Friday, January 14, 2011

Washington Copes With Adversity, but Can't Stop Stanford

STANFORD, Calif. -- Adversity is taking many forms for the University of Washington basketball team these days.

Pick your problem, really. Starting point guard Abdul Gaddy is out for the year after sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in practice last week.

The program is awaiting the results of a criminal investigation of one of its players, who has not been charged and remains unnamed. Reports indicate it is an allegation of sexual assault -- the player has not been identified -- and coach Lorenzo Romar acknowledged the investigation earlier this week.

And perhaps lastly, but not really least, the 17th-ranked Huskies were playing on the road in the Pac-10 Thursday night, which can be an experience fraught with peril.

Washington, the only remaining unbeaten team in the Pac-10 heading into the weekend, isn't unbeaten anymore. Stanford rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to pull off a 58-56 upset at Maples Pavilion.

It was the Huskies' first loss to an unranked team this season. They fell to 12-4, and 4-1.

Stanford outscored Washington 17-5 down the stretch, held the Huskies well below their scoring average (88.9 ppg) and gave coach Johnny Dawkins perhaps his biggest win in his third season with the Cardinal.            

The Huskies had won six in a row in this series coming into the game.

"Give an awful lot of credit to Stanford. They did a real good job of defending us," said Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar. "They didn't quit when we were up 11 with 10 to go...We failed to box out at the end; we missed free throws and layups and had some turnovers that were very costly at the seven or eight minute mark. We weren't able to turn it around at the end."

Romar said the events of the past week have not distracted his players.

"If we were down by 15, maybe," Romar said. "But we were up 11 with 10 (minutes) to go. I don't that was an issue at all. Both teams played hard the whole game. We both missed a lot of layups. Things don't go the way you want sometimes."

Josh Owens' tip-in with 30 seconds to go gave the Cardinal the lead and they held on through some hairy moments down the stretch.

Stanford defended Washington's last possession well, and a 3-point attempt by Scott Suggs looked like the last gasp, but Jeremy Green was called for the foul on the rebound, sending Justin Holiday to the line with 2.5 seconds left.

Holiday missed the first foul shot, missed the second intentionally and freshman Dwight Powell pulled down the rebound and then fell to the court on his bottom. He was called for traveling, giving the ball back to Washington with 1.1 seconds to go.

The Huskies' final shot by Holiday was short and Stanford celebrated.

"We were fortunate at the end. They had one more shot," said Dawkins. "I'm really proud of the way we defended. We have talked about being in positions like this, winning with our defense. And we were in position to do that."

Jeremy Green was happy to be able to beat the Huskies for the first time in his college career.

"Defense, that's how we win games, they average 89 points a game and we held them to 56," Green said.

Stanford (10-5, 3-1) has been something of a surprise. The team picked to finish eighth in the conference came into the game with wins over Cal and Arizona State and had some good moments against Arizona in Tucson on Sunday.

And the Cardinal held their own here.

With 10 points from Owens and a stout defensive effort in which they held Washington to 35.7 percent shooting -- Stanford led 29-28 at the half.

The Cardinal were getting out-rebounded 17-15, but simply knocked down more shots. Owens, who missed last season with an undisclosed medical condition, was 5 of 6 from the floor in the half.

But the Huskies surged out after halftime to build a 11-point lead.

Stanford was able to cut it to 51-48 with six minutes to go and pulled ahead 53-51 on a Green 3-pointer with 3:46 to go.

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