It's the way things are going for the Washington Huskies right now that the minute Spencer Hawes began to finally get over one ailment...
PULLMAN — It's the way things are going for the Washington Huskies right now that the minute Spencer Hawes began to finally get over one ailment, he suffered another.
Hawes, battling a virus that caused him to lose 20 pounds the past few weeks, was just beginning to feel back to normal when he went up to block a shot near the end of UW's practice Friday afternoon. He came down awkwardly on a teammate's foot and suffered a sprain of his left ankle.
The injury forced Hawes to sit out Saturday's game against the Cougars. In his absence, the Huskies were trounced 75-47.
“I thought it was just a little tweak, but I couldn't really walk on it this morning," Hawes said.
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He tried to loosen the ankle during shoot-around and again before the game but said he could never get to a point where he could run.
“I wouldn't be helping the team out if I couldn't run," Hawes said.
Players on both sides found out shortly before tipoff that Hawes couldn't go.
Saturday's game at a glance
Player of the game: WSU guard Kyle Weaver scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds with four assists in 32 minutes while also keying a Cougars defensive effort that held the Huskies to just 28.3 percent shooting, a UW season low.
Turning point: Any chance the Huskies had of making it a game evaporated when WSU opened the second half with a 15-4 run in the first five minutes to double an 11-point lead to 22.
Next: vs. Oregon, Thursday, 8 p.m., Edmundson Pavilion.
“It would have been a lot different, a closer score [if Hawes had played], I can tell you that much," said WSU forward Ivory Clark. "I wanted to play against him, to see how good he really is."
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said it wasn't worth trying to give Hawes a few minutes at the risk of making the injury worse.
Hawes said he should be back for UW's game against Oregon on Thursday at Edmundson Pavilion.
Hawes said watching the rout "is the toughest thing you can do as an athlete."
But he said none of what is happening has yet to influence anything he might be deciding about his future.
“This isn't making me lean one way or the other or anything," he said.
Low breaks out
WSU guard Derrick Low was shooting just 28 percent from the three-point line in six Pac-10 games, including an 0-for-5 performance in an overtime loss at Stanford on Jan. 13.
But Low snapped out of it by hitting 5 of 7 three-pointers against the Huskies.
Asked afterward what was different, Low said to much laughter that "I made some today."
“I just kept working at it in practice," he said. "I didn't put my head down because I missed a couple of shots against Stanford and Arizona [when he was 0 for 8]. Shooters have to find a way to get back into it."
â€¢ Quincy Pondexter shrugged off a sprained ankle suffered last week at Cal to lead the Huskies with 16 points, then said afterward he is also battling knee and back ailments that he said left him literally crying at times. "But we've just got to win games," he said. "Whatever it takes, we all have to fight through it."
â€¢ The Huskies were particularly perplexed by their poor play considering they felt they had one of their best weeks of practice. "I don't know what today was," forward Jon Brockman said. But Brockman said he sensed no finger-pointing and doesn't expect the team to come apart. Asked what will turn UW around, Brockman said, "Hard work. No complaining. No whining. We have to play through stuff. Play through pain. It's going to be tough no matter where we go and we have to try to simulate that in practice."
â€¢ The attendance of 11,618 was WSU's 14th largest and the most since a Friel Court record 12,422 turned out for a game against UCLA in 1983. It was also the largest attendance for a UW-WSU game anywhere.
â€¢ WSU guard Chris Matthews did not play after spraining his ankle in practice Thursday.