Dawg Blog - WSU

It's the first leg of the Roundball Apple Cup - the 259th tipoff between Washington and Washington State, courtesy of BofA@HE. So who's it gonna be - the 8-3 Tortoise, giving up 54 points per game, or the 12-1 Hare, averaging 91.5? If you're not privy to the action on FSN TV, you're invited to follow along with us, Dawgman.com subscribers ...

Pre-game, 60 minutes to tipoff: It's like an infirmary over at the Cougar bench - Daven Harmerling in an arm sling and of course Derrick Low on crutches. We'll see just how slow Bennett wants to be shortly - Bennett is 0-4 against Romar lifetime. Washington going for a Saturday sweep, after the Lady Huskies barely held on earlier today in the Palouse.
15 minutes to tipoff: WSU is serenaded through their entire early warmup with chants of "Boooooring" and a grand rendition of "Old McDonald" from the ‘Pack. Too bad the band decided to play at the refrain. It's all in the timing, fellas … speaking of which, I note that OSU is 12 points up at Cal with three minutes left. I guess they will be killing each other all year long in the PAC-10. Three bids, anyone?
Tipoff: Jensen is still wearing the shoulder brace, and Bobby Jones was out early working on the mid-range jumper. As we start the contest, Oregon State has knocked off Cal in Berkeley. That means every PAC-10 team already has at least one conference loss. And the supposed "worst team", ASU, lost two straight buzzer-beaters to the LA schools. Going to be a looooooong season, everyone. And it's not exactly full in here … maybe 9,000 or so as the ball goes in the air. Here we go …
15:15, 1st half: Green does start at the point for WSU. And they immediately blow a layin. Brandon Roy opens the scoring with a feathery eight-footer from the right. Cougars work the shot clock down to five, but Jamaal steals the entry pass, then converts on a two-on-one with Roy. After a Kyle Weaver putback sat the crowd down, Roy converts a nice and-one from the lane. Gasser gets the first look from the Husky bench, and Dentmon hits a corner trey. UW seems in tune to get an early jump. WSU has four early turnovers, and has missed five of their first six shots. First break: UW 10, WSU 2. During the timeout, the National Champs volleyball team is introduced to a standing ovation.
12:00, 1st half: Roy is on fire, hitting a trey from the right wing to put the Dawgs up 11. Cowgill then hits a nice feather from the left , and then Robbie swats Brockman from underneath. Akognon then brings the Cougars within six with a three from the top of the key. Bobby Jones then gets picked clean by Weaver, before hounding him all the way to the WSU end to create held ball. The pace is more Washington's favor right now, though the teams are trading turnovers. After Bobby hits the second of two, Appleby forces a turnover, then gives it right back to Weaver for an easy two. It wasn't the best set for Washington, as WSU is getting a lot of steals. At the break: UW 14, WSU 9.
7:14, 1st half: Cougars starting to slow things as its just a five-point game. Weaver misses a baseliner after running the clock down to five. Jamaal hits his 15-foot reply, then Washington State needlessly throws the ball away. Bobby Jones is just 1-for-4 at the stripe, his three misses all short. But Jamaal cleans up for him, hitting a turnaround jumper from the left. Roy returns to the lineup, and immediately draws a charge on Weaver. Bennett paining a little bit, his arms folded as he continually shuffles players. Roy then flies in to dunk Brockman's free throw miss (he did hit the first), and Washington has themselves a seven-point run. Unfortunately for Brandon, he draws two fouls in succession. Akognon hits his second trey of the half, and Roy answers with his own bomb. Josh and Brandon again trade hoops, this time Brandon drives in the lane for an and-one, giving the Dawgs their biggest lead. At the break: UW 26, WSU 14.
2:26, 1st half: Jensen has a terrific block of an Akognon floater. WSU answers in triplicate, as Jamaal and Bobby Jones are both denied by Caleb Forrest. Weaver drives the lane for two, cutting the lead to ten. Appleby misses his second trey, then Akognon hits a long-distance two. Jensen misses his first long distance try, but Appleby picks up an easy two off a Joel Smith steal. Easily its been the Cougars' best four minutes of the contest. At the break: UW 33, WSU 23.
