I think I speak for everybody when I say: finally. Last night was a must win game for the Dawgs and they played good basketball for nearly the entire game. The lone lapse was to kick off the second half when they allowed Stanford to pull close, but the leaders of the men in purple closed out the game in exactly the manner you'd hope for. There was a stretch where Quincy Pondexter assisted three straight baskets, including a huge three by Isaiah Thomas as time was running down on the shot clock to ice the game. Pondexter also had a highlight reel hustle play where he knocked the ball away from Landry Fields, dove on the floor to gain possession, then flipped it to Darnell Gant who went in for the transition dunk. These are the types of senior plays this team needs to continue to be competitive on the road.
Two key stats in this game: the Cardinal shot just 11/24 from the free throw line, while the Huskies turned the ball over a season low 5 times. Two tough things for any team to overcome, home or road, and Stanford was no exception
Every Husky starter scored in double figures except for Abdul Gaddy, with Thomas leading all scorers with 20. Justin Holiday added 10, Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored 11 and Q-Pon scored 18. Gaddy had a really heady play in the game. The pace was quickening and getting a little too hectic, and when the Huskies got the ball back from the Tree Gaddy looked to push up the floor and he lost control of the ball (might have nipped off of a big man's shoe). As Gaddy chased it down he dove to save it from going out of bounds, but it looked like it was going to be a sure turnover. Then, instead of grabbing the ball, Gaddy slapped it upcourt to a teammate (I want to say it was Thomas), who found MBA slashing into the lane for a layup and the foul. It was really fun to watch such a heads up play from such a young player.
Yet again Tyreese Breshers was crippled by foul trouble, which gave Darnell Gant the opportunity to play big minutes. He contributed solidly with 4 points and 5 rebounds. For whatever reason, the team seems to play better when Gant is on the floor (as evidenced by his team high +/- of +16), but he has struggled to get minutes. Maybe Coach knows something I don't, but Gant seems to give the team a little more attitude in the paint, and it seems like he should be getting the minutes that have been going to Breshers.