The sell-out crowd was not disappointed as Washington downed Gonzaga 99-95 to keep the winning streak intact and their record unblemished.
Washington entered the game ranked #18 with a 6-0 record while Gonzaga built up a 4-1 record against much tougher competition to earn their lofty ranking. This was to be the first test for the young Husky squad, and they passed.
Youth was served, as the Huskies started two true freshmen, PG Justin Dentmon and F Jon Brockman. Dentmon turned in a wonderful performance, while Gonzaga point guard Derek Raivio went down with an injury and was a non-factor.
Spokane native Junior Adam Morrison put on one of the most amazing one-man shows in recent history in Hec-Ed, hitting one unbelievable shot after another, but in the end it wasn't enough. Morrison is sure to be an NBA lottery pick in the next draft.
1st Half – Jamaal Williams was hot early, scoring seven of Washington's first 11 points. The Huskies defensively put Brandon Roy on Adam Morrison and Bobby Jones on sharpshooter Derek Raivio. It worked well as the Dawgs ran out to an early seven point lead. A Ryan Appleby 15-footer put the Dawgs up 16-6 and the Dawg Pack was going wild.
A Williams 3-point play put the Huskies back on top by 10 with just over 11 minutes left in the half and the Huskies looked to start to open some distance between themselves and the Bulldogs.
Raivio was fouled hard and headed for the locker room with 9 minutes still left in the first half. He hurt both his knee and his back as he hit the deck. Still, Gonzaga went on a 6-0 run that was aided by two Husky turnovers. With the visitors sitting in a zone, Ryan Appleby hit a 25-foot bomb followed by a Dentmon trey pushed the Dawgs back up by 10.
Then Roy picked up his third foul and headed to the bench. Not coincidently, Gonzaga began to climb back into the game. JP Batista asserted himself inside while Morrison picked up his game and the Bulldogs were within five at 41-36.
Washington took a 51-42-point lead into the locker room as Williams hit a fall away 15-foot jump hook as time expired.
Both teams shot 50% from the field, 16 of 32 for both, however the Huskies were 15 of 17 from the charity stripe and also hit 4 of 11 from three-point land. Morrison had 18 points on seven of 10 shooting at the break to lead Gonzaga, while Bobby Jones had 13 and Williams added 12.
2nd Half - The two teams traded body blows as Morrison and Batiste continued to hurt the Huskies inside while Jamaal Williams and Jon Brockman answered them. At the 14:44 point with the Huskies up nine, Batiste picked up his fourth foul and was forced to the bench.
Then came a turning point with 13:14 remaining, as Brandon Roy was called for a questionable blocking foul and was headed back to the bench. Lorenzo Romar picked up a technical in protesting the call. Morrison sunk both technical foul free throws. Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes sank both free throws from the Roy foul and Gonzaga was back within five.
A Dentmon turnover led to a Morrison lay in and when Romar called time out to stop the bleeding, the Husky lead was down to three with just over 12 minutes remaining.
The Bulldogs began to own the boards and win the loose ball battles. Two Husky turnovers led to Gonzaga taking their first lead of the night at the 11 minute mark as Morrison canned a 15-footer in transition. A Larry Gurganious lay in pushed the Zags lead to three. A David Pendergraft three-point play pushed it out to four with 10 minutes remaining and the Huskies looked like they were on the ropes.
The stagnant Husky offense was revived by a long Ryan Appleby three that got the crowd back into the game and put the Dawgs back on top 76-75. A Joel Smith trey pushed the lead to four.
Morrison answered with back to back rainbows and the game continued to see-saw back and forth down the stretch.
Two Brandon Roy free throws made it 92-89 Washington with 3:00 to go. The Dawgs had a chance to go up five but Appleby was whistled for a charge.
Roy fouled out with 2:20 remaining, scoring just 10 points on 3 of 9 shooting, but did have six assists.
Two Cespedes foul shots pulled the Zags to within one, and a Morrison turnover at the 2:00 mark allowed the Huskies to keep their lead.
A Bobby Jones miss led to a Cespedes lay in to put the Bulldogs back in front. That was answered by Jamaal Williams at the other end. Then the key defensive play of the game occurred. Bobby Jones went high and intercepted a long pass intended for Morrison. He flipped the ball to Appleby, who found Dentmon. The freshman hit the layin and drew a foul. He made the free throw to put Washington on top 97-93.
Pargo found Morrison breaking to the hoop for a layin, which drew a foul on Joel Smith. Morrison missed the free throw, however, and Washington clung to a two-point lead.
A Dentmon three was long and Gonzaga rebounded and called time out with 20 seconds remaining. Mark Few drew up a three-point opportunity for Morrison, but it rimmed out. Sean Mallon's offensive rebound was huge, but he missed a five footer and Bobby Jones grabbed the rebound and was fouled with five seconds remaining.
Two Jones free throws provided the final margin.
UW SCORING: Williams 22, Dentmon 17, Jones 15, Appleby 14, Roy 10, Brockman 9, Smith 7, Gasser 5.
GONZAGA SCORING: Morrison 43, Batiste 16, Pendergraft 11, Cespedes 8, Pargo 6, Gurganious 5, Diallo 2, Raivio 2, Mallon 2.
UW REBOUNDING: Williams 7, Brockman 6.
GONZAGA REBOUNDING: Batista 10, Pendergraft 8.
Dawgs end drought against Gonzaga
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