(Sorry for the washed out video. The lighting was horrendous.)
What to say after that?
Washington played excellent the first 10 minutes of the first half. It got so bad so fast in the second half, Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar was left saying the team “in the second half, we played with a lack of pride” on the way to a 70-52 blowout loss at Arizona.
The Huskies trailed by eight points at the half. Arizona zipped that lead up to 20 with 13:42 remaining in the second half.
“It was like a layup line,” Desmond Simmons said.
Indeed. Nick Johnson dunked. Grant Jerrettt dunked. Johnson hit a 3, Gabe York hit a 3, Mark Lyons scored on the break. McKale was rocking and the game was over.
That led to the most animated version of Romar we’ve seen this season. During a timeout midway through the second half, he let the team have it.
“Play with pride,” Romar said of his message. “We’re down. Don’t sleepwalk the rest of this game. Play with a chip on your shoulder. We talk about that all the time, but it’s 911 right now. We don’t want to come in here and lose by 30, 40 points.”
He was squatted down with a clenched fist pumping. He even spiked the clipboard at one point. His voice could be heard 15 rows up despite the Arizona crowd dancing and whooping with joy.
Then, an interesting thing happened. Washington played much better defense. It caused Arizona to call a timeout to avoid a five-second call right after Romar’s verbal lashing.
To call it too little too late would be a stretch since that insinuates the game may have changed at some point. It was way too little, way too late. But, it was a show of fight that often has been lacking this season. That it had to be prodded by the coach with his team down 20 points on the road against the No. 12 team in the country is the prime concern.
Desmond Simmons was considerably irked postgame.
“The first four minutes (of the second half), they punched us right in the mouth and we didn’t respond,” Simmons said. “This one has to hurt more than any loss. This has to be embarrassing to us where we’re sick of it, like, we’re sick of being embarrassed on national television. It’s got to mean something.”
The prevailing point for the Huskies (14-13, 6-8) is they don’t have the talent to expect to win without a near-perfect game. They can’t compete in McKale with a 22-4 Arizona team that has depth and plays defense. The second half, when Washington missed more shots (25) than Arizona attempted (23) is evidence of that.
“Tonight, we didn’t have the firepower to withstand any runs they had on us,” Romar said.
That led to Washington being blown out for just the second time this season. The other was a home thumping by Colorado State.
One of the most disturbing traits of this team is that it has regressed as the season has gone on. That’s counter to the usual process for Washington teams under Romar. We even saw some bickering among players Wednesday night.
“I think so far our group has done a good job not finger pointing and I don’t think that will happen with them,” Romar said.
|S. Kemp, Jr.||31||3-7||0-0||1-2||6||9||0||1||0||0||2||7|
|Percentages||.308||.091||.611||Team Rebounds: 7|
|Percentages||.471||.400||.696||Team Rebounds: 4|