Big win for UW, moving to 1-0 in Pac-10 play with home games against the Bay Area teams next week. The Huskies are now 10-3 overall and their winning streak is up to eight games. And, of course, they end WSU’s seven game streak in the series.
Star of the game: UW senior Justin Dentmon scored 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, including 4-of-4 on 3-point shots. He also had four assists, four rebounds and a steal.
Key stats: Washington put the game away in the second half, when the Huskies shot 50 percent and limited the Cougars to 36 percent. … Against the packed-in WSU defense, the Huskies had one of their best outside shooing games, hitting six of 11 3-pointers (54.5 percent). … UW outrebounded WSU, 36-20. … UW forward Jon Brockman had four rebounds, his fewest of the season.
Key run: Washington State had cut Washington’s 10-point lead to five midway through the second half. Just as the crowd sensed the Cougars were making a run, Dentmon silenced them with a 3-pointer. Then Darnell Gant scored on an offensive rebound of a Quincy Pondexter miss, and suddenly the Huskies were up by 10 again.
UW quote: "It felt great. I haven’t been a part of the 0-7 (losing streak to WSU), but coming into the game I knew it was a big game: my first Pac-10 game, personally. I just wanted to come out and do whatever I can to give my team the W." – freshman Isaiah Thomas.
WSU quote: "When it comes down to it, we’ve been letting games slip away, and we’ve got to figure out some way to fix that." – senior Caleb Forrest.
Next: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, vs. Stanford, Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
1:30/2nd: Assuming this holds, Dentmon is going to be the game’s MVP. He had game-high 15 points and is 4-for-4 on 3-pointers in a game where UW really needed some outside shooting.
UW dominating boards, 27-19, and that’s hurting WSU now, as Huskies are running the clock and then getting offensive rebounds that lets the run it some more.
Cougs fouling now.
6:30/2nd: Cougars had cut a UW 10-point lead to five, and the crowd was getting into it, feeling a game-turning run. But Justin Dentmon nailed a three pointer — his second without a miss — and the Huskies have worked the lead back to 10.
Halftime: Jon Brockman didn’t get his first point until about 17 minutes in, and he still hasn’t gotten a rebound. However, UW is playing even because they’re drilling some shots from the outside.
Isaiah Thomas and Quincy Pondexter lead UW with eight points each. Aron Baynes also has eight for the Cougs.
UW is shooting .476, WSU .462. UW leads on the boards, 15-11 … which seems fortunate considering Brockman’s zero.
Mathew Bryan-Amaning has three fouls… which is potential trouble, with Brockman struggling.
Tip: Game has began. Huskies going with their usual starting lineup: Brockman, Pondexter, Gant, Thomas and Dentmon.
While there is no change in the starting lineup, it will be interesting to see how the rotation is tweaked with guard Elston Turner out (ankle) and his 16 minutes per game therefore up for grabs.
2:55: We’re about five minutes until tip, and the Cougs’ home-court advantage seems likely to be muted a bit. The lower blow is about three-quarters full, the upper desk vastly dominated by empty seats.
However, there’s almost no purple in the house at all — Jon Brockman’s dad being the main exception. In fact, the Huskies just ran onto the court, and while the boos weren’t intimidating, I didn’t hear any cheers at all.
2 p.m. Huskies are on the court warming up. Freshmen Elston Turner (ankle) and Tyreese Breshers (knee) are in uniform, but neither is expected to play.
1:45: UW assistant Paul Fortier is sitting courtside, so I assume the Huskies have made it safely to the arena.
1:30: Cougars Taylor Rochestie and Charlie Enquist are the first players out on the court. And a few fans are beginning to trickle in. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of crowd shows up here. School is out, and the weather isn’t inviting. Still: Big game.
And speaking of big games, they’re showing the UW-WSU women’s game on one of the video screens now. Cougs up 16-11 early.
Also, press row beginning to trickle in with reporters from Spokane and Seattle.
1 p.m. I am in from the whitest crunchiest parking lot I’ve used probably since the Great Alaska Shootout. But, of course, that only marks the halfway point in the trip. The drive down from Spokane demanded concentration, but never really clicked over to scary. I’m hoping for no worse on the return trip.
For now, I’m the only reporter on press row, so I’m hoping all the other Puget Sound reporters make it uneventfully, too.
However, now that I’m here, it’s time to begin concentrating on what should be a really good, really important game as these rivals open their Pac-10 seasons.
We’ll handle the game in our normal way. I’ll click in here if any pregame news breaks. Then I’ll keep a running blog through the game, and then return for postgame notes and quotes.
Tipoff is 3 p.m. It’s on FSN, 950-AM and 850-AM.