Dawg Blog - California

Well, the Washington Huskies had a chance to take over the Pac-10 lead in men's basketball Sunday, but UCLA's win over Oregon has the hoop dawgs looking squarely at second place all by themselves. To do that, they'll need to produce the same kind of workmanlike win over the Cal Golden Bears that they did over Stanford on Thursday. Onto the game!

32 minutes before tip: The Bears don't seem to have an ounce of back-down in them. During their warmups, the Dawg Pack is booing and talking smack with individual players, but led by Leon Powe, the Bears are dunking and basically warming up like they were at home. Hard to tell if the Pack has any real treats in store for Powe, Richard Midgley, et al...the way they did Stanford's Chris Hernandez. All three sections of the Dawg Pack are totally full, and fans are milling in earlier than normal. There's also roughly 240 prospects and parents here for Washington's football junior day.

21 minutes before tip: This game must be important - the Pac-10's senior ref is on the job. Dick Cartmell will be the lead official tonight. The Pack is back to their familiar all-purple.

14 minutes before tip: Here comes the senior intros. 50-12 home record during their tenure. Brandon Miller, a team manager, is honored first. Then comes Mike Jensen, to big applause. 717 points, 451 career rebounds. His parents and grandparents are here. Pictures are being taken with Romar, each player and his parents. Bobby Jones is next. The Pack shouts out 'Bob-by, Bob-by!'. His parents are here tonight. Zane Potter is next, also to big applause. Three-year letterman. The Pack yells out 'Zane! Zane!' He's joined on the court by his parents and his brother. Next in line is Brandon Roy, and the biggest applause of night comes out. 'B-Roy, B-Roy!' is the chant. Brandon takes the time to hug all the parents. His parents are here with him. The final senior is Jamaal Williams. He comes out with his mom on his arm. Jamaal also takes the time to shake the hands of all the parents there. His Dad is also with him. The Pack - 'Thank you seniors!' They go back in the tunnel with about six minutes to tip, as the band plays the UW fight song.

5 minutes to tip: Right after the fight song is done, Cal comes out to boos. Faint strains of 'Stan-ford Re-jects' comes out of the Pack, but the band is playing so it's not easy to hear.

2 minutes to tip: The team comes out for a quick warmup. Seen in the crowd: new Sonic Earl Watson and big Emeka Iweka, who was in line getting a hot dog in front of our own Scott Eklund.

Tipoff: We'll see if Jensen can be 5-5 this year in tips. When he gets to the tip first, Dawgs win. The Bears come out very quiet, not a lot of jumping around. Just the opposite for the Huskies, who look pretty jacked after that senior day salute. Romar puts Williams in for his final start of his UW career. We'll see how long that lasts. One last 'Whose House....Dawgs' House!' by the Pack and it's time to play some basketball. The Pack is bobbing, all three sections. Need to re-tip. Rod Benson gets it for Cal. Jensen's first responsibility is Leon Powe. Williams tips the ball out and is the recipient of an easy pass for an opening dunk. Hec Ed is rockin' early.

18:45/1: Looks like someone is going to slide over when Powe is in the paint. But that leaves Benson over and UW can't rotate over quick enough.

17:43/1: Jensen gives back to Roy on a breakaway instead of going to the hole. Roy can't get out of Powe's way and gets called for a charge. It happens to Powe on the other end. Both defenses are playing tough.

16:43/1: Jones gets caught in a screen and Midgley hits a three. Brockman and Appleby are in the game now, replacing Dentmon and Williams. The Pack have the drone going bigtime when Cal is on offense.

15:34/1: With the band going and the Pack droning, Cal has moved their huddle out to the court. That doesn't stop either group from producing a lot of noise.

14:36/1: Roy hits his first three. Cal is really stretching out their offense, playing a lot of high screens and looking for open lanes. Looks like UW is willing to pack it in and hope Ubaka and Midgley don't get hot.

13:17/1: Williams back in the game. Roy is doubling up deep on the low post every time and this time he induces a charge off of DeVon Hardin.

12:06/1: Dentmon and Joel Smith into the game. Both teams kind of cool on the offensive end.

11:09/1: Huskies staying in this because of Cal's poor shooting and their relentlessness in making sure the Bears are one-and-done on the offensive end. Both teams shooting under 30 percent from the field.

10:49/1: Williams breaks the mini-slump with a fadeaway J over Powe. Appleby unloads his first three and buries it. Could he have the same game today he did down in Berekely? The Huskies sure hope so.

