Notes and Quotes - Stanford

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - There were plenty of notes and quotes coming from Washington's 79-64 win over Stanford in the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament Friday night at the Staples Center.

Notes:
--Washington opened with the same five starters for the eighth-straight game: Isaiah Thomas, Abdul Gaddy, Quincy Pondexter, Justin Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning.

--Eleven of Washington's 28 first-half points came from the free throw line. The Huskies went 11-13 (.846) from the free throw line in the half, but just 8-28 from the field. In the first half, Washington held Stanford to 7-24 from the field (.292) and 1-5 from behind the 3-point arc (.200) to lead at the break 28-19.

--All Pac-10 Quincy Pondexter led the Huskies with a team-high 19 points. He has 82 career games in double-figures, which is tied for third with Todd MacCulloch on the UW career charts. He has scored in double-figures in 26 of 32 games this season. He now has 1725 career points, No. 5 on the Washington career scoring chart, behind No. 4 MacCulloch (1743, 1996-99). Pondexter joins Oregon's Tajuan Porter and California's Jerome Randle as the only active Pac-10 players with 1700 career points. He is the only player in conference history to win five Pac-10 Player of the Week honors in a single season (2010).

--Friday night's win gave Washington a six-game win streak over the Cardinal. The last time Washington defeated Stanford six-straight times was 1974-77. Stanford lost three times to Washington this season - tonight at Staples, 79-64 and 94-61 at Seattle and 78-61 in Palo Alto. The average winning margin in the three games is 21.7 points.

--Washington has won 10 of its last 12 games and six straight.

--Washington shot 25-29 (.862) from the free throw line Friday night. The Huskies' season-best percentage for a single game this season is .867 (26-30) at California on Feb. 11.

--Matthew Bryan-Amaning has registered double-figures in rebounding in four of the last five games, Friday night vs. Stanford he had a team-high 11 rebounds. The exception was last night's quarterfinal contest against Oregon State (four).

--All Pac-10 Isaiah Thomas added 17 points and Pac-10 All-Defensive Team Justin Holiday, contributed 11 points, seven rebounds and one assist, along with two blocks and one steal. Pac-10 All-Defensive teammate Venoy Overton had seven points, three rebounds, four assists and one steal.

--Washington and California will meet in the Pac-10 Tournament final Saturday at 3:10 p.m. For the Huskies, it will be their fourth title appearance (1-2) - losing to No. 1 UCLA 76-64 in Pauley Pavilion in the first Pac-10 Tournament final in 1987; losing to No. 1 Stanford 77-66 in the 2004 final at Staples and beating No. 1 Arizona 81-72 at Staples to win the 2005 Tournament title. Cal will be making its second final appearance, losing to No.1 UCLA 71-52 in the 2006 championship contest.
Quotes:
Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar:
On his team's performance: "Early on in the game, we were real aggressive but in too much of a hurry. We were missing a lot of easy baskets. We settled down. I thought defensively we did a really nice job today."

On playing Cal: "Huge opponent we're going against. Cal right now is playing like a machine…we have to play at a high level in order to compete with them tomorrow."

On Matthew Bryan-Amaning: "He has given us blocking shots, he has given us rebounding. He's given up an inside presence, and that's really, really helped us. He's come alongside of Isaiah and Quincy and helped us with scoring. And Justin Holiday's play, since he's been inserted into the starting lineup, has really given us a lot of energy and focus and all-out grit."

On playing the No. 1 seed in the finals: "It's bigger than that for us. It's an opportunity for us to win a championship. And then also, maybe make sure we take it out of the committee's hands for the NCAA Tournament."

On already being in the NCAA tournament: "You just never know. That's all. You just never know. There have been teams that have had great cases in the past. They are all lined up there on Selection Sunday, only to be disappointed with the results. We just have to wait and see and do everything in our power to make sure it happens."

On what to expect from Saturday's game: "It's two teams really competing and two teams making a lot of basketball plays. They are definitely a lot better than the first time we played. They've gotten into a great rhythm where they are playing great basketball. Those three career 1000-point scorers have been through a lot of games, been through a lot of situations. They play with a great calm. They don't get rattled. They do a tremendous job."

On expectations for his team: "My expectations for this team is to be the best we can be. And right now we're close to that. I'm really pleased with what we've done in the past couple of months. It's gotten us to a position where we are playing for a championship. So you've got to be pretty pleased with that."

On beating Stanford three times: "We've beaten UCLA three times in the past, we've beaten Arizona three times in the past; we've lost to Washington State three times in the past. It happens. It's always a challenge, because both teams are so familiar with one another. But I would consider doing that two nights in a row a significant accomplishment on our part."

