Dawgs dance over Bruins

Los Angeles, Calif. - It was a game of runs. In the second-half, the Huskies outscored the Bruins 9-0 in a 1:56 span to put them up 58-57. Then they went on an 11-2 run that covered just 2:49 and put them up 76-75. The final run was the Bruin death blow, as the Dawgs closed the game out by outscoring UCLA 13-3 in the final 2:06.

Tonight's win was only Washington's fifth come-from-behind victory this season. They are now 5-9 after trailing at the half.

Former Husky post legend James Edwards was watching from the first row at the Staples Center this evening.

Things looked like they would run afoul early as several Huskies got into foul trouble early. Bobby Jones and Jensen each committed three while Tre Simmons and Will Conroy picked up two before half. Jones received his fourth foul early in the second half, with still over 14 minutes left to play. Nate Robinson picked up with 4th with 11.5 minutes left in the game. Washington was able to overcome that with some stellar offense by Will Conroy and some big blocks from Hakeem Rollins.

The game was tied ten times, and had 9 lead changes, so the two teams, despite being seeded five spots apart, matched up extremely well.

Coach Lorenzo Romar's Post-Game comments

"That was a hard-fought, come-from-behind victory. These guys have big hearts, huge hearts. They have trained us as a coaching staff to come to expect a situation where we are never out of a game. For two month we have had to answer the bell consistently, and one game can set us back. It's a credit to these guys that they have answered the bell time and time again. I'm just extremely proud of them."

Romar said of his team's NCAA Tournament bid, "There is no way, as far as I'm concerned, that we shouldn't be in it. The word is out; I don't know who put it out, but if we win this one, we're in. I thought we would be in before this game, but we're not going to relax. We will come out tomorrow and give maximum effort again. With every win it takes the decision out of the Committee's hands. We'd like to be in a position on Sunday where we're not wondering but know we are in."

He commented on the early foul trouble that his Huskies ran into. "Unfortunately we got into foul trouble early in the first half Then in the second half, Nate and Bobby picked up their fourth fouls. The thing with Nate and Bobby, they're two of our more energetic guys that really get us going in terms of our energy, and we were playing without them. But guys stepped up, Will stepped up big time, did a good job on both ends of the court. Hakeem Rollins stepped up, and then Tre Simmons came off the bench and stepped up. In order to win games consistently, you've gotta have guys…different guys every night step up. With our team, a lot of times it's the same guys, but then we have other additions that joined them. And tonight was definitely one of those games. The foul trouble that we had, the way the game was going, we had to depend on some other guys, and they came through."

Were the Dawgs tentative? Maybe, but certainly they were aware of how big of a game this was. "I thought the only time all year that it seemed like we had the jitters a bit was the Cal game a week ago. That was about the time we played some big games: at North Carolina State, Arizona on the road, home against Stanford. There's been a lot that's been on the line, and I haven't seen us really get intimidated by the situation. I don't think we were necessarily nervous at the beginning, I think we weren't aggressive. Once we got aggressive, things started to change for us."

What did coach Romar tell his troops at the half when they trailed? "Play with more intensity. That was it in a nutshell. There were minor things we talked about, but we felt as a staff that the two previous times that we played the Bruins, we weren't as aggressive as we had been with some other clubs. We talked about, basically, two games and a half where we hadn't been aggressive. I think we focused on that more than anything."

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