Husky Rally Falls Short in Second Game of Greek Tour
Aug. 31, 2007
THESSALONIKI, Greece -- When converted to English, the word Iraklis means 'Hercules.'
Iraklis, the Washington men's basketball team's opponent from the Greek Professional League, translated an early Herculean effort into an 87-82 win Friday at Ivanofio Gym.
The Huskies evened their record at 1-1 on a five-game tour of Greece. UW defeated Ment Thessaloniki 93-81 on Thursday, the first of three games in three days for the visitors.
Junior forward Jon Brockman led UW with 18 points and 14 rebounds, his second double-double in as many nights. He had 20 points and 10 rebounds Thursday.
Brockman refused to blame Friday's loss on fatigue from a second game in consecutive days.
'I wouldn't say it was the back-to-back nights that got us,' he explained. 'Our bodies are used to playing a lot. It was more that we came out a little lethargic and they came out at the beginning like they wanted to win it more.'
The Huskies claimed their only lead at 3-1 on a 3-pointer by Justin Dentmon in the opening minute. Iraklis scored the next eight points, igniting an 18-2 run.
The deficit was 25-10 after the first quarter for UW, which hit only 2-of-17 shots in the opening period. The Greek squad converted 9-of-20 field goal attempts during that span.
The early lead got the partisan crowd excited. Several hundred Iraklis supporters stood, chanted and sang throughout the game.
The Huskies registered a scoring advantage in each of the three remaining quarters, but couldn't overcome the 15-point, first-quarter deficit.
'We started out really slow and early on we couldn't really get our bearings,' UW coach Lorenzo Romar described. 'We didn't shoot well and we didn't get to loose balls early. They got all the loose balls and they out-rebounded us. They just outplayed us in the early going.'
The Huskies shot significantly better in the second quarter, making 9-of-16 shots. Adrian Oliver tallied seven of his 12 points in the second quarter, including a three-point play with 4:47 left that drew UW within 36-26. The halftime score was 45-32 in favor of Iraklis.
The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair, with UW gaining one point for a 63-51 lead for the Greeks entering the final period.
Junior forward Quincy Pondexter came alive in the four quarter, scoring 10 of his 14 points while grabbing four of his five rebounds. He hit back-to-back baskets, trimming the margin to 81-76 with 57 seconds left in the game.
After four consecutive free throws by Iraklis guard Ozren Misic, Brockman made a layup and Oliver drilled a 3-pointer to draw UW within 85-81 with 13 seconds remaining.
The Greeks hit 3-of-4 free throws inside the final 11 seconds to secure their victory.
'We dug a hole too deep and then we couldn't really get over that 10 to 14-point barrier,' Brockman said. 'We would get it down to 10 and then they would get it back up to 14. And then, once we finally did get it down to four it was just too late.'
'In the second half we competed much better, but against a team like this that's been together and is older and experienced, you just can't dig yourself in a hole. Our guys fought back, we're proud of them for that. But we dug ourselves in a hole early.
After being out-rebounded 16-9 in the first half, the Huskies grew more aggressive and won the board battle for the game by a 46-37 margin.
'We fought back in the second half,' Romar concluded. 'We realized that this could really be a long night if we didn't start playing harder. Consequently we were able to get a advantage on the boards for the game.'
Speaking of long nights, Romar might have a sleepless night Friday. But it won't be because of the loss. He planned to watch the Husky football game against Syracuse with some of the staff, at 3 a.m. Greek Time. The team leaves Thessaloniki Saturday morning, boarding the bus at 9 a.m.
Misic converted 12-of-14 free throws and finished with 14 points to share the Iraklis scoring lead with forward Brad Traina, who concluded his collegiate career at Central Florida in 1999. The Greek squad shot 31-of-41 from the free throw line while UW made 13-of-21.
Justin Dentmon scored 17 points for the Huskies, including two 3-pointers in four attempts.
Washington plays another Greek professional team on Saturday. The Huskies, who have been in Thessalonika since Tuesday's arrival in Greece, travel south to play Trikala Basketball Club.
IRAKLIS 87, WASHINGTON 82
Washington (82) -- Pondexter 6-12, 0-2, 2-3, 14. Brockman 6-13, 0-0, 6-7, 18. Wolfinger 2-9, 0-2, 0-0, 4. Morris 2-5, 0-0, 1-2, 5. Dentmon 6-15, 2-4, 3-6, 17. Smith 2-3, 0-1, 0-0, 4. Oliver 5-9, 1-1, 1-2, 12. Appleby 3-9, 2-7, 0-1, 8. Totals: 32-75, 5-17, 13-21, 82.
Iraklis (87) -- Traina 4-12, 2-9, 4-4, 14. Onasoglou 1-1, 0-0, 0-0, 2. Simeonidis 6-7, 1-1, 0-0, 13. Misic 1-4, 0-2, 12-14, 14. Siamadouras 2-6, 0-0, 1-4, 5. Limberis 2-5, 0-0, 0-0, 4. Totsios 5-7, 1-1, 2-4, 13. Kelesidis 1-3, 0-1, 2-4, 4. Tzinopoulos 1-2, 0-0, 8-9, 10. Kathopoulis 0-3, 0-1, 0-0, 0. Daniil 1-4, 0-0, 2-2, 4. Kalles 2-3, 0-0, 0-0, 4. Totals: 26-57, 4-15, 31-41, 87.
Rebounds -- Washington 46 (Brockman 14), Iraklis 37 (Totsios 6). Turnovers -- Washington 18, Iraklis 17. Fouls -- Washington 31, Iraklis 24.
Score by Quarters -- Washington 10 - 22 - 19 - 31 -- 82. Iraklis 25 - 20 - 18 - 24 -- 87.
Visit Greece Central for all the news and information about the Washington men's basketball trip to Greece.
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