Huskies Insider Blog

Morning run: Huskies move into sole possession of first place of the Pac-12

This is 11-year-old Caspian Coberly, who played the Star Spangled Banner last night at the game on his guitar. Fantastic.

Unbelievable game last night at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies overcame a sloppy start and a plethora of turnovers with a brilliant final six minutes to rally from a 10-point deficit to defeat UCLA 71-69. Terrence Ross was fantastic in the second scoring 18 of his 24 points, including 10 of Washington's last 12 points.

With the win and the Cal loss at home to Arizona, the Huskies sit alone atop the Pac-12 standings.

From my game story ...

“Terrence got that gleam in his eye, that look that forces you to make sure he gets the ball without him saying a word,” UW coach Lorenzo Romar said. “He came through on the offensive end big time.”

It’s not like it’s the first time Romar has seen that gleam. Ross scored 26 of his 30 points in the second half against Washington State earlier this season.

Perhaps Darnell Gant summed it up best.

“People sleep on the fact that guy has a will to win,” Gant said. “He might seem quiet to people who talk to him. But he really has a will to win and hates losing. So, I’m not surprised he always picks it up in the second half.”

Ross just kind of shrugs his shoulders. It’s how he plays.

“I don’t try to rush anything,” he said. “When I try to do too much, it hurts the team. But in the second half, everything is on the line. You just have to play like there is no tomorrow.”Pretty expected graph. UW got beat up inside a little with those three 6-10 players. The free throw shooting was much better with Tony Wroten going 5-for-5 from the line.

Arizona 78, Cal 74

The Wildcats got a huge 3-pointer and a key block from Kyle Fogg (above) late in the game, and managed to hang on for the win. It snapped Cal's 17 game winning streak at Haas Pavilion.

From Bruce Pascoe's game story

They did so with two key blocks in the final minute: one by Kyle Fogg on Cal's Allen Crabbe, and another by Nick Johnson on Justin Cobbs.

Fogg also tied his season-high in scoring with 23 after scoring just seven in UA's loss to Washington on Saturday at McKale Center.

"I feel like I let my teammates down against Washington," Fogg said.Greg Hansen filed this column on the game, and here's the "Seen and Heard" from the game.

The Bears had a 22-9 lead in the first half and then were outscored 36-12 going into halftime. Here's Jeff Faruado's game story ... Faraudo also posted this blog on a minor dustup between Jorge Gutierrez and Arizona assistant coach Joe Pasternack. I watched the replay and to me Pasternack was in the wrong. Also the officiating in this game was absolutely terrible. Like embarrassingly bad.

Oregon 79, Utah 68

The Ducks kept pace in the Pac-12 standings, but a got a definite scare from Utah. The Ducks used a full-court press to bring some life into their performance and got a lift Carlos Emory (above) and Tony Woods.

From Bob Clark's game story ...

With that lift to their defense, and the help of two Ducks who had been held out in the first half for disciplinary reasons, Oregon finally looked like the superior team down the stretch as it pulled away from Utah on Thursday for a 79-68 victory in the Huntsman Center.

The Ducks (16-6 overall, 7-3 Pac-12) were sluggishly trading short runs with the Utes (5-17, 2-9) until Oregon’s pressure, either full or three-quarters court, started pulling the visitors back from an eight-point deficit after Utah had scored 11 consecutive points to lead 49-41.

“Our press gave us a lot of energy, and it just really gave us a spark on the offensive end and got us easy buckets,” E.J. Singler said.

Three of the easiest Oregon baskets came courtesy of Carlos Emory, who had a career-high 14 points, all in the second half. That was because Emory and Tony Woods didn’t play in the first half for disciplinary reasons.

“He and Tony didn’t take care of some responsibilities, so they didn’t play the first half.” UO coach Dana Altman said, without elaborating on the specific transgression. “They didn’t take care of their stuff. … It’s both of their fault.”"Busy" Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Trib and graduate of the fine University of Montana journalism school filed two stories. Here's his game story and he also had this story on Kareem Storey (see what I did there), who played his best game of the season.

