And UW coach Lorenzo Romar’s opening statement to the media:
“You just feel for him. It’s hard for his teammates. How do you respond to that? It’s a tough deal. That kid’s a senior. He’s going through all this, and when you’re a senior, this is (your) last year, and (you want) to get the most of this and something like this happens. … It’s sad to see something like that.”
Naturally, the Huskies were happy to get their 73-64 win over the Aggies. It was a pairing of ranked teams, it broke their eight-game losing streak against ranked non-conference opponents, and it gave the Pac-10 a third win in this season’s 12-game Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
But, of course, with Derrick Roland’s broken lower leg served as a gruesome turning point — the Huskies led by a point when Roland crumpled beneath the east-end basket — and everyone seemed somber about that.
“We knew either they were going to come out and fight as hard as they can or have heavy hearts,” UW captain Quincy Pondexter said. “After that they didn’t play to their capabilities because their mind was somewhere else. It was hard to see something like that happen and I pray to God it never happens to someone on our team like that. I pray to God for that team and I hope they bounce back.”
“That was gruesome,” Washington forward Darnell Gant said. “I was right there when he went down, but I didn’t see it until they said, ‘Is there a doctor? Somebody get a doctor.’ I looked and saw his leg. It was a bad sight to see. … I heard him fall. He didn’t make any noise like screaming or anything so we just kept going.”
Pondexter led all scorers with 25 points. Venoy Overton added 12, and Isaiah Thomas came on to add nine points — all in the second half.
Guard B.J. Holmes led Texas A&M (8-3) with 17 points, and guard Donald Sloan had 16. Roland had four points, one rebound and one assist.
The Huskies (8-2) will return to practice today, then take Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off. They return to action at noon Sunday when San Francisco visits. That will be UW’s final game before starting conference play against Oregon State on Dec. 31.
Final: Huskies win, 73-64. Pondexter led all scorers with 25 points.
The Huskies have made a 15-4 run since the injury and lead 51-39 with nine minutes remaining.
Injury delay: The game was delayed for several minutes early in the second half when Texas A&M senior forward Derrick Roland when down with a his right leg grusomely twisted and apparently broken. A medical team quickly surrounded him on the court and stabilized his leg before he was carried off on a stretcher.
While Roland was down, his teammates huddled, some apparently crying.
After a delay of about 10 minutes, play has resumed.
Attendance: A crowd of 10,000 has been announced, making this the first official sellout of the season.
Halftime: Aggies up, 32-28.
Everybody’s having trouble shooting. TAM is 10 of 29 (.345), and UW is nine of 32 (.281). A&M was shooting under .300 most of the way, but got a little rally in the closing minutes of the half.
Quincy Pondexter is carrying UW with 16 points, but Isaiah Thomas hasn’t scored yet, missing all six shots from the field. Abdul Gaddy was 0-for-2 from the field, and Clarence Trent 0-for-1, giving the Tacoma trio an 0-for-nine half.
UW’s No. 2 scorer is Darnell Gant, with five.
Rebounds are even at 25. UW has seven turnovers, A&M nine.
Tipoff: Certainly the biggest and probably loudest crowd of the season here for the tip.
And we’re under way.
Lineup: Huskies are sticking with same lineup that got the job done against Portland: Isaiah Thomas, Abdul Gaddy, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Quincy Pondexter and Darnell Gant.
75 minutes to tipoff: Isaiah Thomas, Quincy Pondexter, Abdul Gaddy, Justin Holiday, Darnell Gant and walkon Brendan Sherrer are the early guys out on the court today. Huskies wearing their whites.
This is ranked-vs.-ranked and a big game for clarification on just how good this UW team is as the days to conference play tick down.
Normal gameday plan here: keeping this blog open for pregame news, lineup, in-game updates, postgame notes and quotes, followed by highlights and hopefully your own comments on what should be a revealing game.