Quincy Pondexter:
On already being in the NCAA Tournament or not: "We have to come out and play as hard as we possibly can tomorrow. We don't know if we're in the NCAA Tournament or not. We haven't been given an invitation or anything by them. We just have to come out and play as hard as we possibly can and let Selection Sunday take care of itself."

On what to expect from Cal: "Cal's a great team. We split with them this year. They took advantage of us when we were down there and we had our way with them at home. It's going to be a tough battle. It's going to be a lot of fun out there. We have a lot of similarities. To play a team that's very similar is a very tough battle. Whoever executes better wins. And we're both competing for championships, so that adds a great dynamic to the series. It's a lot of fun to play against them."

On a turning point in the season: "One landmark thing was after the USC game down here. We lost pretty bad. I think we've really bought into everything, offensively and defensively. And we've been playing a lot better basketball."

On his current health: "I'm great."

Isaiah Thomas:
On the game early on: "We played great defense. We missed some easy one we usually make. We played good defense though. We knew shots were going to fall. We had to just keep being aggressive, pushing it and get to the hoop. We know shots are going to fall."

On trying to limit Landry Fields: "Landry is a good player. You aren't going to totally shut him down because he's so tall. He can get any shot he wants. Holiday did a good job on him and we wanted to shut down the other players too."

On playing Jerome Randle on Saturday: "It's going to be a good one. I can't wait. This is what basketball is all about. Championship game - you've got to bring it."

On the importance of playing Cal in the championship game: "Whoever we play, I'm just glad we're in the championship. But whoever we play is whoever we play."

On Cal: "It's a battle. We're one-and-one in the season. Everybody is going to go hard. It's going to be fun."

On putting full-court pressure early: "We knew we had to come in and push the game and go up-tempo. And when Venoy (Overton) comes in, that's what he does. He did a great job of it. We got some steals and got out early."

Matthew Bryan-Amaning:
On getting blocks: "Just being ready and in the right position. A lot of our defense is on the outside, and once we get our guards forcing them to the baseline, I'm always in the position to make plays like that or come over for charges."

On his dunk on Stanford's Andrew Zimmerman: "I was just trailing the play. The guards had been doing a nice job of finding me. Venoy said he heard me yelling his name. I was just trailing the play and he just happened to step up."

Darnell Gant:
On his dunks: "They felt good. My legs were under me. The first one was kind of shaky, but the next two were good. I should have given one to my boy Clarence so he could have windmilled, throw it down for LA. Next time I'll get it done."

On MBA's dunk: "That one was nasty. I almost hurt myself. When he dunked that, I could have injured myself for the rest of the season. That was the nasty dunk of the year, hands down."

On high-wire act at the end with Romar watching: "He couldn't say anything. What could he say? When we get it in the open floor, go ahead and score. He wasn't telling us not to score. They were pressing, so we might as well get baskets. The basket was open."

On sensing Stanford's frustration: "We were getting after it on defense. And when we get after it on defense, we give a lot of teams problems. We give everybody problems, especially Stanford because they are a half-court oriented team. If we shut down (Landry) Fields, they didn't have any other answers to go to offensively."

On playing his role against Stanford: "Coach (Romar) told me this morning that I was going to try and go in and help Justin (Holiday) guard Fields. I took that as a challenge upon myself. I wanted to help Justin out as much as I could. I knew it was going to be a tough task."

Venoy Overton:
On getting after Stanford early: "They had to put (Drew) Shiller at the point guard, and that's not what they did the last two times. That's not how they really want to play."

On playing against Cal's Jerome Randle: "We have to show that we've got something to prove. It's going to be a battle."

On Cal: "This is who we wanted to play. This is going to show who is the best in the Pac-10. We're one-and-one right now. This is going to settle it all."

Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins:
On possibly playing in the 2010 post-season: "I haven't thought about it, right now we are just down. It was a tough loss for us, we are out of this tournament and we knew our only hope up to make the NCAA Tournament was by winning this tournament and unfortunately we fell short. I don't know what is out there for us and right now we have to wait and see."

On the difference in their offensive play the last two nights: "Well, we played a terrific defensive team tonight that was really able to get after us and push us out of our operating zone offensively. W could never really get into our sets the way we wanted to. That is what they do; and also I think they turn defense into offense very quick. Suddenly they are in transition, you take a bad shot or turn it over and the game can get away from you awfully quick."

Landry Fields:
Thoughts on the game: "They came out with a lot of energy. We had a game plan going that was working well early, but started to dwindle a little bit. Give credit to them, they played an excellent game."

On Washington being a tough match-up: "They could be. They have a great coaching staff and great players. I don't think their record really reflects how good they are. Give credit to them because they are a great team."

On the game being competitive early on: "There is a lot of stuff that goes into this game. A little bit of poise on offense and getting back on defense is big. Finding guys in transition is important, because they were really good in transition today as they always are. For us, poise on offense is something we could have done a little bit better in this game."


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