9:20/1: Williams is starting to feel it. Runners, floaters, baby hooks - he's got 'em all, and isn't afraid to use them.

8:00/1: As Williams goes on a breakaway he's fouled by Theo Robertson. As Williams tries to regain his balance, he accidentally pushes Robertson into the crowd, eliciting a technical foul on Williams. The crowd goes ballistic. Cal makes both the tech shots. Williams misses his second, but Roy comes up with the board and dishes it out to Dentmon, who drains a three.

6:34/1: The refs are certainly letting them play on Cal's offensive end. But Washington is starting to make shots too and Roy is getting everyone involved offensively. Now it's his time to go on a little run. Williams is playing with three fouls. The Pack is on this crew, they don't like how the game has been called to this point, and Romar has been seen pleading his case to Cartmell more than a couple of times. Jensen comes back in for Williams. Doubt we'll see Jamaal for the rest of the half.

5:34/1: Roy makes a shake-and-bake move on Powe and gets fouled by #44. There's continuation and Roy buries the jumper-and-one. He's been deadly from the line the last five games.

4:58/1: Midgley hits another three after tough UW defense. On UW's end, Cal is now in the bonus, but Jones fails to hit the front end. UW is trying to double out top, and Cal is doing a good job of spotting the open player, but they aren't hitting their shots.

3:35/1: Jones hits another three, to get the crowd going. And then Benson gets called for an offensive foul, and that REALLY gets the crowd going. The Pack does a 'Go...Huskies!' chant with the rest of Hec Ed. They are so much louder than the rest of the crowd, it's not even funny.

2:48/1: Cal is determined to take their chances in the paint, and UW is more than happy to pack it in. Dentmon gets called for a foul as Omar Wilkes tries a three. Appleby comes in for Dentmon. Midgley wants to pressure Appleby as much as he can, but Ryan isn't having it. The Dawgs feed it down in the post to Roy, who is fouled. Roy is again money from the line, sinking both.

1:30/1: Jones gets a great steal and puts it into Roy, who is called for another charge, his second total foul. The crowd is incensed.

46 seconds: Appleby buries another three, but Theo Robertson buries one for Cal to end the half.

Halftime: As the refs head off the court, the crowd gives them one of the loudest boos I've heard for a crew this year. They didn't seem too fazed. Softy from KJR is hosting some contest, haven't figured it out yet. Both teams are rebounding well (tied at 17), but Washington is shooting better (11-23) than Cal (10-31). That's the tale of the tape so far.
19:20/2: Cal gets good rotation, gets it into Powe for a layin-and-one. Not the way UW wanted to start out defensively. Midgley gets called on the rebound when Powe misses the FT. The 'Tea and Crumpets' chant comes out.

18:16/2: Appleby and Brockman quickly in for Dentmon and Williams.

17:32/2: Appleby hits a runner. The Huskies are doubling the ball every time, but Cal is finding the open teammate.

16:57/2: Roy hangs, draws contact from Hardin, and makes an improbable shot as the Hec Ed crowd goes nuts. It's plays like that one that should earn Roy Pac-10 player of the year honors.

16:14/2: Romar defense is causing Cal to make great passes, and they are. But Romar sticks with it, even when Cal puts down back-to-back threes.
,br> 15:42/2: Jensen makes his first three of the game. It's probably the first time he's had a really clean, solid look, Cal has been very cognizant of Mike from behind the arc.

15:20/2: UW's hectic pace is starting to pay dividends on the defensive end. Cal has been trying some cross-court passes that have been missing the mark.

14:38/2: Midgley uses his screeners extremely well, running past a solid defender like Jones without a ton of effort. All he can do is foul. And Roy does the same on the other end, running the baseline like the rest of the game is standing still.

14:10/2: Midgley's over-aggressiveness comes back to bite him, with back-to-back fouls in the span of two seconds. He now has four fouls, so he goes out of the game.

13:24/2: Appleby takes a charge on Ubaka. And the bald-headed ref calls a moving screen on Jensen. That sets Romar off. It's the second game in a row where the Telly Savalas impersonator has had some difficulty calling a game at Hec Ed. And Brockman gets held trying to go after a rebound and commits the freshman sin - he gets a little steamed and tries to make up for it on the offensive end. He commits a clear charge, but that really sets the crowd off. The Dawg Pack - 'We want new refs!'

