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January 22, 2010

Huskies flop at Pauley

The Huskies (3-4, 12-6 overall) lost to the UCLA Bruins (3-3, 8-10), 62-61, at Pauley Pavilion Thursday night.

The least you should know:

The Huskies lost a see-saw battle on a last-second jumper by Mustafa Abdul-Hamid.

The Dawgs shot 58.3% in the first half, building a 41-37 lead, but only managed 20 points on 29.6% shooting in the second.

Quincy Pondexter shot 4-4 from beyond the arc, nearing keeping the Huskies in it all by himself, finishing with 23 points and six rebounds.

The narrative:

For one half, it looked like the Huskies' shooting alone would propel them to their first victory away from Seattle this season. In the second half, though, the hot shooting failed them, and Washington fell to UCLA Thursday night, 62-61.

The game came down to the final second when a jumpshot by UCLA guard Mustafa Abdul-Hamid with no time left sealed the victory.

"There was no way I thought we'd lose this game," Quincy Pondexter said after the game.

The Huskies shot 58.3% in the first half, and went into the locker room with a 41-37 lead. They would only hit four of their first 20 shots in the second half, though, and finished the half shooting just below thirty percent.

Neither team led by more than four points in the second half, and the lead changed three times in the decisive final minute and a half:

With 1:21 left, Quincy Pondexter hit his fourth three-pointer of the game to put the Huskies up 59-56.

Nearly a minute later, with 33 seconds remaining, UCLA freshman forward Reeves Nelson hit a layup and was fouled by Darnell Gant. Nelson missed the free throw, however, and the Huskies retained the 59-58 lead.

The Bruins fouled Isaiah Thomas with 30 seconds remaining, sending him to the line for a one-and-one. Thomas, though, missed the front end, giving possession back to the Bruins.

Moments later, Michael Roll drove to the hoop and got fouled by Gant again, hitting both free throws, giving UCLA a 60-59 lead with 7.6 seconds left.

Straight off the missed free throw, Venoy Overton took the inbounds pass and drove the length of the floor for a layup to put the Huskies up 61-60 with 3.2 seconds left.

UCLA guard Michael Roll then threw a perfect strike to Abdul-Hamid at halfcourt. Abdul-Hamid dribbled to the top of the key and put up the decisive shot with less than a second to go. The shot fell, and the Bruins came away with a 62-61 victory.

"After Venoy makes that basket, you start to think maybe we got this done," said Husky coach Lorenzo Romar. "And, then the reverse, the flipside. That's tough."

Pondexter led the Huskies with 23 points and six rebounds. Isaiah Thomas finished with 11 points, and Scott Suggs finished with six.

The Huskies shot 6-12 on three-pointers in the first half, but only 1-7 in the second.

"We didn't take care of business," Pondexter said. "We had so many opportunities to win this game."

After the game, Romar seemed more concerned with the team's production on the defensive end than with their effort or offensive output.

"It wasn't a poor effort, as much as we just weren't as smart as we needed to be on the defensive end," he said.

"I thought Venoy did a fantastic job getting to the rim. At that moment, you're just thinking 'don't foul,'" Romar said of the game's final play. "It's a very very tough loss to take."

The Huskies, still in search of their first road win, take on USC at the Galen Center on Saturday evening.

Analysis and observations:

What goes up, must come down. The Dawgs offense was rockin' and rollin' in the first half, but they went completely flat in the second.

The Huskies shot 12 free throws to the Bruins 26. Isaiah Thomas shot only four free throws, but looked like the victim of three or four no-calls by the refs.

The Huskies had 10 assists in the first half, three in the second.

Toughest thing about that loss: the Huskies didn't play a bad game. If they'd just hit some more shots in the second half, it could've been an 8-10 point victory.

Isaiah really struggled against the zone. He just never looked like he found a place to assert himself offensively.

Second toughest thing about that loss: UCLA is not a good team. If the Huskies bring their best, this game isn't even close.

Matthew Bryan-Amaning played only four minutes tonight, his shortest stint on the court since January 5th, 2008, during his freshman season.


Josh Anderson is the publisher of Montlake Madness, a 100 percent free fan site dedicated to University of Washington basketball. UDUBsports.com will be teaming up with Josh for the basketball season to provide even more comprehensive coverage of all the action!


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