Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hoops: You Can't Win If You Nap Too Long

Washington Huskies 64 - USC Trojans 67

The Dawgs came out of the gate for this game on fire. After the first couple of minutes they were up 12-4. Then a combination of things happened. The officiating crew produced some of the most lopsided calls I have ever seen. Unfortunately, they ran against UW most of the way. Once that happened, the Dawgs fell apart. They shot 38% from the field, had 9 turnovers in the first half (3 on bad passes by Justin Holiday), and shot 28% from behind the 3 point line (2/7). Good defense by USC? Maybe some. Implosion of a team that lacks some mental toughness? I think so. At the half they were down 32 - 24.

USC, to their credit, ran a really good offense. They used most of the shot clock on every possession. They seemed to be playing with the UW defense in a lot of ways, letting it look as though the Dawgs were doing a great job, then scoring in the last 3-4 seconds of the possession. They were able to do that on almost every possession, keeping the score 8-12 points out of reach for the first part of the second half.

The Huskies just seemed to be going through the motions until the 10 minute mark of the second half. At that point they woke up, started playing intense, full-court press defense and scoring at will. Unfortunately, they had dug themselves a very deep hole. Mike Gerrity, the USC point guard showed incredible toughness down the stretch. Without him, USC might have lost that game. As it was, they hung on to win 67-64. This was UW's second home defeat of the season. Coupled with our 1 win road record, that means we're below .500 in the Pac-10. Bummer.

I'd be very surprised if we got an NCAA tournament bid at this point. It'll depend how we finish the last 4 games of the regular season (UCLA at home and then WSU, Oregon, and Oregon State on the road) and the Pac-10 tournament. Who knows? Maybe they'll wake up for good.

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I'm currently 60 years old. I currently work as the learning management system specialist for American University of Madaba in Madaba, Jordan. I was originally certified as a high-school English teacher and taught school for 13 years (1 year of substituting, 1 year of 7th grade, 2 years of a combined 5th, 6th, 7th grade, 9 years of 8th grade). I've worked for hardware and software companies for the past 23 years doing training, training materials development, certification test development and other education related stuff. My wife and I have raised four children to adulthood; some of them live at home at the moment, but that won't last (they're too independent for that). We live at home with 2 Golden Retrievers, 2 black cats, a crazy cat, and, during the winter, 70,000 coho salmon.