Huskies searching for a complete game be more consistent

  • By John Sleeper / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, January 12, 2005 9:00pm
  • Sports

SEATTLE – He said afterward that he did it because he was tired of taking verbal abuse from Oregon fans.

The Duck faithful had been showering 5-73/4-inch guard Nate Robinson with “Gary Coleman” chants, “midget” and other less printable epithets.

So, after the Ducks had conceded defeat with six seconds to play against the Washington Huskies last season at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Robinson broke an unwritten rule.

Instead of letting the clock run out, Robinson drove to the hoop and threw down a terrifying dunk, a clear sign of disrespect to the opponent.

Oregon coach Ernie Kent chastised Robinson before they exchanged post-game high-fives, then talked to UW coach Lorenzo Romar.

A little more than 24 hours before his Ducks would leave for Seattle for today’s rematch at Hec Ed, Kent said the incident is forgotten.

Then something lit his fuse.

“I don’t even care about it anymore,” he said. “It happened. It’s in the past. You guys can flare up stuff that doesn’t need to be flared up at all. It’s a new day, a new year and new teams. They have a great team. Nate is a classy guy. Let’s not make something big out of something that’s really nothing.”

Kent had just gotten warmed up, suggesting that the media should pay attention to more important things, such as the Iraq war, the tsunami or Randy Moss.

Not that he still cares about the dunk or anything.

Romar also is doing all he can to downplay both the dunk and the rivalry with Oregon.

“You look at rivalries across the country, and I guarantee you they are more obvious than this is,” he said. “I know that there were some things that happened and people would love to make it bigger than it was, but that’s over, to me. The only time I think about it is when you guys (the media) bring it up.”

For sure, Romar has more pressing things on his mind than a year-old dunk.

His team, although ranked 14th in the nation with a 13-2 record and on top of the Pacific-10 standings with UCLA at 3-1, is trying to turn around a recent trend of inconsistency.

After great starts against Cal and Stanford, the Huskies let the Golden Bears and Cardinal back into the game and had to scramble at the end to win.

It caught up to them at UCLA, when they opened a 21-point lead and ended up losing by 10.

Romar sees a recurring theme that has to be corrected.

“When we can’t come down and get easy baskets, we tend to try to force it too early,” he said. “Against good defensive teams, you can’t do that. We need 40 minutes of effort.”

Note

Give: CARE volunteers will be at both UW games this week collecting donations from fans wishing to support relief efforts from the recent Asia earthquake and tsunami disaster. CARE is mounting a multi-nation emergency response that includes food, water purification tablets, shelter materials and basic medical supplies.

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