Colorado 82, Oregon State 60

Colorado isn't going to go away in this Pac-12 race. The Buffaloes remained in second place with a decisive beat down of an Oregon State team that is totally unpredictable. If you haven't seen him play, Andre Roberson of Colorado is legit.

From Ryan Thorburn's game story ...

Andre Roberson and the Buffs provided Cunningham and the Beavers with some deja vu on Thursday night.

The super sophomore scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds during CU's 82-60 victory over Oregon State at the Coors Events Center.

"Andre's numbers are ridiculous in terms of the rebounding," head coach Tad Boyle said. "And if you look at the rebounds per minute, it's really staggering."

Roberson has 246 rebounds in 641 minutes played this season. Austin Dufault is second on the team with 101 rebounds in 578 minutes.

"I just try to be consistent," said Roberson, who also had two blocks, two steals and an assist against the Beavers. "I felt like I had to go out there and play big tonight."

Roberson, easily the Pac-12's leading rebounder, notched his 14th double-double of the season.Craig Robinson wasn't happy with the way his team played in Boulder. After looking strong in the win over Oregon on Sunday , the Beavers came out and weren't ready to play.

Washington State 60, USC 53

The Cougs got their usual solid outing from Brock Motum (above) and a lift off the bench with the return of Mike Ladd to pick up a win. From Christian Caple's game story ...

Ladd sat out the Cougars’ last five games with a torn ligament in his right thumb, an injury Bone said just two days ago had Ladd’s status for the rest of the season “up in the air”.

But some increased participation in practice this week, coupled with a successful pregame workout orchestrated by WSU assistant Curtis Allen – who “couldn’t tell at all that the thumb was bothering him,” said Bone – had the junior guard ready to go. Perhaps his return was hastened by the absence of second-leading scorer Faisal Aden, who tore the ACL in his left knee last Thursday and is lost for the season.

“I talked to the doc, and he told me just to try to play through it,” Ladd said. “And I knew my team needed me, especially with Fais going down. I just wanted to get out there and contribute to rebounding and the defensive end.

“I feel it (the thumb) a little bit, but I try not to let it affect me.”Spokesman columnist John Blanchette also wrote about Motum. From his column ...

But you don’t have to look far for a blossom among the bramble.

With 26 points against the Trojans, Motum climbed atop the Pac-12 scoring chart in conference play, his average an even 20 a game. On this night, he made 9 of 11 shots, which besides the thunder included a 3-pointer, a straightaway bank from about 16 feet – OK, maybe a little lucky there – and assorted layups, including something of a pet move, a counterintuitive spin after a pass into the post that left whatever luckless Trojan trying to guard him flatfooted.

“He’s a little unorthodox,” allowed WSU coach Ken Bone, “and that catches people off guard once in a while.”

If not for a couple of struggling nights in losses to Colorado and Arizona, Motum would be making 68 percent of his shots in Pac-12 play, rather unheard-of efficiency for a player who gets as many touches as he does.

You knew he was going to see the ball a lot against the undersized Trojans, but “it will be that way every game,” Bone said.

“On Saturday, even with (UCLA’s) size, it’s still get the ball to Brock.”Here's the AP story on the Trojans' loss.

Stanford 68, Arizona State 44

Bellevue grad Aaron Bright (above) keyed a big run with three 3-pointers to help the Cardinal pick up a win over ASU at Maples Pavilion.

From Elliot Almond's game story ..

After scoring two points in the first half, Bright ended with 16 and equaled Arizona State's total with four assists. Fellow guard Chasson Randle added 14 points and Anthony Brown scored all 11 of his points in the final 6 minutes, 38 seconds of the first half to ignite the Cardinal.

Stanford (16-6, 6-4 Pac-12) has a long way to go before entertaining serious thoughts of qualifying for the NCAA tournament. But it got a boost as it improved to 12-1 at Maples this season.

"We have to have a sense of urgency ... keep our emphasis on our defense," coach Johnny Dawkins said.

Dawkins worried his team had lost defensive concentration on a recent trip to Washington, but the Cardinal redoubled its effort against the Sun Devils. Arizona State (7-15, 3-7) shot 34.2 percent from the field with Cardinal defenders swarming the court.Doug Haller writes in his game story that ASU looked nothing like the team that defeated WSU last week. .

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