Dawgs bite Aggies
FIRST HALF: - Both teams came out tighter than a drum. Brandon Roy hit a pull up jumper from 15 feet for two in the first 45 seconds, but from there both teams went cold, going over four minutes with no baskets. Utah State turned the ball over on three straight possessions. As the first TV timeout was called at 15:51, it was 2-0 Huskies.
Utah State finally broke the shutout at the 14:30 mark on a back door lay in by Nate Harris on a nifty pass from David Pak.
An air ball by Brandon Roy and a three-point attempt from the corner from Mike Jensen was so wide of its mark that it hit the side of the backboard. The offense was UGLY.
Jamaal Williams finally scored Washington's second hoop on a jump hook in the key at the 13:00 mark.
Utah State took the lead on a three point play from Chaz Spicer to make it 5-4, Aggies. The Huskies pushed back ahead on a long Dentmon trey, and then Williams heated up and scored six straight points to open up a 13-7 Husky lead.
The Husky defense clearly had Utah State out of sync, as the Aggies committed nine turnovers in the first 10 minutes.
Roy then hit a spinner in the lane and then a cross over dribble drive led to a lay in and the Huskies were up double digits. It looked as if the Dawgs were finding their rhythm and about to put some distance between them and Utah State.
The Aggies pecked away at the deficit and when Jaycee Carroll beat the Huskies down the floor for a lay in, the Huskies were up just 17-13.
Nate Harris began to burn the Huskies on back door cuts and lay ins.
A long Roy three pointer, a Williams 15 footer, and then a Bobby Jones three pushed the Dawgs out to an 11 point lead before Harris answered with four straight points.
The half ended with Utah State having three straight chances to score but coming away empty, as the Dawgs took a 29-20 edge to the locker room.
Jamaal Williams had 12 and Roy added 11 to lead the Dawgs while Harris had 11 and 11 boards to lead the Aggies. The difference in the two teams was turnovers, as Utah State committed 14 of them and only shot 33 percent. While the Huskies shot just 38 percent from the field, they took much better care of the basketball.
SECOND HALF: - The two teams picked up the pace and traded blows, with Utah State hitting lay ins off of back door cuts and the Huskies answering with long range bombs from Dentmon and Jones. At the first time out the Huskies still led by nine.
Utah State kept chipping away at the lead but the Huskies answered every run. A Bobby Jones three followed by a Williams steal and Roy lay in made it 50-37 as the clock ticked below 12:00. An Appleby three pushed the lead to 16, the largest of the night.
Again Utah State fought back with seven straight points, and Lorenzo Romar called time out at the 10:00 mark.
Washington's offense went cold as Appleby missed two open three pointers, Roy missed one, and Williams missed a lay-in. A Chaz Spicer steal and lay in got the Aggies back to within seven. Somehow, with 20 turnovers, Utah State was hanging around.
Washington continued to hold onto the lead as the two teams continued to trade baskets. Washington moved out to 10 point leads on three pointers by Dentmon and Appleby, but Utah State answered, keeping the deficit in single digits. At the 4:06 mark, Washington led 63-55.
Jensen buried a trey, Carroll answered. Roy buried a three right in Carroll's face. Harris abused Jensen for a cripple inside. Back and forth it went. Finally a Husky turnover gave the Aggies the ball at the 2:00 mark, trailing by nine.
Out of the time out, the Huskies tightened up the defense and the Aggies were only able to throw up an air ball as the shot clock expired, along with their chance at the upset.
Utah State was only able to score one more point while the Huskies made their free throws and punctuated the win with a Mike Jensen break away jam.
The Huskies will face #4 seed Illinois on Saturday afternoon in San Diego for a shot at the sweet 16.
Chris Fetters is in San Diego and will have quotes from the coaches and players when they are available.
Dawg Blog: UW over Utah State
Statistics: GAME TRAX from FOX
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