Dawg Blog - Arizona

A Pac-10 championship is not in the offing this Saturday, but bragging rights heading into the Pac-10 tournament and momentum going into the post-season should be enough motivation for the Washington Huskies as they take on Arizona in Tucson. Let's get to the game!

20 min to tip: Teams begin warm ups. Every player for U of A is in blue, except for Hassan Adams, who sports a red shirt. This place is packed! The student section is more than 10 times the size of the one ASU had on Thursday. No joke. And these kids are decked out in red and fired up. (They've been here for an hour).

15:00 min to tip: Chris Rodgers, Arizona's much maligned senior guard, who is back on the team after being suspended indefinitely early in the season, sits at the three point line draining jumpers.

11:00 to tip: The teams rush back to their respective locker rooms for final pre game preparations. Its not hard for you to imagine what the coaches are telling their guys. Play defense, play under control, play our game. Before they come back out, the seniors will no doubt do some shouting and some encouraging, as this is their last go round on this court.

5:00 to tip: UW returns to the floor as a U of A highlight reel plays overhead.

3:30 to tip: The crowd comes to their feet as the Cats band strike up and the team runs on to the court. One thing to mention is the headband differential. UW-0, UofA-4.

Introductions: The student section screams SUCKS! Immediately after each Huskies is announced. For some reason, when Hassan Adams is announced the scream says Englebert Humperdink.

19:57/1: UW wins tip and then immediately turns it over.

19:30/1: The fans go crazy as Marcus Williams takes the lob and finishes for the first bucket of the game. Huskies miss leads to a Shakur lay in. 4-0 Arizona.

18:00/1: Adams steals a pass and shoots down the sideline but misses the finish. Huskies force a stop. Dentman hits a three to make it 6-5 U of A. Brockman is swatted but Jensen gets on the floor to force the jump ball.

16:30/1: Arizona has Williams on Roy, probably to keep Adams out of foul trouble. The freshman comes down and hits the open three and gives Arizona the 9-5 lead.

15:33/1: Jones jumps in front of a lazy pass. After Dentman airballs a jumper, the fans get on him.

14:47/1: Appleby and Williams give a rest for Dentman and Brockman. The fans are loud here. They're ultra quiet when the Cats have the ball and wild when the Dawgs do.

13:54/1: Radinovic hits his second straight bucket to make it 13-7. UW will have to step out on him as he can clearly knock down his shots. Joel Smith checks in for Jones. Jamal Williams moves his feet and gets the charge.

12:40/1: After Appleby makes it 13-10 on his first three of the game, UW traps the Cats under their bucket and forces them to call a TO.

11:48/1: Rodgers and Dentman get tied up on the ground and a jump ball is called. UW's ball on the alternating possession arrow.

11:16/1: Rodgers is called for the block on Dentman, much to the crowd's dismay. Dentman looks like he will have his hands full against Rodgers, who is an excellent on –ball defender.

10:37: Shakur gets right to the bucket for his second field goal. UW must find a way to keep him out of the lane.

9:05/1: Romar calls a TO after Chris Rodgers hits the three to make the score 20-12 U of A. UW seems to reluctant to challenge the Cats shots. Arizona's guards are racing all over the place on defense, which is clearly frustrating the Husky ball handlers.

8:11/1: Rodgers second three falls and he quickly turns to defense. Arizona appears to crankl it up defensively after they hit their shots.

7:25/1: Coming out the timeout, UW needs to crank up their intensity. Arizona's guards are getting wherever they want to go early on. The interior defense has been solid, but in order to weather the run, the Dawgs will have to dictate where they want Shakur, Rodgers, and Adams to go.

7:05/1: Roy back cuts Marcus Williams and is fouled as he tries to go up. He hits both and the next trip down Brockman finishes strong of the feed from Appleby. 25-18 U of A. Cats turn it over and Jones is fouled hard but hits just 1 of 2.

5:44/1: Jones is clearly upset after he is called for reaching on Adams. The Cats miss but get the offensive board and put it in for two. Roy finishes at the other end to make it 27-21.

4:18/1: Adams draws the charge on Williams (He was falling down before the contact). Dentman is called for shoving Rodgers out of bounds before a timeout is called.

2:42/1: After Onobun finishes inside, Adams makes his presence felt again by forcing the UW turnover from Appleby. He is lightning-quick in the passing lanes.

2:12/1: Dentman comes right down and hits his second three bringing the lead to just two before Adams hits the baseline jumper to make it 31-27.

1:08/1: Great defensive sequence as Dentman gets the steal and then throws it right to Marcus Williams. Rodgers hits the three and stares down Dentman as if to say "How dare you steal it from me."

:06/1: Marcus Williams dribbles down the clock and misses his shot. Roy gets a good look from deep at the buzzer, but it rims out. 34-31 U of A at the half

Halftime: U of A came out running on all cylinders taking the early lead. Once the Huskies settled down and started playing defense they were right back in it. The glaring stats from the first half are that Roy is just 1 of 3 for 6 points and that UW already has 11 turnovers. But with the Dawgs leading on the board (21-15) it would appear that with continued attention to defense and better decision making, this game is more than winnable. Chris Rodgers led the Cats with 9 points by making all 3 of his three pointers. Adams has just six points, but three big steals. UW has no real standout as five players are tied with 6 points. Jon Brockman has 5 big rebounds. An Arizona student stepped up and hit a half court shot, which sent everyone in the place to their feet, including me. The Wildcat student reporter almost fell right out of his seat. The announcer said that it was the first time in 15 years that a student had hit that shot at the McHale Center.

