UW Men's Basketball | Dawgs have their day against Cougars
When the Huskies finally beat the Cougars in men's basketball, they left no doubt, beating their cross-state rivals from the Palouse 68-48 in front of 8,107 at Friel Court. It was UW's first win over the Cougars since Feb. 19, 2005, ending the longest winning streak in the history of the series for WSU.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Game at a glancePlayer of the game: The Huskies' Quincy Pondexter played what might have been his best game. The junior forward scored 16 points, hitting 7 of 10 shots, and also had a game-high seven rebounds, with three assists and no turnovers in 34 minutes.
Turning point: After WSU tied the game at 30 just 17 seconds into the second half, the Huskies scored nine in a row, keyed by a three-pointer by Isaiah Thomas. WSU never got closer than five the rest of the way.
By the numbers: The Cougars had a season-low four assists as the Huskies' tenacious defense continually disrupted the WSU offense.
Next: vs. Stanford, Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Edmundson Pavilion.
PULLMAN — The demon finally having been slayed, the two Washington senior starters who had been around for all seven previous Huskies losses to Washington State shared a quiet celebration outside the locker room.
"We finally got one, Jon," Justin Dentmon said, grabbing the hand of teammate Jon Brockman. "We finally got one."
And when they did, they left no doubt, beating their cross-state rivals from the Palouse 68-48 in front of 8,107 at Friel Court.
It was UW's first win over the Cougars since Feb. 19, 2005, ending the longest winning streak in the history of the series for WSU.
"It's a lot of weight lifted off our shoulders for this one," said junior forward Quincy Pondexter. "Especially doing it here. It was just a really great chance to come out and show what we are about. I think our team just came out and played really, really hard."
Washington's eighth straight victory since a loss to Florida on Nov. 25 shows the team's gaudy 10-3 record may have some substance.
"This is the type of effort we've talked about since October," said UW coach Lorenzo Romar, who is 6-8 against the Cougars as coach of the Huskies.
The Huskies dominated on the boards (36-20), played intense and smart on defense (holding the Cougars to 19-of-46 shooting) and patient and efficient on offense (25-of-52 shooting, 6 of 11 on three-pointers and 12 of 14 on free throws).
"This is a lot better feeling than I've ever had leaving this arena," Brockman said. "We stayed focused the whole game."
The Huskies led 30-28 at halftime, then saw the Cougars tie the game on the first possession of the second half.
But Washington scored nine in a row to take command for good. The Cougars made a few runs, cutting the deficit to five with 9:31 left, but the Huskies quickly answered each time. Washington outscored WSU 17-5 in the last 6:49 to win going away, hitting 8 of 9 free throws in the final 2:11.
And the Huskies won despite a less-than-stellar game from Brockman, who had 10 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes.
Freshman guard Isaiah Thomas led UW with 19, Dentmon added 17 — hitting all four of his three-pointers — and Pondexter had 16 and a team-high seven rebounds.
Winning the Pac-10 opener took on extra meaning for Washington because it was on the road. The Huskies had won just four conference road games the past two seasons.
"I had thought we were a better team this year, that there were some things we were better at, and a game like this would confirm it up to this point," Romar said. "Who knows what happens next game? But to come up [against] someone who has had their way with us, to come out on the road and win in this type of fashion, I was very impressed with our team."
For the Cougars, meanwhile, the result shows the team may have more rebuilding to do. Washington State graduated Derrick Low, Kyle Weaver and Robbie Cowgill — mainstays the last four years.
"When those bad stretches come, it's kind of like when it rains, it pours," said WSU coach Tony Bennett said, "and a lot of things go wrong. ... We're not capable of withstanding those types of runs.
Added WSU senior forward Caleb Forrest: "The big difference is we don't have the same guys as last year who can create for themselves. We have to start to do things together more as a team, and I don't think we've done that as well as we're capable of yet."
As the final minutes ticked off, the loudest cheers in the arena came from the Huskies' bench, none louder than after Dentmon tossed the ball off the backboard to Pondexter, who followed with a rousing slam dunk with 52 seconds left.
Romar said he didn't condone the play and Pondexter — who called for the pass — called it "just one of those things that happened. I wasn't trying to be unsportsmanlike. I have the utmost respect for coach Bennett and his staff, so I didn't want to do anything like that. It just happened."
Showy it may have been, but it also fittingly displayed that for once, the Huskies could do whatever they wanted against the Cougars.
And, finally, that meant beating them.
"It feels real good," Dentmon said. "It feels awesome to beat them, especially here."
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|WASHINGTON ST. 48|
Attendance: 8,107. Officials: Dave Hall, Scott Thornley, Chris Rastatter.
|Rolling against a rival|
|The Cougars' seven-game win streak is its longest against UW, but the Huskies have had 11 of the 14 streaks of at least five games and lead the series 168-98:|
|Source: UW media information|
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
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