without doing something else exceptionally well, which the Huskies did not.
This was perhaps the most unwatchable game I've ever seen. The refs called 61 fouls over the course of 45 minutes, averaging out to a foul called about every 42 seconds. The personal foul calls weren't one sided, there were just too many of them. Every bit of contact drew a whistle, and the refs wouldn't just let the kids on either team play basketball. It was very frustrating to watch because it didn't feel like either team ever got into the flow of the game like the should have because of the constant stoppages of play.
The one area that the refs really flubbed up the game was with the technical fouls. After a double foul call on Breshers and Darko Cohadarevic, the Tech player stood over the Husky for several seconds, showing him up and not letting him get off of the ground. A technical should have been given to Cohadarevic right then and there, instead the refs let him continue, and Breshers was understandably upset and pushed the big Serbian off of him and was given a technical. If anything it should have been a double technical, but the refs missed that one. Later in the game after Abdul Gaddy (foolishly) committed a flagrant foul, John Roberson shoved Gaddy. Naturally, the refs looked the other way and didn't call anything. Toward the end of regulation, Isaiah Thomas and D'walyn Roberts bumped into each other on the way to their teams' huddles and Roberts shoved Thomas while walking away. Inexplicably, the referees called a double technical on both Thomas and Roberts. In a game where every point counted, the Red Raiders were gifted a +2 advantage at the free throw line from technicals, when in actuality it should have been a +4 advantage for the Huskies. A 6 free throw difference would have swung the game in favor of the Dawgs.
The Husky defense in the first half was not good at all. They couldn't stop the Red Raiders as they finished the half with a 9 point lead and scored 50 points. They tightened up in the second half but were still not as good they could have been. Up to this point in the year the Huskies had been an excellent ball handling team and were one of the best teams in the nation at not turning the ball over, but against Tech the Dawgs committed an uncharacteristic 19 turnovers. A lot of those turnovers came in transition after the Huskies had forced a turnover of their own, but those have been situations where UW had been well above average at controlling possession.
Player of the Game:
For the 4th time in 5 games, Quincy Pondexter set a new career high in scoring. When the Huskies needed a big shot, he delivered. He was the best player on the floor last night and kept the Huskies in the game. Q-Pon also added 5 rebounds and 3 steals. The Huskies still have yet to play a team with a player who can defend Pondexter's combination of size, strength, quickness, athleticism and ball skills. Quincy has turned into the Huskies unquestioned leader both with his play and vocality.
It Was Over When:
In overtime with the Huskies trailing by 2 with the ball, MBA's ill advised inbound to halfcourt was stolen and taken down the court for a Texas Tech score.
Stat of the Game:
Venoy Overton finished the game with a STL% of 9.
Elston Turner got his first start, and made the most of it. He shot 6/12 for 15 points with 4 rebounds. He knocked down the 3 (3 of 7), showed a nice push shot and used the pump fake wisely. Unfortunately he missed two free throws near the end of regulation, either one of which would have won the game.
It seems that the 9 man rotation down the stretch is going to be: Thomas, Pondexter, MBA, Overton, Turner, Darnell Gant, Justin Holiday, Breshers and Gaddy. Scott Suggs and Clarence Trent have seen their minutes diminish consistently since the first weekend.
Clarence Trent is probably the team's best athlete. He looks like he's on a pogo stick out on the floor, but he's still too raw to be a big time player. He's also a bit of a defensive liability because he's still slow on Lorenzo Romar's complex defensive rotations.
Thomas had another off shooting night, going 4/15. He still scored 18 points by getting to the free throw line. It'll pass and with his talent he just needs to shoot his way out of it.
Abdul Gaddy still isn't stuffing the stat sheet, but he is doing something that is very encouraging. While he isn't getting his shot to fall, he isn't getting frustrated, which would be understandable from a 17 year old McDonald's All American. He's taking great care of the ball both by not turning it over and making some slick passes. He had one last night where he looked away and zipped it into the post to MBA. A great assist if MBA had made the layup.
Venoy Overton has always been the type of player where you take the good with the bad. In the end his play generally produces more good than bad, and last night was no exception. His blinding quickness was evident on both ends of the court as he slashed his way into the paint to score 9 points on just 5 shots, and picked opponents' pockets 6 times. He also added 3 assists. Last night's blemish was his six turnovers, though several came after he had created a steal, and due to Gaddy's foul trouble he had to run the point more than usual. Overall though, a very good night from Venoy.
You can't win them all in college basketball, but that doesn't make the losses easier. Still though, this team has shown a lot of moxie the last two games, and will be better for having played them. The first goal for this team is to win the Pac-10 title, and right now look like the clear favorite to do so. There are going to be some speed bumps along the way, but a game like this strengthens the team.
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