After the Huskies met former assistant coach Giacoletti in the first round of the Great Alaska Shootout, current UW assistant coach Jim Shaw faced his former Sooners, where he served as an assistant coach for the past five seasons. On the other side of the court, Coach Kelvin Sampson of Oklahoma had previously coached Washington State from '88 - '94.
7,765 fans turned out to watch the marquee matchup of Washington vs. Oklahoma,
the first time the teams have met in 51 years (their last meeting was in the Big
Seven Tournament in 1953, the Huskies' Final Four season). Oklahoma held a 2-0
lead in the series coming into tonight's semifinal.
The Huskies would have their hands full as they faced an Oklahoma team that had
six players score nine or more points in their previous game against High Point.
The depth of the UW bench, though, would give the Dawgs the lift they needed,
outscoring the Sooner bench 35-18.
Tre Simmons returned after a two-game suspension, but the Dawgs would have to
play half the game without their second-leading scorer, Brandon Roy. Roy came
out with 5:49 to go in the first half after injuring his right knee. He returned
with 1:15 remaining, but did not play the second half. He finished with 6 points
and 2 rebounds, and his status for tomorrow's championship game against Alabama
It would be junior transfer Jamaal Williams that would step it up for the
Huskies as their leading scorer in the first half with 14 points and 3 rebounds.
He finished with 18 points and 6 rebounds, second only to Nate Robinson's 19
points, and was voted Player of the Game.
The Huskies kept each other in check throughout the game, including Will Conroy
getting on Mike Jensen's case about being too reluctant to shoot the ball in the
first half. Jensen himself motioned for Nate to cut down on the trash-talking
early on in the second half.
The Huskies were able to avoid the early foul trouble they had in their
previous game against Utah, and it would be the Sooners' turn to allow 20+
points from free throws. Outstanding Sooner forward Kevin Bookout picked up an
early 4th foul with 16 minutes left in the 2nd half, giving Washington the
opportunity to extend their lead. He would later return and finish with 22
points and 4 rebounds. Drew Lavender would also pick up two quick fouls
(including a technical, which swung the momentum of the game in the Huskies'
favor) halfway through the second half, giving a gift two points to the Dawgs.
This was a major reversal from the game against Utah, in which the Huskies were
outshot 30-13 from the line. In tonight's game, Oklahoma would not enter the
double bonus until 2:41 left in the game.
Oklahoma Coach Kelvin Sampson:
On the loss: "You score 91 points, you're supposed to win those games. I don't know if I've ever had a team score 91 points and lose. We just couldn't guard them for whatever reason. For years and years, this program has kind of been known for defending and rebounding and doing all those things. We've got a long way to go with this group. I was really disappointed in our defense.
"We scored 91 points, that's a positive. We had a lot of guys play well. But you
don't win games with offense; you win games with defense. But this is November.
I'm sure every coach here will say, 'You know what, we've learned a lot about
our team.' Obviously tonight, defense is something we need a lot of work on."
On Washington: "Washington is a great offensive. Not a good offensive team, they're a great offensive team. They're a hard matchup because their post guys can make jump shots. Sometimes it's easier to guard the post if they're just scoring on the block. They don't have anybody that can't make an open jump shot."
On Nate Robinson: "I saw him a lot this summer at Nike camp because I coached one of the USA teams. The question I asked is, 'Why wasn't he on the USA team?' I don't know if there's a guard in the country better than him."
On UW outrebounding the Sooners 34-24: "They were good at it."
UW Coach Lorenzo Romar:
"We feel very fortunate to be sitting here with a victory, having outrebounded a
very feisty, tough and physical Oklahoma team. I don't know if we'll play anyone
all year that's as physical as that group. They were banging us and grabbing us
the entire game because they play hard. I was very proud of our guys because we
played just as hard if not harder. That's a big, big win for our program because
[Oklahoma's] one of the class, elite programs in the country."
On Jamaal Williams' performance: "We were waiting for that because that's kind of what we expected from him. He's pretty good down there around the basket. He's undersized, but it doesn't really make a difference when he gets that ball in his hands."
On assistant coach Jim Shaw's insight on the Sooner squad: "He was very precise in what he felt was important to win this game. The scouting report was extremely efficient; no wasted words on it and straight to the point. There weren't a whole lot of special surprises. Pretty much, the message was, 'You better strap it on, because they're going to come after you.'"
On Sooner forward Kevin Bookout: "He is a remarkable basketball player. This is the first time I've been able to watch him this closely, and he is really, really good. I know I'm stating the obvioius."
On Brandon Roy's status for the game against Alabama: "We're not sure what his status is at this point. We have to wait for him to get looked at. Thank goodness this wasn't last night, because Tre Simmons didn't play. He stepped up in Brandon Roy's absence and did a very good job for us."
On Alabama: "They're a good basketball team, too. They're playing right now like some older guys in an adult league that have been playing together for 10 years. They just know each others' movements; they know the system. They play at their own pace and don't get rattled. They're a very mature ball club and we've got our work cut out for us."
UW forward Jamaal Williams:
On his performance (18 points, 6 rebounds): "It feels good. It took me a couple games, but I finally found my niche in this team. It's kind of difficult coming into a team that had success like they did last year. Where do I fit in now? I think I found that place.
"I made my first bucket, and I think that helped me with my confidence. When I
got my confidence up, I felt like everything I shot up there was going to go
On playing in Alaska: "It's very exciting. We've got a lot of UW fans out there, so it feels like at home."
On outrebouding Oklahoma: "That was a big focus point for us, to outrebound them as a team. As you can see, everybody contributed with their part - it wasn't one guy. That was the one
thing we talked about before the game, and we were able to go out there and do it."
UW/Oklahoma Notes and Quotes
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