Game Talk: Washington 89, Arizona 83

The Washington Huskies went on a 13-3 run and shot 60% from the field in the second half to take control of the game. The Wildcats had a chance to tie it with the three-pointer at the end, but with their best shooter sitting on the bench in street clothes the odds were too much to overcome.<BR> With the 89-83 victory, the Huskies moved past the Wildcats into second place in the Pac-10 Conference. After the game, Lute Olson and team spoke about this very difficult defeat.<P>

Lute Olson' opening comments

"I thought we made good run in the middle of the second half and had a chance to get (the deficit) down. We cut it to one but they got the offensive rebound and put it back in and that was a real problem for us late in the game. We played like we had not clue of what we needed to do. In the situation at the end we called time out so they knew what we needed and we needed a three. We needed to get it by going inside to Channing (Frye) and back out or on a penetration and a dish. We obviously made a wrong decision at that point. We took a two point shot and they rebounded and we didn't foul. I can't explain it because all of them go through how to play at the late stages of the game. It was unfortunate with Channing because except at the end he played we really well for us. I thought Hassan (Adams) played hard the whole time. With Salim (Stoudamire) out we could not afford to have Mustafa in foul trouble or any of our guards get in foul trouble. I thought Jason Ranne came in and played a very steady solid game. He did a nice job of stopping the penetration that had been hurting us. But again in the locker room (during halftime) we made it very clear to our guards that we don't want you guys to even think about getting an offensive rebound. The second the shot goes up we want you back. I think we gave up eight transition baskets just because of the guards not doing their jobs. I can't give you an explanation for that and would guess that (the players) can't either. But Washington took it at us very aggressively and they got great play off the bench by Simmons and Rollins. It just seems that we are incapable of putting 40 minutes of hard aggressive play together. I apologize for it and the coaches apologize for it but we've got to compete for every possession as if our lives depend on it and we are just have some problems getting that."

Is Salim going to play on Saturday?
"My guess is that he won't."

Hassan Adams

How tough was this lose?
"It was real tough. We went out there and competed I thought, but it slipped out of our hands."

Was that a foul at the end?
"You can't really dwell on that one play or that one call. I though we had a couple of mental lapses on defense but as a team we have to come together. Basketball is like that, you're going to have mental lapses on D and offensively. We have a game Saturday and it's going to be hard to put this behind us. We wanted it."

How is the state of the team right now?
"Basically, we just have to dig down, play hard and show how tough we are. Every possession and every game you have to want it. You just got to go out there and play."

How are you handling Salim's suspension?
"We are okay with the suspension, it's minor. Hopefully Salim will be back. We are staying together, I know that for a fact. Nobody is bitter at each other, nobody at each other throats. Everybody is together."

What does it cost you without Salim on the court?
"It cost us a lot, but you have to play through that. You can't dwell on it, you just have to go with what you got.

At the end you needed a three and one of the best shooters in the league was sitting on the bench. You could have used Salim at the that time?
"Yea, it's hard. It will be like that sometimes. Hopefully he'll be out there Saturday.

What makes you think this team has what it takes to get back up off the canvas? Has the team hit rock bottom?
"I wouldn't say we hit rock bottom. We're fighting through it. We fight through the ups and down as a team. We just need to go out there and play to our potential.

Washington shot 60% in the second half. Was the breakdown more at the defensive end?
"It was a little bit of that. We need to get more tough. We had little mental lapses. We tried to make a run but we slipped.

Chris Rodgers

What will it take to get the team back on track?
"We just have to keep everything positive and hope it turns around for us. It's crunch time right now and we have to step up as a team and take care of business."

How big does this loss tonight make the game on Saturday against Washington State?
"It up there with the rest of them. We have to take care of our home court advantage."

How much did it hurt not having Salim out there?
"It hurt a lot. He's a big part of our team and we need him to be at our best.

What caused Salim's suspension?
"That had to do with the coaching staff. We weren't informed, so I really don't know what's going on. I'm just trying to focus on the game."

How hard is it to focus with all these distractions?
"You have to come ready to play everyday in practice and for every game. You can't really control outside distraction. Of course it changes things in our lineup and our team chemistry, but you just have to find a way to focus on who's on the court and going to play tonight."

Salim Stoudamire

What are your thoughts right now?
"We just have to come together. When things are going good, we're talking and high-fiving. But when thing are going bad, we kind of go away from each other, going away from doing those things.

Are you going to be back on the court Saturday?
"That's what I'm hoping for."

What was it like sitting on the bench knowing that you could not help the team?
"I like the fact that I was supporting my team, but we lost and I couldn't contribute and that hurt.

Can you talk about what caused your suspension?
"Just some immature actions on my part. It was just an accumulation of things and some things off the court, but I can't get into the specifics though.

Have the coaches told you what you need to do to have the suspension lifted.
"Definitely, (coach Jim Rosborough) and I went and watched some film. We went over the things that bother coach (Olson) and I have to change if I want to play. I've never not supported my teammates. But it's just the way that I went about it. I have to be more than just a cheerleader.

Mustafa Shakur

Salim says he doesn't have a timetable for coming back. How does that weigh on the team, not knowing if you'll have one of your best players?
"It weighs on us a lot because he's a big part of our team. But if he's not present then other guys have to step up and get the win."

You spent a lot of time on the bench in the second half in foul trouble. What did you try to do when you finally got back in the game and your team was down?
"I just try to provide what my team needs when I get in the game. I mean I was on the bench the whole time (in the second half) and so I was a little anxious to get out there and help out.

How will you guys fight through this loss?
"I think we'll be find as long as everyone comes to practice and comes to work. We just need to look at the mistakes and correct them and we'll be fine.

What makes you think you can right the ship?
"Because we've shown we can play great basketball on both ends of the floor. It's just a matter of us doing it the whole game. Defense is a big problem. We don't have too many problems on offense. If we can do our job on defense we should be fine.

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