Halftime: WSU continues to keep close, as they score four straight off of silly Husky turnovers – Dentmon with yet another carry. Cowgill hits a pair of close-range two-pointers, bringing the Cougs to within four, as Romar has to take a time-out with a minute left. Both Dentmon and Appleby now on the floor together. Brockman is again blocked inside by Cowgill (it looked like goaltending from this vantage point). A pair of Forrest free-throws cuts the lead to two, giving WSU a ten-point run. Roy misses a baseline jumper as the half ends. WSU leaves the floor clearly pleased. Halftime score, UW 33, WSU 31.
During the half, approximately 40 former Huskies were lined up and acknowledged. The loudest cheer went to Marv Harshman. The second loudest? Eldredge Recasner. Over Bob Houbregs and Steve Hawes, of all things. Roy leads the way with 16 points for Washington, Josh Akognon has 10 for Washington State. The Dawgs just shot 40 percent from the floor, keeping this thing tight. Oh, and I saw Marques Tuiasosopo underneath while fetching some water.
17:37, 2nd half: WSU ties it on their first possession, as Ivory Clark follows a Cowgill miss with a dunk. Burmeister makes a rare early appearance, and promptly misses a trey. Green rattles out a three for WSU, then Roy draws his third foul on a charge (looked like a block, really). Cougs get their first lead on a Weaver jumper, and Dentmon misses an easy free-throw jumper. UW seems a bit edgy, as is their normal second-half wont. Weaver again hits a floater, and WSU continues a run that has now reached 14 straight points. Romar has to take a time out, and the very few Cougar fans here are basking in the situation. At the break: UW 33, WSU 37.
16:00, 2nd half: Cougars are packing the middle tight now, and Burmeister misses another wide-open trey. Dentmon finally ends the run with a three from the left side after the teams traded turnovers. Clark hits a pretty floater from the stripe, then Roy is fouled going up as we reach the media break. UW 36, WSU 39.
13:00, 2nd half: It strikes me that I might be the bad-luck writer for the site, and for the team. After all, I did cover the Arizona game, too. Coincidence?? Naaaaaaaaaaaaah … Washington comes out of the time out a bit renewed. Roy hits a pair of freebies, then after a held ball, Jensen puts the Huskies back on top with and 18-footer from the left wing. Brandon Roy then picks up his fourth foul on a scramble play, and Romar doesn't like it. Enough to draw a "T". And he wasn't all that demonstrative about it. To the tune of "Take His Whistle", Akognon hits one of the two penalties. Forrest then scores from underneath on a nice feed from Greene. Roy remains in for the time being, and Burmeister finally connects from long range. Forrest then clearly fouls on a Cougar miss, but doesn't get called – instead, Brockman gets called on the scramble. Then when Weaver gets a put-back called back for a foul, the Cougar bench erupts. Jensen replies with a three from the top, as the crowd erupts. Cowgill misses, Brockman gets fouled off a nice feed from Dentmon. Timeout, WSU. UW 46, WSU 42.
11:45, 2nd half: Well, Brock missed both his freebies. Cowgill hits from the free-throw line, but the "Other Brandon" uncorks another perfect three-ball, his second of the game. The Dawg Pack is pleading for the arena to stand as one, but it goes unheeded. Clearly, Burmeister is a better shooter than passer, as in transition he throws it right to Weaver. No damage done, though. At the break: UW 49, WSU 44.
