Huskies Squeak By Stanford in Thriller

SEATTLE - Steve Sarkisian is no doubt looking for a few good defensive backs for his football team, and the new Washington head coach might want to take a look at Justin Holiday. Holiday foiled Stanford's grand plans of an upset on the road, preserving an 84-83 UW thriller in front of 9291 fans at Bank of America Arena Thursday night

With the Huskies up one with 4.6 seconds left, Stanford had to go the length of the court to find the winning points. There were three timeouts called, two by Stanford, as both teams tried to win the chess match inside the basketball game.

Back-up guard Drew Schiller, at 6-feet tall, had to throw the ball over or around Matthew Bryan-Amaning and his 88-inch wingspan. So he heaved the ball past mid-court and deep toward the Huskies' end of the court.

Holiday was battling Stanford guard Landry Fields tooth and nail for position on the ball, and it basically amounted to a jump ball situation. Field caught the ball, faced up toward the Huskies' basket, and then made a crucial mistake. He tried to dribble the ball in traffic. The ball went between Holiday's legs while Washington guard Isaiah Thomas helped out, eventually giving possession to the Huskies with 2.2 seconds left on the game clock.

Washington, with no timeouts available, was able to quickly compose themselves in time to find UW senior guard Justin Dentmon in the corner nearest the Stanford bench. He took a couple of dribbles and then hoisted the ball as high as he could while time expired, sending the crowd home with happy thoughts of a ninth-straight win for the home team. It's also the first time since 2005 that Washington has started out conference play with two wins.

"The design wasn't always to go to Landry," first-year Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins said. "We saw that no one was on the inbounder, so we decided to call another play based on what we had seen. That's why we called the timeout. It's basketball. They made a great play and our made a great play. He made the catch. We have to be strong and finish in that situation."

"It was a great ballgame, a lot of fun," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said. "It was great to have the crowd backing. The fans were fun and they helped us down the stretch. I thought our guys did a good job when they were down, we came back. It was tough because Stanford killed us in the first half when they shot 56 percent."

The Huskies (11-3, 2-0) were led by the inside presence of Jon Brockman, whose 19 points and 18 rebounds meant his 24th career double-double. Thomas added 18 points for UW, while Bryan-Amaning had 17 and Quincy Pondexter 14. Stanford (11-2, 1-2) was paced by the 19 points of Anthony Goods. Lawrence Hill scored 16, while former O'Dea product Mitch Johnson tallied 12 and Fields 11.

Stanford appeared to be on the verge of running the Huskies out of the gym as they scored the last eight points of the first half and added to that by extending a 10-4 run through the first television timeout of the second half. By that time they were up 59-51.

Paced by Pondexter and Bryan-Amaning, the Huskies slowly climbed back into the picture, and with 9:26 left in the game UW took their first lead of the half on a Dentmon 3-pointer, his only one of the game. From that point it was a battle of wills, with no team up more than three.

Pondexter's two-free throws gave Washington an 82-80 lead with 1:23 left, and Romar called timeout after Stanford's Josh Owens hit the first free-throw of a two-shot penalty. Much like icing a kicker, Romar's timing couldn't have been better. Owens came out and missed the second attempt.

At 82-81 Washington had a chance to get points at the other end, but couldn't convert down deep, allowing Goods a chance at a winning bucket. After Dentmon, who was guarding Goods, fell down, the 6-foot-3 senior calmly moved to the left elbow and knocked down a pretty jumper with 10.6 seconds left.

Now it was UW's time to answer. Pondexter fed the ball inside to Bryan-Amaning, whose shot hit iron and bounced to the left side of the basket. But just like they had been all game long in amassing a 44-28 rebounding advantage, Brockman was on the weak side and had a clear lane. His soft tip off glass gave the Huskies' their final lead with 4.6 seconds left, clearing the way for Shiller's home-run attempt to Fields.

"It seemed to take 30 minutes," Brockman said of his final play. "I saw Matt (Byan-Amaning) take the shot, and had a feeling it would be back on the backside. I just kind of wedged myself in there. I waited for it, and they put the lid on the basket for me and I made it."

"I thought the defense was good," Dawkins said of the play. "We got the stop we wanted, but we just have to get the rebound."
Statistics:
Points: Brockman 19, Thomas 18, Bryan-Amaning 17, Pondexter 14, Dentmon 9, Overton 5, Holiday 2
Rebounds: Brockman 18, Bryan-Amaning 6, Pondexter 6, Thomas 4, Overton 3, TEAM 3, Dentmon 2, Gant 2
Assists: Overton 3, Brockman 3, Thomas 2, Dentmon 2, Bryan-Amaning 1, Pondexter 1, Holiday 1
Blocks: Bryan-Amaning 2
Steals: Brockman 2, Thomas 2, Gant 1, Dentmon 1

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