Brockman beats Bears down

SEATTLE - Jon Brockman doesn't like losing. Just ask the California Golden Bears, after enduring 33 minutes of brutal hell from the sophomore captain - who tied a career high 14 rebounds while scoring 22 points, en route to a 79-71 Washington victory at Bank of America Arena Thursday.

But it wasn't easy.

If the Golden Bears were intimidated by the Huskies' sterling home record (now 12-1), they certainly didn't show it. The Bears, smarting from a three-game losing streak, entered the game with a half-game lead over Washington for seventh position in the Pac-10 standings, as both teams tried to avoid being one step closer to possible elimination from NCAA tournament consideration.

With both teams' tournament hopes fading with a loss, Washington point guard Justin Dentmon set the tone of the game early with a streaking leaner off the tip, and the ragged pace never let up, with the two teams trading buckets throughout the first half.

The Huskies, with Artem Wallace starting at center for the sixth straight game, had their hands full with Pac-10 freshman player of the year frontrunner Ryan Anderson and forward Theo Robertson, who combined for 16 points and 7 rebounds in the first half.

Fortunately, Washington had a counter in Brockman. Unwilling to let the season come to an early end, he was a monster under the hoop - closing the half with nine of the team's 19 rebounds.

Offensively, it was a balanced scoring attack led by junior Ryan Appleby that allowed the Huskies to grab the lead at half time, despite the Bears only turning the ball over two times.

Wallace (8 points, 2 rebounds) also turned in another solid performance as he is seemingly gaining confidence by the minute. While his stat line was unspectacular, it was his defensive presence in the middle that played a key role in bottling up the California post play as the game went on.

Spencer Hawes finally awoke from his slumber in the second half, where he earned 11 of his 16 points with his usual array of hooks and spins. Surprisingly absent from the box score were wings Quincy Pondexter and Phil Nelson, who combined to score only two points in limited minutes, yielding the floor to the sure-handed Brandon Burmeister at the end of each half.

The turnover bugaboo continued for the Dawgs, who coughed up the ball 10 times in the first half. Dentmon was the primary culprit, and poor free-throw shooting plagued the Dawgs as well as they shot 2-6 from the free-throw stripe. Washington ended the half with a slim 37-36 lead.

The second half started off well for Washington, who pulled away from Cal early through the steady post play of Brockman, Hawes and Wallace. They simply overwhelmed the smaller opposition. The Bears weren't ready to throw in the towel yet though, and responded with a steady torrent of three-pointers, courtesy of point guard Ayinde Ubaka (20 pts, 3-6 from 3pt) and Ryan Anderson (17 pts, 7 boards,) that brought the Bears back to within 6 points of the Dawgs before Dentmon (12 pts, 5 ast, 5 boards, 3 to's) finished them off from the free-throw line.

Ironically, during Washington's game at California - a game they eventually lost in overtime - Dentmon had a chance to win it in regulation for the Huskies, but missed a free throw. This time down the stretch, he was money. His four-straight shots from the line were more than enough to keep the Bears at bay.
Points: Brockman 22, Hawes 16, Dentmon 12, Appleby 12, Wallace 8, Oliver 4, Burmeister 3, Pondexter 2
Rebounds: Brockman 14, Dentmon 5, Hawes 5, Appleby 3, TEAM 3, Pondexter 2, Wallace 2, Oliver 2, Burmeister 1
Assists: Pondexter 5, Dentmon 5, Appleby 2, Nelson 2, Hawes 1, Burmeister 1
Steals: Dentmon 2, Appleby 2
Blocks: Hawes 3, Pondexter 1 Top Stories