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UW Men's Basketball
Brockman puts Huskies up, Dentmon puts Ducks away
Seattle Times staff reporter
EUGENE, Ore. — Washington freshman forward Jon Brockman had heard a lot about Oregon's famed McArthur Court; but before the Huskies' 75-72 win over the Ducks on Thursday, he had never been here.
So an hour or so before game time, he climbed to the top to get a good view of one of the most unique venues in college basketball.
"It's a lot higher than it looks," Brockman said.
And maybe it was that trip that caused him to play the first half of the game "like he was in a daze," in the words of UW coach Lorenzo Romar.
But Brockman found his bearings just in time to give the Huskies a critical victory.
With 42 seconds left, the Snohomish High grad grabbed a rebound of a Brandon Roy shot that was blocked and put it back in, giving the Huskies the lead for good at 72-70.
Fellow freshman Justin Dentmon then drew an offensive foul from Oregon's Malik Hairston, and Dentmon hit three of four free throws in the final 26 seconds as UW (19-5 overall, 8-5 Pac-10) won its third game in a row and took another big step toward the NCAA tournament.
Washington men at Oregon St., 7 p.m., FSN
"It was good to see our freshmen come through on the road like that," Romar said.
Brockman, however, did so only after a stern talking to at halftime from UW coaches — he grabbed just one rebound and hit one of three shots in 14 first-half minutes.
"The coaches just told me that, 'Hey, you've got to start playing. Why are you out there if you're not playing?' " Brockman said. "It kind of lit a fire under me."
That he needed such a lecture is unusual as he is known for his ever-ready competitiveness. He estimated he has gotten such a talk only a couple of times all year.
"It was like someone snapped their finger and the hypnosis was over, and he went back to being Jon Brockman," Romar said.
Brockman finished with 14 points — his most in a Pac-10 game — and seven rebounds.
Matched up against the smaller Hairston inside, Brockman scored eight of UW's first 10 points in the second half as the Huskies built a 52-44 lead with 14:31 left.
But the Ducks followed with a 19-6 run to take a 63-58 lead with 8:15 left, and the Huskies seemed in danger of their fourth straight road loss.
Washington still trailed by one when Brockman grabbed a Bobby Jones miss and put it back in with 4:26 left. Oregon's Ivan Johnson, who had been knocked over on the play, protested and was hit with a technical, and Roy hit two free throws to put UW ahead 68-65.
But the Ducks tied it at 70-70 with 1:41 left to set up the game's key sequence. Roy, who led UW with 21 points, missed on a drive with 1:11 left, but the Ducks couldn't control the rebound and UW kept possession, leading to Brockman's putback with 42 seconds left.
Brockman said the ball "just kind of fell right into my hands" after Chamberlain Oguchi blocked it off the backboard.
That it was an offensive rebound that put UW ahead for good was fitting, however, as the Huskies dominated the glass, outrebounding Oregon 36-17 overall and 19-4 on the offensive end.
"We didn't control the boards, and they did, and they won the basketball game," said Oregon coach Ernie Kent.
Oregon was still alive when Hairston set up on the baseline to drive on Dentmon. But he was called for pushing off against Dentmon with 31.8 seconds left and fouled out, which led an already frustrated Mac Court crowd to rain the officials with boos.
Hairston diplomatically said he "had to respect the call," and Kent also didn't argue, saying "officiating had nothing to do with their 19 offensive rebounds."
Dentmon said there was no doubt Hairston pushed off, though he admitted he tried to sell it just a little.
"There was no acting, but I just like to yell to get the referee's attention so they don't miss the call," Dentmon said. "That's what I did."
There was one last nervous moment as Dentmon missed a free throw with 10.2 seconds left, giving Oregon a chance to tie. But the Ducks fiddled away much of the time before Maarty Leunen missed a wild three-pointer as time ran out.
It was another close loss for the Ducks, who fell to 11-15 (5-9 in Pac-10 play) — surely the reason the crowd was not a sellout (8,904 of 9,087 capacity) and seemed unusually quiet. Brockman, though, thought it was plenty loud enough.
"It's a fun place to play," he said.
Especially once you get down out of the rafters.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company