No Trouble Bruin Here; Huskies Win

Washington wanted this win in the worst way. They wanted it for revenge. They wanted it for confidence. They wanted it for the Huskies of years' past, who had fallen to the mighty Bruins of UCLA countless times. #13 Washington (19-3 overall, 9-2 Pac-10) would not be denied this day as they held on to a second-half lead and defeated UCLA 82-70 in front of another sellout crowd at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

"I think from a competitive standpoint it was important," said Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar. "But as far as some sort of haunted spooky situation, or a curse, I don't think that is an issue."

Even during the recent Husky basketball renaissance period, UCLA (12-7, 6-5) seemed to have had Washington's number. They were the Bruin-sized monkey that clung on to even the most successful of Husky teams. UCLA won seven of the last eight meetings coming in to Saturday's game, with the only Washington win coming last year at the Pac-10 Tournament.

It was about as tight as you could get in the first half, with both teams trading big runs and neutralizing the other's efforts. Washington's tough man-up defense allowed only one UCLA field goal in the first five minutes of the game, as the Bruins were inconsistent with their shot selection, prompting coach Ben Howland to call an early timeout before the normal under-16 television timeout.

After the timeout, UCLA immediately went on a 13-3 run and took a 18-16 lead on a long jumper by Dijon Thompson. Washington's Mike Jensen responded with a three a few seconds later to give the Huskies the lead back to start a 16-4 run, including a couple threes from Bobby Jones. UCLA finished strong, closing the first half margin to four at 36-32, not bad considering Washington shot just 35 percent from the floor in the half.

The Huskies came out of halftime shooting better while being able to limit UCLA's opportunities. But Washington began to get careless with the ball by mid-half and put up some poor shots. A 14-point lead they had built up began to shrink, and having blown a 21-point lead in Los Angeles earlier in the season, it began to feel like déjà vu all over again.

Washington was clinging to a five-point lead with 4:38 left in the game and Brandon Roy went to the line where he sank both freebies and gave the Huskies 69-62 lead.

But that was not the turning point.

While Roy was at the line, Will Conroy barked out orders to the rest of the team sensing that UCLA point guard Jordan Farmar had something up his sleeve. Sure enough, Farmar immediately began streaking to the basket and the inbound Hail Mary pass found Farmar just a lay-up away with no Husky in sight.

Suddenly, Roy and his surgically repaired knee zoomed from out of nowhere and swatted Farmar with tremendous force, while the partisan Husky crowd erupted in approval.

Oh my goodness.

It left the freshman momentarily dazed and he could only watch as Jones drilled another trey on the other end to give Washington a 10-point lead, a lead the Bruins would never seriously threaten again.

"We showed some maturity tonight by sticking with it," said Conroy. "We stayed focus and we made some big plays offensively."

It was arguably Roy's best game since coming back from his knee injury. The junior standout came off the bench and scored 16 of his team-high 20 points in the second half, as he did just about everything he was doing before the knee slowed him down. Roy also grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds for his second career double-double.

"I told coach that I could post these young guys up and just keep riding me down the stretch," said Roy. "Its definitely a big deal especially the way they're (UCLA) playing. It's like they were saying 'We've got your number.'"

"Sensational," said Romar of Roy's game. "He had a solid double-double and our guys did a nice job of finding him where he was effective. That's a heck of a night."

The Huskies won despite having one pf their worst shooting performances - just 37.8 percent from the floor. They were able to win because they won the rebounding battle (43 to 34 advantage) with a staggering 22 offensive rebounds compared to the Bruins' seven. The Huskies also forced 23 turnovers, converting into 31 points.

"The fact that we played against a very good basketball team and shot 37 percent from the field while still winning by double-digits, it just makes me proud of our guys," said Romar. "I thought defensively, we did a very, very good job of containment on the ball."

Jones had 17 points and seven rebounds, and Nate Robinson had 16 points. Tre Simmons and Jamaal Williams, coming off terrific outings against USC Thursday night, had 11 and four points respectively.

UCLA was led by Dijon Thompson, who had 22 points and Josh Shipp with 20 points. Lake Washington High School alum and noted "Husky Killer" Brian Morrison had just six points before fouling out. He was the the designated target of the student section - the 'Dawgpack' - all day.

"He was talking trash and you hear it here and there," said Conroy. "He was saying how we weren't that good. From his stat sheet, he was able to say those things the last few games so I took it personally and got in his chest a little bit."

Washington will hit the road for the next three games as they swing through the state of Oregon next week, and head to Pullman the week after that.

Faces in the crowd: Danny Ferry, the former Duke standout and NBA player was in the audience. Also in the crowd was Sonics President Wally Walker and general manager Rick Sund, Seattle Prep star Spencer Hawes, future Husky Jon Brockman, new Husky football coach Ty Willingham, and former Husky quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo, who received a standing ovation from the Washington student section as he entered the arena.

Conroy Watch: With three assists today, Will Conroy moved closer to Chester Dorsey's singles season and career marks for assists. Conroy needs eight more assists for the season mark, and 33 more for the career record.

Husky Scoring:
Points: Roy 20, Jones 17, Robinson 16, Simmons 11, Conroy 6, Jensen 5, Williams 4, Smith 3
Rebounds: Roy 13, Jones 7, Simmons 6, Jensen 5, Robinson 4, Conroy 3, Williams 1
Assists: Roy 5, Robinson 3, Conroy 3, Jensen 1, Simmons 1
Steals: Simmons 2, Robinson 2, Williams 2, Jones 1, Jensen 1, Smith 1, Roy 1
Blocks: Roy 1, Jensen 1, Rollins 1 Top Stories