11:42/2: Roy the Provider knows how to calm things down, drawing back-to-back fouls. Cal goes zone, which is exactly the defense Roy wants to see. He can slice and dice it, dish it, drive it, dunk it, do whatever he wants when he sees zone. He's at the line now and makes both, giving UW a five-point advantage.

11:12/2: Powe goes driving and Roy sets it up perfectly for the charge and Cartmell calls it.

10:36/2: Roy does just what you'd expect on zone, slices it to the hole and has a perfect look from inside 10 feet, but it just rolls off. Brockman comes weakside and cleans up. The crowd is loving the strong play inside. Ben Braun calls a TO for Cal, and the Pack is giving them heck. The drone has come back, with passion. At the end of it, they add clapping, for more noise.

10:00/2: Dentmon draws the D in and dishes out to Jones for a sweet three from the right elbow. Cal is now out of their zone. Dentmon takes advantage of the switch, going for another three, to the protestations of Romar.

8:37/2: Roy hits a deep two. Right now, he is in the zone.

7:50/2: Offensive foul on Jones. Believe it or not, the refs have actually settled down and are calling an OK game right now. At the beginning of the second half, I wasn't so sure, but the past few minutes have been well-played and very clean for the most part. Dawgs up ten, they can't b back down now. Romar has been hell-bent on using a trapping-style against the Bears, forcing them into ill-advised passes.

6:57/2: Team fouls are now even at eight. A lot of how this game shapes up is now how each team does their business from the stripe. Cal was 100 percent from the line in the first half (6-6).

6:21/2: Roy does his business on the baseline, with a tough turnaround fadeaway J with the clock winding down. Cal is going to go to the line every trip down the floor from now on if they can. It's the same strategy Stanford tried to employ on Thursday. So far they are making their shots.

5:37/2: Roy buries a three from the top of the key, and the house comes down. He is making his move for Player of the Year right now, and he is coming up nothing but nails. Cal has no answer for him.

4:44/2: Williams does a nifty turnaround move for two, and that gets the house as loud as it's been all night, but a Midgley three quiets them in a hurry. Braun immediately calls a 30-second TO.

4:07/2: Roy gets a feed from Appleby and just abuses the Cal defender. Powe puts together a beautiful spin move and drive for two, his best move of the night. UW went zone for one possession, and is now back in man.

2:44/2: Robertson hits a three and Cal gets another basket to bring things back to six. But Roy comes back with another three-point dagger and the crowd goes electric. Jones takes a charge from Robertson, giving UW possession and a nine-point lead with under two minutes left. Time out is called and the Pack calls out a 'Go...Huskies!' chant. This time the rest of the crowd is just as loud as the Pack, nice to hear. The Pack asks the rest of the crowd to stand up. Most do.

1:24/2: Brockman gets a defensive rebound, gets literally pushed into a ref as Brockman throws the ball to Brandon Roy, and nothing called. That's actually a good thing for UW, as Cal fouls Appleby on UW's offensive end, and he's basically automatic. Jones and Williams go out to big applause.

:58.4/2: Midgley makes another three, and Braun immediately calls timeout. I've noticed that it hasn't been a big shift, but Cal's 'huddle' has moved out more and more toward the middle of the court. The Huskies get the ball in-bounds and Dentmon is fouled. Justin has been nails from the line all year, and right now is no different. He makes both. Roy is on the other end, looking to defend the rim, and forces Powe into another charge. The Pack's chant - 'B-Roy's Better!'

:43.2: Romar goes to the bench and pulls out Burmeister for Jensen. Jensen gets a big ovation, as does Williams when Joel Smith comes in for him.

:22.4/2: The crowd is chanting 'Zane!' and they are going to get their wish. He comes in for Roy, who just gets a thunderous ovation. Dentmon passes to Zane, who cradles the ball to finish the game. Game over, UW wins 73-62.

Post-game: Romar takes the mic and asks the seniors in the Dawg Pack to come down and to enjoy the post-game celebration. Said to the crowd, 'Only seniors. Don't play it off.' He went on talk about how the Pack was there even when they were losing, and talked about how the Pack is rated higher than the team is. And then he passed the mic to the seniors. 'Bob-by!' comes out, as Bobby Jones thanks the seniors. He was Romar's first recruit. He thanks everybody. Jensen is next and he thanks everybody as well. B-Roy is next, and the chant comes out. And then Zane and then Jamaal. He talked about the 'school that he didn't want to name (New Mexico)' and how finishing his career at UW. Roy took the mic and talked about how the seniors love him and the Pack called out the 'Rom-ar!' chant.

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