18:50/2: Jones is tied up for the jump ball. Adams drives baseline and finishes over two Huskies. Brockman posts up, pivots, misses, and finishes with the tip in. 40-38

17:58/2: Radinovic drains another jumper. The next trip Shakur makes his lay in plus one as he is fouled by Dentman.

16:50/2: Cats rebound the miss and race down the floor. Williams get the feed and finishes to make it 45-36. Rmoar calls the TO and brings his troops in. He looks fired up as his guys have come out flat thus far in the second half. The band and the crowd are wild all throughout the timeout. Everyone is standing.

16:20/2: Dentman is called for the offensive foul coming out of the TO. Appleby reaches in and gets whistled immediately. He then steals the next pass and takes it down for the uncontested lay in. 45-38 Arizona.

15:00/2: Huskies force Cats late in the shot clock but give up a three to Williams. He hits another jumper to make it 50-38. UW has to weather this run if it wants to have a chance late.

12:50/2: Roy takes it strong and finishes over Radinovic. He needs to attack the basket more. He does on the next possession, dishing to Appleby for three. 50-45 Arizona.

11:35/2: Shakur speeds down court and forces Appleby to foul him.

11:00/2: Romar has Roy bring the ball up now after watching Dentman and Appleby have trouble versus the Arizona pressure.

10:06/2: UW gets the call on a 50/50 in front of Zona's bench and the fans don't like it. Adams seems to fade on every one of his shots, so if you get up on him, he will miss. He misses two free throws and the Dawgs get the board.

9:16/2: Roy back cuts and finishes. 53-49. Roy is really getting in on Adams, not letting him post at all. Brandon grabs the rebound and feeds Dentman for the lay in. 53-51.

7:59/2: During the timeout, the sections alternate in cheering U of A, led by a 53-year man named "The UA Man," who is their best cheerleader I'm told.

7:35/2: Roy grabs the offensive board and finishes nicely on the other side. Jamal Williams hits from baseline to make it a two point game 57-55 Zona.

6:26/2: Brandon hits both free throws while the student section chants"S-A-T's" referring to Roy's low test scores.

5:45/2: Radinovic hits a jumper to make it 61-57. Rodgers draws a charge on Appleby, who is out of control.

4:54/2: UW's offense is running through Roy every time now. He draws and hits Appleby for three. 63-62 U of A. Marcus Williams hits two free throws to give him 18 points thus far, the game's leading scorer. Timeout. 65-62 Cats

2:45/2: Jones drives hard and finishes to make it 65-64. Bobby lands hard but bounces right back up.

2:06/2: After two Cats free throws, Dentman is called for traveling giving the ball back to Arizona.

1:46/2: Roy spins middle and finishes with a pretty left-handed scoop lay in. Great body control. 67-66 Zona. Timeout

1:21/2: Zona in-bounding up one. Huskies force a stop, but Jensen can't connect on the three from the corner. Down one and UW shoots a three?

:40/2: Near Cats turnover as Rodgers runs it down near half court and calls a TO. Cats ball with 21 on the shot clock. Dentman steals and passes to Jones who slams home the uncontested dunk. 68-67 UW The Dawgs lead for the 1st time today with 25 seconds to go.

:20/2: Marcus Williams misses both free throw attempts and the Huskies call timeout while trying to bring the ball up.

:14/2: UW to inbound. Zona tries to foul Dentman, who uses four seconds till they get him.

:10/2: Shakur fouls Justin Dentman, who will be shooting one and one. He sinks the first to make the score 69-67 UW. Zona calls a TO to try to ice him and set up their final possession. Dentman hits the second.

:9/2: Adams airballs the three at the buzzer. Huskies win 70-67, only the third 'W' Washington has been able to secure at McKale since 1985.

Post Game Thoughts: Justin Dentman continues to look like a veteran. First he makes a huge steal which leads to the go-ahead basket. Then with 9 seconds left he calmly stepped to the line, and sank two. Just plays beyond his years. After having a moment like he did against Stanford, and then finishing the regular season by icing Arizona, this kid has come a long way. Even while admitting that today's crowd was the wildest he's ever played against, Dentman remained poised and made good decisions which proved to be the difference.

Brandon Roy is always spectacular. Again, he didn't score big, but he rebounded well and played solid defense. And when it mattered, he attacked the hoop and either finished or found an open teammate. Even when he tried to draw a late foul on Marcus Williams and was called for blocking, Williams missed both free throws. He just seems to bring those intangibles.

Overall, the UW victory was very hard fought. They trailed the entire game until inside the final minute. They made the plays that they needed to make, both offensively and defensively, and the came out on top. When you play your game and you play hard, that tends to happen.

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