Stanford 77, Washington 66

Matt Lottich poured in 20 points and Josh Childress added 14 as #2 Stanford defeated the Washington Huskies 77-66 this afternoon for the Pac-10 Championship in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Stanford gets an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament and a likely #1 seed, while Washington has very likely played their way into an at-large bid.

Stanford played tough defense all afternoon, hounding the Husky sharp shooters and forcing them to only connect on three of 16 three-point shots (19%).

Washington was led by the 16 points of Nate Robinson. Mike Jensen added 11, as did Bobby Jones. Will Conroy had 10. Brandon Roy suffered through 2 of 10 shooting and Tre Simmons had a similar fate, only able to connect on 3 of 9 shots.

Stanford got 13 from forward Justin Davis and 11 from Joe Kirchofer. The Cardinal shot 52% from the field, converting several lay ins off of offensive rebounds and nice passes that took advantage of the overaggressive Husky help defense.

When the Huskies and Cardinal last played, Stanford committed 18 turnovers and only shot 39% from the field. Cardinal senior Justin Davis sat out that game with a sore knee. He had 11 in the first half.

The loss ends a six-game winning streak for the Huskies and ends their season at 19-11. Stanford finishes their season at 27-1 with the lone loss coming at the hands of Washington. It was an improbable finish for the Huskies, climbing out of the Pac-10 cellar at 0-5 to finish 12-6, and going 2-1 in the tournament.

Washington opened the game running like the wind, hitting on seven of their first nine shots and jumping out to a 17-11 lead. Their speed was too much for the Cardinal out of the gate. Nate Robinson furiously pushed the tempo, taking the wind out of Stanford's man-to-man defense.

The Cardinal then went to a zone, but Trey Simmons nailed a long range bomb to keep them honest. It would be one of the few long shots to fall for Washington.

At the 8:00 mark Washington went cold as Stanford went on a 12-0 run to wrestle the lead away from the Dawgs for good at 38-31. The Dawgs went over 5:00 without scoring and turned the ball over five times in that span. After hitting on 12 of their firs17 shots, the Huskies missed their next six.

Robinson broke the drought with a lay in, but the two teams traded baskets until the half ended with the Cardinal up six, 45-39. Bobby Jones led the Dawgs at the break with nine points, most of those from inside the paint. He would be shut down in the second half by the Cardinal.

Childress spent much of the first half trying to get in Brandon Roy's head, continuously talking smack up and down the floor. It seemed to work, and Childress finally drew a warning for it with 2:32 left in the first half.

Early in the second half Washington climbed back to within two at 47-45 with a Brandon Roy jumper in the lane, but then again went cold. Stanford used the Husky frigid spell to go on a 12-3 run and go ahead 59-48 at the 9:00 mark.

Joe Kirchofer was big off of the bench during the run, contributing six points and two offensive rebounds.

Again Robinson broke the drought with a three-point play on a drive through the big men in the paint. On the next transition he fed Mike Jensen on the break for a thunderous two-handed slam to get the deficit back to within six and the Huskies had momentum on their side.

The Huskies climbed to within five, but then the backbreaker came when Josh Childress grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it back out to Matt Lottich, who drained a three. Washington had two empty possessions back to back, a Jensen airball from three land and a Nate Robinson apparent breakaway that Childress somehow came back to get a hand on and bother Robinson enough to miss the cripple.

When Childress hit a 10-foot turnaround over Rollins, the Stanford lead was nine, 72-63, and the Huskies would threaten no more.

Washington was only able to connect on 13 of 21 foul shots, an area that had been a strength during the winning streak.

The Huskies will find out in about 20 hours where they'll be playing in the tournament.
Notes, quotes, and photos will all be posted to the site later this evening. Max Waugh and Jennifer Hixson are in LA on location.

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