Sunday, March 20, 2011

So Close

Photo Credit: Dean Rutz/Seattle Times
With 7.4 seconds left to play, Washington trailed 84-83.  They needed to inbound the ball from underneath their own basket to attempt a game-winning shot.  They didn't get that chance.  Justin Holliday's inbound pass was deflected by North Carolina's John Henson and North Carolina recovered.  North Carolina's Leslie Strickland was fouled and he made his two foul shots.  Still, Washington got the ball with 5.3 seconds left in the game, down by three.  Venoy Overton dribbled up the court and took a wild half court shot.  It wasn't even close, but a North Carolina player deflected it out of bounds.  Washington would again inbound the ball from underneath its own basket, this time with 0.5 seconds remaining.  The pass was to Isaiah Thomas.  Thomas shot and missed, but replays showed Henson might have committed goaltending.  No call from the refs, though, and the game was over.  Further replays showed that even if the shot had gone in or goaltending was called, it was a two-pointer, and Washington would have lost regardless.

Washington led much of the game.  The led by as much as 11 in the first half.  However, they committed costly errors in the last 5 minutes of the game and North Carolina capitalized.  Terrence Ross had a key turnover with 2 minutes left.  Ross, C.J. Wilcox, Holliday, Thomas, Darnell Gant, and Bryan-Amaning all missed key shots in that stretch.  Overall, Washington played a very good game.  It wasn't enough to beat a very talented North Carolina team, though.

Terrence Ross was the star for the Huskies, scoring 19 points.  Washington actually outrebounded North Carolina; Aziz N'Daiye grabbed 11 boards.  After early foul trouble, neither N'Daiye nor Bryan-Amaning fouled out.  Unfortunately, Isaiah Thomas was off his game.  He only managed 12 points off 5-15 shooting.

These types of losses are always disappointing.  This will ultimately be remembered as a flawed team.  An exciting team, yet prone to mistakes.  This was the last game for seniors Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Justin Holliday, and Venoy Overton.  All three had great contributions to the team over their four years at UW.  Next year the Huskies will be back.  Until then, we have the rest of the NCAA tournament to enjoy.  

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