BY SPNW Staff 08:38PM 01/19/2012

Shorthanded Huskies fall to Cal at home, 69-66

Cal showed why it was the Pac-12 leader by holding off Washington in a game where the Huskies failed to get going until it was too late.

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar drew a technical foul for the second consecutive game, but the impact went against the Huskies Thursday night against Cal. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Seemingly playing uphill all evening, the Huskies nearly made it to the top at the end, only to see the game-tying three-pointer fall short with three seconds left, letting Pac-12 Conference-leading  California sneak away with a 69-66 triumph Thursday night at Hec Ed.

Aggressors nearly throughout, the Bears started to fade late as Terrence Ross, who led  Washington with 15 points, hit a pair of threes, the second cutting the deficit to 68-66 with 10.1 sconds left — the closest Washington came since the opening minutes.

After Justin Cobbs made only one of two free throws at 8.2 seconds, the door was open for a tie. Despite the fact that he had missed all of his eight shots in the game, senior forward Darnell Gant was set up to seek the tie. He had a wide-open look in transition, but the trey clanged away to give the Huskies (4-2, 11-7) only their second home loss of the season.

“It was designed for Gant,” said Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar,  who was denied his 300th career win. “The last game we had he hit three 3’s. He’s shooting over 40 percent. Just because somebody is having an off-night, if you look at the body of work they’ve put forth, you got to take that chance. He’s shooting a good percentage and usually knocks those down.”

The crowd was announced at 9,591, but it was was well short of that in house, owing to the winter snow and ice storm that closed school and made traffic a nightmare. But Cal didn’t seem bothered by the crowd or environment, particularly at the line, where the Bears iced the game by hitting 19 of 21 free throws. The Bears also took advantage of Washington’s shorthandedness — second-leading scorer C.J. Wilcox was out with a stress fracture in his femur — with an 18-3 advantage in points off the bench.

“My biggest gripe tonight is that we kind of repeated our mistakes against Washington State,” Romar said. “We didn’t come out with the type of fire — I shouldn’t say fire because I thought we played hard — but not with the type of concentration we needed. It picked up more in the second half but against a team like that it wasn’t good enough to overcome the deficit.”

The key moment in the game came with seven minutes remaining and the Huskies rallying to trail 55-51. Romar drew a technical foul for complaining about a foul. Replays showed the call was good, and Cal responded by hitting four free throws — two on the technical, two on the personal foul — for a 59-51 lead that was too much to overcome.

The situation was similar to Sunday against WSU when Romar appeared to take a T as a way to inspire his team. Romar didn’t own up then, or Thursday.

“Many have asked if that technical against WSU was intentional,” he said. “We did the same thing here, and it didn’t change a thing.”

Allen Crabbe led Cal with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Aziz N’Diaye had another big game for Washington with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Tony Wroten had 14 points and Abdul Gaddy 12, but Washington ran out of offensive contributors quickly.

“If we have to play this way the rest of the year, it would concern me, absolutely,” Romar said. “But we’ll get C.J. back.”

But probably not in time for the 3 p.m. game Saturday against Stanford, which lost in Pullman 81-69.


YourThoughts

  • Jamo57

    Art, may I offer one other Seattle tradition:  Our tradition of buying future HOFers while ignoring the worn tread on the tires and the oil spots they leave in the driveway.

    Carl Eller, Franco Harris, Jerry Rice, Patrick Ewing, and gosh even Ken Griffey Jr…….I cant get away from the thought that Peyton Manning will add another chapter to that Seattle tradition.

  • Bayviewherb

    Has anyone thought about the Boise State QB?

  • Steve60

    Art, I agree but perhaps for slightly different reasons.  I think the OL will be OK, but whomever is our QB they need to be able to move around – never one of Peyton’s strengths.  It would be a mistake to blow what salary cap room we have on a 36 yr old QB who may no longer be what he was.  We need to continue on the youth movement and build thru the draft.

  • Jim Q.

    Art:  I agree with your overall thoughts of Manning and the Seahawks, I wonder about Manning’s continued health when he plays next year in cities he didn’t visit in his brief tour, he could get some extra effort out of DT’s & DE’s in a few cities. 

    Regarding RGIII, I think there may be a story in comparing the huskies QB-Keith Price to RGIII.  Remember the holiday bowl?  Keith Price could be the real deal in next years draft, so why cry in our beer (as some are doing) because we “lost out” on RGIII?

  • PapaLegba

    I do find it curious that most “experts” believe Manning will bring instant Superbowl possibilities to whichever team he goes to. Playoff contention is certainly possible for any of the teams thought to be Manning suitors. However, Manning spent 14 seasons with the Colts and went to only 2 Superbowls, winning the first appearance back in 2007. The other, a loss to the Saints in 2010.

    Two Superbowl tries out of 14 doesn’t inspire the kind of hope necssary, for me, to justify paying the price tag for Mannings’ uncertain services.

  • JimC

    I dunno. I think with a healthy draught of Ken Griffey Jr.’s nerve tonic and he could be right back to form.