Huskies suffer 1st loss

#13 Washington vs. #18 Gonzaga. The Bulldogs from Spokane owned a 44-game home winning streak while the Huskies entered the game with an unblemished 7-0 record for 2006, and this was their first game away from the friendly confines of Bank of America Arena. Something had to give. The Huskies gave and the Bulldogs took it to them this evening in Spokane, hammering Washington 97-77.

Derek Raivio led Gonzaga with 25 points while Matt Bouldin had 21 on 9 of 12 shooting. Josh Heytvelt had 14 points and five boards inside but played excellent defense in the post in the first half when the game was decided.

Washington was led by Spencer Hawes' 20 points and 8 boards. Jon Brockman and Quincy Pondexter had 13 points apiece while Adrian Oliver added 11. Brockman had 11 boards.

Washington just had no answer for the Gonzaga guards on the perimeter, who ran the motion offense to perfection. Defensive lapses came early and often. It also took the Huskies nearly 18 minutes to get untracked on offense and get Hawes involved, and by then the deficit was too large for such a young team on the road in a difficult building to overcome.
1st half: The first play of the game was very telling. It was an alley oop pass from Jeremy Pargo that led to a thundering slam by Josh Heydvelt. The crowd went crazy and never stopped screaming from that point on. Three pointers from Pargo and Derek Raivio pushed the Bulldogs out to an eight point lead at the first timeout. The pace was furious.

Washington began to get into early foul trouble, getting out hustled for loose balls and reaching on defense. A Matt Bouldin drive in the face of Quincy Pondexter moved the lead to double digits and the Huskies were in danger of getting blown out. A Hans Gasser baseline jumper stopped the bleeding, but not for long. A David Pendergraft three followed by a Heytvelt lay in put the Bulldogs on top 33-18.

The battle inside was being won by Heytvelt, as his tough defense caused Spencer Hawes to struggle when he got touches. Washington could not get any offensive flow going because of Gonzaga's quickness.

A Pondexter three and a Brockman put back ended a 12-2 Gonzaga run, but the ‘zags continued to kill the Huskies in transition. The Washington guards had no answer for Raivio or Pargo, who were both too quick and too athletic for the young Husky guards. Abdullahi Kuso teamed with Heytvelt to disrupt the Huskies inside. Gonzaga outscored the Huskies 24-10 in the paint to that point.

Gonzaga went up by 20 when Raivio ran down a loose ball in the open court, went up with Pondexter and changed hands in mid-shot to make an acrobatic lay in and drew the foul on Quincy. The made free throw made it 49-29 and the game looked like it was over with 3:30 left in the first half.

Washington slowly crept back to respectability, closing to within 13 by ending the half with some better rebounding and a 6-0 run to make it 56-43.
2nd half: The pace remained up tempo but the shooting cooled from the first half. The Huskies had several chances to cut into the 13-point deficit but missed three pointers, a turnover, and a charge negated them.

A Hawes lay in off of a Brockman feed finally did cut it to 11, but Gonzaga kept the Huskies from getting any closer on the strength of offensive boards and put backs. Still, the ‘zags were ice cold from the field and were still letting the Dawgs hang around at the 12:00 mark.

A three ball by Phil Nelson once again cut the lead to 11, but Raivio answered with a running banker in the lane to once again thwart a comeback attempt.

A Bouldin three from the top of the key at the 7:00 mark pushed the lead back out to 16, 82-66. Dentmon answered with a three-point play to answer, and both Dentmon and Pondexter had opportunities to cut into it again but Dentmon was blocked and Quincy turned it over.

Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes (PMAC) drained a three and then stole the ball and sent down a beast of a two-handed jam to push Gonzaga to an 89-71 lead with 4:44 left and the home team was never threatened again.

Washington drops to 7-1 and will next face Portland State a week from this evening back in Seattle.
WASHINGTON STATISTICS

Scoring: Hawes 20, Brockman 13, Pondexter 13, Oliver 11, Nelson 8, Dentmon 7, Appleby 3, Gasser 2.
Rebounding: Brockman 11, Hawes 8, Oliver 5.
Assists: Appleby 6, Dentmon 4, Hawes 4.

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