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Basketball gamer from a couple of weeks ago

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by CCaple, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. CCaple

    CCaple Member

    I'm new to this site, but figured I would try to get some assistance from some veterans who post on here. This is a game story I wrote two weeks ago. I've been on the beat for two years now, and just want to see if anything stands out as something that needs to be fixed. Thanks for anyone who has time to offer input.

    SEATTLE--His team in a daze, his own backcourt infected with a near-lethal strain of the turnover bug, Justin Dentmon changed last night’s game against Oregon State with a single lob.

    Already well on his way to a 28-point outing, it was one of Dentmon’s seven assists, an alley-oop to Quincy Pondexter with 4:10 left in the first half, that brought the Huskies out of a game-long lull and fueled a 9-0 run that was the turning point in the UW’s 79-60 win over the Beavers in front of a capacity crowd at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

    And it may have been the hardest fought 19-point win this arena has seen.

    “Sometimes you just have to move the chains,” UW head coach Lorenzo Romar said, offering a football metaphor. “Just keep getting yardage. I thought that’s kind of how we played tonight.”

    Until that fateful jam, the Huskies (18-6, 9-3 Pac-10) looked less like the team that won in Corvallis by 26 four weeks ago and more like the one that they beat. They turned the ball over 10 times in the first half. They gave up easy backdoor lay-ups. They didn’t even rebound — after holding a 46-19 edge on the glass in Corvallis, they managed only 16 boards before halftime, same as OSU.

    Calvin Haynes found easy buckets. Seth Tarver scored 12 points in the first half. Isaiah Thomas couldn’t get going. The UW couldn’t get the ball to Jon Brockman, who had just one field goal attempt before halftime. The Huskies went 9-25 from the field, a total that was only as high as it was because of their late surge.

    Washington looked poised to suffer its worst loss of the season, mired in one of its worst shooting nights of the season, until Dentmon-to-Pondexter broke the Huskies out of it.

    And it solved more than their shooting woes.

    “It was a big turning point for our defense,” Dentmon said. “It really pumped us up on defense, and we were able to get some more stops.”

    OSU (10-13, 4-8 Pac-10) held a 29-22 lead when Dentmon drained a 3-pointer, the UW’s first field goal in almost eight minutes. Then he changed the game with that one soft toss toward the rim.

    By the time Pondexter landed, Hec Ed was at full tilt. It didn’t matter that the Beavers still led by two. With the crowd back into it, the Huskies woke up and quashed any thoughts of an OSU upset.

    “It energized the crowd,” Pondexter said. “J.D. [Dentmon] threw it up perfectly. From there on it got us a spark in our butt and got us playing better.”

    Washington took the lead on a Dentmon 3-pointer a little more than two minutes later, carried a 36-35 lead into halftime and gradually added on. And on. And on. A nine-point lead swelled to 15, then to 19, and as many as 21 before it was over.

    As bad as things were in the first half, they were that much better for the UW in the second. The Huskies shot 16-25 from the field after halftime — 64 percent — finishing the game shooting at a 50 percent clip.

    A 10-0 run put the Huskies up 55-42 with just less than 10 minutes to go, sealing a season sweep of the Beavers and moving Washington back into first place in the Pac-10, with a half-game lead over UCLA, following the Bruins’ loss to Arizona State last night.

    Pondexter joined Dentmon in double-figures, chipping in 11 points and seven rebounds. Thomas and Venoy Overton finished with nine, and Brockman added eight.

    All of it enough to put the Dawgs back on top of the conference.

    “It’s great to be back in first place,” Pondexter said. “But it could be really short-lived in this conference. We still have a ways to go.”
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Too much hyperbole in the lede. It's not near-lethal if you're only down by five with a few minutes left in the first half. I would also move the details of the lob up in the story. Plus, you can't say that UW would have suffered its worst-ever loss of the season if they were only down by five.

    And you said UW didn't even rebound, but they had 16, the same as OSU.

    Good effort otherwise.
  3. CCaple

    CCaple Member

    Thanks for the read, Stitch. Always good to get feedback.

    The rebounding thing was a lapse on my part...should have added, "like usual" or something after saying they didn't rebound. They're one of the best rebounding teams in the country, and murdered OSU on the glass in the teams' first meeting, so that's kind of what I was getting at.

    Thanks again for pointing that stuff out.
  4. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    This may just be me, but spell out 'University of Washington' on first reference. My old shop used to shorten schools names and it always irked me, but at least that was on second refer.
  5. CCaple

    CCaple Member


    This was for the school rag, so our style guide tells us that just 'Washington' is fine. But otherwise, I'd agree with you.
  6. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    OK. Didn't realize it was for the school rag.
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