I was at the David Cross show at The Moore last night. It started at 8pm, which is the same time as the game. Between the 90-minute show, and the walk home to my apartment in South Lake Union, I really had no business being able to catch any of the Husky basketball game last night. When you top it off with the fact that instead of checking the score, I made some dinner and went right into watching an episode of “You’re The Worst” before THEN going on Twitter to find out the game was just going into overtime (at I want to say 10:30pm or so), it’s pretty safe to say that this was a game the Pac-12 refs decided to make all about themselves.
Hey, it happens. I feel for the people who had to slog through the whole 3+ hours, when all was said and done. I feel for the players, who just have no idea what they can and can’t do, as the rules appear to change at the whim of complete psychopaths. I feel for the coaches, who have to try to keep their players calm while at the same time – I’m sure – wanting to explode themselves at the insanity they’re seeing from the guys in black & white.
In the end, though, the Huskies were able to overcome. ASU hit a late three-pointer to tie the game, but they pretty much had no shot once the game went into overtime. For starters, they’re not quite as talented as the Huskies, and for another they’re certainly not as athletic. I gotta figure the Dawgs simply ran them off the court and fatigue got the better of the Sun Devils in the extra period.
Dejounte Murray was apparently a man on a mission last night, scoring a game-high 34 points, all on either free throws or drives in the paint. THAT is something, I think, we’ve been waiting to see all year from the phenom. Shooting the ball is nice, and it’s certainly something he can improve upon at the next level, but to see him as aggressive as he was, and capable enough to finish in traffic, was really a sight to behold. If we can get that out of him (and I’m not saying 34 points per game, but I am saying that type of aggression and driving style of play), the sky is the limit for this team. Of course, if he keeps it up, there’s a good chance he could be a One & Done guy. Scouts tend to take notice when you put up a line of 34 points, 11 boards, and 6 assists.
When he fouled out early in the overtime period, you could probably forgive the people who’d watched the whole game for worrying about our chances. He was far and away the best player on the floor last night, and our captain – Andrew Andrews – had yet to hit a single field goal all game. But, to his tremendous credit, two possessions after Murray collected his fifth foul, Andrews nailed a three-pointer from the wing, then followed that up on our very next possession with a pull-up jumper in the lane. It wasn’t a pretty game by any stretch for Andrews – and was further ammunition for the haters, I’m sure – but that’s exactly why I have such high regard for Andrews. He’s the type of player that’s not going to get discouraged in his abilities, even if he starts 0 for 11 from the field. But, he’s also smart enough, and unselfish enough, to see a guy like Dejounte Murray was having the game of his life, and facilitated him getting the ball and going to work throughout the evening. THEN, when the star of the show is unceremoniously knocked out of the game by the refs, in spite of his poor shooting to that point, Andrews is still able to take over the game, hit a couple of HUGE shots to keep the lead insurmountable, and then finish it off at the free throw line in the closing minutes.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget, Andrews led the team by playing 42 of 45 total minutes. Simply incredible.
I dunno, maybe I’m just lucky and I tend to turn on the game when Andrews is playing well. Or, maybe I’m just focusing on what I want to focus on. I just think he gets a lot of grief from a lot of fans and it’s totally undeserved.
There’s some other interesting numbers in this one. Marquese Chriss finished with 19 points on 7 for 7 shooting and another 5 free throws. Thybulle was the fourth Husky to finish with double digit points with 10, including two made three pointers.
The Huskies out-rebounded ASU 41-33, including more than holding their own on the defensive glass (which can be a problem for the Dawgs at times). The Huskies went to the line 45 times, which is GREAT, even though they only made 31, which is less great. There were a combined 60 personal fouls called, which is pretty ridiculous, even for the Pac-12 refs. Let’s clean it up, guys.
This was a very important game for the Huskies to not lose. We’re running into a similar situation as last week – on the road, against the L.A. schools – where we won the front-end of the series against the inferior opponent. Now, we have Arizona looming on Saturday at 1:30pm. A win over the Wildcats would give us another win against a ranked opponent (and a very good RPI opponent), and would put us a full two games ahead of them in the Pac-12 standings. The Ducks still lead the Dawgs by a half game (they host the Mountain schools this week), and USC, Utah, and Colorado all trail the Dawgs by a half game (tied in the loss column). So, not only does a sweep of the Arizona schools look good for our overall Tournament resume, but it’ll help us fend off the wild pack of rabid animals on our heels.