UW Men's Basketball
Roy scores career-high 35, helps UW pull away from ASU
The Washington men missed the first 10 shots of their Pac-10 basketball opener against Arizona State on Thursday night...
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Washington men missed the first 10 shots of their Pac-10 basketball opener against Arizona State on Thursday night — one for every win they had coming in.
But just when anyone began thinking that maybe it was the misses that showed the real Huskies and not the wins, Brandon Roy took over.
He made the first field goal of the game for the Huskies, and the last, scoring a career-high 35 points as UW pulled away in the second half to beat the Sun Devils 91-67 in front of 10,000 at Edmundson Pavilion.
"That's why we call him 'the provider,' " said UW coach Lorenzo Romar after the No. 7 Huskies improved to 11-0. "He can provide what you need."
It was the most points scored by a Husky since Doug Wrenn had 35 against Arizona on Feb. 7, 2002.
And they came in every way imaginable as Roy made a career-high five three-pointers in five attempts — he had never before made more than two — and also had putbacks, drives to the hoop and alley-oop dunks among his 13 field goals in 22 attempts. He surpassed 1,000 career points.
"I knew tonight ASU was going to be tough and the guys were going to need me," said Roy, a senior from Garfield who has insisted all along that he would be more aggressive offensively once Pac-10 play began.
Roy was right on both counts as ASU was tough, despite what the final score might indicate. The Huskies led just 40-38 at halftime, and the game was the most physical the Huskies have played all season — though typical of Washington's recent history with ASU, which has been littered with foul-plagued games.
"The refs could have called a foul every time down the court on both teams," Roy said.
In the end, 43 were whistled, and none was felt more than an elbow by Arizona State's Bruno Claudino that caught Huskies freshman Jon Brockman flush on the cheekbone with 12:37 left in the game. After that play, Romar and ASU coach Rob Evans appeared to be engaged in a brief staredown, though Romar said he was simply trying to monitor a conversation Evans was having with officials "to make sure I was in on the information."
Brockman was briefly unconscious and suffered a concussion and will be re-evaluated today to determine whether he will be able to play Saturday against Arizona, but Romar anticipates he will play.
"I kind of remember sitting up and walking over to the bench," said Brockman, who didn't return to the game. "I don't remember the play or anything like that."
By then, however, Washington had the game well in hand, thanks mostly to Roy and the fact that the Huskies lost just three turnovers, the fewest in school history since the stat began being kept in 1975. In fact, the previous low was six, last accomplished in 1993.
But early on, the Huskies needed every possession as they missed their first 10 shots and trailed 9-2 before getting their first field goal when Roy made a five-footer with 14:41 to go in the first half.
Washington grabbed a 26-19 lead, then watched as ASU went on a 19-10 run to take a 38-36 lead with less than a minute left in the first half.
Washington guard Bobby Jones said the team was "kind of sleepwalking" for a while.
But the Huskies seemed to wake up for good in the final minute of the half thanks to two fine plays from reserve guard Joel Smith. First, he made a soaring dunk off a lob pass from Ryan Appleby, then he scored on a layin on a pass from Roy with four seconds left to give the Huskies a 40-38 halftime lead.
The Huskies then scored the first 10 points of the second half, five by Roy, including a three-pointer, to take a 50-38 lead, and never led by less than nine the rest of the game.
"Our guys did an excellent job maintaining their composure and we played some good solid basketball," Romar said.
No one more than Roy, who made just three of his first 10 shots, then made 10 of 12 the rest of the way.
He had gone 0 for 8 from the three-point line in the previous four games, seeming to give evidence to those who claim his weakness is his outside shooting. Additionally, he made just 14 of 57 threes his first three seasons at Washington and was 5 of 17 this season.
But his display against ASU surprised none of his teammates or coaches, who said they've never doubted that Roy would be there when it was most needed.
"He did what he is capable of doing," said Romar. "What we have been saying all along."
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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