Friday, January 21, 2011

Hoops: Dawg Bites Wildcat; UW 85 - U of Arizona 68

Last night's game at the newly renamed Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundsen Pavilion proved to be as good a game as many people predicted. With UW at #1 and UA at #2 in the Pac-10, it promised to be a good one.

It was.

The game was tight for much of the time with the Huskies generally keeping a 5-8 point lead, but letting it dwindle down a couple of times and even having Arizona get ahead a few times. With about 5 minutes left in the game, UW started pulling away, eventually winning by 17.

Isaiah Thomas (22), Justin Holiday (22), and Matthew Bryan-Amaning (18) proved their worth once again as they combined for 62 of UW's points. IT and MBA seem almost hard-wired together they are playing so well. Several of Zeke's assists were aimed right at MBA and he delivered each time. Two assists come to mind; both alley-oop passes. The first, to MBA floated high to the right of the hoop as MBA grabbed it in his right hand and thundered it down. The second went to Venoy Overton, which was, in itself, quite a surprise. With V coming in from the left baseline, IT hung the ball up to the left of the rim. V grabbed it with both hands and flushed it down. Both moves brought the raucous crowd to their feet.

Arizona is a good team. One tactic they used well that I thought should have been called more closely though, is their screening. I have nothing against a team that sets a good hard pick on an opposing player. That's an essential part of the game and one that every good team must learn to cope with. What I have a problem with is when the screening player moves with the defender after the pick to continue keeping them out of the play. This gives an unfair advantage to the offense because the defense is now playing4 on 5 with one player completely screened out. From my vantage point, that's what Arizona was doing very effectively. Maybe I'm becoming a UW homer, but I don't think we do the same thing when we're on offense. Our picks are clean and we use them well, both on the ball and away from the ball to get shooters free.

Anyway, it was a great game. Well played by both teams.

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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.