Huskies sprint past Ducks

This time, the Huskies hung on to their 20-point lead, much to the delight of their home fans. Washington broke out to a comfortable lead over Oregon in the opening 10 minutes and withstood the Ducks' rally early in the second half for a convincing 77-56 victory at Hec Edmundson Pavilion Thursday night.

For Washington, which opened up a 19-2 lead by holding the Ducks scoreless for the opening three minutes and 54 seconds, it was the team's 16th consecutive win at home. More importantly, however, was the way the Huskies showed an ability to hold on to a lead after blowing a 21-point advantage in their loss at UCLA last weekend.

And they did it without Brandon Roy, who was a late scratch from the lineup as the Huskies chose to allow his knee to heal until it's 100 percent.

"No complaints," said Husky head coach Lorenzo Romar, whose team improved to 14-2 and 4-1 in Pac-10 Conference play. "We continued to play good basketball even when Oregon made their charge. (Oregon) made a run, they're a good basketball team so you expect them to, but again, the reason we have no complaints is that we continued to play fairly good basketball.

"I was a little concerned tonight going out there without Brandon Roy, and I wasn't quite sure how we were going to respond to our last loss, and I guess I got my answer."

The Ducks' rally started during the final 10 minutes of the first half, as they cut the Huskies' lead down to 40-29 by halftime. When the visitors from Eugene, decked out in their green and gold uniforms, scored the first seven points after intermission, the score stood and 40-36.

For Washington, it was gut check time. And for Bobby Jones, who brought one of his best efforts all season, it was time to call "bank." Needing a bucket in a bad way, the Huskies went to their junior from Compton, Calif. and the rangy forward came through, sending in a 3-pointer that caromed off the glass before going through the net.

"That's why I play the game of basketball," smiled Jones after the game. "You've got to expect the unexpected.

"It went in, that's all that matters."

Jones' shot pumped life into the Huskies, turning the tides back in the home team's favor. Washington outscored Oregon 16-5 over the next eight minutes after Jones' big shot, extending their lead back up to 18 at 59-41.

Compounding the difficulties for the Ducks (10-3, 2-2) was the foul trouble to arguably their best player, Aaron Brooks, a sophomore point guard out of Seattle's Franklin High. Brooks scored four points in the first half and picked up three fouls along the way. After a quick spurt to open the second half, he picked up his fourth personal foul with 17:09 remaining in the game and was forced to the bench. Ducks' coach Ernie Kent had to insert him back in the game due to their large deficit, but Brooks fouled out with 8:55 to go when Jones stood in and took a charge at midcourt.

"Aaron's a pretty aggressive basketball player in his own right," said Romar. "Just like sometimes with our guys, maybe we reach here or there when we shouldn't or we lunge when we shouldn't and go over somebody's back when we shouldn't, and pick up ticky-tack fouls. I think that's what happened to him."

Without a true floor general, the Ducks had no hope of staging a second rally, and Washington only tacked on from that point on. The Huskies outscored the Ducks 16-10 the rest of the way.

"We just kept our composure and stuck with our game plan," said Husky sharp-shooter Tre Simmons. "It worked out."

Already without Roy, and well undersized to the Redwood-like lineup of the Ducks, the Huskies went down another big man when junior forward Mike Jensen fell hard on his right arm while attempting to block a shot midway through the second half. Jensen left the floor, and X-rays on his left wrist came back negative. He is being ruled day-to-day.

While undermanned and undersized down the stretch, the Huskies large lead made it impossible for the Ducks to threaten the final outcome. This one was Washington's from the opening minutes on.

Simmons and Jones led the Huskies in scoring with 15 points apiece, with Simmons added 12 rebounds for his first-career double-double. His previous high in rebounds was nine.

Also pacing Washington was the scoring of Nate Robinson and Jamaal Williams, each of which poured in 14.

Oregon was led by the 16 points of freshman Bryce Taylor. He was the lone player on the Ducks to finish in double-digits. Brooks had nine points, four assists and four turnovers in 18 minutes.

The Huskies welcome in Oregon State on Saturday night at 7 and will hope to keep momentum going with another win over a school from the state of Oregon.


Daddy's Boy: Oregon sophomore Jordan Kent, the son of Ducks' coach Ernie Kent, was hounded from the moment he checked in the game until the final horn. The verbal abuse appeared to affect the 6-foot-5 guard all game long, as chants of "Daddy's boy" cascaded down onto the court from the Husky student section. Kent finished the game scoreless in 12 minutes of play, going 0-3 from the field and 0-2 from the free throw line.

In the Crowd: A number of notable faces were spotted in the crowd for the rivalry game between the Dawgs and Ducks, the most notable being former Michigan State star point guard and current Seattle SuperSonic Mateen Cleeves. Also present were four-year Husky linebacker Marquis Cooper, a 2004 NFL draft choice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, top Mariners prospect Matt Tuiasosopo, Sonics point guard and former Duck Luke Ridnour and Seahawks receiver Darrell Jackson.

Husky Stats:

Points: Jones 15, Simmons 15, Robinson 14, Williams 14, Conroy 7, Rollins 7, Smith 4, Jensen 1

Rebounds: Simmons 12, Robinson 5, Jones 4, Jensen 4, Rollins 4, Williams 4, Conroy 3, Gasser 1, Smith 1

Assists: Conroy 5, Robinson 4, Jones 4, Simmons 1

Steals: Jones 3, Simmons 3, Robinson 2, Conroy 1, Burmeister 1, Williams 1

Blocks: Smith 1 Top Stories