March 13, 2010
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LOS ANGELES - It took a while, but the Washington Husky men's basketball team knocked-off Stanford 79-64 last night in the semifinals of the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament. The Huskies face top-seeded Cal in the finals today at 3 p.m. The game will be televised live in HD by CBS-TV. Dick Enberg and Bob Wenzel will call the action. Check local listings in your area for the channel.
Check back during the day, then hang with GoHuskies.com during the game for news and notes.
5:05 p.m. Final media timeout and with 3:05 remaining the Huskies have a 71-68 lead after Elston Turner DRILLED a 3-ball from the wing, right in front of his team's bench. However this turns out, this game has been fantastic. Back-and-forth action, lots of lead changes (22), etc.
4:57 p.m. Third media timeout and with 6:44 remaining the Huskies are now trailing 64-61. Washington has not scored in almost five minutes, while Cal is exhibiting more fluidity on offense. No worries, though, as Isaiah Thomas came to the bench and instructed his team to focus on one stop at a time.
4:50 p.m. - As quick as the Huskies took the lead ... Cal has stormed right back. The Golden Bears are in the midst of an 11-2 run and are back up top 62-61. This is going to be a fight down to the end, but we all expected this in a championship situation.
4:41 p.m. - Huskies are rolling right now. Isaiah Thomas just scored a layup and was fouled, which gave the team a 59-51 lead with 11:47 remaining. Quincy Pondexter said this was the time for his team to hit the gas pedal, telling his teammates there's too much "at stake" for them to let up now.
4:32 p.m. - Randle is a little frustrated right now, having picked up his third foul trying to pick Quincy Pondexter's pocket. Lots of lead changes in this game so far - both teams have traded the lead 18 times. With 13:34 remaining, UW is back on front, 52-51.
4:27 p.m. - First media timeout of the second half and with 15:42 remaining Cal is poised to re-take the lead, going to the line with the game tied at 46-46. The Huskies are getting open shots on offense, but this half they're finding the back iron, shooting 2-of-8 (25 percent). Romar is telling the crew to "shake it off" and understand that Cal came to play tonight as well, so they're not going to roll over.
4:05 p.m. - What a first half for the Dawgs! They go into the locker room up 41-37, and have done a great job putting the clamps on Jerome Randle, who hasn't been able to wiggle free on offense. Isaiah Thomas nearly sank a 3/4-court shot at the buzzer, watching as the ball banked off the glass and rimmed out of the hoop. Overall, the Huskies are shooting 56 percent, compared to just 37 percent for Cal. UW has committed eight turnovers, three by Matthew Bryan-Amaning. Theo Robertson leads all scorers with 16. Quincy Pondexter has 12 for the UW.
3:59 p.m. - With a pair of free throws, Quincy Pondexter has gone over double figures for the 83rd time in his career, passing Todd MacCullough on the UW's all-time list. With seven more points, Pondexter will take over fourth place on Washington's all-time point list.
3:53 p.m. - Final media timeout of the first half and with 3:47 remaining the Huskies have a 34-31 lead over Cal. Tyrese Breshers has played some nice minutes off the bench in relief of MBA. There's been some heated back-and-forth between 'Zeke and Cal defensive stopper Jorge Gutierrez, and at one point Isaiah drew an offensive foul when Gutierrez elbowed him in the mouth while driving to the basket. To note: UW now owns the rebounding edge (14-11) after their early struggles on the glass.
3:43 p.m. - Third media timeout of the first half and with 7:24 remaining the Golden Bears have a 29-28 lead. The Dawgs are continuing to shoot well from the floor, having tallied 11 baskets on 17 attempts (.647). With Jerome Randle down, the Huskies want to turn up the defensive pressure. Cal has committed just two turnovers, not a good sign when the game is so fast-paced. Huskies also need to pick up some stops on Theo Robertson, who has a game-high 13 points. Quincy Pondexter leads the Huskies with eight.