7:27, 2nd half: It strikes me that Jamaal has hardly played at all this half. Gasser now in to give it a try. Clark hits a driving layin, then Appleby is just long with a corner trey. Romar up in arms over an obvious carry by Green being missed. Weaver hits a pair of charities. Gasser hits Jones deep with a nice feed, but Bobby can only convert one-of-two. Weaver drives for a bucket in transition, tying it a 50. Jones then puts in a tough baseline floater. Green misses a wide-open three, but no Husky runs down the rebound, resulting in Green being fouled by Dentmon. And Jamaal still sits – he doesn't appear hurt, though from the opposite side of the court I can't be sure. As the shot clock winds down the zero, Akognon drills a 25-footer, giving the Cougars the lead again. Washington seems clearly agitated now – that was quite a dagger, resulting in the Huskies throwing the ball away. After Forrest hits a baseline jumper, and Akognon hits a layup in transition, the Cougs find themselves up by seven, and clearly playing with more passion. Maybe I am a jinx. At the break: UW 52, WSU 59.
3:40, 2nd half:Yup, I am officially the site Jinx. Roy returns with his four fouls. He feeds Jones for another tough try – this one falls off. Cougars now slowing it down, then Akognon hits his fifth three of the contest. Romar calls yet another timeout. A lot of Cougars are playing and jumping around, while a lot of Huskies are looking at the clock. Cougs by ten at the timeout, 64-54. And Washington will have to try and comeback at WSU speed. Jamaal finally returns at the 5:47 mark. Roy comes up with a steal, but misses the front end of a one-and-one. Weaver hits for his 19th point before Jensen hits a three. Akognon then pulls up and hits his sixth three, while Roy answers with one of his own. At the break: UW 60, WSU 69.
3:40, 2nd half:As play resumes, Akognon has 22 for WSU, Roy has 21 for Washington. Out of the timeout, Roy ups his total to 23 with putback. Cowgill then charges into Jones, and B of A beings to stir. Roy gets fouled by Weaver, and his freebies pull U-Dub within five at the three-minute mark. The Huskies extend their defense, then Bobby Jones picks Weaver clean at the top, resulting in a foul. He hits both, and it's a nine-point Husky run. The din is Arizona-like. Akognon finally misses, but so does Jensen. On the transition, Clark gets a slam, putting WSU back up by five. He then fouls out trying to stop a Dentmon drive. Justin makes them both, as Burmeister returns. UW now in full-court mode. Cougars break it, trying to run the clock down. After a wild scramble, Jones gets the steal, comes down and gets fouled on the drive. WSU timeout with 1:32 left - UW 68, WSU 71.
00:15 left, 2nd half:Jones hits one of two freebies. Cougars go into a weave, then turn it over at the 1:00 mark. Brandon Roy drives the lane and gets fouled by Cowgill. His pair of charities ties it at 71-71. Now it's frightfully loud in the old gym – everyone is up, as UW is on a stirring 12-2 run. Bennett calls time-out with 46 seconds left (26 on the shot clock). Coming out, Roy nearly steals an entry pass with 33 ticks left. Akognon then misses a drive, but Green (who stepped on the end-line, but it was missed) purloins the board. He feeds Cowgill, who hits Josh in the corner. Fitting, Akognon hits his seventh bomb, putting Washington State up by three with 15 seconds remaining. Roy then comes down, charges into Weaver, and gets called for his fifth. It looks bad, folks.
End of game: The Cougars begin celebrating, as Akognon hits a pair of freebies, putting his career-best total up to 27 and WSU up by five. Huskies call timeout to try and draw up a five-point play – unfortunately, there are no end-zones in basketball. Out of the timeout, Burmeister misses a 30-footer, and the crowd heads on out. Truly, WSU earned this one – and they didn't even have to stall to do it. Their half-court offense was crisp, and the Huskies again were caught by a slow second-half start. Final: WSU 78, UW 71. And I imagine my blog career will end at a woeful 0-2.
Post Script: That's a two-game losing streak at B of A. And Washington now enters the "true road" for the first time. Now that they have these big bulls-eyes on their backs – and so far, they haven't treated it well – the gut check truly begins. UW shot just 40 percent from the floor for the game, and they were out-rebounded by ten in the second half. Washington State shot over sixty percent in the second half. There was no fluke about this one – WSU wanted it more. Quotes coming soon. Thanks for following along!!

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