BY Todd Dybas 11:30AM 03/20/2011

Huskies lose heartbreaker to Heels

Leading most of the day, Washington let the game get away in the second half to end the season. Find notes, quotes and numbers within.

Matthew Bryan-Amaning (11) dunks the ball in the second half against North Carolina / Getty Images

North Carolina 86, Washington 83

Date: March 20, 2011

Venue: Time Warner Cable Arena

City: Charlotte, NC

Attendance: N/A

CHARLOTTE — Washington led by as many as 11 points in the first half, but North Carolina rallied later in the half to go into halftime down just a point, 45-44. The game remained tight throughout the second half. In the closing minutes, Washington made three crucial turnovers. It still had an opportunity to win the game, down 84-83 with seven seconds left. Justin Holiday’s inbounds pass was tipped by 6-10 North Carolina big man John Henson who stole the ball. Washington was forced to foul, accounting for the final points of the day. Venoy Overton launched wildly from midcourt with around three seconds remaining in the game but his shot was not close. Washington finishes the year 24-11. It was third in the Pac-10 Conference and won the Pac-10 tournament. It fails to get to the Sweet 16, let alone past it. Sunday’s game was the final one for seniors Holiday, Overton and Matthew Bryan-Amaning.

Star of the game
Tyler Zeller The North Carolina seven-footer kept the Tar Heels in the game with his post hooks, offensive rebounds and free throws. He led all scorers with 23 points.

Play of the game
John Henson tipped Justin Holiday’s inbounds pass with seven second left and North Carolina up by a point.

Misplay of the game
Terrence Ross’ turnover on the wing after holding the ball led to a North Carolina hoop and its biggest lead, 84-78, with less than two minutes to play.

Highlights

  • Scott Suggs Had a steal and breakaway jam in the first half. Also hit a three-pointer to pull Washington within a point with 17 seconds left.
  • Terrence Ross Had a spectacular reverse layup on a drive into North Carolina’s big men.

Notable

  • Aziz N’Diaye Started to counter North Carolina’s prodigious height and played well. Finished with 11 rebounds and four points. Was called for two fouls in a 49-second span to close the first half, giving him three total, and putting the Huskies’ big men in foul trouble to start the second half.
  • Terrence Ross Came off the bench to lead the Huskies with 19 points. After jitters in his first NCAA Tournament game Friday, Ross was a force in his second. Also contributed six rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. Turned the ball over three times.
  • C.J. Wilcox Came off the bench to score 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting in 19 minutes.
  • Darnell Gant Finished with six points and six rebounds in 23 minutes. Gant came off the bench Sunday after starting Friday. Hit 2-of-3 three-pointers, helping Washington spread the floor.
  • Venoy Overton Finished his last game as a Husky with five points, two assists and a steal. His final attempt from halfcourt will be what is most remembered about his participation in this final game.
  • Scott Suggs Started the final game of the year. Scored eight points, six of which came from two three-pointers. Suggs played 17 minutes.
  • Justin Holiday Played his final game for Washington and scored just four points. Also committed three turnovers. Played good defense against North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes and John Henson.
  • Matthew Bryan-Amaning Finished his career at Washington with a strong 14 points and eight rebounds against North Carolina’s mammoth frontline. Also added a block and two steals.
  • Isaiah Thomas Closed his junior season with 12 points, eight assists, three turnovers, two steals and two rebounds. Played a team-high 33 minutes. Never ended up with an opportunity to win the game, though things appeared lined up for that.

