Husky Men Fall in Final Game on Greece Tour
Sept. 4, 2007
ATHENS, Greece -- Despite a loss in the final game, dropping the final record to 2-3, the Washington men's basketball team was pleased with its trip to Greece.
The Huskies were outscored 19-10 over the final eight minutes Tuesday as Daphni of the Greek Professional League surged to a 93-85 win at Mouroutsos Gym.
Jon Brockman scored 21 points to pace the Huskies, but he was scoreless in the fourth quarter. Brockman grabbed 11 rebounds en route to his fourth double-double of the trip. He led the team in both categories on the tour, averaging 18.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
Washington defeated Ment 93-81 (Aug. 30) and lost 87-82 at Iraklis (Aug. 31), both in Thessaloniki. The Huskies lost 74-73 at Trikala (Sept. 1) before closing out the slate in Athens where they beat Peristeri 103-100 on Monday night before Tuesday's setback at Daphni.
Romar cited numerous benefits to the trip.
'We got to be together on and off the court. Whenever you play together you gain something,' he explained. 'It's given us coaches, going into this season, a pretty good idea of what we've got, obviously not counting the freshmen. A guy like Tim Morris just stepped up and played his tail off. He had an outstanding Greece tour. I think we can count on him going into the season.'
The trip was a great opportunity to introduce last year's red-shirt players into the lineup. Morris, a senior guard, sat out last season after transfering from Stanford. Junior guard Joel Smith was sidelined for the 2006-07 collegiate season with an injury as was sophomore center Joe Wolfinger.
'If nothing else, those three red-shirts that had to sit out last year got some quality, quality basketball. That was worth the trip in itself,' Romar remarked.
Morris was UW's second-leading scorer in Greece with a 12.8-point average. He hit 6-of-8 shots from 3-point range, including all three trey tries Tuesday during a 14-point performance.
The Huskies trailed 24-19 after the first quarter and 49-44 at halftime.
A small eight-player roster was reduced even further when sophomore guard Adrian Oliver was sent to the bench early in the third quarter with a broken nose. He caught an elbow from an opposing player while battling for a rebound.
UW never led by more than two points, claiming its final lead of the night at 69-68 on a Justin Dentmon jump shot with 30 seconds left in the third period. Daphni scored the final four points of the quarter, capturing the lead for good at 72-69.
One minute into the fourth quarter, Joel Smith finished an alley-oop dunk to draw UW within 74-73. The Huskies would get no closer as Daphni immediately responded with a 3-pointer and another field goal during the next minute to ignite a decisive 13-2 run.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Ryan Appleby during the final 30 seconds narrowed the final margin. The senior guard finished with 11 points.
'This is the first team we played here that was clearly a better team than we were,' Romar said of the Daphni squad. 'They were experienced, tough-minded pros that were just flat-out better. We stayed right there, but their experience proved out in the end.'
Sophomore forward Quincy Pondexter was the Huskies' No. 3 scorer (11.6 ppg) and No. 2 rebounder (5.8 rpg) during the trip. He tallied 14 points and six rebounds in the tour finale.
'It was a very physical game. That team came out, they played really hard and physical and we ended up matching it too late,' said Pondexter.
Pondexter thought the Huskies drew several positives from the foreign tour.
'We really benefited from getting to know each other on this trip. We bonded without the other distractions like U.S. televisions or cell phones. So, I felt our team really grew together on this trip.
'This experience really helps us get used to learning how to play on the road when our real season starts. With the officiating and playing in new gyms every day and the weather. All those things go into play. We had five tough road games and our team really learned on this trip.'
The Washington men return home to Seattle on Thursday night after a 11-day journey to Greece. The next action for the Huskies is a Nov. 5 exhibition game against Seattle Pacific.
DAPHNI 93, WASHINGTON 85
Washington (85) -- Smith 3-4, 0-1, 0-1, 6, 9. Brockman 7-14, 0-0, 7-12, 21. Oliver 1-4, 0-2, 0-0, 2. Morris 5-8, 3-3, 1-2, 14. Dentmon 5-8, 1-3, 0-0, 11. Appleby 3-8, 3-8, 2-2, 11. Pondexter 4-6, 0-0, 6-8, 14. Wolfinger 2-5, 0-1, 2-2, 6. Totals: 30-57, 7-18, 18-27, 85.
Daphni (93) -- Totals: 32-56, 10-25, 19-28, 93.
Rebounds -- Washington 35 (Brockman 11), Daphni 26. Turnovers -- Washington 17, Daphni 12. Fouls -- Washington 23, Peresteri 22.
Score by Quarters -- Washington 19 - 25 - 25 - 16 -- 85. Daphni 24 - 25 - 23 - 21 -- 93.
(Note: The Daphni players did not have numbers on their uniforms, so their individual statistics were not recorded)
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