Pressure D pushes Huskies past Highlanders

Sparked by a highlight-reel dunk by forward Mike Jensen four minutes into the second half Monday, the Washington men's basketball team raced out to a 30-6 run and scooted away from UC-Riverside for a 91-78 victory at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Washington improved to 2-0. The Highlanders dropped to 0-2.

Jensen's big play couldn't have come at a better time, stopping a 12-3 spurt by the Highlanders that had allowed the visitors to crawl ahead by five with possession of the ball. Needing a big play, Jensen stood at mid-court reading the Highlanders' inbounds pass, exploded towards the ball for a steal and finished with a thunderous reverse slam.

The crowd went nuts, and UC-Riverside coach John Masi called timeout.

Sensing the inbounding struggles of the Highlanders, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar instructed his young, athletic team to go to the full-court press for the final 16 minutes of the game.

It worked to perfection. Jensen's dunk was the first of nine straight points by Washington, which went on to outscore UC Riverside by 24 over the next 8:17.

"We felt we needed to make a change because the game wasn't being played the way we wanted it to be played," said Romar, "so we applied the press to hopefully change the complexion of the game."

Leading the up-tempo, trapping style of play was second-year swingman Bobby Jones, who did nothing but help Washington's momentum grow.

After a Brandon Roy layin gave the Huskies the lead at 50-48, it was Jones who stole another Highlanders' inbounds pass and got fouled. That led to two converted free throws.

Jones finished 4-5 from the floor with 10 points in 15 minutes, leading Romar to praise the sophomore after the game.

"He's that ingredient that just makes it all right," said the Husky coach, using cooking analogies for the first time since being hired on at Washington. "For the second game in a row he fueled comebacks for us or allowed us to distance ourselves."

Junior point guard Will Conroy agreed.

"Bobby Jones brought the energy and everybody started playing good," he said.

Nobody played better than Brandon Roy, who looked calm, poised and confident as the team's go-to guy. Roy called for the ball all night, and finished with a career-high 22 points on 7-13 shooting from the field and 2-2 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.

"The shots that I was missing in other games were falling for me tonight, and when they start falling I start getting into a rhythm. This was the best rhythm I've been in (since coming to UW).

"I'm just happy I finally showed that I could shoot from the perimeter."

Roy was not the only Husky to step up. With Anthony Washington in early foul trouble, forwards Mike Jensen and Hakeem Rollins each put forth their best collegiate games to date.

Jensen grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds to go with six points. Rollins took it to the Highlanders offensively, scoring 12 points and pulling down seven rebounds. Both players impressed Romar.

"Mike Jensen didn't score a lot but he had 10 rebounds and just worked his tail off all night," he said.

"Hakeem Rollins played with a lot of confidence offensively."

Curtis Allen was the final Husky to score in double-digits, chipping in 11.

The Highlanders were led by guard Kevin Butler, who scored 20 points but only four after halftime. Forward Nate Carter added 18, but got most of his points in garbage time.

Washington outrebounded UC Riverside 44-22, making up for 21 Husky turnovers.


The Student Body has Spoken: When Reggie Williams left his courtside seat for one of the tunnels at halftime of Monday night's hoops game, he didn't go without hearing chants of "ONE MORE YEAR…ONE MORE YEAR!" from the student section. Most expect the junior receiver to forgo is senior season and enter April's NFL draft.

Thanks Brandon: Brandon Roy wasn't allowed to shoot the second of two free throw attempts at the 9:48 mark in the second half when referees discovered blood on one of his arms. Nate Robinson stepped to the line, and cashed in with a simple flick of the wrist for the easiest point of his career.

Walk-Ons!" In the final minutes of the game, coach Romar unloaded his bench and gave several walk-ons a chance to get their first game action. Included in the bunch were Brandon Burmeister, Alex Johnson and Zane Potter. Burmeister nailed a 17 footer from the right baseline with two ticks left on the clock for his first points as a Husky. He was the only walk-on to score.

Points: Roy 22, Rollins 12, Allen 11, Jones 10, Conroy 9, Robinson 8, Jensen 6, Simmons 5, Washington 4, Burmeister 2, Devoe 2
Rebounds: Jensen 10, Rollins 7, Roy 6, Jones 4, Simmons 4, Washington 3, Conroy 3, Robinson 1, Allen 1, Gasser 1, Devoe 1
Assists: Robinson 5, Roy 5, Conroy 3, Simmons 2, Allen 2, Rollins 1, Gasser 1
Steals: Jones 2, Rollins 2, Jensen 1, Robinson 1
Blocks: Jensen 1, Rollins 1, Simmons 1, Jones 1, Washington 1 Top Stories