Said

  • “When we sat there Selection Sunday and saw the bracket, we would be fooling ourselves if we would not have admitted that it was a tough, tough road to come this far and play who we had to play.” Lorenzo Romar, Washington coach
  • “When that last shot was missed and you jumped up and feel that elation, you look down at the other bench and see a guy that you really like, for a second there, it’s not good.” Roy Williams, North Carolina coach
  • “On that shot attempt of theirs from about the center line — that was a good play because we were going to foul.” Roy Williams, North Carolina coach, on Venoy Overton’s midcourt heave
  • “We tried to get them to build a wall and keep Isaiah in front of us.” Roy Williams, North Carolina coach, on strategy against Isaiah Thomas
  • “John is a quick thinker.” Roy Williams, North Carolina coach, on Henson’s block attempt and claim
  • “It was a two-pointer clearly. If it wasn’t I would not have jumped up.” John Henson, North Carolina center, who goal-tended a last-second shot attempt by Isaiah Thomas
  • “Yes, I did. I was told that they already checked.” Lorenzo Romar, Washington coach, on if he asked the officials to check the replay to make sure the time was correct at the end of the game
  • “Sure we were inconsistent during the year. We didn’t get as high a seed as we probably would have liked. Once we realized that was the case, we didn’t feel sorry for ourselves.” Lorenzo Romar, Washington coach
  • “We felt like we could beat any team. The fact that they were Carolina didn’t make a difference.” Darnell Gant, Washington forward, postgame
  • “There’s always a lag time between the time the play occurs and the whistle is blown and the clock stops. By rule, the clock stops when the whistle blows. We were asked to check the time and we verified that it was accurate with the standby official and the clock operator.” Statement from the NCAA regarding the time on the clock at the end of the game. Replays showed more time should have been added.
  • “Make the right decisions earlier, then we could have put the game away.” Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Washington forward, on how it lost the close game.
  • “Who knows? Like I said, I couldn’t tell you. Have to weigh your options.” Isaiah Thomas, Washington guard, on whether or not he’ll return for his senior season. In all likelihood, he will return.
  • “He told Venoy to push it. We needed a three. I told him they were going to foul him and if it looked like they were going to foul him, try to get a shot at the rim. It didn’t happen that way.” Isaiah Thomas, Washington guard, on what was said prior to Venoy Overton running up the floor and shooting wildly at the end of the game

Numbers

  • 51.4. Washington’s all-time winning percentage in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies are 18-17.
  • 8. Number of those wins that have come under Lorenzo Romar.
  • 136. Games played for Matthew Bryan-Amaning, tying Quincy Pondexter for the most in a Washington career.
  • 4. Isaiah Thomas’ rank on the all-time scoring list at the close of his junior season. Thomas has 1,721 points and should demolish the record his senior season.
  • 1. Win in 11 games for Washington all-time in the state of North Carolina. It came Friday night in the second round against Georgia.
  • 25. Consecutive NCAA Tournament wins for North Carolina in the state of North Carolina.
  • 14. Assists for North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall, a school record. He passes Kenny Smith’s previous record of 12.

YourThoughts

  • jerry

    The Huskies’ sloppy play during the final minutes of their victory over Georgia kind of foreshadowed today’s final outcome.
    This game was really the UDub’s to lose as they seemed to maintain a slight lead over the Tar Heels for almost the entire game. But then, with about 5 minutes remaining and with a 3 point lead, they comitted 2 unforced turnovers in a row, lost the lead and North Carolina never looked back.
    I remember George Karl always drumming it in to the Sonics, and anyone who would listen, about how important each possession was during the playoffs – it’s a lesson these Huskies never seem to have grasped.

  • Dave J

    Great game, and I agree – it was the Huskies’ to lose. They were the superior team, athletically, agressively, and talentwise, until late in the game, when they appeared to get lost in the moment and lost their intensity. It’s a shame, after overcoming a large free throw deficit and essentially being on their opponent’s home court. They, however, could not overcome their uncoordinated last couple of posesions, forgetting that the game is played for 40 minutes.

  • SeattleNative

    Finish, finish, finish. This has been this team’s Achilles heal all season. Fortunately, we return some solid upperclassmen along with some highly regarded recruits. I’m looking forward to a great 2012 season. Go Dawgs…my bracket’s in taters.

  • riddleboy

    The Silva-Bradley swap was a crap shoot, or maybe a turkey shoot based on its outcome. The Cubs had the pleasure of Silva’s early season win streak in 2010 before canning him this season and the M’s got to witness the validation of eight MLB clubs’ opinions of Bradley.
    Did Z-man really think he was wiser than everyone else in baseball? Or did he think he could pull a rabbit from a truly empty hat? Or implant something in the vacuous hat holder atop Bradley’s neck? If so, he and Mike Holmgren should set up shop together.
    Fortunately, Bradley can be viewed in the rear view mirror. Now Z-man can get down to the business of building for the future. Whoops, forgot Figgins, Cust, Kennedy, Ja. Wilson and probably several other retreads.
    Another possibility is that Nintendo’s financial losses and current M’s attendance might force the reclusive Japanese owner to sell the club to a knowledgeable individual or group which would shred the Lincoln-Armstrong management script, thus giving Z-man the latitude to build real major league team in Seattle.
    Ah, hope springs eternal in the human breast.

  • Alex

    Milton Bradley was released because he sucked at baseball and is not part of the the team’s future. He was not released for being a malcontent.