Roy makes sure seniors go out in style

It wasn't flashy, but it got the job done. With all the fanfare and emotion of Senior Day out of the way during pre-game, Washington got down to business and Brandon Roy showed the Pac-10 why he should be seriously considered for Pac-10 Player of the Year honors. Roy's 27 paced UW to a 73-62 win over the Golden Bears Sunday at Hec Ed.

Emotion certainly carried the day for the seniors, led by Roy. After the game, Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar invited the seniors from the 'Dawg Pack', Washington's student section, to join the seniors on the court. It was a tearful, yet exciting ending to the home portion of a conference year that has had it's share of ups and downs.

With the win, coupled with UCLA's win over Oregon earlier Sunday, Washington (22-5, 11-5) is tied with California (17-8, 11-5) for second place in the league standings. UCLA sits atop the standings at 12-4, but must travel to the Bay Area to play both Cal and Stanford in what looks to be another fantastic finish leading up to the Pac-10 tournament in Los Angeles. Washington plays the Arizona teams to finish out their regular season.

"It's exciting to see the seniors go out with a victory, especially when you have a group of kids like these," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said after the game. "Our team played well, did a nice job. It's good to play this way as we go out on the road against two very tough opponents."

Not only did Roy make a case for his third consecutive Pac-10 Player of the Week honors, but Sunday's performance put him squarely in the chase for Player of the Year honors. His 27 points marked the ninth-straight game in which the senior from Garfield has scored 20 or more points in a game. He has also made 32 consecutive free-throws, one short of Eldridge Recasner's all-time UW record.

Roy out-played Cal's Leon Powe, who had a solid game himself with fourteen points and eight rebounds. But he did not have anywhere near the affect on the outcome of the game. Time and time again Roy would come up with jumpers from long range or slashing drives to Cal's bucket that would keep the Bears' offensive efforts at bay.

"He guarded a very good player in (Ayinde) Ubaka, and held him to 2-9 from the field. He is just playing a complete basketball game right now. He has to be playing as well as anybody in the country right now."

UW forward Jamaal Williams added 13 points for the Huskies, while Justin Dentmon and Ryan Appleby rounded out Washington's double-digit scorers with 10 apiece. Williams started the game for the Huskies, a tip of the cap from Romar to the senior from Corona, Calif. The other starting seniors, Bobby Jones and Mike Jensen, had modest totals for their final fling at Hec Ed. Jones had six points and six assists, while Jensen hit a three-pointer for his only points of the night.

Richard Midgley hit four three-pointers on his way to leading Cal's attack with 15 points. Frosh guard Theo Robertson added 13 for the Bears.

It was a see-saw battle from the start, with Washington pulling away near the end of the first half. Appleby hit a three from the top of the key to give the Huskies their largest lead of the game at that point - seven points. But a Robertson three from the corner cut that lead to four going into intermission.

Washington used a trapping attack - with an emphasis on double-teaming in the paint - to force Cal into errant cross-court passes, and when the Bears weren't making three point shots from open shooters, the strategy worked well. They were also able to force Powe into some bad decisions with the ball, decisions that Braun said worked in Washington's favor.

"He got about two or three calls against him and those were tough," Braun said. "Those were real momentum-changers for them. And as hard as Leon was working, I thought he had opportunities to go after the rim a few times, and we came away with no basket, and a foul. I thought, in my opinion, that there were some questionable judgements in those situations."

But when the Huskies had their largest lead of the game - 12 points with 4:46 left in the game - the Bears began to make those shots they had been missing most of the game. Threes from Midgley and Robertson cut the Huskies' lead to six, but that's when Roy showed his true mettle.

Coming off a time out, Roy was at the top of the key, looking to pass it around the perimeter. The Cal defender sagged off just enough to give Brandon the green light and he took it. A big three three put the lead back at nine and the crowd was suddenly re-energized. It was the final bucket for a monumental second half for Roy, who had 17 in the final twently minutes of play. From that point on, Cal could not regain momentum.

"He did what great players do," Romar said of Roy. "Great players take their teams to great heights. And that's what he did tonight, with the help of his teammates. In the second half, he just took over."

"He knocked down some really big shots," added Braun. "I thought he took his team over the hump tonight. I told our guys after the game. We have to give credit to Brandon Roy - we were defending him pretty hard."
Notes:
Justin Dentmon's three assists ties him with Recasner for Washington's all-time record for assists for a freshman player.

Statistics:
Points: Roy 27, Williams 13, Dentmon 10, Appleby 10, Jones 6, Brockman 4, Jensen 3
Rebounds: Brockman 8, Jones 6, Roy 5, TEAM 4, Smith 2, Appleby 2, Dentmon 1
Assists: Dentmon 3, Roy 2, Williams 1, Jensen 1, Smith 1, Appleby 1
Steals: Jones 1, Williams 1, Roy 1
Blocks: Dentmon 1, Smith 1


Dawgman.com Top Stories