Roland's Injury Mars Gritty Win by UW

SEATTLE - It wasn't pretty, especially when Texas A&M Senior guard Derrick Roland was stretchered off the court with a broken leg in the second half. Roland's injury clearly took the wind out of the Aggies' effort, and Washington capitalized, eventually winning 73-64 in front of a sold-out Bank of America Arena crowd Tuesday night. The game was part of the Big-12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.

The crowd was treated to some real up-and-down action, but the game was marred by Roland's injury, which came with 17:30 left to go in the game. The senior went up for a layin attempt against Washington's Quincy Pondexter, and landed awkwardly, breaking his leg in a manner similar to Joe Theismann's infamous compound fracture of his leg in a play involving Lawrence Taylor.

"I was (close to him), but then I grabbed the ball and turned my back," Pondexter said after the game. "Then I heard a loud slap, like he hit the floor. But that turned out to be the break. And it was one of the nastiest things I've ever witnessed in my life.

"I pray for him, I wish his team the best. I wish his family the best. I hope a speedy recovery for him."

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said the last time he saw a play like that was when basically the same thing happened to former Cincinnati star Kenyon Martin. "You just feel for them," he said. "It's hard for his teammates. How do you respond after that?"

There was a good 10-minute wait while doctors helped Roland off the court. The crowd gave him three standing ovations. He was taken to Harborview Hospital. TAMU Head Coach Mark Turgeon immediately went to the hospital after the game.

"We know he's stable," A&M Assistant Head Coach Scott Spinelli of Roland. "He's supposed to be taken into surgery tonight. He has a compound fracture. The bone was actually protruding from the skin. It was a full tibia-fibula break. Hopefully the surgery goes well and he'll be out of surgery sometime tomorrow.

"Our trainer, Matt Doles, actually became very, very pale. He almost passed out looking at the injury. It was a very gruesome sight for everybody to look at."

Once the game resumed, Washington flipped a one-point deficit and ran out to a 14-point lead - their largest of the game - with 8:20 left. The run included the Huskies' first made 3-pointer of the game, by Scott Suggs, with 11:13 left. Suggs would shoot the only other made three by UW with 2:52 left when it looked like the Huskies would try and milk the clock after Venoy Overton came up with a key offensive rebound.

The Aggies wouldn't go without a fight after Roland left the arena, but you could tell they were clearly hurting. "They tried to play hard, but we just topped them," Overton said after the game. "Coach told us to stay focused and keep our heads in the game."

"We just had to make sure we were ready to respond, because teams respond differently," added Romar. "Maybe they were distraught; maybe they were going to rally up behind us and come after us, so we couldn't relax ourselves."

The injury will certainly be the main talking point behind a gutty win by the Huskies. Pondexter led Washington (8-2) with his 25 points and 13 rebounds, giving the senior his eighth career double-double.

"Right now he's playing as well as anyone," Romar said. "He's been great."

Overton was the only other Husky in double-figures, as Isaiah Thomas failed to score at least 10 points for the first time all season. He did, however, have a fine all-around performance with nine points, seven rebounds and five assists.

"The last game, same thing," Romar said. "He didn't force. He showed that he can do more than just score."

Texas A&M (8-3) was led by the 17 points of B.J. Holmes, who made five of seven 3-pointers, including four in the final four-and-a-half minutes of the game. Senior guard Donald Sloan added 16 points.

It was a gritty game from the start, with both teams leading for basically half of the first 20 minutes. Neither team distanced themselves from the other, as Washington's biggest lead was five and A&M's was six.

"We made them work hard for their shots," Romar said. "We won another game. I'm more excited that we were able to hold a team to 30 percent. I'm more excited about that. If you do the right thing over a period of time, those things take care of themselves."

"This was a good win," Overton added.
Statistics:
Points: Pondexter 25, Overton 12, Thomas 9, Bryan-Amaning 7, Suggs 6, Breshers 5, Gant 5, Trent 2, Holiday 2
Rebounds: Pondexter 13, TEAM 8, Overton 7, Thomas 7, Gant 7, Bryan-Amaning 4, Turner 3, Gaddy 2, Suggs 2, Holiday 1, Breshers 1
Assists: Thomas 5, Overton 4, Pondexter 2, Suggs 1, Holiday 1
Steals: Bryan-Amaning 3, Overton 1, Trent 1, Breshers 1
Blocks: Pondexter 3, Holiday 3, Breshers 2, Bryan-Amaning 1, Gant 1, Thomas 1, Trent 1


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