Dec. 23, 2009
SEATTLE (AP) - Quincy Pondexter kept sluggish Washington afloat, scoring 16 of his 25 points in the first half, and the 22nd-ranked Huskies beat No. 19 Texas A&M 73-64 on Tuesday night in a game marred - and largely decided - by a gruesome injury to Aggies senior Derrick Roland.
Roland, one of the leading defenders in the Big 12 Conference and the second-leading scorer for the Aggies (8-3) crashed hard to the court early in the second half after jumping under the basket, apparently breaking his lower right leg.
Coach Mark Turgeon ran on the court while play continued at the other end. Roland's teammates were distraught - leading scorer and fellow senior Donald Sloan buried his head in his jersey and was helped to the bench.
Washington (8-2) went on a decisive, 15-4 run following the 10-minute delay.
Venoy Overton added 12 points, including five free throws late, for the Huskies.
B.J. Holmes scored 17 points and made 5 of 7 3-pointers to keep the Aggies in the game after Roland's injury. Sloan added 16 points, but missed 15 of 20 field goals.
Yet the memory of this game will be Roland's pain.
Fans on the side of the court facing Roland turned away at the harrowing sight of an apparently broken right leg. Four University of Washington doctors rushed to Roland's side and he lay still on his back, arms over his eyes. His leg was bent out, according to a Washington spokesman who was sitting a few feet away.
The spokesman said the only thing he'd ever seen like it was former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann's broken leg that was on graphic display for a national television audience during a Monday night game in 1985.
After about 10 minutes, he was taken away on a stretcher wearing an air cast and loaded onto an ambulance that took him across town to Harborview Medical Center. Roland, who scored a career-high 21 points earlier this season at Southern Methodist, was alert inside the ambulance. He was holding his head up as an IV was started in his arm.
The Aggies trailed 34-33 at the time of his injury. They never seemed to get over the shock of seeing their teammate's collegiate career likely end so suddenly and graphically.
Washington immediately went its game-turning run following the delay. Pondexter and Thomas both scored twice during the spurt, and Scott Suggs' 3-pointer with 11:08 remaining put the Huskies up 49-37.
When Suggs hit another 3 to keep Washington up by a dozen with 2:50 left, it seemed the Aggies were finished. Yet the Red Storm scored eight of the next nine points. Playing more because Roland was gone, Holmes made his third 3-pointer in 2 1/2 minutes to pull Texas A&M within 66-61 with 1:54 left.
But Overton made five straight free throws to put Washington back up 71-61 with a minute left, and the Huskies had their eighth win in as many home games this season.