Dawgs scrap out win

It wasn't pretty, but it was a win. Washington, with a 13-2 finishing run, took out UCLA 91-83 at Staples Center Thursday night in the first round of the Pac-10 men's basketball tournament.

Brian Morrison, who played his prep ball across Lake Washington, poured in 5 three-pointers, accounting for a game-high 23 points for the Bruins, including 8 points in the last 6 minutes of the game, the only points UCLA scored during that telling stretch.

But he made a costly error, fouling out with 27.4 seconds remaining. UCLA, down 85-83 at the time, needed Morrison's outside shooting skills.

In his absence, the Bruins were not able to put down any shots, allowing UW to put the game away at the line.

The Huskies' Tre Simmons, known for his own ability to throw the rock down from long distance, made a strong drive for two and was fouled in the process. His free throw, coming with 1:30 left in the game, gave UW their first lead of the second stanza.

UCLA (7-12, 11-17), outscored Washington (13-6, 18-10) 47-40 during the first half, only to be outscored 51-36 in the last twenty minutes.

It didn't look good for the Huskies early on, with Bobby Jones leaving the game with three fouls and more than 7 minutes left to go in the half. Right after the forward from Long Beach took a seat the Bruins went on a roll.

Capped off by a Ryan Hollins dunk and one, UCLA stormed to a 39-30 advantage and would take a seven-point lead into the half. They shot sixty percent during the first twenty minutes of play.

Simmons was just as deadly as advertized, keeping the Dawgs close as their top guy coming off the bench. He quickly put down two bombs, his only contribution in the first half. But he showed a lot of versatility and resolve, helping lead Washington during a second-half stretch when Nate Robinson was saddled with his fourth foul with 11:37 left in the game.

But the player of the game was most definitely Will Conroy. The junior from Garfield picked up Robinson's slack, scoring 18 of his 20 hard-earned points in the Huskies' second-half charge while Nate and Bobby Jones spent quality time riding the pine.

Simmons had 15, followed by Brandon Roy and Robinson with 12, Jones with 11 and Hakeem Rollins with 9.

This win by the Huskies continues an amazing roll. They have won 13 out of their last 15 games, counting back to a loss to the Bruins back on February 7th at Pauley Pavilion.

Since that 80-75 defeat, Washington has not lost a conference game, reeling off 8 straight league contests. Friday they will play either USC or Arizona.

The Huskies swept the Wildcats for the first time since 1984, while splitting their two games with the Trojans.


Stats:
Points: Conroy 20, Simmons 15, Roy 12, Robinson 12, B. Jones 11, Rollins 9, Jensen 6, A. Washington 4, Allen 2
Rebounds: Rollins 7, Robinson 5, B. Jones 5, Roy 4, TEAM 3, Simmons 3, Jensen 2, Conroy 2
Assists: Robinson 7, Conroy 4, Simmons 2, B. Jones 1, Allen 1
Steals: Robinson 2, Simmons 2, Conroy 1, Allen 1
Blocks: Rollins 2, Robinson 1

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