It got close..... once, about three minutes into the second half, the Dawgs had just about reached the tipping point but an alert Coach Miller called timeout, refocused the troops and they never looked back. As close as the game was on Friday, this one lost any sense of ennui by the ten minute mark in the second half. The Cats had the answers and the Huskies were left mumbling to themselves wondering if this national ranking thingis everything it's cracked up to be. There were a few scares along the way, MoMo getting an elbow to the shops that drew blood, but that's wasn't deliberate or anything, just one of those things. Then Nic Wise was faked out of his shoes and took an acrobatic tumble , but there appeared to be no lingering effects.
The game started off like the UCLA game, the Cats came out prepared and ready to do what was needed to get ahead, they crashed the boards, kept the quick Washington guards out of the lane and made their open shots. The work on the boards is what made the difference, the Cats were the aggressors outboarding UW by a margin of 36-22 and owned the O boards as well 10-7. This victory levels the Cats in conference play and should boost their confidence by taking down a nationally ranked team.
SiCats were in double figures with big contributions from MoMo Jones and Kevin Parrom off of the bench. In fact, there were three personal game highs for scoring, Horne with 22, Parrom with 10 and Jones with 13.
The Cats even held Isiah Thomas and Quincy Pondexter scoreless in the first half.
Bright spots - Even scoring, TO's under 13, double digit assists and great work on the boards. There was great contribution from the bench tonight and some of those despite not scoring much. The team is starting to show signs of consistent defensive effort and when they manage to play good help defense and shut down the lane, quality events transpire
A little lusterless - Solomon Hill got into foul trouble, but played hard while he was out there and was key in helping on the boards and in shutting down the lane. Despite not scoring, he was out there covering for his teammates and was left in a position to where he could do little else but foul.
They are still a work in progress, but you get the feeling that they believe now and are starting to work as a team. FG % was at 50%, 47% from 3pt land and 78% from the line are indications that they are using better judgement in shot selection and maintaining focus.