Feb. 19, 2010
SEATTLE - Husky fans have long believed that the atmosphere in Bank of America Arena is one of the best in the nation. On Saturday, they'll have he chance to prove it. For the first time in its five-year history, ESPN's weekly College GameDay Driven by State Farm college basketball series will originate from the UW athletic campus, with co-hosts Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas, Bob Knight and Hubert Davis broadcasting the popular national program from Bank of America Arena. Doors open at 6:30 a.m. and the show starts at 8:00 a.m. Admission is free to fans for the morning event.
College GameDay, featuring two, one-hour shows airing live at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, will serve as the lead-in for ESPN's Saturday Primetime Game of the Week, featuring the Huskies against UCLA at 6 p.m. PT. Dan Shulman will call play-by-play with Knight and Bilas providing color analysis. The ISP Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game with Bob Rondeau supplying the play-by-play and Jason Hamilton providing color commentary. Live Gamertracker is available for free and audio is available by paid subscription on the Dawg Channel All-Access on GoHuskies.com.
The Huskies (17-9, 7-7 Pac-10) suffered just its second loss of the season at home on Thursday as USC beat them 67-64 in front of a sellout crowd of 10,000 at Bank of America Arena. USC led by 16 with 9:50 remaining before Washington whittled their lead down to one point with 1:27 left on the clock. Mike Gerrity would ice the game when he hit a driving jumper with :18-seconds left to give USC an insurmountable four-point lead, sending the Huskies' into their game against UCLA as the sixth-place conference team. Saturday's contest is the home finale for senior Quincy Pondexter, who will be joined on the court in a pre-game ceremony by his parents Roscoe and Dorothy, brother Jason, and sister, Myiasha. In addition, Eldridge Recasner will be recognized at the second timeout of the first half as the Husky Legend. He joins Todd MacCulloch as the two ex-players honored this season. Washington is 16-2 at home this season and is averaging 14.5 more points (85.1) at BOA than they are on the road (70.6). If Washington can win on Saturday, they will go 17-2 or better at home for the fourth time in the last five years AND they were 15-0 before that in 2004-05.
The Bruins (12-13, 7-6 Pac-10) are coming off a convincing 71-51 win at Washington State on Thursday to move into a tie for fourth place in the conference. UCLA had five players score in double figures and improved to 3-4 away from Pauley Pavilion - 3-3 in Pac-10. The Bruins have won five of its last eight games overall. On the offensive end, UCLA has four players in double figures, including leading scorer Michael Roll (13.9 ppg). The others are Malcolm Lee (12.2 ppg), Nikola Dragovic (11.6 ppg) and Nelson Reeves (10.2 ppg). Reeves, Dragovic, Lee and freshman Tyler Honeycutt handle the boards for UCLA, all averaging around five rebounds a game. Howland is in his seventh season at UCLA, and has a record of 154-67 at Westwood, including 7-7 all-time against Washington. He is 1-5 all-time at Bank of America Arena, only winning his first game in Seattle in 2004.
UW And UCLA History...
UCLA owns a 91-36 overall record in the all-time series with Washington since they first met in 1937. Despite UCLA historical dominance in basketball, Washington won the first six games of the series, and seven of the first nine. The Huskies have won five straight at home and are 5-2 vs. UCLA in Seattle under coach Lorenzo Romar. Coach Romar, who was an assistant at UCLA when they won the 1995 NCAA Tournament, holds a 7-9 record at Washington against the Bruins. UCLA's last win at Bank of America Arena was an 86-84 victory on Jan. 10, 2004.
Last Time They Met...
Seldom-used Mustafa Abdul-Hamid hit a jumper from the top of the key as time expired to lift UCLA to a 62-61 victory over Washington. Venoy Overton's basket with 3.2 seconds to play gave the Huskies a 61-60 lead before the Bruins hurried downcourt and Abdul-Hamid, a junior who entered Thursday with only 24 points in 10 games, became a hero. The officials watched the replay to confirm that Abdul-Hamid's shot came before the buzzer. Freshman Reeves Nelson led the Bruins with 16 points and six rebounds, and Malcolm Lee added 13 points. Abdul-Hamid scored four points. Quincy Pondexter had 23 points and Isaiah Thomas 11 for the Huskies, who led by as many as seven points. The Huskies shot just 29.6% and scored 20 points in the second half, while UCLA shot 52.9% in the half.
Last Time Out For Washington
Dwight Lewis scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half, Mike Gerrity added six key points in the closing minutes and Southern California held off a furious rally by Washington in the final 10 minutes for a 67-64 win on Thursday night. The Trojans (16-9, 8-5 Pac-10) handed Washington just its second home loss of the season and more importantly likely ended the Huskies (17-9, 7-7) hopes of repeating as Pac-10 regular season champs. Down by 16 with nine minutes left, Washington suddenly awakened, closing within 61-60 on Venoy Overton's driving basket with 1:25 left. But Gerrity answered with a layup of his own, then clinched the victory with a fallaway 12-footer with 15 seconds left. Gerrity finished with 12 points, all in the second half. Quincy Pondexter led Washington with 18 points.
Thomas Almost At 1,000
Isaiah Thomas is averaging 17.0 ppg (6th best in Pac-10) and has scored in double figures in 21 of 25 games this season. Thomas eclipsed the 900 point mark against Arizona, just his 56th career game, and needed just 50 games to eclipse the 800 point plateau, doing so at Arizona on Jan. 10. Thomas enters Saturday's game with 967 career points, the second highest total ever by a UW player in their first two seasons. He just surpassed Steve Hawes (952) and now has Doug Smart (1,021) in his sights. Smart accomplished his feat in 1957 & 1958 and needed just 52 games to do so. Thomas has played in 60 games. He will become the 35th Husky to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau.
Eldridge Recasner will be honored during the Feb. 20 game vs. UCLA as the basketball Husky Legend. Todd MacCulloch was honored during the Feb. 4 game versus Arizona as the inaugural basketball Husky Legend. Following in the footsteps of the football Husky Legend, Washington will start recognizing some of its all-time great players throughout the season. Recasner ended his career among the school's leaders in scoring (1,700 points), three-point field goals, free throw percentage, assists and steals. Recasner is the only three-time captain in program history and earned All-Pac-10 Conference honors three times (1988, 89, 90) and was named the team's Most Valuable Player in each of those years.
Q-Pon Climbs Scoring Ladder
Quincy Pondexter is just the sixth player to reach the 1,600 point plateau, doing so on Feb. 13 after scoring 18 points at Stanford. He reached the 1,500 point plateau five games earlier on Jan. 30. Next on the list is Eldridge Recasner, who has 82 points more than Pondexter. If he keeps scoring at a clip of 20.3 ppg and plays 31 games, he will score 629 points and end his career No. 5 all-time in scoring (1,720). Pondexter started the season 27th on the all-time UW scoring list with 1,091 points.