As the Huskies took the court here Saturday night, they were greeted by a sign that read "UW: 1W-7L No wonder you want out" — a reference...
SPOKANE — As the Huskies took the court Saturday night, they were greeted by a sign that read “UW: 1W, 7L No Wonder You Want Out,” a reference to Washington’s record against Gonzaga the past eight years.
And as the Huskies were introduced before tipoff, one group of fans turned around to display the message “Romarsachicken” on their backs, with another sporting the question: “Whataboutnextyear?”
The fact that Saturday’s game figures to be the last in the series for a while hung over the proceedings. UW coach Lorenzo Romar said this week the teams definitely won’t play next season.
But earlier in the day, Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth spoke optimistically that the series might resume soon.
Roth chatted with UW athletic director Todd Turner on Friday and said the two “talked about that we will talk about it. We each agreed that we will talk again after the New Year.”
Roth and Romar, friends since the years when Romar coach at Pepperdine, also chatted before the game.
“We were talking that there’s no animosity,” Romar said. “Everyone wants to make this out to be a big feud. But between us, there is no feud. We are just working through things. It’s one of those things where everyone can say whatever they want as long as we know [the truth].”
Saturday’s game at a glance
Player of the game: Gonzaga senior point guard Derek Raivio hit 4 of 5 three-pointers, scored 17 points in the first half and finished with 25. He also grabbed six rebounds.
Turning point: Gonzaga jumped out to leads of 5-0, 17-8 and 33-18 in the first 10 minutes of the game and never looked back.
Next: Portland State, 7 p.m. Saturday, Edmundson Pavilion.
Roth seemed to hold out hope that something could happen to allow the teams to play next season, though Romar has said UW’s schedule won’t allow for a game.
“Our schedule is not full for next season and their schedule is not full for next season so we’ll see,” Roth said. “We’ll be playing again, I’ve got no doubt about that.”
Said Romar: “I don’t know what’s going to happen but I do know one thing, it’s a temporary hold.”
UW forward Jon Brockman hopes so.
“We’re not scared to play them at all,” he said. “That was a fun game, despite the fact we lost. It’ll be back. I don’t think people need to be worried.”
Fox called dibs
In discussing his reasons UW won’t play Gonzaga next year, Romar pointed out that the Washington-Gonzaga game was not going to be on national TV. Some of the games the Huskies are scheduling for next year in place of the Bulldogs will get on national TV, namely ESPN. Saturday’s game was televised regionally on Fox Sports.
Roth said ESPN wanted to televise Saturday’s game but that Fox had the first priority on the game due to its contracts with Gonzaga.