Still Dancin'

Brandon Roy had 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists to lead the underdog Washington Huskies to a 67-64 win over #4 seeded Illinois this afternoon in San Diego. Washington won the game from the free throw line, making 28 of 39 attempts while Illinois had just 11 attempts, converting nine of them.

Freshman point guard Justin Dentmon added 13 points and 6 boards while Jamaal Williams added 10 points and 8 rebounds.

Illinois was led by post James Augustine's 19 points and 9 rebounds. Dee Brown added 15 and Rich McBride had 13.

Dentmon had ZERO turnovers and four assists against his hometown team.
FIRST HALF: Bobby Jones began defending Dee Brown. It turned out to be a great move, as the cat quick point guard for Illinois was blanked for most of the half.

Brandon Roy hit a 15-foot jumper on the Dawgs first possession. He then hit a quick lay-in on a feed from Dentmon. Two Dentmon free throws on the next trip down the floor and the Huskies were up 6-0.

Rich McBride finally got Illinois on the board with a deep three. It sparked a 9-0 Illini run. The Huskies misfired on seven straight possessions while falling behind.

Mike Jensen ended the drought with a three to tie it at 9-all at the 13:00 mark.

A long Appleby three pushed the Dawgs back on top, after a nice drive inside and dish outside from Dentmon. It triggered a 14-0 Husky run to push the Dawgs out on top by ten, featuring an Appleby trey off of a Joel Smith blocked shot.

Illinois went brutally cold during the Husky run, missing six of seven shot attempts and went over five minutes without a hoop. An Augustine free throw at the 7:00 mark finally ended the dry spell.

Washington's defense was the story through the first 14 minutes, but during the frenetic pace, Jon Brockman picked up his third foul.

A Brandon Roy drive and dish to Williams for an uncontested jam gave the Dawgs a 13 point lead.

At the 5:00 mark, Williams added to the lead, splitting a pair of free throws to make it 28-14. That is when Illinois began to climb back into the game, looking inside with great success.

Four three-point plays in four possessions are what followed. James Augustine hit a lay-in and converted the three point play with a free throw. Brown followed it with a driving lay-in and drew a foul on Roy. Two Roy free throws were answered with another Augustine three point play, blowing by Jensen for a jam and drawing a reach in foul on Appleby.

Two misses by Dentmon on free throws allowed the Illini to further cut into the lead.

An Augustine lay-in, followed by a Dentmon miss and another Augustine lay in made it a 10-1 Illinois run to make it 33-30 Washington. Bobby Jones followed a Roy miss for a tough lay in, and then Brown hit a deep three over Jones at the buzzer to make it 35-33 at the half.

Roy had 12 at the break to lead the Dawgs while Augustine had 13, most of them in the last four minutes of the half as he abused the Husky middle with Brockman on the bench. Washington owned the first 15 minutes of the half but lost the last five by a large margin.
SECOND HALF: Augustine picked up where he left off, connecting on a quick bank shot to tie the game in the first 15 seconds of the half. A silly Jensen turnover on an open court drive and a missed lay-in by Dentmon led to a Dee Brown to Brian Randal alley-oop and dunk that put Illinois back on top.

The Huskies opened cold, missing five straight attempts and turning the ball over twice. The transition defense went south as well When Rich McBride buried back to back threes, Illinois led by eight at 45-37 and Lorenzo Romar called time out.

At the first media timeout of the second half, Washington had yet to score a field goal and some (not all) Husky fans on the message board were sadly counting the Dawgs out. The gutless ones sadly began attacking Husky players, a very easy thing to do while watching a game from a sofa. Little did the gutless ones know that Mike Jensen would have a HUGE impact on this game, denying Augustine the ball and holding him at bay for the final 10 minutes.

After the Illini lead reached 10, it was FINALLY answered by a drive by Bobby Jones. His foul shot cut the lead to seven to temporarily stop the bleeding.

Illinois then blinked hard and the Huskies stood like men.

At 9:32, Illinois led 53-43 and the Huskies were in the bonus already. It would prove to be pivotal as the Dawgs would parade to the foul line. Jamaal Williams had an offensive board and put back, and two Brandon Roy free throws pulled the Dawgs back to within six with 8:00 to go.

The Dawgs had the opportunity to cut further into it but Roy turned it over in transition and then Dee Brown buried a trey. Jensen answered it with a trey to keep it a six point game.

Jamaal Williams hit a lay-in on a Dentmon assist to cut it to four but Randal answered. Then came perhaps the biggest point of the second half. When Dentmon buried a long trey and was fouled, the Husky bench erupted. His free throw made it a four point play and Washington trailed by but two at the 4:00 mark. Illinois looked stunned.

A Roy left-handed scoop shot while floating by his defender tied the game at 60, and when Dentmon forced a travel, the Huskies had an opportunity to take the lead. Roy missed a tough 10 footer but Williams grabbed the board and was fouled. He made one of two free throws to make it 61-60.

McBride hit a stop and pop from 14 feet out to put Illinois back on top. Dentmon answered by splitting one of two free throws to tie the game.

Mike Jensen grabbed a board and when Dentmon missed a runner in the lane, Bobby Jones came up with a huge offensive board and drew a foul. Jones made both free throws to push the Dawgs ahead 64-62 as the game entered its final minute.

On Illinois ensuing possession, the Husky defense forced Jamar Smith to panic and throw the ball right to Jamaal Williams. He gave it up to Dentmon, who was fouled with 20 seconds remaining. He buried both to push the lead to four.

Bobby Jones was then whistled for an ill advised foul with 15 seconds left. Dee Brown made both free throws to make it 66-64.

Jones went to the line with 12.8 seconds left, rattling in the first before missing the second. Illinois rebounded, brought the ball up the court and then called time out to set up the Illini's final hoorah with 6.4 seconds left.

Out of the timeout, Washington's tight defense forced Illinois to inbound the ball back into their side of half court. Dee Brown drove and launching a 25 footer that clanked off the back rim as time expired.

Washington advances to the Sweet 16 and will play on Thursday in Washington DC against the winner of #1 seeded Connecticut and Kentucky. It will be a rematch from the last time the Huskies advanced this far 10 years ago when Richard Hamilton's last second shot ousted the dawgs.
Chris Fetters is in San Diego and will have quotes from the Husky coaches and players later this evening.

STATS: GameTrax by FOX

GAME BLOG: Dawgs take down Illini Top Stories