3:40 p.m. - Good news for the Huskies in that Jerome Randle just picked up his second foul of the game and took a seat on the bench.
3:32 p.m. - Second media break in the first half with 11:47 remaining. The Huskies can't miss from the offensive end, but unfortunately for Washington, they're not doing the best of job of stopping Cal on the opposite side. UW is shooting 8-of-12 from the floor (.667), but has allowed Cal to tally five offensive rebounds. Out of the eight baskets the team has, only came from an assist.
3:28 p.m. - Finally, we get a media break. The action here at Staples is fast-paced, with both teams pushing tempo and racing the ball into the open court. Isaiah Thomas has six points while Cal star Jerome Randle has been held scoreless so far (0-for-2). To quote Lorenzo Romar: "Let's go be men tonight."
3:20 p.m. - Back and forth we go in the first five minutes of the game, as Cal and UW are trading baskets on the offensive end. The Huskies have done a good job of limiting Jerome Randle, but Patrick Christopher is causing terror for UW on the wings. The coaches here are screaming for defensive stops.
3:10 p.m. - The Huskies and the Golden Bears have both taken the floor for their final warm ups and we're less than five minutes from tip-off for the Pac-10 Tournament Championship game. I think it's safe to say the crowd at Staples Center is evenly split in regards to fan support from both schools. From my vantage spot on press row I see a nice contingent of purple and gold in the stands.
2:54 p.m. - Huskies took the floor for pre-game warm-ups with 20:00 left on the pregame clock. Washington is wearing their (somewhat) new black uniforms with black socks and (generally) black shoes. Quincy's shoes are purple Hyperdunks with black highlights.
Washington Starters: The Huskies will start the same five players as they have in each of their last nine games - Abdul Gaddy, G; Isaiah Thomas, G; Quincy Pondexter, G/F; Justin Holiday, F; Matthew Bryan-Amaning, F.
Cal Starters: Patrick Christopher, G; Jerome Randle, G; Theo Robertson, F; Omondi Amoke, F; Jamal Boykin, F.
1:43 p.m. - The NCAA and CBS will stream the popular NCAA Tournament Selection Show live on the Internet tomorrow at 3 p.m. (PT). CBS will also once again stream every game of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of today's Pac-10 Tournament championship game gains earns an automatic berth in the NCAAs. The loser will be watching tomorrow to see if their resume is good enough for an at-large berth.
1:37 p.m. - Just got the word from the Pac-10 and CBS that tipoff will take place at 3:15 p.m. today. With the Big Ten semifinal between Ohio State and Illinois going into double overtime, the schedule is pushed back a bit. Some of the travel party, including the UW radio crew, is sweating the ability to make the scheduled 7:30 p.m. flight. The team is scheduled to depart LAX at 8:30 p.m. tonight. With Los Angeles traffic, there is no predicting how long it will take to get to the airport.
12:20 p.m. - The annual Pac-10 Hall of Honor banquet is taking place at the JW Marriott hotel. The Washington and Cal bands both performed to open the event, which includes an inductee from each conference school. Eldridge Recasner is UW's inductee. Others include: Mike Bibby, Arizona; Jeremy Veal, Arizona State; Earl Robinson, California; Kenya Wilkins, Oregon; Dave Gambee, Oregon State; John Arrillaga, Stanford; Reggie Miller, UCLA; John Block, USC; and Paul Lindemann, Washington State.
The Huskies woke this morning at 9:30 a.m. and, after a brief snack, went over to the Staples Center for a 40-minute walk-through. The team then had breakfast/pregame meal and will go through its normal pre-game routine. With last night's game ending at nearly 11 p.m., followed by post-game press obligations and a quick photo with the starters for CBS-TV, the team didn't really return to the hotel until roughly midnight. After the game, the coaches and trainers encouraged the players to re-hydrate and re-fuel and get as much rest as possible with the quick turnaround and third game in less than three days.