UW Huskies Insider

Final: Washington 84, Arizona State 71

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Jan. 31, 2009 at 1:16 pm with No Comments »
January 31, 2009 1:16 pm

Huskies took contol after about 10 minutes and held the rest of the way. Their reward is keeping their share of the Pac-10 lead — along with UCLA — at the race’s halfway point.

Coach Lorenzo Romar was happy with the play of Dentmon and Thomas, of course, but he really stressed the defensive contributions of Darnell Gant on James Harden and the defense and rebounding of Justin Holiday.

Here’s my game story, here’s one from the Arizona Republic, and here are some highlights:

Star of the game: UW senior guard Justin Dentmon scored a career-high 30 points. He hit eight of 12 shots from the field, four of seven 3-pointers and 10 of 11 free throws. His previous career- and season-high was 24.

Key stats:
UW held ASU guard James Harden, the Pac-10’s leading scorer to 15 points, seven below his average. … Washington took 34 free throws to ASU’s 22. And the Huskies took advantage by hitting 26 of them (76.5 percent).

Key run: With the score tied at 12 after about eight minutes, the Huskies took the lead for good with three straight 3-pointers, one from Elston Turner and two from Dentmon.

Observations: UW is tied with UCLA atop the Pac-10 standings at the midpoint of the league season. … UW’s 41 points at halftime matched the most scored against the Sun Devils in a first half this season. … The Huskies are 4-1 on the road in conference play. … With this victory, Washington tied its win total from last season.

Quotable: "For Washington, the refs were fantastic; but for us they hurt us. We’ve got to play through that. We can’t let Dentmon get 30 points. We can’t let the freshman (Isaiah Thomas) get 25 no matter who the refs are. That’s something we’ve got to learn to play through." – UW senior Jeff Pendergraph, who had 21 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

Next: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at California, Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.; FSN.

3:55 left: Justin Dentmon has scored 24 points three times. Today he’s registered a career-high 26 … so far.

Halftime: John Brockman didn’t score until more than 14 minutes had been played, and James Harden didn’t score until after more than 16 and a half minutes had been played. Brockman has two at the half, and Harden has five. (Gant and Holiday handled most of the defense on Harden, Dentmon picked up some duty late in the half.)

Picking up the slack for UW is Justin Dentmon, who has 18 points with the help of four 3-pointers. Jeff Pendergraph has 11 for the Sun Devils.

Washington got separation around the 10-minute mark with a 9-0 run on consecutive threes by Elston Turner and a pair by Dentmon. Suddenly, a 12-12 game was 21-12, UW.

Isiah Thomas carried UW early, scoring six of their first eight points. He has 10 at the half. No Husky other than Dentmon and Thomas has more than one field goal.

UW is shooting 51.7 percent, ASU 42.3. Each team has 16 rebounds.

UCLA beat Stanford today, so UW is playing simply to retain a piece of the conference lead.

Tipoff: I hear a lot of national anthems in this job, but never one quite like the one we just heard. All the familiar lyrics, but the tune was … oddly Chrismas carol-ly.

Anyway, Huskies going with their usual lineup: Brockman, Dentmon, Pondexter, Gant and Thomas. (Unusual number of road cheers when Brockman was announced.)

Fair number of empty seats in the upper areas. But it’s a big game and could be a hot crowd. Here we go.

1:15 p.m. The first few students of the ASU student section have trickled into Wells Fargo Arena, and the first few Huskies and Sun Devils are out on the court.

About 100 miles to the south, Arizona completed its sweep of the Washington schools by beating Washington State. And at 2:30, UW and ASU will try to avoid an o-fer weekend. Today’s loser also could fall out of the national rankings — UW certainly would. And an ASU win would pull them even with the Huskies in the Pac-10 race. (UCLA has a double-digit lead over Stanford as I write this.)

Normal gameday blogging plan: Pregame notes as they happen, a couple of in-game reports, and then back here with postgame notes and quotes.

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