Oliver Can't Beat Huskies by Himself

SEATTLE - It became clear early in the San Jose State-Washington game that Quincy Pondexter and Adrian Oliver were going to take center stage. They didn't disappoint, combining for 62 points and 23 rebounds, but Pondexter's Huskies took care of the Spartans, fashioning an efficient 80-70 win in front of 8,155 fans at Bank of America Arena Friday night.

For the Huskies it wasn't very pretty - and they definitely had no answer at all for Oliver, who played in 2006 for UW before transferring out. It wasn't for a lack of throwing bodies at him. The Huskies guarded him with nearly every perimeter player in their arsenal in an attempt to slow him down. He finished with a game-high 32 points, but the Spartans (1-1) had no other consistent offensive compliments for Oliver when Washington was able to get in his face and disrupt his rhythm. Guard Justin Graham added 12 points for San Jose State, but he was the only other Spartan in double-figures.

"I'm not surprised he did what he did," UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said of Oliver's night. "He's a really good player, always has been."

For the Huskies (4-0), they weren't able to expand their lead much, but did get it to double-digits with roughly 10 minutes left in the game and milked their advantage while Oliver tried desperately to keep the Spartans in the mix. Pondexter, who has been averaging a double-double so far this season, did not disappoint with 30 points and 15 rebounds - both career highs - despite having to leave the game in the second half to throw up.

"I don't know what it was," Pondexter said after the game. "I must have eaten something bad."

Not even bad food or the Spartans' defense could keep Pondexter from stuffing a pretty alley-oop from Abdul Gaddy with 7:50 left in the game to give the Huskies a comfortable 66-52 lead.

"That's something he does," UW's Isaiah Thomas said of Gaddy and his ability to rack up the assists. "I'm not surprised. I keep telling him to be more aggressive."

He could have tied Oliver for the game high in points, but was subbed out with 1:48 left and UW up 14, his job done for the night. The Spartans did go to a an extended press after the final television timeout down 12, but could never drop the lead to below single-digits.

"Quincy had a monster game," Romar said. "He just played really well."

But it didn't have the makings of a vintage Pondexter performance early on. A charge call against him with 12:18 left in the first half gave the senior two fouls and sent Romar into a tailspin, ultimately ending up in a technical foul for the Husky Head Coach.

"This reminded me a lot of a road game," Pondexter said. "I remember when I had my first two fouls in the first half early I looked at the guys. I was like, 'Those might have been questionable calls, but I'm fine. Just make sure we stay focused and chip away at this game'. Because the refs are going to call games like this. These types of games happen, and I was really proud of the guys tonight."

Thomas gutted through a poor shooting performance to score 16 points, including 6-6 from the free throw line. Tyreese Breshers played 20 minutes and came up with 12 points and seven rebounds.

"It was a confidence builder," Breshers said. "I still know I have a lot of work to do, a lot of conditioning ahead of me. I'm still winded."

Outside of Pondexter's battle with his former teammate, there wasn't anything either remarkable or unremarkable about Washington's performance, one that was also marred by 51 total fouls called on both teams. With so many whistles and stoppages, it was hard for either team to get in a rhythm.

"I thought the game was called a little soft," Thomas said. "Every time when I was at the free throw line the refs were talking about not pushing the guy under the rim, and I'm like, 'What did I go into the weight room for?'"

The Spartans did their best to keep UW's offense at bay with an extended zone for most of the game. "Give a lot of credit to San Jose State tonight," Romar said. "They packed it in and early they tried to push the ball. They tried to control tempo as best they could."

"Our team did a good job tonight of moving the ball," Pondexter added. "We're going to see a lot of zone this year because of how athletic and how quick we are. It's going to happen."

The Huskies out-rebounded SJSU 44-37 and they only committed 12 turnovers and added 16 assists - seven by true freshman point guard Gaddy.

"I thought that (Gaddy) was stellar at running our team against the zone," Romar said. "He just did a great job keeping our team under control."
A Rare 'T' For Romar: On the official stats sheet they have Washington with a team technical, but it was called on Romar with 12:18 to go in the first half after a block/charge sequence went against Pondexter. "They called it on me," Romar said afterward. "Too much arm flailing."

Pondexter Happy Oliver Got What He Wanted: After the game, Pondexter admitted that he didn't talk to Oliver as much as he talked to former Husky Phil Nelson when Nelson's Portland State Vikings played the Huskies last week. "Adrian, he got what he wanted," Pondexter said. "He's at a school where he can score as many points as he wants. But I'd rather be here where I'm at. We're winning games. He got 32, I got the win. I'm happy." He added that he's not as close to Oliver as he is with Nelson, who both signed with UW in the same class with Pondexter. "No. We didn't leave on such good terms when he left. It just happened. I was disappointed the whole class left, starting with Spencer. I thought that if Spencer came back and the whole team was back again together. Working hard over the summer and knowing what the college game is like, we would have been fine. We won 19 games that year as only being 18-year old kids. We could have done so much more that year. We were a game or two away from winning 20 games and going to the tournament. It was a heartbreaking year for me to see everyone go. Everyone's in their different situation now, the situation they picked and the situation they wanted deep down inside. I can't complain."

He added that the first time he talked to Oliver post-transfer was just two months ago, even though they shared an apartment. Oliver called him. "There was a rumor going around that I had gotten married," Pondexter said. "He called and I was in my car driving. I thought I saw a 206 area code, and answered it. He's like, 'Please don't say you got married!' and I was like, 'Who is this? I don't know.' I looked at the phone again and it was a 209 area code, where he's from. He said, 'It's AO'. If I had known it was him, I probably wouldn't have answered. We talked and whatever happened in the past is past. He's in his situation, I'm in my situation, we caught up and we're good. I'm proud of him, he did a terrific job tonight.

But for a long time Pondexter wasn't right about what happened. "I felt stranded. He left me as a teammate and as a friend. He left me with the rent. That was the last person I was close to, so it was really tough my sophomore year because people bond to people that are in their recruiting class. You come in together and you are friends. I was alone a lot of times that next year. I bonded with Jon more, got the whole team together more and it really helped us."
Points: Pondexter 30, Thomas 16, Breshers 12, Turner 6, Bryan-Amaning 4, Gaddy 4, Trent 4, Overton 2, Holiday 2
Rebounds: Pondexter 15, Breshers 7, Trent 5, Holiday 4, Thomas 3, TEAM 3, Bryan-Amaning 2, Gant 2, Turner 2, Gaddy 1
Assists: Gaddy 7, Overton 3, Holiday 3, Bryan-Amaning 2, Trent 1
Steals: Overton 1, Breshers 1
Blocks: Trent 1

Dawgman.com Top Stories