Tough attitude is getting UW road results

The Huskies may have found the key to winning on the road: Toughness. After dropping their first seven games outside Seattle this season, the Huskies have won two in a row. It's good news, because third-place Washington closes the regular season this week with games at Oregon and Oregon State.

The Huskies (19-9, 9-7) had every opportunity to fold on the road at Washington State, giving up all of a 35-21 halftime lead and actually falling behind by three points before delivering down the stretch for a 59-52 victory on Feb. 27.

Coach Lorenzo Romar liked what he saw when the game got close.

"Most may not understand how big a victory this was, due to the circumstances," he said. "We could have folded. But we didn't fold. We dug in deeper and got the win. That's how you win on the road."

Sophomore Isaiah Thomas was the key man, scoring 22 points, including most of the big ones.

"We just couldn't panic," Thomas said. We knew they were going to go on a run. Basketball is made of runs. We knew we had our own run left in us.

"We knew when it came down to it, we had to get stops, rebound and get buckets. And we did that. I felt like I had to carry my team a little bit. My teammates found me and I knocked down some shots."

Romar said both teams played well.

"Give Washington State a lot of credit. They knuckled down and fought back and got after us," he said. "The (WSU) crowd was great tonight -- it kind of helped them along.

"But give our guys a lot of credit, too. We were down one, and our guys just put the chinstraps on."

On the road, no less.
--Washington held WSU scoring whiz Klay Thompson to 4-for-29 shooting in two games this season.
--The Huskies completed their sweep of WSU despite shooting 4-for-17 from the 3-point line and turning the ball over 18 times on Feb. 27.

ON THE SPOT: Senior Quincy Pondexter hasn't had many poor games this season, but he was just 3-for-11 at Washington State to score seven points. The Huskies will need him at his best this week in Oregon as UW tries to maintain momentum headed to the Pac-10 tournament.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm 4-0 as a Husky playing the Washington State Cougars. I'm happy about that." -- UW sophomore Isaiah Thomas.
SEASON RECAP: The Huskies were breezing along at 10-1 through the end of the non-conference schedule -- the Pac-10's only nationally ranked team -- and then staggered a bit in a six-point win over Oregon State. That foreshadowed bigger problems against Oregon, which sliced through their press and pulled the 90-79 upset victory. UW remained winless on the road until finally beating Stanford and now has a two-game conference road win streak going into this week's trip to the Oregon schools.

PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- F Quincy Pondexter, C Matthew Bryan-Amaning, F Justin Holiday, G Abdul Gaddy, G Isaiah Thomas. Key Subs -- F Tyreese Breshers, G Venoy Overton, F Darnell Gant, G Scott Suggs.

   USC 67, Washington 64
   Washington 97, UCLA 68
   Washington 59, Washington State 52
   at Oregon, Thursday, March 4
   at Oregon State, Saturday, March 6
   at Pac-10 tournament in LA, March 10-13
IN FOCUS: Having won its past two road games after a much-publicized 0-7 start to the season outside Seattle, the Huskies pulled themselves into third place entering the week. They will close the regular season at Oregon State, whom they beat 76-70 at home in January. UW is hoping a strong finish to the regular season, plus a push deep into the Pac-10 tournament, somehow puts them into the picture for the NCAA Tournament.
--Sophomore G Isaiah Thomas scored 22 points, including a pair of 3-pointers during a decisive stretch, in the win over rival Washington State. Thomas has reached 20 points 11 times this season.
--Senior F Quincy Pondexter, who had scored in double digits in eight consecutive games, had just seven points on 3-for-11 shooting at Washington State.
--Junior C Matthew Bryan-Amaning had 17 points and 12 rebounds against WSU. Top Stories