Huskies ready for a battle against fired-up Arizona State
Washington swept the regular-season games from Sun Devils, hope to make it three straight in Pac-10 tournament semifinals.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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LOS ANGELES — With a few minutes to kill Wednesday night, Washington forward Quincy Pondexter logged on to his Facebook page. He quickly made a cyberspace connection with an old friend — Arizona State guard Derek Glasser, who played on an AAU team with Pondexter in junior high.
Glasser's message was simple — he hoped both Arizona State and Washington won Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 men's basketball tournament so the Sun Devils could get another crack at the Huskies.
"He said they want to play us again," Pondexter said. "I said, 'All right, you better be ready.' "
Glasser got his wish as Arizona State beat Arizona and Washington ran past Stanford to set up a semifinal matchup between teams that battled memorably with the conference lead on the line two weeks ago in Seattle. Washington won that game 73-70 in overtime. Coupled with an 84-71 Huskies win in Tempe in January, the wins proved the difference as Washington captured its first regular-season title since 1953 while the Devils finished tied for third.
As a result, Huskies players are expecting a fired-up Arizona State team tonight.
Pondexter said, "I'm expecting it to be a war."
Said guard Justin Dentmon: "It'll be intense. It's always hard to beat a team three times, but we are going to come in playing the same way we have been playing all season."
And said guard Venoy Overton: "I know they feel like we got the conference championship but they are trying to get this tournament championship. I know that's in their head that they always believed they could get this whole league. So I know they are going to give it their best shot."
Turner hot, healthy
Freshman guard Elston Turner gave the Huskies a boost with three three-pointers in the final 2:30 of the first half, allowing Washington to take a 38-35 halftime lead.
"They were huge because we were having trouble taking care of the basketball and not having a rhythm offensively, and those gave us some breathing room," said UW coach Lorenzo Romar.
Turner never scored again but the nine points were his most since he tied a career high with 11 at Arizona in January. He had his season interrupted on Dec. 30 when he suffered a sprained ankle against Morgan State. Turner missed four games and said he finally has completely recovered.
"Last week was when I just started feeling pretty good," he said. "I've been waiting for a game like this."
Thomas hits boards
Freshman guard Isaiah Thomas led UW with a career-high nine rebounds, though he said he had no idea until told by an assistant coach after the game.
Most of Thomas' rebounds came on long caroms of Stanford misses. The Cardinal was just 8 of 28 on three-pointers.
"They came off long and I was out there and took the opportunity," he said. "It's not like I was Jon [Brockman] going after them. But they came to me, so I just took it."
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 10:18 PM
Washington State's Klay Thompson will play Thursday against Huskies
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