Jan. 26, 2010
SEATTLE (AP) -- Quincy Pondexter didn't feel sorry for his former assistant coach, Cameron Dollar. Neither did Lorenzo Romar, who had Dollar as his top deputy for a decade from Saint Louis to Seattle until last spring.
"Nah, it wasn't really painful," Pondexter said after Washington's senior leader responded from his worst game of the season with 27 points and 11 rebounds while the Huskies annihilated neighboring Seattle University 123-76 in a foul-filled farce Tuesday night.
"In the back of our minds we were thinking, 'What would he want?'" Pondexter said of Dollar, who left Washington months ago to lead Seattle's transition to Division I - a transition that seemed interminable Tuesday. "He wanted to turn it into a brawl. That's his mentality. That's what we love about him."
The game bordered on a travesty, even beyond the margin of victory. Officials called 78 fouls, 45 of them on Seattle as Dollar tried to slow the rout by having his Redhawks hack away in the second half.
Seattle had six players foul out and three others play the last 7 minutes with four fouls each. Washington (13-7) made 46-of-61 free throws, both school records.
Dollar chose to play the final 1:27 with four players instead of burning the redshirt of freshman Adam Eakles.
Washington's Venoy Overton, starting because second-leading scorer Isaiah Thomas was out with a stomach illness, added 20 points and tied a career-high with eight assists. Reserve Elston Turner added a career-high 20 points as the Huskies scored their most points since a 130-67 demolition of Chico State on Dec. 1, 1992.
Former Huskies recruit Charles Garcia made just four of 14 shots but finished with 20 points thanks to 12 free throws for Seattle (9-12), which looked nothing like the team that won at Oregon State by 51 earlier this month.
"I learned a long time ago if you're going to give it out you've got to be able to take it," Dollar said. "We took it pretty good."
Chris Gweth, Seattle's second-leading scorer, fouled out with just 2:03 gone in the second half. He missed all five of his field goals.
The night became a shoving match when Seattle fouled 13 times in the first 5:20 after halftime. Official Dick Cartmell called both coaches to midcourt, saying he knew Dollar was trying to slow the game and that his crew was going to call everything. Romar listened, but Dollar stormed away waving his hand in disgust.
Asked if he felt bad for Dollar, Romar said flatly: "No."
"If it were reversed, he wouldn't have felt bad for us. We have a five-year series with them, and each year they will get better. He knows that. We know that."
Washington scored a season-high 61 points in the first half and led by 41 at halftime. The lead got as high as 47 points.
So, no, this wasn't a happy return for Dollar.
"It wasn't very good since we got beat by 80," Dollar said.
Romar said he'd never been in a game when a team finished with just four players. Dollar hadn't either.
"No, but I'm different," Dollar said. "I don't care how it looks at the end."
Pondexter had just two points Saturday in a blowout loss at Southern California, Washington's fifth loss in seven games. He made nine of 11 shots against the stunned Redhawks, many on soaring flights to the rim.
Garcia wore the old No. 22 of 1950s Seattle All-American and Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor as the Redhawks wore throwback jerseys of legends from their school's previous Division I life until 1980, with sleeves to the elbows.
That was the only way in which Garcia resembled Baylor, or the Redhawks resembled their storied past.
Garcia came in averaging almost 21 points per game, among the top dozen in the nation, and some assume he is headed to the NBA after just one season with Seattle. He left Hec Edmundson Pavilion humbled.
The versatile 6-foot-9 forward, recruited by Dollar to come to Washington and on his way there until the school denied him admission, missed his first five shots to go with three early turnovers. He pushed Pondexter in the back at the end of a breakaway layup, sending him crashing hard into the base of the basket support. That drew an intentional foul and the ire of the arena.
Garcia walked over to Washington's captain, hugged him and gave him a tap on the back of the head to apologize.
Earlier, when Garcia shot free throws, the Huskies' student section derisively chanted "Scouts are watching!"
Oh, yes, Washington's students had fun rubbing in the disparity between the city's defending Pac-10 champion and the transitioning upstart. The kids chanted "Double digits!" when Seattle finally reached 10 points with 5 minutes left in the half.
Washington had 40 by then. And the Huskies scored the next 10 points.