Brooks batters Huskies

EUGENE – Aaron Brooks didn't play against Washington the first time around, but he made up for it on Saturday. Brooks scored 30 points and Oregon used a 21-3 run in the middle of the first half to fuel a solid 93-85 win over the Washington Huskies in front of an electric crowd of 9087 at McArthur Court.

"It was a big game for Oregon," Brooks said afterward. "The whole team played inspired basketball."

Ryan Appleby scored 17 points in the first half, part of his 21-point overall effort, to keep the Huskies (16-12, 6-10) within six at halftime. Spencer Hawes added 20, Quincy Pondexter 13 and Phil Nelson 10 for Washington, losers of four-straight for the first time since 2004.

Besides Brooks' 30, Tajuan Porter tossed in 19, Bryce Taylor 15 and Maarty Leunen 13 for Oregon (22-7, 10-7).

The much ballyhooed confrontation between Appleby and Brooks never really materialized in a physical way, although Appleby gave the Oregon faithful plenty to boo about after he refused to shake Brooks' hand right before tipoff. Neither one shook the other's hand after the game as well, prompting even more boos. Brooks was suspended two games – including the Washington game in Seattle – for a flagrant elbow to Appleby's face in last spring's Pac-10 tournament, and the Seattle native was clearly ready to play his hometown team after starting a game with a 3-point basket.

But Appleby wasn't to be outdone, scoring five bombs from deep. "It's always fun to shut the crowd up like that," he said. But Brooks would have the last laugh, scoring 20 second-half points, while Appleby was held to just four free-throws – the result of two technical fouls assessed to the Ducks.

"The thing about the technicals is that, you think the four free-throws are great," Washington captain Jon Brockman said. "But those two t's put a lot more emotion into the crowd. It was a war before that, but afterwards, it was ten times more emotion."

And the Ducks fed off it. From that point on – a 58-56 Washington lead with 15:27 left in the game – Oregon went on a 21-9 run, with Brooks supplying the first eight points of that run.

"I felt it today," Brooks said of the crowd's impact on the emotion of the game. "We felt the intensity and the anger and it lifted this team up."

Washington led by as many at 11 during the first half, despite the fact that second-leading scorer and leading rebounder Brockman was rendered ineffective after being called for his second foul in the first 1:33 of the half. "It's the worse feeling in the world," he said. "Knowing that you should be out there playing and there's nothing you can do about it."

"It was hard to look our guys in the eyes, knowing how important the game was and the fact that we didn't get it done," UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said afterward. "Give Oregon credit and give Aaron Brooks credit. He stepped up and had a fantastic game."
Points: Appleby 21, Hawes 20, Pondexter 13, Nelson 10, Brockman 8, Oliver 7, Dentmon 4, Wallace 2
Rebounds: Hawes 7, Dentmon 6, Pondexter 4, TEAM 3, Brockman 2, Wallace 2, Appleby 1, Oliver 1, Gasser 1, Nelson 1
Assists: Hawes 6, Dentmon 3, Brockman 2, Oliver 2, Appleby 1, Wallace 1, Gasser 1
Steals: Dentmon 1, Appleby 1
Blocks: Hawes 1, Appleby 1, Nelson 1 Top Stories