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February 23, 2011

Huskies' size a big problem for Redhawks

With 11,386 people in attendance at KeyArena, Seattle University drew its largest home crowd since entering Division I basketball.

Although the Redhawks lost, 95-74, to cross-town power Washington Tuesday night, Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar thought the Redhawks deserved some recognition.

"Give them a lot of credit," Romar said. "They did a great job."

Seattle University came out strong during the first half led by guards Cervante Burrell and Sterling Carter, and only trailed by eight points at halftime.

Expecting to be ahead by a much larger margin, Romar urged his team to enter the second half with cautious energy.

"It was a fast-paced game, but we were in too much of a hurry," Romar said. "We needed to slow down more."

The Huskies fared far better during the second half, with two players attaining double-doubles: Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Aziz N'Diaye.

Bryan-Amaning, who accidentally left his jersey at home, sported the number 55, throwing many fans for a loop.

"It's not some new deal that he's going to wear 55," Romar said.

Apparently the 'new' number didn't affect his level of play. Bryan-Amaning finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, while N'Diaye contributed a season-high 15 points and 10 rebounds.

"Aziz N'Diaye played one of his best games in a long time, probably his best game since Maui," Romar said. "He was a real presence out there. He did a great job for us."

N'Diaye credited his performance to avoiding personal fouls.

"I was good in the first-half," N'Diaye said of remaining foul-free. "It helped me in the game, not being in foul trouble."

N'Diaye finished the game with only two fouls, a far-cry from his teammate Venoy Overton, who fouled out of the game with 6:21 remaining in the game and remained scoreless.

Romar still feels Overton aided the team in a different way.

"He didn't shoot very well tonight, but he pulled down six rebounds, and that helps," he said.

Teammate Darnell Gant, who had 10 points and four rebounds, thinks Overton is often the target of officials, regardless of whether or not he actually committed a foul.

"The refs were calling some bogus calls," Gant said. "His last foul wasn't even a foul. He just stood there. We feel like sometimes the refs are after him."

Washington guard Isaiah Thomas scored 13 of his 20 points in the second half.

Noticeably off, however, was Thomas's free throw shooting as he made just 5-of-10 attempts when one after another bounced off the rim.

"For whatever reason, his shot was a little short," Romar said. "We talked about when you're that short, try to hit the back of the rim - aim for the back of the rim - and then it might go straight in."

Normally a larger presence for the Redhawks is their No. 1 scorer and rebounder, Aaron Broussard. He finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.

In the end, the Redhawks were no match for Washington as the Huskies came determined to put their Arizona loss behind them and finish their regular season with all wins, starting with a victory over Seattle.

Regardless of the final score, fun was had by Seattle and Washington fans alike at the Key Arena venue.

"The environment was great," Romar said. "If I'm a fan watching this game, I'd say I got my money's worth."



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